The Challenge of Organization as an Author

If you’re a writer, you are probably also a reader.

You love reading.

You could spend hours every day reading.

I often spend hours reading each day – more for editing work and school than pleasure (leisure reading is a rare activity of mine these days) …

But even reading as part of my work and for homework assignments can be interesting.

After all, it’s reading.

It’s learning new things, coming to know interesting facts and observations about people … and about life.

Reading is interacting at some level with the author, learning about them. In a way, it’s experiencing life with them.

Reading often involves being challenged in some way regarding ideas or concepts.

Photo by mentatdgt on

If you’re a writer, it probably goes without saying that you love writing, too.

When I read, writing is an automatic outcropping.

Is it the same for you?

I get ideas and inspiration from the things I read and I have to respond in some way.

(This is why reading good books is so important!)

Reading a good, thought-provoking or inspiring book evokes some sort of response …

And for writers, the common response is to write.

Therein lies a problem many writers face.

Just like you could read for hours, you could also write for hours.

At least, that’s how it is for me.

With the ideas in my mind and the inspiration in my heart, I could sit and write pretty much all day …

But at the same time, I can’t.

And that’s one of the greatest challenges we face as writers.

Life is busy. We have other responsibilities: work or housekeeping or raising children or schooling or a combination of all of these.

Unless you’re one of the few lucky writers making a living from writing the kind of stuff you really want to write, you face the challenge of organizing your life to fit in enough time for writing …

Especially writing when you’re in the flow.

When the muse has descended and the words begin to form in your mind almost unbidden.

This is an ongoing challenge writers face.

How do I know?

I came across this blog post I wrote half a dozen years ago when I was still working towards my AA in English.

Now I have an MFA in Creative Writing, but I still have a hard time fitting in that elusive creative writing time.

Last week, in a college-level English class, the professor talked about a short story that had been assigned to the class.

As she talked, a concept started to formulate in my mind, and words began to flow from that concept.

I wanted to sit down after the class was over so that I could write it down …

But I had another class starting in fifteen minutes clear across campus.

After that, another class … and another. Then a PE class. Then off to pick up my kids from school and head home to the busyness of being a mom and delving into all that entails.

By the time I caught a breather in the late evening, the moment had passed and the words I had formulated were lost.

The concept is still there somewhere …

But it’s not the same, because the feeling is gone.

And, for many writers, so much of writing is feeling. 

It’s the emotion and the pictures that the emotion paints in the mind. It’s the words that come from those pictures, which just aren’t the same if you try to contrive it hours or days or weeks later.

So, what is the solution to this?

To these moments when you are inspired but in the middle of something and too busy to write down that terrific scene that is unfolding in your mind?

Fortunately, since then, I’ve discovered the convenience of voice-to-text recording on my phone.

There are various apps on a smartphone with this capability, some paid and some free …

For me, the easiest method, and the one I’ve stuck with is my Gmail account.

If I have something in mind to write, but I don’t have time to type it up, or if I’m driving or folding laundry, here’s what I do:

  1. Start an email to myself
  2. Record the message (the scene or blog post or thought I don’t want to forget) using voice-to-text right there in Gmail
  3. Send it to myself
  4. If I have more thoughts or develop the scene further, I just hit “reply” and keep on recording.

Once I get home or have time, I’ll copy the text over into WordPress or my WIP or wherever it belongs.

Whether you use voice-to-text or a note-taking app, or simply go old-school with Post-It notes, make sure that you jot something down …

A few words or sentences.

Whatever you need to enable you to pick up where you left off and continue working on it until it forms a cohesive thought.

Or you might just have part of a thought.

And that’s okay. Just put it aside until later.

I have scores of put-aside-until-later articles, files, and documents on my computer. Maybe even hundreds of them.

I’ve recently begun using Obsidian to organize these files and notes.

At this point in time, I haven’t utilized Obsidian enough to write a proper review on it …

But it feels good to be getting organized as a writer …

And to have the feeling that I’m not losing or wasting those thoughts the muses deign to cast my way from time to time.

What’s the greatest challenge you’re facing right now in your writing?

How do you create time in your schedule to write on a regular basis?

Feel free to comment below or contact me.

I might not be the most productive and organized when it comes to my own writing, but I have ghostwritten, organized, compiled, and edited manuscripts for hundreds of clients …

And I would be happy to help you with your writing project.