Friday, November 21, 2014

Organizing Your Writing

by M. J. Joachim

It’s not easy to think about how far behind I am with organizing my blogs. Filing, I’m not sure anyone likes to do it, especially when there’s such a huge stack to be filed and put away. Still it must be done, so visitors to our blogs will find what they’re looking for more quickly and easily. Our search buttons give us a small reprieve, and yet, it would be so much easier for visitors if we made everything readily available to them, without hoping they’ll take the time to play seek and find on our blogs.

Pages

Pages are a wonderful way to organize our blogs. Give them a clear title and link everything that remotely fits on them by title and description. If you’re like me, you write about a lot of different things and you have quite a few posts. It’s okay if you add the same link to more than one page.

Layout

Layout has numerous gadgets and widgets you can add to your blog. Keep it clean and uncluttered, but don’t be afraid to add a few that might highlight your work and the work you do to help others. We can learn a lot by listing our popular posts. We also have an opportunity to make those same posts more popular when people see them on our blogs, or find out the trends as other posts surpass them in the ranks.

Files

Pages and Layout are the two things I find most helpful for my actual blogs. There are other things that go on behind the scenes. I keep a WIP folder on my desktop. If I’m currently working on something, it’s in there. My blog docs are all in there separately, so I can add to them when inspiration comes and needs to get out in a hurry.

I also keep a photo folder on my desktop. When I take or find pictures I may need, I document them and keep them at the ready, noting their copyright information as necessary. I have a folder of books to review and books I’ve reviewed for easy access too. With so many books to read, it makes it easy to know where to look for ones in queue.

The Writing

Outlines work well for a lot of people. I use them for more technical works, but not so much for stories and blog posts. That said, it’s important to keep notes. I’m always copying and pasting things to my notepad. Research links, random thoughts of things I don’t want to forget to include, photo links, quotes, references and resources, it’s all in there on a note, organized according to the project it refers to.

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to writing, so I believe in writing raw and uncensored until the proofing and editing process begins. Writing organization is more important than you might think in this regard. Rough drafts are rough drafts. Proofreads are proofreads, editing is editing and polishing before publishing is vital and essential.

  • Rough Draft
  • Proof
  • Edit
  • Polish

Organizing your writing is never a matter of slapping up those first thoughts that entered your brain and got written in your rough draft. There is a true organization process that needs to take place. Being organized in all areas around this process makes it much easier to see this process through in the most professional manner.

Audiences appreciate a well organized writer. They don’t have to know what takes place behind the scenes. All they have to do is read the completely ready for publication article or book. It’s like watching a play. The obvious is when the actors stumble over their lines, the scenery and background look thrown together in a rush and the costumes are hazards waiting for a mishap to happen. Our writing reflects everything we do behind the scenes, without giving details about what it is we are doing.

I’ll be spending some time in the background soon, filing, sorting and filing some more. It’s not the most fun part of being a writer, but details matter and make all the difference in our work.

Thank you for visiting, commenting on and sharing this post today. I wish you every success with your writing!

M. J.

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