Last week I started using a calendar to record how much I’d written each day. My critique partner, Christina, suggested this. She used it to reach the goal of finishing her manuscript.
I’ve never been very good at being organized or planning ahead. For most of my life, I’ve lived by the seat of my pants. That thought process is okay when you’re a teenager or in your twenties. But as I reached thirty, I realized I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do with my life. Thus, I wished I’d done more planning when I was younger.
I do not use this calendar to plan what I’ll write the next day. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. Here’s how it works:
Use any calendar you want. I printed one off of Microsoft Outlook for June and July.
Look at the month ahead and cross off any days you know you won’t be able to write. For me, I’ve crossed off the days my husband is off of work. I’m sure you can get very detailed with this and use a calendar that has the time of day listed. You could organize your day in that manner and cross off the hours of the day you can’t write. For those of you who work, this may be a better option.
Let’s say you prepare your calendar today for the rest of the month. When tomorrow comes, if you write – and I know you will! – write how many chapters you completed, how many words you completed, or if you simply want to record how many hours or minutes you spent writing, that will show you how you used your time. Hopefully, you will look back at your calendar at the end of the week, like I have, and find you were able to find writing time even on the days you marked off. You’ll see scribbles in the boxes of the chapters you completed, or in my case, listing the completed steps of the Snowflake Method. Looking back at what you accomplished is a wonderful feeling.
Last week I started Randy Ingermanson‘s Snowflake method and today I am ready to begin step 6. I am certain that having recorded my accomplishments every day has helped me reach this 6th step out of 10.
I’ve also used the calendar to record the days I’ve blogged. As you can tell, I’ve blogged more this week than usual.
The word count you see on my word meter for Book One – Social Circle Chronicles is what I have for the Snowflake. I figured I’m writing the skeleton of the story, so I’m going to let it count toward a word count. I’ll update with the actual word count when I’m finally completing the chapters.
I hope today’s advice will give you a good idea of something to do if you are struggling with finding time to write as I have. Remember, don’t write down what you plan to do tomorrow. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t get to do it! Instead, write first and then record it. The following day, you’ll look forward to writing even more so you’ll have more to record on your calendar!