Writers: Year-end tasks for a clean & clear 2012

The holidays are in full swing and the thrill of the brand new year is upon us. Here are a few tasks for this week or next to get you in a great position for next year, clear and ready for your best year yet.

Out with the Old

1. File Your Finished Work. Congratulations! Yahoo, you published author, you! Now put those files where you can find them, right now, before they clutter up 2012. Do this in your office with paper files, and on your computer. Create a “2011 Sold Work” folder, and drop your project folders in there. This folder can be filed within your active writing folder, so you will always know where to find previous work.

2. Cull Your Unfinished Writing. Which ones will you let go of? Which projects have you already moved way beyond, with no reason to finish? I love this process! Invariably I find a poem I started or an article idea that I threw into a file and forgot about. You can hang onto the viable ones, and set them up to be finished next year. (See part II of this article for “In with the New”.)

As a writer, I rarely delete writing (you never know), so tuck away the projects you will not pursue  in either your deep-six folder or your future projects (but not right now) folder.

Then mentally and emotionally, let go of them. Create a ceremony if you like. For example, you may want to print an article you are killing, or the outline for a book that’s going bye-bey (double sided, 4 sheets to a page) and symbolically burn them in your fireplace, returning their energy to the Pool of All Possibility.

3. Tidy Up Your Accounting. Make sure you were paid for these projects, resending overdue invoices and giving their recipients a call. Put your invoices and receipts in order for accounting. When my business was small with few expenses, I taped receipts onto paper in a three-ring binder with 12 monthly tabs. Yellow paper held was cash receipts. The bank statements held bank receipts. Blue paper was for travel trips, etc.

Ready for 2012

When you are done with these steps, all your desktops should look beautifully clean. Enjoy getting ready for 2012. Here’s to you and a fabulous one-two. *toast*  😉

Do you have any other year-end steps you take to prepare for a new year? Share them with us in the comments, below!




In with the New

3. Pull out projects to continue. As for the rest, which ones will you continue working on? Ask yourself whether they stretch you, take you to your next level of writing mastery, or pay well for easy work. And then sketch out times to play with them, work on them, and  knock them out of the park.

4. Tidy up your brainstorming file. I love my brainstorming folder! It includes a word file with ideas for articles and books. I have a file for random ideas and to-dos. I have a folder to hold examples of what I see other people doing that make me think of something I could do. (Never copying of course–that would be dull!) Is your brainstorming file in place? Do you have a process for catching your thoughts on