7 Steps to Quickly Organize Your Writing Project
MAKE WRITING A PRIORITY BY CREATING A SACRED WRITING SPACE
One of the things that keep people from writing consistently is they don’t organize their writing. For any other project at work, home, church, or volunteer we would create a plan or have a place to do the project and the tools to accomplish the tasks whether yard work, remodeling, participating in a hobby, or finishing a big project at work. Why would writing be any different? It’s not! Writing can become a profession, not just a hobby. If you want to be a professional author then you need to start as you mean to go on.
1. Create a Sacred Writing Space in your home (office, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room) wherever you can go that is quiet and you can work uninterrupted. It may seem slow at first, but over time your brain will understand that this is your writing space. When you sit down here you are here to get to work. Soon starting will be effortless and your writing will go faster. If your home is not an option for you, or if you work better at a park, coffee shop, or diner that is an option but consider step #2 below.
2. Keep all the materials you need in the Same Place for your Book Writing project: (see above #1) dictionaries, thesaurus, marketing materials, research, presentations, quotes, Bible/scripture verses, speeches, notes, index cards, photos, graphics, interviews, or questions and answers. Collect whatever you have that you will need access to while you are writing. (If you cannot leave it out due to small children, roommates, pets or others then put it all in a backpack, box, or book bag and collect it before you sit down to write and put it all back when you finish). Keep it in a safe, undisturbed place, and grab it when you are ready to work.
NOTE: If you prefer to go completely electronic then before you start Writing put all your apps, software tools, links to websites, etc. in a document and/or WRITING folder on your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. Do this to eliminate time searching or clicking on a link and going down the rabbit hole (for those of us easily distracted). You don’t want to look up two hours later wondering what happened to your writing time.
3. Commit to a timeframe. 30 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours, and sit down, and write. Get whatever drink or snacks you might need before you start. The whole purpose of #1, #2, #3 is to stop procrastination and losing minutes or hours searching for what you need before you can even start writing. Sometimes we will do anything else to keep from getting down to business. The business of writing that is.
4. Write about what you know. Decide on a topic and start writing (notebook, journal, computer, tablet, or phone). Start with brainstorming titles, pick one and use it as a working title it doesn’t have to be the Final Title but it needs to match your topic. This will help you stay focused. Another reason people fail to write is they don’t know where to start. If you have that problem then brainstorm your potential Titles (at least 10 options). Then pick one and start writing down anything you can think of that relates to that Title/Topic.
5. Then write down your 5-7-10 Big thoughts, concepts, or themes. If you are in business, maybe you have 10 Questions that people ask you all the time –– write those down. Then write down the 10 Questions people should be asking but they don’t even know to ask that question (but you know). Or maybe you prefer to start with writing about an experience (a problem you had) and how you overcame it: weight loss, finding a job or business opportunity, learning to control your emotions or mindset, starting a blog, podcast, or social media tribe, whatever your topic is. Decide what your reader needs to know then write more about each thought. These become your Chapters or Steps, basically the structure or backbone of your book.
NOTE: If you get stuck on one of the chapters, or questions or experiences, just move on to another but keep writing. You can always go back to a Chapter or Step and finish it later after more research or letting your BRAIN wrestle with the topic for a time. Another strategy is to ask questions like a reporter: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? Also what relationship does it have to the story or chapter you are writing about.
6. Once you have written 10-20-50 pages. Set your writing aside. Go do something fun or something you have never done before (the brain thrives on new experiences). Reward yourself for doing some good work and keeping your commitment to yourself and your writing. Afterward, come back to those pages and reread with a fresh perspective. Time away allows your brain to process and come up with more ideas for the next time you sit down. You also should spot any misspelled words, inconsistencies, or other grammatical issues along with figuring out where you could add or delete something, then continue to write, write, write.
7. Set a goal or a deadline for finishing. Give yourself a goal, a number of pages to complete in one sit down, or so many hours to write. Say I will finish writing my rough draft in 30-60 days, or something else that works for you. Be sure to give it a specific date January 15, 2021. Depending on the type of story you are writing: children’s book 2-4 8.5” x 11” pages; business book 150-200 pages; or biography 200-250 pages. Your goal might be the whole 4 pages by this weekend; or 20 to 50 pages every time you sit down to write or record, and a finished manuscript by the end of the month (with the specific date). Once you have a rough draft set it aside again and take a few days off. Then come back to it and edit, edit, edit, then write, write, write and edit, edit, edit until you get something you are proud of. Remember though –– progress over perfection. That is another thing that keeps people stuck. They want things to be perfect but we as writers, authors, creatives must live in a culture of progress. Done is better than perfect. Now you are ready to hire a professional editor or publisher depending on if you plan to indie/self-publish or partner publish.
These are seven steps that can help you organize your writing project. If you commit to making WRITING a priority you can accomplish your DREAM of publishing. It gets easier the more you practice so start today and remember to ask your brain for help when you get stuck.
You can also visit www.facebook.com/bookcatalyst for more strategies or listen to our podcast with successful authors at www.anchor.fm/biz4creatives.