Continuing with strategies for organizing your writing life…
#2. Read and Research
Put aside time to read and research before you begin writing, and as you work on your project. Search the Internet, talk to family, friends, and neighbors. Listen. Interview people. Read books, articles and newspapers. Visit the local library. Librarians have a wealth of information at their fingertips and are eager to assist. Also, you can borrow a book and learn if you really want it. Then if you really want it, get it for a good price on Ebay or Amazon. Reading and researching can provide you with great writing tools.
As Henry Ford put it, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
#3. Plot Out Your Time Line and Communicate It
If you’re working alone, sometimes you don’t have to be specific with your schedule and timeline. There’s more flexibility, but it’s still important to schedule your tasks. If you’re working with others, it’s more important to assign tasks and deadlines.
Yet, there is a balance. Learn to get past the Wonder Woman or Superman Syndrome and delegate. Learn to let go of controlling situations and outcomes. Don’t micromanage projects. Be openminded and willing to approach tasks in different ways.
Make sure everything is communicated well. Often “message sent is not message received.” Get in the habit of summarizing other people’s ideas to make sure you have understood them. Also, summarize who will do what, and exactly how and when you’ll move forward with the project.
If you’ll need time to ponder, and for other people to edit, give input, or review your work, make sure to schedule extra time for those activities. And if you’ll need time to revise or do additional research on a particular subject, build that into your timeline as well.
Wishing, hoping, thinking and talking about projects won’t get them done. Set time limits on brainstorming. Move past procrastination. Set goals and timelines, and stick with them.
Henry Food summarized working with others well, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
I’ll continue with organizing your writing life, strategy #4, next time.