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The Value Of Organization
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We've all been there at some point. You're late for work that day you've got an important meeting. You forgot to dry-clean your suit. There are coffee stains on your shirt. You arrive to work only to realize you forgot your papers scattered across your desk at home. If only you had been more organized.
Keeping yourself organized will not only keep your creative writing smooth, but also help you in case the IRS audits you when your book becomes published. It protects you if your work is ever plagiarized.
Never misplace another great idea again, even months after you've written it down, but storing in a special "idea" folder or filing cabinet. Outlining your story will keep your writing from sagging in the middle, help you pick up where you last started with ease and can help you keep track of your characters -especially important when designing complex plots with multiple storylines.
Making a contact sheet of every agent and publishing house that you've submitted to will prevent you from double submitting. Also, in case you get a response, making notes in your files will remind you which agents have requested to view more of your work, and which ones you've been rejected from.
Organization can also help your time management skills. Many writers are not lacking for ideas. But finding the time to write them all into stories is impossible, so write down a paragraph or so for the ideas you are enthusiastic about, and for the less attractive ideas, write down only a sentence or two. Store them each in separate files so that you can refer to them later. It'll be impossible for a writer to turn every idea he or she has into a novel, but prioritizing the ideas into organized folders can keep you from wasting your valuable time writing novels that are only good and spending more time writing ones that are great!
Many writers, especially new writers, jump from idea to idea, starting many stories but rarely finishing any of them. A novel or story won't get published unless it's completed. This is especially true for first-time novelists. Publishers and agents want to know the time and money they are investing into an author is going to be worth it in the end. One of the things that agents and publishers look for is commitment from the author. Many agents and publishers invest so much money into the marketing and publicity of an author's first book that most of the time they don't make any money until the second book is released. They want to make sure that the author can stick to goals, deadlines and follow through with their ideas.
Keep yourself disciplined, buy file folders and use a filing cabinet. Keep track of all your characters and story-lines and their sub-plots by jotting down notes on note cards. That way when it's time to sit down at your computer and write, you'll actually be able to begin actually writing the story, rather than wasting time by wondering where you had previously left off, or where your story is going, and how it will end.
Discipline in creative writing is a skill that takes time to learn and isn't perfected until several novels are already completed. Even then, it can still be challenging at times.
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