Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Need Advice on Getting Organized

Today in St. Peters, MO: Mostly cloudy, high 50 degrees.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know one of my goals for 2010 is to get organized by eliminating clutter--or as I indelicately put it, "stop *itching and start pitching."

I'm already making some headway around the house. This week I've gathered up a bag of clothing to donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America, which will be picked up tomorrow. My husband Walt (himself a Vietnam Veteran) even added several of his things to the pile.

Another thing I'm doing is running a contest on my blog to cull my bookshelves by giving away a copy of "Mysteries of the Ozarks." Note: If you post on my blog this month you will be in the running to win the book, and I plan to run several more contests this year.

Okay. But what I really would like from you all are ideas and suggestions on how to better utilize (sorry about the split infinitive) my time by organizing my writing day and work space.

Does anyone care to share tips on ways you've found to meet deadlines, track submissions and contest entries, perform research without losing track of time, and finish projects that are hanging around waiting for the words, "THE END" to appear?


  1. I wish I had tips. As a matter of fact I wish I could do all of the things you mentioned.

    For therein lies an organized, purposeful, and downright successful human being!

  2. I am the last one who should comment on this. However, I have one thing that helps one area for me. I keep a small spiral hardbound journal on shelf right next to comptuer. This has all submissions. I put story or poem title on one page and then list each submission place and date, and unfortunately, the rejection dates later. When the year changes, I make a tab and keep going. I can look in this journal and instantly see how much is out at any one time, what can be resubmitted elsewhere, etc. Choosing a pretty padded cover is a lift too!

  3. Good for you, Donna, for at least getting started on this! You know I've been doing a lot of talking about getting organized, but so's still been mostly "talk". What's even more frustrating is that I have all the tools for organization....file folders, decorative boxes, notebooks, etc....but I can't seem to get caught up enough, on any one project or household chore, to actually work on it. I never used to be like this and that just adds to the aggravation. answer to your question...."I got nothin'!"

  4. Donna, do we ever get organized? Just think if we didn't constantly work at it, what a mess we would have. I had an article published on organizing my studio a couple of years ago in the SCBWI-Missouri's newsletter and a couple of other newsletters. But, I no longer practice what I preached. On Velda Brotherton's blog she shares how she does it.

  5. Donna, I'll tell you my trick to getting things done, but you can't tell any of my neighbors.

    I write till lunchtime, (possibly) shower, eat, and then I write some more. I may throw a load of dirty clothes in the washer on my way to the bathroom. I do have a hard and fast rule about making up the bed before I go to bed that night.

    The thing is, when you work at home, you look around and think, "I should fix that sink (or the carpet, or the ceiling with the water stain...)." Before you know it, you've spent all your energy taking care of the house and such. So, I'm not nearly the "good housekeeper" I was when I worked outside my home. But I get a lot more writing done.

    (I also make a list of what I want to accomplish each month...break it down into weekly goals, then chip away at the list day by day. I keep a daily calendar book and write down everything, writing-wise, before I go to bed. That way, I can check back/keep up with my progress. It's a system that works pretty well-as long as I don't look up and see water stains on my ceiling!)

  6. Hi All,
    Thanks for your comments and great suggestions.
    I like the idea of the spiral notebook and the daily calendar. And I'll have to check out Velda's blog.
    Hey, Pat. I like your new photo.

  7. Hey Donna...After commenting on this yesterday, I had a new attitude today and I have been cleaning up my office area like crazy! I see the very dim pin dot of a light at the end of my tunnel!! I forgot to say, too, that when I do use a "system", I've found that writing things down, "the old-fashioned way" in notebooks and on calendars....I do better than with electronic reminders and calendars, etc.


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