Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! I’m Cassandra Aarssen. I’m a recovering super slob turned organizing expert! I share my organizing tips, tricks and advice through various social media platforms. I have also published three best selling organizing books; Real Life Organizing, Cluttered Mess to Organized Success and The Clutter Connection.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My self help books share my journey from cluttered to clean and offer easy and practical solutions for others who feel messy and chaotic. I have discovered that there are actually 4 distinct organizing styles and when you understand yours, you can finally stop the clutter and get organized for good.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I’m inspired by so many, but Gretchen Rubin and Peter Walsh are two of my favourite self help authors. When it comes to fiction, Stephen King is my guilty pleasure.
How do you deal with creative block?
I think I have a permanent creative block when it comes to writing. Instead of waiting for inspiration and motivation to find me, I put on my “big girl pants” and make my own motivation. I force myself to write for at least 15 minutes a day. Somedays it turns into hours, others is just that 15 minutes. Each of my books were written in under three months, while raising three children and running a full time business. If I waited for motivation and inspiration to find me, I never would have finished even one book.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Only having one editor. My last book had 6 separate eyes in it and it made all the difference. Have lots of people read it before you go to print and ask for their feedback. Other perspectives can really help you to make your message more clear.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Don’t stress about these things too much. You really can’t judge a book by its cover! These are the two areas that authors really stress over and in the long run, they don’t matter nearly as much as great content.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I cry…lol. No, I think negative feedback is awesome because it makes me a much better writer.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve learned to just get it out first. I stopped going back and trying to read over and edit my work before it was completely done. Just brain dump the book and worry about editing and making it better once the story is out and finished.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Writing a book is so much easier than I ever thought it would be. I’m not a “writer” and I assumed writing an entire book would be this HUGE undertaking. In reality, 15 minutes a day was all I needed to finish each of my books in under three months time. Everyone can spare 15 minutes a day.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
I think everyone is creative, some people just tend to overthink and overcomplicate it. Being a perfectionist can cause fear and anxiety to squash all forms of creativity. Try not to overthink the process.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Creativity comes when you stop looking for it. Set a timer and just start writing something…anything. If you’re scared, do it anyway! Write, save, repeat.
What are your plans for future books?
I’m actually writing a zombie apocalypse novel right now and it’s completely ridiculous. When I’m done, I’ll submit it to publishers under a pen name, just so no one knows that it’s my book. It’s embarrassingly awful and I’m having a blast writing it.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
People are constantly telling me I’m weird and, for the life of me, I have no idea why. I feel normal. I mean, I brush my hair sometimes and I often wear actual pants when leaving the house. I do swear like a sailor, but I think that just highlights my expressive vocabulary.