Alright, you got me. While everyone else was blogging their 2016 retrospectives and their 2017 goals, I was…well. I wasn’t. But hey, it’s February 3rd today, which means I’m coming in right at about the time most people start breaking their New Year’s Resolutions. Oh well.
In any case, instead of just talking about my goals for the year (which I’ll get to, don’t you worry), I thought I’d talk to you about my writing planner. I started keeping one of these last year, when I decided I wanted to Get Serious about writing, and found that it helped me to focus on my goals and stay organised — two things which don’t always come naturally to me otherwise (OOH LOOK SHINY THING!).
First of all, finding the perfect planner isn’t the easiest thing in the world for me (I have very specific planner needs, okay? OKAY? Okay). But this particular one (from Typo, in case you were wondering) fit all my needs. It has tabbed dividers separating the months, and each month has both a monthly calendar spread and weekly spreads, with one or two pages before and after for notes. It’s also not terribly bulky, and finally, it’s hella cute.
So, here’s how I use my writing planner:
- Front of book: On a page at the very beginning of the planner, I write down my writing goals for the year, which, for the record, are:
1. Finish the first draft of my novel
2. Edit and revise (including sending out to beta readers)
3. Land a literary agent
4. Answer at least 10 calls for submissions (anthologies, awards or competitions)
5. Get published to an international audience
Yes, these are some mammoth goals. DREAM BIG, KIDS.
- Note pages: On the note pages before each monthly spread, I write down my writing goals for the month; word counts, number of submissions, editing or revising goals, whatever.
- Monthly spreads: These are where I note down not just life stuff — appointments, meetings, get-togethers — but it’s where I also note submission openings and deadlines for things I may be interested in participating in. I may not meet every deadline or call for submission that I write here, but putting it down means being able to see how it fits into my overall schedule and how I can fit it in, if I really want to.
- Weekly spreads: These are for daily to-do lists. They can encompass writing things — submit to this, hit this word count by today, finish x number of scenes for this WIP, etc — but also include things like ‘buy bread and milk’ and ‘do laundry.’ It’s another way of getting an overview of my day, so I know how I can work the writing stuff in around it.
That’s it! I also tote around a little notebook that I use to jot down ideas or notes to myself to add to my current manuscript — I prefer a clean manuscript when I’m typing, so I don’t like leaving notes and comments in the Word doc.
Also, I just want to point out that my pen says “Eat, Slay, Love” and it’s giving me life.
Anyway. Armed with these tools I’m ready to get out there and conquer the literary world this year!
I mean, once I’m done with the laundry and groceries and stuff.