Sunday, August 4, 2013

Keeping a Writer’s Day Planner

By Sarah Herlong

This year, I decided to get a business day planner to help me achieve my goals with regards to writing. It helps me see writing as a business instead of a hobby. And like any good business you need to see where you’re going and where you’ve been.

I keep track of how many hours a day I spend writing.
I’ve noticed that after entering times like 1 hour a day, I became shocked at how little writing I was actually doing. Without really noticing it, I started working harder, and my time entries have started ticking upwards. I realized this by flipping back through the planner and seeing how far I’ve come.

I make notes about what I’m working on each day.
This has made me appreciate how much work I put into each story. I make a special notation when I finish a story. This means I can keep a quick count of what I’ve completed through the year. I’ve already written as many stories this year as I did all of last year. This day planner is really helping me!

I use it to keep track of who, what, and where.
I keep track of which agency, and the specific agent, where I send my writings. I keep track of contests I enter, including the date when the winners are announced. You would think this would be depressing to read if I’m not landing an agent or winning that contest, but it’s not. It shows progress. The year before, all I did was attend a conference. The year before that, I did nothing. At least that is all I can remember since I didn’t have a writer’s day planner.

I use it to plan my goals.
Holding the year in your hand makes it easier to conquer. I make a list of goals, and plot them throughout the day planner. I leave notes referring to the goal in the pages leading up to the important date. That way it isn’t a complete surprise what your goal is, the one you set up 6 months ago. That wouldn’t do anyone any good. Another handy tip is to have a master list briefly stating your goals attached in the front of your day planner. Then you’ll never miss a goal. Who knows where you’ll be in a year? You will.


Marion Aldridge said...

Great ideas, Sarah. Now that I have returned to writing seriously, I need to do some variation of this. Thanks.

Laura Puccia Valtorta said...

I like this idea. I'm big on using planners for everything

Rebecca Martin said...

This was an inspiring blog entry, Sarah. I never thought to actually keep a record of what I'm writing from day to day. I'm going to start doing that today because I have been slacking off in my writing, even though I'm tantalizing close to my word count goal.