Even Arthur is excited about the new iMac!

Today I have done something liberating. I sat down and I organized all of my writing.

Writers are hoarders

We tend to hoard our work, or at least I do as do several writers I know. You don’t want to trash something that could develop into something later. Sadly, though, my folders are so disorganized I spend valuable writing time trying to find my documents. It’s all just this giant mess of files, some stuck in my writing folder, some lying around my documents folder, and even more just hanging out on my desktop.

Laptop vs. Desktop

This weekend the boyfriend brought home a shiny, brand new iMac. I definitely prefer writing on a desktop. While the idea of taking my laptop to other places to get a change of scenery seems great, in truth it is just a huge distraction. It means I have no order. You go to work and you have a desk you are forced to sit at. With my laptop, I can easily move to other areas, look at other things, and next thing you know, the day is done and I have barely done any writing. Now I can say that the desk is for writing and if I want to be on Twitter or Facebook, I have to do that on my laptop, in another room. Separating the distractions keeps you focused.

Now that the weekend is over, I finally get to play with the new computer, and I will be able to use it every evening after work. On the weekends I will still have to switch back to the laptop, but hopefully the discipline of writing on the desktop will help me become a more disciplined writer.

A Folder for Everyone

In trying to set up the most organized, clean writing environment possible, I have organized my writing. Every document I deem worthy of being a good idea, which, let’s face it, is pretty much everything, gets copied from Word into Pages (Apple has made it really easy to convert Pages documents into iBook format) and then saved into a sub-folder of writing. The sub-folders are:

  • Chick Lit
  • Young Adult
  • Children
  • Middle Grade
  • Short Stories
  • Writing Exercises
  • Ideas
  • Essays

For works-in-progress, I have assigned a sub-folder to their category. For example, my Max book is organized Writing–>Middle Grades–>Max. All the files for this project live in the Max folder.

Now when I am searching for a document, I can easily locate it, saving me time and keeping me from getting distracted. And, since I have converted everything into Pages, it means there will be one less step if I decide to turn anything into an ebook.

How do you organize your writing? Do you prefer a desktop or a laptop? What do you think of Pages vs. Word? Is there another program you prefer to use?