How to stay on top of all your projects and never miss a deadline
The Organised Writer is the first productivity system designed for writers, by a writer.
Built upon solid, practical principles like clean mind theory and memory offloading, its purpose is to help you write more, and more easily — by allowing you to relax and forget about everything except writing when you sit down at your keyboard.
Designed and used in the real world for more than a decade by prolific bestselling author Antony Johnston, The Organised Writer is a no-nonsense guide to being more productive — and more organised! — that understands the life and needs of a working writer. It doesn't bamboozle you with lingo, ask the impossible, or saddle you with endless lists and charts.
The Organised Writer is a practical and focused approach to writing in the real world.
‘I've been a working writer for thirty years. Johnston convinced me I've been doing it wrong. This book is like a cabinet of wonders for the working scribbler.’
(The Cruel Stars, Zero Day Code, Axis of Time)
How The Organised Writer can help you
“All writers get stressed out over plot, characters, conflict, resolution, backstory, timelines, world building, consistency, editors' notes, cover art, titles, book blurbs, good reviews, bad reviews, you name it.
“That's not the problem. Sweating over those things is what makes you a writer.
“But you shouldn't be stressing out over missed deadlines; reaching the end of another day and wondering where all the time you'd intended to spend writing has gone; trying to remember where you put your notes, your contract, or your cat; worrying about office and admin tasks piling up; or being unable to relax when you should be having fun with friends and family, because your writing is behind schedule.”
— From the Introduction
The Organised Writer gives you the tools to avoid those non-writing stresses with a sensible, easily implemented system:
• Take charge of your schedule and tasks
• Get smart with your email inbox
• File things so you can always locate them again
• Never forget an idea, and never miss a deadline
• Maximise your writing time
• Be at your most creative whenever and wherever you write
‘Johnston packs his book with practical insights and clever methods — the chapters on calendar management and time-blocking alone were like a bolt of lightning to my daily routine. The Organised Writer is the manual you've been looking for.’
(The Golem & The Jinni)
Part 1: Get Organised
The first section of the book explains how to organise your time and schedule, making the most of both your writing sessions and your non-writing time. It promotes the value of taking good notes, shows the best way to use and make to-do lists, and explains why you should consider a simple task management system.
Part 2: Write!
The core of The Organised Writer is about what to do with the time you spend writing; how to write more, and better, on any given day. It gives advice on coping with travel so it doesn't ruin your schedule, and explains how a 'just write' attitude is a valuable part of every writer's self-improvement. This section also walks you through Antony's own 'scribbles-to-script' process, showing how the principles and practices found in the book can help you develop an initial idea into a fully-fledged work.
Part 3: Non-Writing Stuff
The final section deals with handling non-writing tasks; finances, spreadsheets, and office admin. It walks you step-by-step through the process of stripping down, assessing, and re-organising your workspace. Finally, it describes what you should look for in the equipment, hardware, and software you use.
Every chapter of the book also features a summary of its main points, with checklists and sample job sheet templates for easy reference.
The Organised Writer is a fascinating and surprisingly entertaining read from an experienced author who truly understands the unique challenges of a writer's life.
‘Antony has uncovered a secret I wish I'd learned twenty years ago; writing benefits way less from inspiration than from sound process.’
(43 Folders, Back to Work, Do By Friday)
Antony Johnston has been a professional writer for twenty-five years, with work including books, graphic novels, screenplays, videogames, comic books, and short stories. He's an experienced conference speaker, podcaster, songwriter, and musician. How does he find the time to fit it all in? By being an Organised Writer.
Antony's titles include Atomic Blonde, which became a hit movie starring Charlize Theron; the Brigitte Sharp series of cyber-espionage thrillers; the classic videogame Dead Space; Marvel heroes such as Daredevil, Wolverine, and Shang-Chi; and many more.
In non-fiction, Antony has written for the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, Crime Time, Spike Magazine, Arcane, .net, Computer Arts, and more. In addition to The Organised Writer, he writes online about productivity and his writing process, and hosts the podcast Writing and Breathing, where he talks with other authors about the writing life.
‘I'm a messy-brained writer.
The Organised Writer helped me tidy up, and improved my working life on a daily basis.’
(The Wicked + The Divine, X-Men,
co-founder of Rock Paper Shotgun)
(When The Organised Writer goes on sale, this section will contain downloadable versions of job sheets and book-keeping documents shown in the book, which you're free to take and adapt for your own use.)
“Wherever you are, whatever you create, I wrote this book to help you do more of it. Let me know how it goes.”
— From the Afterword
And we mean it. The Organised Writer helps writers of all kinds take control of their workload and schedules; if you're one of them, we'd love to hear from you. You can find Antony on Twitter @AntonyJohnston or email him via his website.