How to Plan Your Writing Projects

Visiting with J this week, it occurred to me that it’s fun to visit with friends and family around shared interests via apps. It’s something different from the usual catching up over the phone, which sometimes feels like a run-down of “this is what I’ve been doing since the last time we talked,” rather than a fluid conversation. Sadly, it can be quite hard to remember the details of where exactly a friend is in his/her life journey. But finding a shared interest is easy. And fun. J is big into interior design and decorating, so we talked about Pinterest.

“Yeah, but I was on Pinterest the other day and I don’t think it has a ‘like’ button, just a ‘save’ button,” I said.

“Really? So all you can do is save a pin? What if you don’t want to save the pin? What if you don’t like it enough to save it for yourself?” J said.

“I know! How do I tell you, my friend who I am following, that I just saw your pin and liked it, when I don’t like it enough to save it? My only option is to save it, but I don’t want it on my board!”

We laughed about this for a while, what a dumb problem! This will not stop me from sending Pinterest my feedback.

Like I mentioned a few days ago, I have several writing projects in the chute. Now that I’ve accepted the idea that my kids will not be going back to school in the fall, I’ve decided to schedule my writing projects with the expectation that I will only have an hour a day to work on them if that. I have a few tips that apply to really any project. It’s nothing earth-shattering but I will try to be specific as it may be more helpful that way.

  1. Consider the Time To Completion (TTC) remaining in terms of hours. To do this, I’ve (loosely) taken inventory of the tasks for each project. For example, I have a professional paper (2 hours remaining), a book review (5 hours remaining), and a novel (infinity hours remaining), plus a few other things. I make my list.
  2. Put your project on your calendar. I like to put mine in terms of time, not task, so if I have only 30 minutes that I can work on something (like my professional paper), it will take me 4 sittings until I’m done.
  3. Execute your plan! This is the hard part. You’re sitting there at 0530 or whatever time you’ve squirreled away for yourself, you’ve carefully mapped it out and now it’s time to do your thing. This plan only works if you actually write or edit or rewrite or do whatever it is you had to do. Just put your time in. If you can only stay engaged for 30 minutes, so be it. Protect it. Bit by bit, it will get done.

I know this is painfully simple and it’s certainly theoretical (projects move more slowly than expected sometimes), but showing up on a regular basis, however frequent, is 99% of the battle.

The Alamo! (Closed until further notice)

One thought

  1. I think executing is the biggest takeaway here, one that I’m guilty of avoiding whenever I have the time to write, lol. Sometimes simple is the best, and this is a great reminder to simply just do it. Thanks for sharing, Diana!

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