A new year is turning, and we couldn’t be more excited to see what 2017 holds for each and every one of you. A big part of making 2017 our year is getting into the right mindset to create, and to do that, we should all turn our minds to a few housekeeping items. (This is a reposting from last year that is an excellent reminder of how to start the year right.)
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 winter. 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…check into One Stop For Writers.
Story structure tools, generators unlike anything you’ve seen, a massive description database on emotion, setting, character traits, symbolism, weather and more (13 topics in all), plus a ton of worksheets, templates, tutorials and writing lessons… One Stop For Writers can really give your writing career a boost.
Registration is free, so why not stop by?
Here’s to a fantastic 2017. We hope it is your best year yet!
Happy writing & organizing!
~Angela & Becca
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.