I don’t think I know many people who are full time writers. Most of us are doing our writing around jobs, businesses, families and a dozen other variables that make up our lives. So how do you make planning practical for writers?
Practical Planning for Writers
Without further ado, there are the tips I’ve found that make writing a practical activity that I can actually fit into my day. Take the ones that work for you and discard the rest!
Have Your Writing Available
This is what has made the biggest difference to me. That I can access all my writing at any time, and from any computer. I use Novlr for all of my writing. The only thing I don’t write in there are blog posts – I draft these directly in to WordPress. Everyone has their own preference with regards to writing software. For me, flexibility was important. Which meant that I required a cloud based system. There are a few to choose from – trial them and see which one suits you. What suits me won’t always suit you – again, we are highly preferential (dare I say picky!) creatures in this regard. One key thing to check – do you have the ability to export in any format? Some I found only allowed you to export into formats like ePub which was not at all appropriate in my mind; I export into word/pdf and send to beta readers before I publish, so ePub export only makes a software useless to me.
Know What You Are Working On
Again, this sounds simple, but as someone who:
A) is easily distracted
B) has over 40 different drafts in her writing software
I need to know exactly where I am going to click to work on something before I start. Otherwise, there’s no hope.
Let Your Goals Change
I have written about how I hate “SMART” goals. My life has too many variables to be able to able to know that I can write X amount per day without fail. It just won’t happen. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t set goals. In my writing software, I can set my own goals:
As you can see, my software allows me to see if I’ve hit a streak. Which is pretty rare for me. I write in peaks and troughs. It’s how I do most things. All at once or not at all. It’s how I am. Having unpredictable availability and/or ability doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself goals, it only means that you need to either:
A) set realistic goals or
B) be kind to yourself about “failing” to meet them
I think I have an advantage here in being able to be kind to myself. I am not a statistical person – my training is on the qualitative side of the world, which means that I’m not going to be upset by “0 day streak”. If that sort of gamification would bother you – don’t participate in it! Writing can be so much tearing your soul onto a page that you don’t need to develop any kind of negative feelings towards it for the sake of a counter.
What tips do you have for writers?