When Your Invention Has a Birthday

Encouragement Self-Publishing Writing

Once upon a time…

…there was a girl who had her whole life ahead of her and serious doubts she’d ever get through all the writing ideas in her head.

They assailed her night and day, but mostly in the middle of the night or the middle of a shower.

They didn’t stop coming and, eventually, besides having doubts she’d ever have time to write them all, she began to forget some of them.

This was most terrifying.

She limped along for several years, jotting them down in various notebooks and random pieces of paper. She may have even used a smartphone note-taking app once she got one.

One day, when she had married and was in the thick of raising a passel of little boys (while running a book design business—crazy, yes), she discovered disc-bound notebooks and an idea lodged itself in her mind.

Yes, another idea.

But this one wasn’t a story. It was a way to organize the stories. And settings, and characters, and random scenes that didn’t fit into a plot yet. She bought one of these disc-bound notebooks and the special paper punch she’d need. She designed some pages and printed them off on her home printer.

She may or may not have giggled in delight.

This changed everything.

The girl was pretty happy with the ability to store all her ideas in one versatile notebook and to move, group, and categorize the pages. She couldn’t seem to stop at idea sheets, though, and more tools to help keep her writing life organized sprang to life. Fold-out calendars for tracking wordcount goals and progress. To-do list slips. A comprehensive self-publishing checklist. Lots of lined paper. Tab dividers.

She shared pictures on Instagram as her invention took shape. Her writer friends demanded to know more and several announced they needed one too. She realized she wasn’t the only author whose organizational problems could be solved by this new kind of organizer.

So, scared to death that the whole thing would be a flop, she perfected the organizer and some extra modules, got a little bit of disc-binding supplies, and released the first WriteMind Planners on September 2, 2016.

They were a hit.

Like, way more than she ever could have dreamed.

The planners were tested and recommended by authors KM Weiland and Chautona Havig, and happily used by other authors around the world (literally) in wide variety of both plot-y and pants-y ways.

Now a year later, this girl (Yours Truly) is getting ready to celebrate WriteMind’s first birthday.

I’m truly so blown away by the enthusiastic response of the author community. It just shows me we (and our problems) are all a lot more similar than we might think.

So, here’s to problems and innovating to solve them! Here’s to first birthdays! But mostly, here’s to writers and lots and lots of writing!


From September 2-9, join in the festivities at PerryElisabethDesign.com to enter a fabulous giveaway and get details on the sale and photo contest!


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7 thoughts on “When Your Invention Has a Birthday

  1. Aww! That story is sweet! OOH! A birthday! Will there be cake?

    Yes…….Most writers have their ideas in the shower…………….

    1. Yes! Virtual cake in abundance! Otherwise, we’re having brownies because my husband’s birthday happens to be this weekend too!

      And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who gets story ideas in the shower. I’m blaming the white noise! 😉

  2. I’ve been thinking about getting one of these for months now. Okay, I actually first started thinking when they first came out, but I’m not a planner. So I didn’t think it would be a fit for me. I’m having second thoughts. 🙂 This might be just what I need.

    1. That’s the cool part about them… they’re customizable enough that you can use them pretty much any way you like. I’m not a planner either but I am definitely brimming with ideas that need saving for later. That’s how I use my idea sheets. KM Weiland uses hers for plotting out one specific novel in detail. 🙂

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