So, after seeing this post from the wonderful Routines For Writers blog (which has so many great ideas that you should definitely add it to your favourite blog reader immediately!), I decided that this definitely suits me well enough that, by George, I'm going to give it a go!
It's no secret that sometimes, I am not the best at time management. Sometimes, I can be easily distracted. But other times, I do actually work well when I have a set schedule. So, I decided to bust out one of my ignored bulletin boards and create a custom writer's accountability chart that will hopefully keep me on track.
(Sidenote: I've decided not to call it a chore chart because I do still see writing as fun, even on those days when the words won't come, and by thinking of it as 'work' I might just start to hate it)
For those who are interested, here are my headings:
Marketing/Networking: I decided to add networking to his one because I don't have much work to promote, as of yet. My pile of unfinished works is of no interest to anyone but myself, and I didn't want to set myself up for feeling like a failure by always have that row blank on my board. Besides…tweeting counts as networking, right?
Research/Planning: Generally, I only research when I'm in the midst of a WIP. So, I decided to include planning in this same category. If NaNoWriMo taught me anything, it's that having a plan, no matter how scarce or elaborate, works wonders for keeping you on track (especially on those days when you feel too tired, too cranky, too bored or just…TOO…to write).
Friday 5: I hope that I will be able to do 5000 words more than once a week, but at the very least, even if I haven't written anything all week, I vow to always do 5k on Fridays.
1Kday: This is what I'd like to make the norm. The 1Kday was excellent for my productivity, and I find myself sort of coasting lately, so I'm hoping that my chart will get me back on track (and help me to tie up some of these unfinished pieces)
250: I know at some point, I will have a crazy day/week where I can get nothing done, and for those times, I am instituting the pitiful, bare bones, this-is-the-least-you-can-do 250 word minimum.
Editing: While editing days don't always leave one with a lot of new words written by the end of it, it is a vital part to the writing process, and sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like I haven't accomplished much, even if I've managed to edit a bunch of pages. Hopefully this will help me get out of that mindset and realize the importance of editing. After all, I have to admit that most times, it is in the editing process that the true core of my story takes shape.
Blog: I admit that I've slacked on updating the blog lately, mostly because, as I mentioned above, I have a lot of unfinished stories floating around, and not much else to talk about. My plans are to get back into the routine of it, and hopefully grow my reader-base to more than 4 people (which includes 1 family member, 1 semi-regular reader and a few looky-loos), where it pretty much stands right now.
Craft: I have subscriptions to both The Writer & Writer's Digest. But I realized that after I skim through the issues when they first arrive in my mailbox, they get pushed to the back of my desk where I forget about them. Which is such a shame, because there are some great exercises in there to improve one's craft. I'd been contemplating giving up my subscription to 1 magazine since I hardly read them, but maybe by actually working through those exercises, I can justify my subscription, and also improve my skills at the same time.
So, there you have it. My Accountability Chart. I'll be marking off each accomplishment with either 1-inch buttons that I collected back in my indie jewellery business days or with stickers (which are kind of more fun, no?).
So…what would your headings be? Any tips or ideas for things I can do to promote myself when I don't have a huge catalog of work to share yet? What are your best tips for places and ways for a writer to network? Any categories you think might suit me better?