Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Organization (Or More to the Point, Lack Thereof) For Writers

I think I’m the most unorganized writer on the planet.

If you could see my office right now, your stomach would hurt from laughing.  I’m way too embarrassed about it to post a photo, but there are stacks of binders atop file boxes, a teetering tower of office supplies, folders from a class I taught last summer recently waiting to be put into some kind of order, yarn for weaving and knitting piled up besides knitting needles and looms. And that’s just my office. The desktop on my computer is covered with icons for folders and files and for the last few days I’ve been searching my cloud storage for a folder I know for certain I’ve saved but can’t find. (Likely because I tend to nest folders within folders in logic that makes sense only in the moment I do it.)

I am ridiculously, painfully unorganized.

This terrible state of affairs is because I put organization at a very low priority.  I try to make a little time for it every day, but if I end up having a little time I would much prefer to do other things. Like read blogs I like to follow. Or knit a few rows on the never-ending scarf I’m working on. When I think about organizing, my mind goes blank and I can’t seem to figure out where to start.

It is not that I don’t notice the mess, like some people I know who may or may not live in this very same house with me. I notice it plenty. And it bugs the hell out of me. I just don’t want to spend any time dealing with it. So I don’t. I love the idea of being organized, not the reality.

I think this is how a lot of people are about writing. They love the idea of it, but have no real desire to sit down and actually do it.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that sitting down to writing is hard.  It is easier, so much easier to do something else. Like sweep the kitchen floor. Or laundry. Or check the latest election polls. But, unlike organizing, once you get writing, it is actually fun. (At least when the words are flowing.)

Like everyone, I have good days and bad days when writing.  That’s normal. But if I’ve made the commitment to show up regularly, the bad days don’t loom quite so large, because I know that tomorrow will likely be a good day once again.  When you make writing a priority, the good and the bad even out and eventually you’re just writing.

All this by way of excusing myself for being so unorganized. Because, well, I can’t be bothered. I’ve got more important things to do. Like write.

What about you? Are you organized? Or do you write in the midst of chaos, like me?

0 thoughts on “Organization (Or More to the Point, Lack Thereof) For Writers

  1. Dawn Montgomery

    I think organization, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I, too, am in love with the notion of being organized, but it’s such a fleeting state. I like to measure my state of organization by time: if it takes me more than five minutes to find something, I need to clean up!

    1. Charlotte Rains dixon

      Ha, that’s a good guideline, Dawn! The funny thing is, even when the table in my office is a mess (as if it’s ever not)I can usually find things pretty easily. I’m not sure what that says about me!

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