Louder Than Words

My Writer's Accountability ChartSo, 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?

[NWC]

7 thoughts on “Louder Than Words”

  1. Well, it looks as if you have a great strategy! It’s great to see you put your plan to paper (e-journal) so to speak. Definitely keep the Writer’s Digest subscription. I’ve subscribed to it for over seven years not and always get great information out of each issue!

    Keep reaching for those goals!

    1. Thanks Andrew! I will! So far, the new plan seems to be helping. And having it out there in the open keeps me motivated trying to ‘earn’ more stickers than the day before.

  2. Totally love your accountability chart. The flowers are great! I’m going to add your link to my original post at Routines for Writers. Can I post the pic of your chart, too? Yours looks way cooler than mine!

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