Thursday, July 8, 2010


Music Playing: Slipknot: Snuff

Hi guys! Elizabeth here, blogging from the floor. Yep, the floor. I am moving in two weeks, so we’re getting our stuff pack and furniture broken down. The desk that my lap top normally sits on it no more (it was old and falling apart…it wouldn’t have survived another move), so the lap top is sitting on the floor while I get my desk packed up.

Staring at a mountain of boxes, I am struck by the importance of organization. Not that I have too much stuff, but the importance of organization. At least, that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

I am an organized person, mostly. But there have been times where I searched all over the house in vain for the slip of paper I wrote a book idea or a sentence down on. Especially when that paper relates to a current work, it feels like finding that sentence is the deal breaker for whether or not the book is going to be absolute crap or a literary masterpiece.

Even if you don’t go so far as to have “make such and such list” on your to do list, like yours truly, I think we all can agree that organization is important to writers. Some people make entire “book bibles” where they dedicate a notebook to their book. They keep pictures, and character bios, timelines, settings, and plot events all in one, easy to reference notebook. Sometimes this is in addition to notes on the computer, or in lieu of them.

I haven’t tried making a book bible yet, but I intend to for my next book. I like having everything on the computer, but sometimes it’s a pain to shift through several documents on the computer. It might be easier to have everything right in front of me.

Whether it’s a book bible, a spot on your desk, or an entire shelf built as a shrine to your book, it’s a good idea to stay consistent with your organization system. And, please please please back up your work. We’ve all heard horror stories about losing books on the computer. Don’t let this happen to you. I lost an entire hard disk (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we used hard disks to store information on) of poetry and story ideas when I was 19 and I cried for weeks. I still think about that disk. It feels like losing a piece of yourself when you lose that amount of information. So back up your books. Save an extra copy, and keep it somewhere safe. You don’t want to lose a book because you forgot where you stuffed the manuscript or because it got lost in the shuffle of papers.

In other news, Noah Lukeman has an entire book about writing query letter for free download on his website. I have already downloaded it, and let me tell you, it’s a gem!

Well, that’s the end of today’s PSA. How do you guys organize your work? Anything brilliant?

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your moving! That's always stressful, but exciting :)