Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Organized Writer

There's a great satisfaction that comes from completing a novel synopsis. I recently wrote the synopsis for the second book in my Bad Luck Cat Mystery series. The story, suspects, and plot points flowed well, and I felt proud of myself. I've written Chapters 1 and 2 and have a plan for Chapter 3. Then I made the mistake of looking at the piles of paper in my office space.

Instead of sitting down to write the next chapter, I went straight into organizing mode. Because who can be creative when surrounded by such a mess? Is this a writing avoidance technique? Maybe just a little bit.

So now I can find what I need when I need it. I have crisp new folders for my research, character names, notes, drafts, editor and agent correspondence, you name it. I have a place for everything and everything's in its place – tablets, sticky notes, pens, toner, paper, clips, notebooks to hold the chapter drafts.

I'm awaiting editor comments on book one which has just been given an official title by Berkley – Black Cat Crossing, A Bad Luck Cat Mystery – coming in September 2015. In the meantime, I'll get moving on book two now that I'm organized. My characters are ready and waiting. My victim's days are numbered.  Alice,  my personal "good luck cat," supervises while I write, and she's threatened to crack the whip to keep me on the right path.

Mystery author Kay Finch is currently writing her new Bad Luck Cat Mystery series set in the Texas Hill Country to be published by Berkley beginning in 2015. Her Klutter Killer mystery, Relative Chaos, features a professional organizer who finds a dead body in a hoarder's garage. Kay lives in a Houston, Texas suburb with her husband, two rescue dogs and a cat. Visit her web site at www.kayfinch.com.


  1. Unfortunately I am plagued by the same "disease". I can always find things to dust, clean or organize rather than write. Not a good thing considering an editor at Berkley is waiting for a manuscript.

    If you ever find a cure for this, please share!!!

  2. Kay, I need you to come up to PA and organize my writing space. On second thought, I think I'll follow your example and clean up the mess that surrounds me. I always accomplish so much more when I take time to clear out the clutter.

  3. My kitchen sink sparkles. Displacement activity anonymous - a group for all writers! Great post, Kay.

    1. It's a really bad sign when we wash the windows because it's easier than writing. LOL.

  4. Hi Kay--
    What a cute cat and what a great new mystery series! I LOVE the premise of the professional organizer story. Good luck with all your books.