Tag Archives: left brain

Organizing your writing effort – Part One

I’ve been extremely productive in the last three months, writing approximately 2600 words per day and busily editing my first book, Devil’s Daughter.

My second in the series, Sorrow’s Son, is about 70% done. I was reflecting this morning on how I have been able to get so much done, and over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts.

Today, I want to talk about organization.

My right brain loves to write. It can flit and flutter over any random occurrence, wondering “what if” and “how about” to it’s hearts content. But my right brain is a ditz. It will pick and pour over anything that strikes it’s fancy at that given moment and then go on to something else.

My left brain thinks my right brain should be locked up. My left brain wants to know how many, how fast, when? And it thinks there should be a concrete beginning, middle and end.

They are both right. When I started writing again, seriously, I thought I would create a spreadsheet to track how much I was accomplishing. I thought I’d throw my analytical brain a bone. “You sit over here, counting, and my creative side and I will have fun. Go away and be quiet.”

But, lo and behold, my left brain has important work in the creative process. It provides the safety net. If you are anything like me, and you have had difficulty keeping “on task”, try a spreadsheet. Think about what is important to you while designing it.

Sample Spreadsheet

I open this every day before I begin writing, and I close it when I am done for the day. If my right brain wants to work on something else, I can create another line for that book. I can also add sheets for short stories, or novellas, or keep them right on this page. With some simple formulas, you can see not only where you are and where you’ve been, but where you are going. I find it easier to relax when I have some boundaries, relax and write. The boundaries keep me safe while I’m picking flowers from the air.

I have a completely different spreadsheet sheet for daily word counts (your mileage may vary on this, I’m anal and like to keep a really tight rein). I’ll show you that one tomorrow!