All writers are creative types, with cluttered desks, and messy piles, right? To be a good writer, one
lives on coffee and stale potato chips only coming up for air when the
book's done, right? Maybe. Or maybe we as writers have convinced
ourselves that this is how a "real" writer acts.
Writers spend so much time trying to determine when they will be a
"real" writer. Just like the stereotype that all accountants
wear green eyeshades, the stereotypes about writers persist whether they
are accurate or not.
RIGHT-BRAIN VS. LEFT-BRAIN
Writing is generally considered a creative "right-brain"
activity. However, you don't have to turn off the left-half of your
brain to be a writer. The best writers learn the secrets of when to use
their right-brain and when to use their left-brain.
The most successful writers realize that writing is a business, and
just like any other business, a certain amount of organization and
timeliness is required. The best writers can read their mood. On
creative days, they crank out the pages to their novel. On left-brain
days, they send out invoices, clean out their files, and clean off their
MESSY VS. ORGANIZED
Certain personality types crave "messes." The clutter makes
them feel comfortable. But it also eats away at their writing time since
they spend it searching through piles of papers and old half-eaten
The secret for the messy writer is to confine the messes to a
"messy zone." The messy zone is limited to one shelf in an
office or the basket next to a reading chair. The mess is still there
for the comfort factor, but it doesn't take over.
The procrastinating writer writes the book but never sends the
manuscript. Their brilliant ideas pile up, but they never send a query.
There's always a better time…later. Unfortunately, the procrastinator
never feels the joy of success.
The procrastinator needs rewards, and lots of them. By planning
wonderful rewards for simple acts, the procrastinator realizes the best
time to write isn't later. It's right now.
The perfectionist writes the book but never finishes it. They are
constantly revising, editing and reworking. This time eater takes away
the fun of writing. Since nothing is ever good enough, what's the point
of writing anything?
The perfectionist needs positive feedback and reinforcement. When
they hear others say, "This is really good. You should submit
it," they can silence the inner critic that says, "You could
make it sound better."
What is a real writer? It's actually anyone who puts words to paper
and sends them out into the world. And while anyone can sit down with a
word processor, only real writers overcome the personality traits that
could sidetrack them.
Want to learn
more? Visit http://www.organizedwriter.com?src=a103.
Julie Hood is the author
of "The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less
Frustration," a new ebook with a roadmap for combining a writing career
with the rest of your life. She manages the OrganizedWriter.com web site and
writes Writer-Reminders, a weekly newsletter for writers.
Newsletter subscribers receive a free ebook, The
Sidetracked Writer's Planner. When she isn't writing,
she sneaks in cleaning house around a busy household with two children, her husband,
and two avid golfers.
2002 (c) Julie Hood, Finally Organized LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission.