Is your current work space in chaos? If so, take some quality time to just sit and think about what works best for you. I remember when our kids were small. We wanted them to set the table and empty the dishwasher when it was clean. But they weren’t tall enough to reach the cupboard

Getting organized to write: create order out of chaos

The absolutely most important item for any writer to have organized is his or her ideas. Everything else can get messy or be allowed to sink into oblivion if necessary, but ideas are the straw writers must have in order to spin their gold. So how do you keep those ideas safe? First, I never

Getting organized to write: idea catchers

The moment you have several ideas down on pieces of paper, you need some files. Not a lot of them. You might start with only five or six. You can easily buy a small metal holder with half a dozen or so coloured folders in it. Mark the blue folder Nonfiction Ideas, the red one

Getting organized to write: create files

Over the years, I can’t begin to estimate how much time I’ve wasted looking for things I’ve misplaced—slips of papers with ideas on them, contracts, books, emails… You name it, I’ve misplaced it. And I’ve spent hours and hours and hours searching for something, only to have it turn up shortly after I stopped looking

Getting organized to write: finding things

I probably have close to 1000 file folders. All colours. They’re in various places, including a 4-level horizontal filing cabinet, a smaller narrow filing cabinet, drawers in two desks, several Omni carts, several other movable carts with file folder spaces on the top and plastic drawers underneath, and a few file boxes. The files are

Getting organized to write: filing

If you’ve been in one of my workshops where I talk about writing fiction, I usually hand out small cards with these words on them: character, setting, plot, theme. For me, they are the four corners of all good fiction. But when you begin a story, you usually have only of these things: a character

What to do with your idea for a novel or short story