The Organized Writer: Bloggers and The Social Life Of Paper

by Jeff Abbott on February 4, 2009

I’m on antibiotics, my laptop decided to freak out on me, so I haven’t been the paragon of organization that I am sure you all think I am. Actually, while in the throes of illness, I came up with about a dozen new topics, all scribbled in my notebook. Next week will be a better week. Because I just got six cans of Community Coffee Dark Roast straight from Baton Rouge, people, so I AM SET. (For the price of three! I am doubly set.)

The Organized Writer series has picked up mention on several other blogs and I wanted to comment back on a couple of topics raised by the series by other bloggers. Josephine Damian wrote kindly about the series, and credited me for promoting Twyla Tharp’s wonderful book The Creative Habit. I have to say, it’s a really really terrific book and I’ve been reviewing it again, and will have some more to say about it in the near future–especially the dangers of being OVER-organized. And yes, there is such a thing, and it’s incredibly dangerous to writers. I am glad to see the book getting mentioned on so many blogs, and must shout out to Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders, who brought it to my attention.
Stacy King mentioned the time-blocking approach, and rightly mentions you should create time blocks for activities other than writing. I am all for that (and sorry if I wasn’t clear that I was). I tend to block only the work time, and I assume that the unblocked time is my family’s, but there is nothing wrong with being more specific if that works for you.
Finally, if you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent essay on The Social Life of Paper, well, here it is. You will never feel guilty about using notebooks, or paper planners, or sticky notes, again.

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kristan February 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Oh, I adore Malcolm Gladwell. Thanks for the link to the essay, and hope you feel better soon!

    Jeff Abbott February 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I am feeling much better, now, thank you.

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