Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Organized Writer by Jennifer Hallmark

I don't know about you, but when it comes to keeping all my writing-related "things" in their proper places, I have moments of organization and moments of total chaos. Below are author Jennifer Hallmark's tips for keeping that chaos to a minimum. -- Sandy

Jennifer: Congratulations! The magazine article you worked so hard on finally sold. And they need a 100-word bio. You pull up folder after folder in your computer. Where is it?

You once had a great story idea about a basset hound, vanilla scented candles, and a high school reunion. What file did I place it in? You spend hours rummaging through paper folders crammed in a desk drawer with no luck.

Does this sound like you? I’ve struggled in the past to find many files, folders, and ideas. Though I still occasionally misplace items, over the years, I’ve developed a system. Maybe it will help you. But first, I want to show you some products that are out there for print or computer.

Paper systems

Freedom Filer-This system is versatile and you can add as much or as little as you need. And the prices are reasonable. There are also many testimonials by bloggers who like this system.

The Paper Tiger-This system is powered by Google Docs and can help you with paper or digital filing or a combination of both.

Digital systems

When it comes to filing your research for a specific book, I found this article on the ten best software systems for 2016 helpful. You can then choose which is right for you.

Here is another article again mentioning twenty-five writing software programs that might help you. Some are even free.

What do I use to organize my writing? I’ll be honest. There is so much out there, it will boggle the mind. With paper, I prefer the idea of buying certain pieces that are right for me. My desk has a hanging file drawer in it that I use for receipts and such and is very practical. I also buy clear cover binders so I can make my own cover like Marketing Tips I Like or Publishers I Want to Research. Below are some pieces I found during the research for this article that are now on my wish list. J


I do most of my organization now digitally. One quick word of advice here. Make sure everything is backed up. I invested in Carbonite about a year ago and I cannot tell you how much it eased my mind from the fear of losing important material. At only $5 a month, it’s been well worth my investment.

The bulk of my work is stored in My Documents on my computer. I keep a separate file for each of my blogs, each book compilation I’m involved in, and each book I have written or a book idea well-established enough to have its own file. I have a book idea file and an article idea file. I have one file entitled Good Articles on Writing by Other Writers, filled with invaluable advice I can pull up quickly.

Other important files for me are: Short Stories, Published Articles, My Newsletter, and My Book Info (which contains bios, pitches, one sheets, blurbs, etc.) I try once a year to purge files also. Get rid of files or documents no longer relevant and reorganize as needed.

For example: If you open My Newsletter, you’ll see another file for main articles. Each month, I write a new main article. By filing it, I don’t repeat ideas. I also have separate documents for My Master Email Subscriber List, a PDF sheet for physical signups at live events, monthly recipes, Constant Contact hints (that’s who I use to create my newsletter) and a recipe booklet I created to send to new subscribers. Everything about my newsletter in one place.

What is most important to becoming an organized writer is finding the perfect fit for you. Whether in paper files or digital or a mixture of both, life can be much easier for the writer when time is taken to put things in order.


Now where did I put the name of the blogger who wanted this article? J

Do you have a special system you use and will share when it comes to keeping your writing files and accounting in good order?


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Jennifer Hallmark is a writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines, and been part of four book compilations: A Dozen Apologies, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Unlikely Merger, and Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage. She is currently shopping her contemporary southern fiction novel, When Wedding and Weather Collide.

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage
Our society understands how terrible the loss of a child is when that child is out of the womb, but
what about when a child dies before birth? Or what about the emptiness that comes when a very-much-wanted child is never even conceived?

These quiet, private losses are hard for those who have not experienced them to understand. And these losses leave those who have suffered them feeling alone in their grief.

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage is a resource both for those who have suffered through these experiences and for their friends and relatives, who want to understand what their loved ones are going through.
This collection contains true stories that are:
·         sensitive, and yet honest
·         angry and raw, but not despairing
·         unique, and yet relatable

The contributors to this book are male and female, old and young, some who eventually had children and some who never did, and yet despite their differences, they share a common grief and a common faith.

No experience of miscarriage, infant loss, or infertility is like any other, yet by reading these painful and hope-filled stories, you’ll be comforted by knowing there are others who understand the journey you’re on, the loss you’ve suffered, and you will find that even though your loss is uniquely yours, you are not alone.

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