By in Writing

A Week of Advice for Writers – Day Two: Get Organized

How do you get so much done? I had published a quick post about my writing goals for the week, and one of my writing friends said her head was spinning when she read the objectives I've set for myself. How do I find the time? How do I not run out of topics?

Well honestly, sometimes finding the time can be a problem. But topics? I rarely run out of them! Part of the reason for that is organization (and the other aspect, I'll address in another part of this series.) Because I keep note of possible topics and I have a file of bookmarked references, it's a lot faster for me to write a post.

Write Posts Offline

One of the biggest wastes of time for a web writer is having to reconstruct a post that was lost before it published. Never compose a post directly in the submit form of a site. Write posts in your word processor instead.

This allows you to write when the site is down or when you don't have internet access. It also provides you a backup copy of your post , should the power go out during submission or should the site cease operation without allowing you to retrieve your content.

Create a Writing Template

For each site where you publish, create a blank template that you can fill in as you write your post. Make sure you have a spot for such things as: the image credit for your illustrations; key words, tags and categories; summary or meta description for sites that use it; citations for any references you use.

Using a template makes it faster to fill in all the additional content, so you can just focus on the body of the post itself. I also include formatting in my templates for sites like Persona Paper and Daily Two Cents. Something as simple as a pre-defined style for Latin or French text can save me a lot of extra time when I'm writing a gardening article, or part of my Fun With Words series.

Set Goals for Your Writing

I spoke about goals when I talked about pacing yourself . But setting goals is also part of ensuring that you don't get off track. In order to keep honest, write your goals down and revisit them so you can see whether you accomplished everything you had hoped to.

Many writers like to post their goals in a writers forum. I often publish them where I write , so my readers can help me work on my accountability. Once you've established your goals, be disciplined about writing for a minimum amount of time each day. And revisit those goals regularly, to be sure you are making progress.

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scheng1 wrote on December 3, 2014, 2:50 AM

Writing offline and save in cloud storage. I save in both my hard disk and Google Drive. If my hard disk crashes, I still can retrieve my articles from Google Drive

HappyLady wrote on December 3, 2014, 2:55 AM

I think a template is a great idea. I rarely write not into the submit form though. I am not sure whu , but I seem to need to do that to be able to write. I do however, copy and paste the post into a document. That way I don't lose it.

Dawnwriter wrote on December 3, 2014, 3:03 AM

This is a great series and so helpful for all scattered brained writers like me:) I really need to learn to focus more to achieve more

manni wrote on December 3, 2014, 6:14 AM

i used to write majority of my posts offline while I was on bubblews as i had free time but lately I face a time crunch

LoudMan wrote on December 3, 2014, 11:09 AM

Yup. All good, hard-earned advice. Let's hope some noobs take it.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on December 4, 2014, 12:36 AM

I definitely need to be more organized in my writing, and other activities as well. I can get too distracted by the non-writing necessities of being a writer, especially when I start chasing rabbits during research.

BarbRad wrote on December 4, 2014, 10:00 PM

I wish i were as organized as you. I never run out of topics, but i'm not always sure what I should write for each specific site.

crowntower wrote on December 6, 2014, 4:17 AM

that is true. thanks for the advised. I actually have back ups in everything that I wrote, and I don't usually write on the site templates, but I wrote on MSword then copy paste it to the sites templates so I will not have a hard time when it was suddenly vanished.