I Know It's Here Somewhere

Thanks to all of you, the weekend bash here Under the Tiki Hut was a huge success.

But now it's Monday and time to get back to work. I started last night.

One of my friends is helping me to become more organized. It's going to be a huge undertaking, even though we're just tackling my desk. If I listened more to her, we might would get farther down that road, but for now, desk is good. This is only part of the problem. It all looked like this - and worse:

So far I've shredded one stack of paper, made some folders, and sorted through a pile of single sheets of paper and index cards. These things either ended up in the trash can, in the shredder, or placed into stacks that I need to do something with. One of those stacks goes into one of the new folders after I finish with it. Another goes into the binder for my WIP. Neither you nor I can see this binder because it's buried under the rubble shown above.

My friend suggested I limit the time I work on The Desk Project so I don't bog down and become discouraged. I think she's right. The spot I cleared now looks like this:

Now I'm encouraged to work on it some more tonight instead of being upset because I didn't finish or don't know what to do with something.

Who knows . . . I might become more productive if I learn how to keep my desk neat. I might even be able to find what I'm looking for when I'm looking for it instead of two days later. My friend says I can keep it neat by the same process - a few minutes every evening. I hope she's right.

How about you?

How do you keep your writing-self organized?


Mason Canyon said…
You mean your desk in the first photo isn't organized? I thought that was the only way to be organized. :) Best of luck getting things put where they should go. I'll watch your progress carefully and maybe I can do the same. I never seem to be able to find anything when I need it - six hours later maybe.

Thoughts in Progress
Angela said…
Oh how I understand you! I always KNOW my things are here...somewhere. But where exactly? As soon as I start to clean up, I start reading, pushing papers around, making stacks...and getting nowhere. But yes, tonight I will! Thanks for the reminder!
Joanne said…
When I'm between writing projects, I'll use that time cleaning up and organizing Word files, and my workspace as well. It's a good in-between time when the muse can use a little break. It also helps me get a better perspective of what I need to do, and to plan my schedule.
Carol Kilgore said…
Mason - I'm sure I will eventually get my desk clean. The problem for me will be keeping it that way. I'll let you know.

Angela - I'm hoping a few minutes each evening instead a huge gargantuan task will make it easier and more doable for me.

Joanne - I do the same thing between projects. My Word files are another disaster. Maybe one day . . .
Lydia Kang said…
Umm, it's all in my brain, except for a sheet of paper or two. So organized, kind of. If you could see inside my mind, maybe not!
Talli Roland said…
The spot looks good!

I like to pile papers. It doesn't matter what's in the piles - in fact, they're full on un-important things - but as long as they're neatly piled, I'm happy!
I'm fairly organized, although 'stuff' can start to take over my desk at a moment's notice.
Wow, Carol, I agree with Mason--I thought the first photo was the "after" picture! I'm wondering how many writers are--um--papers out and how many are clear desks?
Carol Kilgore said…
Lydia - My head's a mess, too. I think it will improve along with my desk. Fingers crossed.

Talli - LOL! Thanks.

Alex - I envy those like you and my friend.

Conda - I don't know. Good question. Any takers?
I'll take any tips at all. Anything. I could have small children hidden under all my paper and I'd never know. Except, they'd probably make some noise, wouldn't they? Still, any tips at all.
Carol Kilgore said…
I'll keep an update here. So far I've worked about fifteen minutes and haven't given up. That's my goal again for tonight. I hope I don't find any small children ... but it's possible.
Anonymous said…
Organized? :lol:

- Corra

The Victorian Heroine
Terry Odell said…
First, I have to buy a desk. The closet organizer company will be here Thursday to install shelving, file cabinets, etc. in my office closet. I've been procrastinating until 1) I get the closets and can tell how much more 'stuff' I have to store, and then 2) find a desk and other requisite furniture to make this an office.

spam word: nowfkym -- interesting. :-)
Clarissa Draper said…
How do I keep my writing spot organized? I have a really small writing spot. There is no room for anything. But I have to have my computer desktop organized and so my favorite word is delete.

Ann Best said…
I can't function very long in a cluttered space, so I straighten every day. As Clarissa says, "delete" is the word. Your straightened space looks great!
Southpaw said…
Wow, that's huge amount of work. I agree baby steps then when you’re done the feeling of accomplishments is wonderful.
Carol Kilgore said…
Corra - I found you ... my long lost sister :)

Terry - LOLing over the spam word! You're getting closer to a real office every day.

Clarissa - My computer desktop stays organized. Maybe there's genuine hope for my desk.

Ann - My house isn't cluttered but my desk makes up for it.

Southpaw - I'm hoping the baby steps become a good habit to keep this from happening again.
I thought you’d somehow gotten a picture of my desk with your ‘before’ picture! Good luck with the project. The ‘after’ picture looks great.
Paper and I have a constant, never-ending battle with each other! The children bring a lot of it home from school and activities, and I make a lot, myself. But it sounds like you're really getting on top of yours!
Carol Kilgore said…
Jane - If I can keep after it and keep it clean after I once get there, I'll amaze myself. So far I haven't given up.

Elizabeth - I'm trying. Good luck with yours, too.
VR Barkowski said…
When I write, my desk is a disaster area. But I can't leave it without tidying up - it's a compulsion. Here's the irony: I never have a problem finding things in the mess. It's only AFTER putting everything away that important papers are lost - I can't remember where I put them!
Carol Kilgore said…
I think tidying up at the end of the day is going to be the key for me. If I can get that habit ingrained, my desk may still get stacks of this and that from time to time, but I'm hoping for order at least. And fewer stacks as time goes on.
Helen Ginger said…
It is SO easy to become disorganized. I try to stay organized but I get in a hurry and pile things on my side table, then they get buried. I find I need specific places to put things. What I need to do now is go through my file folders. I know half of them I could toss.
Carol Kilgore said…
It would never, ever do for me to have a side table. It would be where things go to die a slow, miserable death.
M. Gray said…
Nice work, lady! Ugh--I'm so not naturally organized. I have stacks. Under my chair, in my nightstand, on my dresser... even my files on my computer aren't organized. I don't know how to do it!
Anonymous said…
My writing self loves chaos. My teaching self hates it. My desk at work is usually immaculate while my desk at hom, well I think it is wood vaneer somewhere under all that stuff.
You always have to find what is working for you. Best of luck.
Carol Kilgore said…
M.Gray - My computer files aren't organized either except for the ones on my desktop. I do back up my writing everyday, though.

Cassandra - I couldn't agree more about finding what works for you. I'm hoping that with a clear desk, my mind is free to roam the wide open spaces.
Lydia Kang said…
I gave you an award on my blog, btw!
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks, Lydia. Look for it here next week.
Anonymous said…
I keep all my writing stuff organized in writing blogs.

The 'paper' copies are filed in a portable file (tabbed.)

My desk used to look like yours... ;)

- Corra

The Victorian Heroine
Carol Kilgore said…
You're as organized as my friend who's helping me. I'm envious.