Guest Blogger, DorothyTheOrganizer Breininger, Author
To listen to Dorothy’s interview on the show: http://wp.me/p1KmwD-6hz
I just loved being on Jennifer S. Wilkov’s radio show, “Your Book is Your Hook.” Speaking with her really had me hone in on some organizational principles which have created successful books for my clients and me. As a professional organizing expert, my world view is one of “how to get things done in an organized, efficient and results oriented kind of way.” So, I thought the best idea would be to apply my organizing tips to the writer’s experience.
1. ORGANIZE YOUR COMMITMENT TO WRITE: Whether you believe you can finish writing a book or whether you are still on the fence, it’s time to set your intention and commitment to the project. You will soon learn if this goal (to start AND FINISH writing a book) fits into your life values. You want to know this about yourself because: if you are a writer, it’s time to prioritize this project as important – so you can do what you love. If you want to be a writer, it’s time to assess whether you are committed, need some coaching, or need to come clean about how this whole writing idea is just “cluttering” up your brain. Without a timeline, it is nearly impossible to measure whether you are procrastinating or not. Just as I ask my clients to declare a deadline for a long-awaited organizing project, I suggest this time management tip of “Organizing Your Commitment” to authors as well.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY: It’s rare when our own self-initiative can carry us through the book writing process. Studies show that when we partner on a project (whether it’s gardening, organizing closets, or writing), we increase our momentum and productivity. If you are a procrastinator or have difficulty “getting started” on certain days with your writing, it is important to enlist a friend or colleague with whom to share your timeline and benchmarks.
When I was writing Stuff Your Face or Face Your Stuff, I used a tool called, “Book-Ending.” This means I called a friend or business associate and said, “It’s 11:00 a.m. and I plan to write for 1 hour, take lunch for 30 minutes and then continue writing til 2:00 p.m. I plan to finish Chapter Four and I will call you at 2:00 p.m. to report in.” Then, at 2:00 p.m., I would call back and tell my accountability partner what I had (or had not) achieved. In most cases…..I achieved. And so can you.
3. ORGANIZING YOUR BRAIN TO WRITE: For new and veteran writers, sometimes the words just don’t come (and it’s not due to procrastination). If this is the case, I recommend organizing and training your brain with some new neuro pathways. It’s pretty simple: Write a five-sentence mantra which spells out the success of writing your book and read this mantra every night before bed.
Example: “I love writing my book _______________________(insert your book title). Every time I sit down to write, words just flow out of me. I am always eager to get another chunk written and it happens with such ease. The first draft of my book will be completed by __________________ (insert deadline) and I am committed to making this happen. I am simply full of joy around the successful completion of my book.
Good luck in your organized approach to writing. It is without question that a mix of spontaneous free flow writing coupled with good organizing timelines and accountability will get you through your next writing project. Remember, avoid perfection at all costs. Now go get’em!