fileI’ve never felt more like a real writer than since I stopped writing.

Not really stopped, of course. I still write this weekly post, after all. But I stopped writing with the disorganized intensity that comes with writing a book. I can breathe again. The little black cloud that has been following me around for years — consuming all my thoughts, making me feel guilty whenever I did something, anything, else — has disappeared. I want everything to feel fresh and clean after the storm. It’s time to get organized.

It’s been feeling like Christmas morning lately. When the Office Depot or Office Max delivery truck pulls up, I get so giddy it might as well be Santa’s sleigh. I’ve been purchasing file cabinets, Manila folders and desk organizers. I admit it, the thought of establishing so much order makes me unnaturally happy. My mother’s unsolicited psychoanalysis of me is that I have a need to exert control over my surroundings. I say neatly labeled green and purple files are just pretty.

Besides, she does it too. She’s next door right now, surrounded by piles of books, separating them into piles to keep or give away. The closets are next. The difference, she would say, is that she has no delusions about why she’s doing it. Feeling a little down? Lacking a good night’s sleep? Something bothering you? Time to clean. I prefer to think I’m just a highly organized person. Mom would say I’m in denial.

Either way, writer or no, both sides of the house are looking pretty good. And, it must be said, there’s something very writerly about having a file marked “Ideas” in which to put unfinished stories, random thoughts or a beautiful sentence that comes to you at 3:00 in the morning. And when I’m ready to submit some story for publication, I’ll go to the file marked “Places to Submit.” That is, until the next book idea takes hold of me. The clouds’ll be building and the wind picking up soon now.

Benefits of Getting Organized

  • Save Time – How long does it take you to leave the house in the morning? Stop wasting time running around from one end to the other looking for misplaced items.
  • Save Money – Penalties for late payments is money down the drain. Planning a meal will save you money on expensive last minute take out and wasted groceries.
  • Reduce Stress – You’ll feel better about your environment and have more time for yourself or your family. Organization creates relaxation.
  • Increase Productivity – Perform with increased efficiency. Missed appointments or deadlines will be a thing of the past, leaving you better able to achieve your goals.