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by Julie Hood

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May 26-31, 2003 - Ban Your Clutter, Portable Writer's Conference
Volume 2, Issue 20

The weekly ezine with a road map for sidetracked writers.

"Be better writers today than we were yesterday."

Welcome to Writer-Reminders!

Thought for the Week - Ban Your Clutter!

As we wrap up our month of improving our writespace, your writespace is organized... now how do you keep it that way?

Let's chat a bit about clutter. Clutter can take over, and ruin your special space in a hurry. 

I've found three main reasons for clutter:

1. No place for your stuff.

2. Your places are full.

3. You don't want to put it away.

Now for some solutions:

1. No place for your stuff. 

Hopefully, this month you were able to make a place for most of your things. But did you leave room for more? Is there empty space in your filing drawer? Did you leave space for more books and magazines? If not, spend a little more time this week setting up your office.

So you've got a place for everything, but what about going forward? 

2. Your places are full.

Your bookshelf overflows, the filing cabinet is full, and where do you go with all these new office supplies?

The secret here is a maintenance (for those of you who are working on your gardens, the key word is PRUNE). Prune your papers, prune your magazines, prune your books, and weed out anything else that's old or doesn't belong. When you do this should be based on your personality: if you like to get it all over at once, schedule a once-a-month session. If you do better with short projects, clean up weekly or even daily.

3. You don't want to put it away.

OK, cleaning just really isn't that much fun (I know that's such a revelation <grin>), or as my son says, "Mom! I don't like to clean!" I always want to say, "Yeah. I know. I don't either!" It feels so much easier to just set down a paper than to put it where it belongs. 

A couple ideas may help here if you just can't get motivated -- crank up the music and give yourself a wonderful reward (What works with my kiddos? The promise of a trip to the park motivates them, even to clean!).

So now that our writing spaces are clean, let's keep them that way -- and ban the clutter!

Have you seen HGTV's new show, Mission: Organization? Today's show had a writer working on his office. Here's a link to the synopsis.

The show has some interesting suggestions. My only complaint is many of the episodes use very expensive, custom built-ins. Who couldn't be organized with the perfect cabinet designed by a professional organizer?

Several of you have written and mentioned how you are writing books and are looking for some specific help with your projects. Starting June 1, you'll get the first message for The Organized Writer's 30-day Write Your Book! month.

If you missed last week's issue, you can still read it online. 

Happy writing!
Julie Hood


P.S. I just have to say thank you to everyone who has written with kind thoughts about the site and my ebook. You don't know how much they mean to me (and to my motivation!). Thanks again for your amazing messages! It's a pleasure to work with each of you, and I appreciate the chance to visit your email each week.

Check out the latest review of my ebook, The Organized Writer, by Betty Winslow at

"With intriguing chapters...and an appendix of 25 ready-to-use forms, this book is exactly what disorganized writers need to pull themselves out of the pit of disorganization they have fallen into."


and get your copy today (instant download, no shipping):




==> The Portable Writer's Conference
==> Rush-Hour Cook's 70-Day Change Your Life Challenge
==> Brochures and More Brochures

Mon, May 26, 2003
Promote Your Book

One of the secrets to selling your book is to find out where your readers are online. This site gives a good list of places to look:


Tue, May 27, 2003
Improve Your Skills

Book Review
The Portable Writers' Conference: Your Guide to Getting and Staying Published

Have you ever considered a writer's conference? Too busy? No problem. Just check out The Portable Writer's Conference, edited by Stephen Mettee.

This 464-page book of workshops has over 45 "instructors" from every genre who share their secrets in easy-to-read chapters. Even though the book is several years old (skip the Internet workshop), I was impressed with how comprehensive the articles are.

I was trying to determine how many hours of class you are getting in the $19.95 book. With 47 workshops and a large Resources section, this book is easily equivalent to 75 to 100 hours of class. Since most of us can't take two weeks off to go to writer's classes, this book is an easy way to learn from the experts (much more cheaply!).

The workshops include many articles for fiction writers (if you're getting ready to work on a novel in June, check out all the chapters on fiction, with help for creating unforgettable characters, writing love scenes, assembling dialogue, creating a page-turner, describing a atmosphere for the perfect mood, and more). You can also find the seven most-common first-novel problems and how to avoid them.

