Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Don't Panic - Organise! - Step One:

Get in the zone

Whether you are meeting a publication deadline, overlapping projects, or procrastinating:

  • Mentally organise by thinking about your 'story' or project and how it develops.
  • Don't think about looking at your MySpace or updating your blog, turn off the mobile and msn, but most important of all - delete all those distracting solitaire games on your PC. (Yes, this is me talking - I haven't been replaced by aliens. It is very good advice and one day, I too will follow it!)
  • Keep a notebook and jot down all your thoughts on 'story' development and write down all those good phrases you over hear.
  • Talk about the topic you are writing about (but, not the story) to your family and friends, your doctor or even the postman. Your writing will benefit from the reactions and interpretations of other people.
  • If the information received is unclear, ask for clarification. But, whatever you do don’t get defensive and don’t argue. Smile and accept comments gracefully, even if you disagree. Then, make a note in that notebook we mentioned earlier and move on. You don’t have time to debate. If you get all uptight you wont be able to write anything anyway. So always remember it’s only a writing project!
  • Clear your desk, or the place where you write, so you have a designated distraction-free area where you can concentrate.
  • Make sure your time frame is clear, especially if you are dependant on others to get the job done.
  • Devise a schedule working backwards from the deadline. This includes highlighting all the major steps: due date, revision, draft, workspace organization, resources required and research. This schedule can be adapted as you progress.
  • Once you've organised everything you need to avoid disrupting your writing process you now need to think about everything you don't need! So, make sure you've got something to keep the kids busy - hire some DVD's and playstation games, buy them new feltpens, let them choose a whole range of books and CD's from the library and make loads of snacks they can help themselves to.

7 comments:

Wilf said...

Excellent advice, Anita and now I must go and get on with it...
Addy

Jude said...

Wise words Anita - which I will try to adopt!!

Richard said...

Organisation... yes... erm...

I'm actually trying to do this sort of thing too at the moment.

The only problem is that I can't bring myself to delete a game called Armagetron--where you drive the light cars from the classic 80s film Tron--from my hard drive.

I keep telling myself, 'Just one more game, then I'll stop...'!

Good luck with this!

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

I'm working my way through Freecell to see how far I can get. I started on 1 and I'm on 1279. Isn't that so sad!

Actually, Armagetron sounds much more fun.

Anita

Richard said...

Oh Freecell--I had to get rid of that. I got completely obsessed with that game!

There's a programme for Linux called PySol which you can now, I think, also get for Windows. And that has hundreds and hundreds of Patience/Freecell type games in it.

It's a wonderful way to waste time.

Which, ahem, is obviously completely the opposite of what we're trying to achieve here!

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hi Richard,
I did actually manage to delete all the solitaire games on my old computer, but since getting the new one I have attempted to do it several times and then changed my mind.
No will power that's my problem. Now on 1285.
Anita

Lisa Booth said...

Well said Anita very wise words once again! Thanks for sharing that