During the celebration of the holidays, it can be hard to think about getting organized for a new year of writing, but trust me, this is exactly what we should do. Why? Because when the calendar flips, life resets in our heads. Determined and full of fire, we set out to make this year OUR year.
But this energy peters out pretty quick if we get bogged down in all the little housekeeping things that nibble our time. So, use this lead up to January wisely and knock a few important tasks off the ‘ol list so the year starts with a bang.
Housekeeping Task #1:
Back up your work.
I know, it’s obvious. And yet…do you? I mean we all know the danger of not backing up work, but let’s face it, computer crashes happen to OTHER people, right? Um, no. It can and probably WILL happen to you at some point. So, yep, back your work up. Now’s the perfect time to do it!
Housekeeping Task #2:
Do some weeding.
Weeding? Um, Angela…it’s December. The only weeds outside are curled up in their death throes under the snow.
Think about it…just how many versions of the same story do you have on your computer? How many blog posts, revisions of query letters, pitches, story notes, character profiles and worksheets…well, you get the idea.
Over the years, this stuff piles up. It becomes a mountain of data. The truth is, we can’t bear to let any of it go, these words of ours. We’re so sure that at some point, we’ll want that 7th revision of chapter 9, absolutely. And even if we finish the novel and move on to another, dang it, maybe that discarded paragraph 3 in that first draft can be used in a new story!
Group therapy time: we need to let some of these old files go. Once we’ve finished revisions on a book, there’s really no reason to keep all the old bits and bobs. So take a look at the scary patch of files and ask yourself, do I really need this? If you truly don’t, give yourself a Christmas gift and purge.
Housekeeping Task #3:
Okay, up until now, we’ve taken some baby steps. You’ve done well. In fact, you’re a freaking rock star. But now…we need to talk about the biggie. I know, you don’t want me to go there, but I have to. It’s the Thing That Must Not Be Named.
Your desk. Your workpace.
Here’s the deal: if we really want to give ourselves a clear mind in January, we need to clean our surroundings. Make our fresh start a TRUE fresh start.
If your desk is a mess, your drawers are filled with God-knows-what, and there’s so much of it you haven’t seen the bottom in a good year or two, it’s time to excavate.
Trust me, you will feel so much better knowing those drawers actually shut like they are supposed to. And it probably won’t kill you to dust. Or empty the trash. So sort, organize and recycle!
And here’s a bonus tip for making this your year…join hundreds of your fellow writers over at One Stop For Writers. The One Stop library is the result of writing passion. Becca, Lee & I created it to help you elevate your writing, and to assist through tools, resources and descriptive inspiration so that you spend less time searching for the right words and more time actually writing them.
And we both know that your rock star attitude toward organizing and growing your writing craft means a fantastic new year.
Happy writing & organizing!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.