The book includes chapters on writing for trade magazines, finishing screenplays, writing nonfiction, crafting feature articles, and more.

If you're trying to publish a finished book, you can learn how to find the best literary agent and what questions to ask them, and about the process of taking a finished book to market.

Dan Poynter, Mr. Self-Publishing, explains your book publishing choices, and John Kremer, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, tells you 13 things to do to become a best-selling author.

If you're looking for a way to improve your skills, check out the "conference"
and see which workshops you want to take!

You can get the book online at Amazon or, or direct from the publisher, Quill Driver Books at 1-800-497-4909 (it's also available as an ebook).

Wed, May 28, 2003
Make Your Household Hum (so you have more time to write!)

Do you need a new challenge to get your home organized? Check out the Rush-Hour Cook's 70-Day Change Your Life Challenge. The author has put together a 70-Day program to organize every aspect of your life. You get a daily email to motivate you on your way, or you check out days two through nineteen online.
Thurs, May 29, 2003
Mini-HTML Course

Last month, we started learning about HTML colors (you can read that issue).

Here are some more sites to use when picking colors.

To see a color as a background:

To use a color picker to help you match colors:

(provided by Marcus Allen of the $10,000 Marketing Tip of the Day).

Fri, May 30, 2003
Mini-Copywriting Course

Do you have a brochure for your copywriting business? Or do you create them for your clients? It takes two kinds of skills to create an effective brochure: marketing/ copywriting combined with graphic design.

For tips on writing brochures:

For free templates from HP or create custom brochures at

Sat, May 31, 2003
Play Day
The Organized Writer plan is a 30-day plan so today is a play day! Enjoy!

Here's to clean and organized writing spaces!
-- Julie

To get this newsletter in your email each week:

or email.


Get the book that goes with the plan for only $14.95! 

"I'm on day 5 of your book and already have done more writing and compiled more ideas in this short time as I usually do over several months." -- reader M. Howard  

Click HERE for a separate screen for printing.


DRAW daily (Declutter-Read-Assess-Write)
what's this

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ 1. Declutter (only 5 minutes)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2. Read (only 5 minutes)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ 3. Assess (30 seconds to 5 minutes)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4. Write (at least 5 minutes)

Weekly Checklist

For freelance writers: Use this weekly checklist to find, write and send a query every week of 2003!

__ Make notes on a new idea.

Tuesday: Accounting Day
__ Post your accounting records.
__ Pay bills.
__ Follow up on outstanding invoices and queries.

__ Find a new market using links below.

Thursday: Errand Day
__ Make copies.
__ Return books to library.
__ Make deposit at bank.

__ Finish query and submit.
__ Match your query to the market.

Saturday Weekly Review
__ How was this week?
__ What's up next week?
__ Review your Projects list in your planner and check the
__ Jot the next action steps for your projects on next week's
__ Backup your computer files.
__ Virus scan your computer.

__ Relax and enjoy!
__ Do something fun today!


Organized Writer's Guideline Database
Absolute Write's Market Archives
Writer's Weekly Jobs guidelines writers wanted
Funds for Writers - Jobs and Markets
Paying Markets List
Freelance Job Bank 
Writer's Write Writer's Guideline Directory
Writer's Digest - Market of the Day
Writer's (subscription only)

Writer Gazette Job Board 
Writer Gazette Call for Submissions
Sell Writing Online
Writer's Crossing


Thanks for visiting Writer-Reminders! If you have comments,
success stories, or suggestions, reply to this message or e-mail
me at

- Julie reminders for all writers who want
more time to write. tips and tools for your writing


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Welcome New Subscribers!

Welcome! In January we did the 30-day WOW challenge to become a Wildly Organized Writer! You can start at the beginning with this link.

This 30-day plan includes links to my ebook, The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money, and Less Frustration. You can buy it for only $14.95 (instant download, no shipping) at

2003 Calendar

I put together a writer's calendar for you. It has inspirational quotes, my monthly routines, and places to record your monthly writing goals. 

Print it here and please send it to all your writing friends and discussion groups to help spread the word about


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