Saturday, January 7, 2017

Organized organization

Well, it's a NEW YEAR all caps for effect. And this year I have goals. One of my goals is getting my shit together. Like many other authors I tend to not be very organized. Unlike other, more productive authors, I haven't made many steps in the right direction.

But this year I have learned THINGS. I went to quite a few self publishing panels at Orycon in November and I learned many things, despite not being in a mood to learn things. But I took notes and they have been percolating and now it's time to turn them into action.

Action #1- get a wall calendar, and not some month by month jobber either- get the full year in one glance. It's laminated and you can write on it with white board markers (and erase them. But I've started adding on what I need to write, dates to start, and deadlines. This is important because one of the things I learned at the self-publishing panel is that it's important to reassess goals often. Look at what is working and what isn't. Do this every three months or so.

I hung it up behind my desk so I can look at it frequently and shuffle the dates around.

Action #2- get an hourglass. One of the authors got a tip from another author (Mary Robinette Kowal) to use a sandtimer to time their writing. The point is to have a silent timer- which unlike kitchen timers, doesn't go off and scare the crap out of you. So I also bought myself a half hour hourglass. Turns out you can get them in various intervals. I picked half an hour because it gives me enough time to get some writing done, but it is less intimidating than an hour. Another tip I got was to time your writing and build up your tolerance to writing in order to increase the length of time you can write. Hopefully I'll be doing 2-3 half hour sessions per day (though it hasn't happened yet)

So these are the tools I'm starting off the new year with! Here's hoping this year will be more productive than the last!

Do you have any tips for increasing productivity you'd like to  share?


Joyce Brown said...

I hope you reach your goals. The timer is a good idea, but I need it to remind me to stretch and go to the bathroom before I've spent five hours sitting at the computer and forgetting to keep track of time. Guess all of us have our challenges.

Che Gilson said...

Thanks! I really like the timer. It's also nice for computer breaks. I have a standing desk and I'm really trying to use it more (it's actually a drafting/art table) so I'm actually trying to stand more as well.

Linda Thorne said...

Thanks Che for sharing, and the topic does hit home and a good idea, but I'm so inundated with work lately, I'm not sure I'm going to do well at organizing much of my writing time in the near future. I will likely be airing about my time constraints in my next post, but I will try hard to bring in interesting information and put a positive spin on it. A timer - neat idea.

Liane Spicer said...

Thanks for sharing these tips--they're great! I'm heading to Amazon right now. :)

Liane Spicer said...

Che, do you have a link to your hourglass? I'd love to have one like that.