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As a published author myself, The Organised Writer is probably the most valuable book I’ve bought in years. Johnston, thoroughly but clearly, takes us through all the steps needed to clear ours minds (and desks) of clutter so we can focus on the writing at hand. He gives specific details on his methods, applying them not only to novels and short stories, but screenplays, comic books, video game scripts, really nearly every type of creative writing. He also gives examples of software to help your productivity, as well as detailed travel hints and presentation advice for writers. One really does get excited to try these methods, not only because you’ll be more productive as a writer, but because you’ll be freed of guilt from nonwriting or worry about upcoming deadlines and thus better able to enjoy your down time. I can tell I’m going to read this at least twice more and apply what I’ve learned. So, I good I bought both the e-book and audiobook.
Although all the information seem common sense, reading it reminded me of the way things can be simplified and organised to be most efficient as a writer. You will not regret reading and following the guidelines. Adapt to your lifestyle, but keep to the basics. Excellent read and wonderfully implemented.
There are three big things I've got from this. The first is the idea of writing with a clean mind, before I've got distracted and worried by my emails and job list, after breakfast. The second is doing emails in a single block for half an hour every day after lunch, before moving on to admin. The third is putting all my todos that don't belong to a big work project in one place. That might not sound very much, and I have only been doing it for a week, but it's made a huge difference to my productivity and my peace of mind. I suppose the bigger thing I've got from it is a system to get me through the week, so that I keep writing while also keeping up with all the other stuff. (Before, I often felt I was trying to fight my way through admin to get to my writing, or I was writing but feeling more and more tense about everything else that I was neglecting.) I found I already had a lot of what I needed, and this really helped me see that and tie it all together. You might get something else from it entirely, but I'd definitely recommend it for any full-time writer. (It goes well with another book called Productivity for Creative People.)
Imagine having a friend who’s a published author and works full time at their craft. Think how useful it would be if they said...
"Hay, aspiring author, I’ll explain how I do things to give you a head start at being organized, less stressed and more productive".
If you’d listen to that advice, this book is for you.
This is advice for fiction novel writers, but I think it will be of use to many creative professionals. You must adapt the job sheets to suit your own work and business. But there are only five job sheets, so that’s easily doable.
Each section of the book has a summary saving you the time of note taking. Which is a real bonus. The author reprinted all the summaries at the end of the book, so when you recap you don’t even need to scan through the book looking for each summary. They’re all in one place.
I found this book easy and enjoyable to read and full of information I can use myself.
A seasoned pro's guide to structuring your writing life, to managing workload, and to tackling administration. A clear and detailed approach (with accompanying downloadable forms etc) that works both as a study of professional practice and as a practical how-to book. Even if you don't put Johnston's system into operation, there's plenty of tips and ideas to support focus and direction.
The author is clear where some of the recommendations eg for software are very personal preferences, but it’s easy to see how implementing these principles as directed should result in less stress about organisation and ultimately more time to write.
Lots of it is obviously common sense but he assesses every possible area of a professional writer’s life to make a complete system. Looking forward to trying it!
You won’t find anything revolutionary in this book and it was a little slow to start. However, this book is worth reading purely down to the fact it’s based for authors. I will be spending my weekend following the steps!