the 2003 WOW Challenge! WEEK THREE
Hello and welcome! I'm so excited about how many of you are getting organized this year, so let's get to it...
Thought for the Week - PARTYing into 2003!
Are you PARTYing your way into
the new year? Aren't resolutions
supposed to be work, not fun?
Read more about it...
One last thought about
resolution-setting - how specific
are you? If you are very specific
with deadlines and details, and
it works for you, skip the rest
of this section.
But if you are like me, and don't
like resolutions that say,
"By 7:15 p.m. on April 20th,
I will have written exactly
42,365 words in my new
book," here's another idea
Word your resolution very
loosely. Yes, I know this goes
against everything you've ever
been told about setting
resolutions, but I swear it works
For example, one of my
resolutions for this year is to
"Expand my writing
business." Every other
motivational coach would say,
"Yuck! You need to be more
specific." But this works
for me, and I'll tell you why.
It's easy to achieve this
resolution. This is like the test
in school where the teacher gave
you all the questions AND the
answers. You aced it, right?
Well, it's easy to ace this
resolution. I can guarantee you
I'll do something this year to
"expand my writing
The fun part is how I implement
it -- for me, the goal-setting,
project-defining part of the
resolution must be specific (see
Day Six last week),
but the wording of the resolution
itself is general. Do you agree?
Let me know if this works for
you. I'm curious if this is a
"Julie Hood"-thing or
if it appeals to other writers,
Did you have fun
cutting out your favorite pictures this week? I hope you found lots of fun things to do and places to go. One last tip - consider putting your creations in a scrapbook you keep handy and flip through every now and then.
This week, I finished my new Time Map and found out my quietest block of writing time is either 11 p.m to 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. :)
Egads! So if you find some typos... please forgive me...
Mon, Jan 13, 2003
Day Thirteen - Books and Magazines Everywhere
Lucky number 13! What's up today? Reducing book and magazine clutter.
I admit it. My books and magazines are all over the house. I tell myself this is good because my kids can see how we value reading in our home, and because I can be in just about any room and grab something to pass the time.
But if they turn into clutter, I've created one more drain on my energy. So here are a few of my favorite solutions:
-- Get rid of the paper!
Turn on the eletronic books. 2002 would have to be the year I really turned on the ebooks. I'm actually starting to wish more books were available electronically so I don't have to store the paper, and even better, I can use the search button.
The other big leap this year is using my Palm as a reading device, and I absolutely love it. I thought I'd hate it because there were no pages to flip, but it's so portable, and the up and down buttons are just like flipping pages. If you're thinking about buying one, be sure to check the screen in the sunlight and the darkness. Mine tends to wash out a bit.
-- Read it... and return it.
Check more deeply into what your library can provide. Did you know most libraries have inter-library loans with other libraries across the US? The other day, I checked out a book from halfway across the country.
If your library isn't fantastic, check into reciprocal programs with either colleges or nearby towns. Often you can get library cards outside your area with these reciprocal programs.
Don't forget the library's treasure trove of magazines. I just found out I can even check out the magazines at my library.
-- Listen up.
Use audio books to fill the void in your reading time. I listen while I do the dishes, while I'm ironing, and a new friend of mine said she even listens while she's buying groceries! I've listed some
audio books for writers,
or you can check them out from the library, or
get a subscription to audible.com.
-- Consider elibrary.com.
You can search electronic versions of your favorite newspapers and magazines, and then even retrieve the articles. I rarely recommend fee-services since there are so many free resources on the web, but this one just might be worth
it in the time it could save you.
Test drive the free 7-day trial of elibrary.com
to see how much you use it. Check out the listing of magazines and newspapers to determine if they fit your area. If so, then it just might be worth the $14.95 per month or $79.95 per year subscription.
-- the best way to store your books so you can find them back;
-- how to keep track of all those books you want to read someday; and
-- tips for storing magazines
Today is National Clean Off Your Desk
Day! Here's your chance if you didn't get to it last week.
Tue, Jan 14, 2003
Day Fourteen - Find Your Favorites
Today's task is to spend five minutes cleaning up the Favorites menu on your computer. Delete the links to this year's Christmas shopping excursions, and reorganize your links to fit your
Master List. Move them into folders, and put the most used links at the top (I have my email and the library at the top).
