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Writing a Novel – It’s About Accountability

One of the hardest things about working with a professional organizer when you are overwhelmed by clutter is letting someone into your messy space to have an objective look and make a plan. I learned that is exactly what I needed to do in order to write a novel!

I needed to let other people read my “messy” writing.

I have always wanted to “write a novel.” However, in the same way my clients want to “get organized,” that goal is vague and ill-defined. (See previous post, Overcome These 3 Obstacles and Achieve Your New Year’s Goals!)

I teach clients how to break down their goals into achievable tasks, but never thought to do the same for my writing. Joining a writing group sounded like something seasoned writers do. And writing a novel is a solitary activity – or is it?

Last January, I joined a well-established local writing group, The Writing Journey, and took advantage of their structured schedule of meetings, activities, and paths. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is incredibly rewarding to receive positive feedback and support other writers. Even when I am “too busy” the group deadlines and camaraderie keep me on track.

Each year, members are invited to participate in an anthology of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Authors must write according to a specific theme and agree to three rigorous rounds of critiques that include critiquing work from the other contributors. It is a perfect system because it teaches everyone to be better writers within established deadlines AND results in a finished product. (Just like my work sorting through cherished belongings with clients when I hold them accountable for editing them into an organized result!)

All this to say that, while editing my non-fiction book about my experiences as a professional organizer (working title: Tales from the Middle of the Mess), I contributed two poems and a short story to the latest anthology from the Writing Journey, Stranded.

Perhaps you have never been stranded on a desert island Robinson Crusoe style, but hasn’t each one of us felt stranded at one time or another?

The anthology is now available on amazon, Stranded: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems from the Writing Journey. There are over 300 pages! of contributions from 26 local writers in a wide variety of genres. Please consider supporting the Naperville area writing community by ordering your copy today. Thank you.

p.s. The Writing Journey has ten other anthologies from previous years. Please find descriptions of their work here: https://writingjourney.org/books/

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