Jonda S. Beattie, Author of Benji’s Messy Room

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing about 11 years ago when I started my Time Space Organization business. At first, I wrote articles and blogs as well as presentations. I wrote in order to show myself an expert in my field.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

My most recent genre, children’s books came about as a dare. Each year, Judith Kolberg, Diane Quintana and I have a booth at the Decatur Book Festival. Two years ago Judith told Diane and me that we needed an organizational book for children. Diane and I immediately began to collaborate on this adventure and had a great time with it. So far, we have written 2 books together. We are looking forward to doing more

What have you written so far?

So far I have written an organizational workbook – From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home and 2 children’s stories – Suzie’s Messy Room and Benji’s Messy Room. The workbook came about as a tool to help my clients. The children’s books were written because we have seen that organization is not being taught or modeled to young children. Organization and tidying up sounds like hard work but it can be fun and rewarding.

What are some ways in which you promote your work? 

Mostly through social media but we have used some ads. I also promote my work when I give presentations. I have contacted libraries and bookstores and gift shops. I have started to promote the children’s books on Goodreads. I am still in the process of learning how to do this.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

With my first book, I found it very helpful to have a book coach and with my last 2 books I co-authored with another organizer – accountability to someone keeps you focus and producing. In the first instance – with the coach – I knew I was going to pay her for each session. That meant that I certainly wanted something new for her to critique. In the second instance, I did not want to waste Diane or my time so I kept producing.

Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?

Our  latest book is Benji’s Messy Room. This book came quickly after Suzie’s Messy Room. Benji’s Messy Room is a whimsical children’s tale that teaches children how to pick up their room a little bit at a time so they are not so overwhelmed. We used basic organizational strategies and applied them to the task of cleaning the bedroom. We emphasize that this is a learning process and perfection is not expected. It is wonderful to see Benji going from being overwhelmed to actually enjoying the process.  One unique thing about our children’s tale is that there is a page for parents at the end of the book, giving tips on how to best use the story.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?

Diane and I wrote the book in answer to a challenge by another organizer. She said that there were no real children’s books about organizing and that we would be the perfect people to write it. She was right!

What do you do to get book reviews?

I ask people I know have bought my book on Amazon to give reviews. I have asked friends in NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization to give reviews in our national publications. I have sent off books to groups who do reviews.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

The Amazon reviews have been great and both the NAPO and ICD national publications carried a great review of our book. I have not heard back from the groups I have sent the information to but is has not been that long ago.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

There is a time to say “good enough.”


Want to connect with Jonda?

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


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