My wife always knows when I am avoiding a task,
like preparing documents for my accountant during tax time. She will see me
organizing a room or cleaning the garage.
I derive clarity from taking ownership of what I can control and where I can literally see immediate results. It is a win-win situation.
I am not a neat freak nor do I have OCD. If anything, my urge to purge is a reflexive response to stress and procrastination.
I offer my services to my kids and wife, begging them to straighten out their bedrooms, her home office, or the kitchen.
They usually resist, but eventually cave in.
They thank me profusely afterwards, realizing how cathartic it was to go through all of their possessions. They then proceed to gradually crap it up again, as if nothing was learned from our exercise of seeking order and neatness.
They didn’t clean to placate me. No, they too realized an intervention was needed. But all clean-ups are temporary and picture-worthy for a day. Then it is back to the same lazy, thoughtless, disorganized habits that launched these mountains of mess in the first place.
Can authors operate in a chaotic environment?
Some may even thrive in it, but most would benefit from going Marie Kondo on their living space and office. Call it a writing Feng Shui.
So what is the first step?
To take a first step.
*Commit the time and mental faculties to clean up.
*Simply start by reclaiming land, the surface real estate: your floor. Then look at shelf space and tables and desks. Wherever shit rests, attack, inch by inch.
*Break your room up into quadrants and take on one at a time so it doesn’t overwhelm or scatterbrain you.
Look at each and every object to honestly assess if it is time to:
*Donate things you no longer use. It may have once served a purpose or you bought it with good intentions and never used it. Regardless, move on.
*Toss what you don’t use or is not usable. Think of stained, broken or cheaply made things as qualifying. Missing pieces? Toss it!
*Store away things you think you will use down the road. Label boxes and remember that these things exist.
*Stash away memory collectors that you remain emotionally attached to but simply don’t need to display or have a present-day use for.
*Use it and keep nearby in a place that invites functionality and is not buried in a draw, stack, or closet. Arranging usable things in a way that you can see or easily access them, grouped in a logical way, helps you make use of them.
Make your donations, store items away, toss the garbage, and reflect on a job well done.
Next, actually clean surfaces that live in dust. Now let’s organize your papers.
Try these steps:
*File stuff in a logical manner.
*Put the folders in a divider, drawers, or filing cabinets. Combine relevant files. Toss or store irrelevant ones. Label things accordingly. By rediscovering and reordering things, you get back in touch with old ideas, past practices, and get reminded of people to reconnect with. It is a wonderful exercise.
Next up: To Do lists.
We all make them — and ignore them. We have a
calendar, too, but we forget to put things in it or to check it. No worries.
Don’t give up. Stay at it.
Prioritize your To Do list items. Reflect on them often. Assign times of the day to each task, leaving room for delays, surprises, or new needs. Get help — outsource some things. Determine if something is really necessary or needed for today. Is there a way to do something more efficiently? Can you unburden yourself from the perfection trap, where you think everything must be done a certain way?
Once you feel you decluttered, got better organized, and determine some best practices to employ, you are ready to attack your writing and book marketing. You will feel empowered, armed with a renewed vision, and a commitment to succeed.
As time passes, maintenance will be needed, including periodic reviews and cleanups. And of course a need to make room for new junk will present itself.
It is your choice: live like Oscar Madison or Felix Unger — or somewhere sanely between a neat freak and a slob.
Need Book PR Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at email@example.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .