Several of you had excellent comments on my post from yesterday.
Mick noted that he uses GMail as a free online storage system. He just zips up various files (so they’ll be tidy and small) and mails them to his own GMail account. I know a number of other novelists who do the same. It’s a good idea.
Lynda asked what I meant about buying back my book from my publisher. When a book goes out of print, the publisher is relinquishing all rights to publish the book. (It’s actually a little more complicated than that–there is often some sort of time span during which they can bring it back into print, depending on how your contract is written.) They will typically offer you any remaining books in their warehouse at dirt-cheap prices. They will also offer the art-work and the electronic files of the text, in case you want to republish the book yourself. This generally costs around 100 bucks, and is worth it, in my opinion. This was what I was referring to in my post.
Karri claimed that DOUBLE VISION is just about the best book ever written. Thanks, Karri! I guess I owe you a fee for that endorsement. It was a fun book to write, and I hope it’s a fun book to read. One of the main characters has Asperger’s Syndrome. One of my writer friends is a clinical psychologist, and after she read DOUBLE VISION, she asked if I have Asperger’s. I took that as a compliment. I don’t have Asperger’s, but I know perfectly well what it’s like to not be a Normal.
A few closing thoughts on organization: I’m not naturally very organized. I made it through high school and halfway through college living my life pretty randomly. When I hit upper-division physics in college, I had a professor for several courses who was probably the most meticulous person alive. And I learned from him that if I was going to get anywhere in physics (or anything else) I had to learn how to write neatly, to take good notes, to put dates on papers so I’d know when they were written, and all sorts of other things.
I’m still not great at keeping things tidy. My desk is NEVER all squared away and clean, but I’ve learned to periodically take a few minutes and put away some of the mess. If I don’t, then inevitably my productivity goes down and down until I can’t get anything done.
Those of you who listened to the “Clean Up Your Act” teleseminars that I did with Allison Bottke know that Allison is super-good at keeping things organized, and that she doesn’t come by it naturally–she has ADD and is totally right-brained and if she didn’t constantly stay on top of the mess, she wouldn’t be able to get ANYTHING done. Allison is a poster girl for the idea that good organization can be learned by anybody.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk some about time-management, which seems to be a common bugaboo for most writers. For the past year, I’ve been working hard at learning to use my time effectively, and I have a few thoughts on the matter.