Please welcome guest Kelly Wilson, author of Caskets From Costco, an amazing memoir published by the Gravity Imprint I direct for Booktrope Publishing. Kelly is an abuse survivor, mom, and gifted comic. Learn more about Caskets From Costco and about Kelly below.
To say that my writing life was disorganized would be the grossest understatement in the history of earth. Scattered over email, bookmarked web pages, my blogging calendar, social media groups and messages, and at least three different notepad documents, my “writing life” was virtually nonexistent in any coherent form. It’s difficult to work on all that comes with book writing and marketing if you can’t keep track of any of it.
Can you relate to this kind of disorganization in your writing life? Are you overwhelmed with all of the tasks you need and want to do as a writer?
If you are tired of the chaos and want to get some control over your writing life, take a look at what I did in the following steps. This simple document helped me to fix my disorganized writing life so that I can follow-through on my goals and achieve my writing dreams!
Set Up One Document Called “Writing To Do”
Just like with my purse and cell phone, I need to have one place for important items, including my writing life. I set up a document in Word because I simply needed to get started; for convenience, I can upload this document to Google Drive and work on it from there at any time and anywhere I happen to be.
Call the document “Writing To Do” or something similar, and then open it up first thing at the start of each day. Having everything all laid out in front of you eliminates procrastination, at least for a while.
Make Headers of Important Categories
Now comes the most satisfying part: gathering and organizing all of the “writing stuff” to do into one place. As I moved the scattered remnants and good intentions of my writing life from email, bookmarked web pages, my blogging calendar, social media groups and messages, and at least three different notepad documents to this form, the headings grew organically.
Here is a screenshot of my Table of Contents that I created from the Headings function in Word:
My headings in this organized writing document include:
• Weekly Goals
• Daily Schedule
• To Do
• Blog Post Ideas
• Guest Posting Opportunities/Places
• Guest Post Ideas
• Ads to Place
• Book/Writing Contests
• Free Author Interview Sites
• Tweets to Schedule
The headings are pretty self-explanatory, except for “To Do.” This heading has a couple of tasks that I don’t want to forget to put on my Weekly Goals list in the next couple of weeks, but aren’t urgent.
When I need to fill in my Weekly Goals at the beginning of each week, I work from the notes I have compiled in this document. The Daily Schedule is a little different, in that these are tasks I want to complete every day:
• Blog posting, comments
• Schedule Hootsuite with blog posts, interviews, anthologies, graphics
• Social media outlets – check and comment
• Free interview – complete one a week
• Book/Writing contests coming up to enter
• AuthorRise Flyer
Create a Table of Contents in the Document
A table of contents at the top of the page allows me to see what I need to do and where all my notes are. When a new opportunity comes up for a writing contest, ad placement, or guest posting, I simply go into this document and make notes in the appropriate places.
Link the headers in the document with those in the Table of Contents. This makes moving around in the document fast and easy, eliminating unnecessary scrolling. In Word, go to Insert Hyperlink and then find the corresponding header in the document.
Link them up, and then you can run around your organized writing life with just a few clicks!
Achieve Your Organized Writing Goals
This may sound easier said than done, but in these last couple of weeks, I have been able to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently than my previous chaotic system. Fixing my disorganized writing life was one of the most valuable practices I’ve ever done for daily professional success.
The most important element to me is the Weekly Goals category. Weekly Goals allows me to stay on track with making realistic goals on Monday and actually achieving them by Friday. I feel more in control and successful as a writer and book marketer, and I can use that momentum to stay focused and motivated during the daily grind.
This one document has helped me immensely in a short amount of time. The chaos of not feeling in control of my writing tasks and goals sent me on an almost daily spiral of frustration and procrastination. Now with this organized system in place, I am able to market my books on a daily basis, expand my reach by guest posting regularly, maintain my own blog and readership, and work on new and exciting projects without getting distracted.
How do you plan to fix your disorganized writing life? What steps would you add to this process? What information would help if it was included in your personal Writing To Do document?
Kelly Wilson is an author and comedian who entertains and inspires with stories of humor, healing, and hope. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco (published by the Gravity Imprint).
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Kelly writes and speaks about finding hope in the process of recovery. Through both stand-up and improv comedy, she brings laughter to audiences of all ages using a wide range of subject matter, including silly songs, parenting stories, and jokes and anecdotes revolving around mental health issues.
Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, cat, and stereotypical minivan in Portland, Oregon. Read more about her at www.wilsonwrites.com.
Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)
All content © 2016 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.