Day 14. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, page 97. Paper, p. 91.
-- Learn how to set your home page in your browser.
-- Get detailed instructions on how to organize your favorites.
-- Find out where to create a personalized newspaper.
-- Find out what to do if you work on more than one computer, and need your favorites.
-- Check out my favorite sites for writer's links.
Wed, Jan 15, 2003
Day Fifteen - Capture Those Ideas
Where do you get your inspiration?
Tera's Wish is a fun site to inspire your creativity.
The Workshop includes a huge list of creative exercises, topics and ideas to get your juices flowing. Be sure to check out the goal setting workshop if you are still finalizing your plans for the year.
Which leads right into my next point -- it's January 15th, the middle of the month. I hope most of you are still humming along on your goals for the year. Don't give up yet even though a lot of people already have! But be patient and forgiving with yourself when you slide a bit.
Day 15. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, p.102. Paper, p. 96.
-- Print a bunch of the Idea Grabber Forms. I love this form! It saves me so much time when I'm trying to convert my ideas into articles. It's only available in the ebook (it's not in the planner you received when you subscribed).
-- It includes a length estimater, a fill-in-the-blank section for developing your ideas into a full-fledged article, and it's tied into your Master List.
Thu, Jan 16, 2003
Day Sixteen - Research It!
If you do any work with newspapers, you have to check out
This site provides the perfect gateway to newspaper web sites around the world. You search by type of newspaper and location, and you can even go to specific sections of the paper like business or politics.
The results are linked directly to the web sites
of the newspapers.
Check out the Resources page at
OrganizedWriter.com. I am constantly adding new links and links from old newsletters:
Day 16. Acrobat p. 107, Paper p. 101.
We have so many different sources of information when doing our research - how do you keep it all together so you can find it back when you want it? Read about the different solutions, and pick the one that fits the way you work.
Check out my twelve favorite research sites.
Fri, Jan 17, 2003
Day Seventeen - Target Your Market
Are you a freelancer looking for new markets or an author looking for magazines to review your book? Check out
Web's Magazine Links (and links to web
pages) sorted by category (just like our Master List, yay!):
Day 17. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, p. 110. Paper, p. 104.
If the Idea Grabber is my favorite form, the Publication Analyzer comes in a close second. Complete this form, and your freelance queries should be right on target. Find out what to look for when analyzing a publication, and how to track it.
Jan 18, 2003
Day Eighteen - Guidelines Database
For the freelance writers in the group (and even if you're
an author, freelance articles are one of the best ways to promote your books), check out the list of markets and guidelines at Writer's Gazette:
Gazette Job Board
Gazette Call for Submissions
I've added these links below and to the Resources page at OrganizedWriter.com.
Day 18. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, p.115. Paper, p. 109.
Create your own guidelines database. Walk through the five different solutions, and pick the one that fits your
personality and budget.
Day Nineteen - Writer's Clips
Another task for freelancers -- update your clips!
1. Start with your planner, and print new Clips Index and Clips Detail Sheets for 2003. The file on your computer is writersplanner.pdf.
2. Next, dash to the copy center, and make copies of the paper clips you plan to use this year.
3. Update your web site with the most current clips
(get permission first, of course).
Day 19. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, p. 118.
Paper, p. 112.
Read about the best way to store your paper clips, and how to convert your clips to text-based so you can send email queries.
Another busy and productive week! Are you feeling a little more ready for the year? Or is everything starting to hit at once? Try to keep some investment time open
during the rest of the month so you can reap the rewards for the remainder of the year.
with Week 4 ....
get the rest of this plan by email:
the ebook now - instant download - for only $14.95!
A key to effective
writing is eliminating time-wasters -- but
reading Julie Hood's The Organized Writer
is definitely not a waste of time! Hood's quick
quizzes will help you identify your own
"organization personality" (are you a
flinger or a packrat?) and thus the strategies
that will help you organize your writing (and
your life). Each chapter gives you a day of
accomplish tasks that are designed to turn you
into a more productive, organized writer in a
single month. Especially impressive are the
well-thought-out forms that accompany every
chapter (and every task); just print them out and
you're on your way!
-- Moira Allen, Writing-World.com
and author of The Writer's Guide to Queries,
Pitches and Proposals and Writing.com: Creative
Internet Strategies to Advance Your Writing