Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Get A Grip!

How do you go about your daily writing business? Do you have a grand master plan with every minute of your writing day meticulously accounted for down to the finest detail? Or do you have a more gung ho approach - you'll write something when the mood takes you? Maybe you're somewhere in between? You have the best of intentions, making an effort to plan but when it comes down to it all your best laid plans go out the window and you end up writing something, though not as much as you'd  wanted.

I would argue that you need to make plans if you want to get anywhere with your writing, ie, be published. I must admit, though, that although I am a brilliant planner, I'm not so good at carrying it through! I chop and change my plans as I go along and I usually get some writing done somewhere along the way. But I know that if I stuck to my plans I'd get a whole lot more done.

What I'm trying to say is that if you are a writer who never plans, or one that does plan but does so half-heartedly and doesn't finish what you set out to do, then it's time for a change! I have a white board in my office that I use to write my writing plans for the month on, broken down into weekly tasks. Urgent things are written in red, not so urgent things are written in blue and more longer term goals, ie, the novels are written in green. It helps me to see the whole picture as to where I am in my writing - and the white board serves as a visual representation of where I want my writing to go. It also reminds me of how much I have achieved and it's a great feeling to wipe the things I've done off the board!

At the moment my board is clear as I decided it needed a revamp - I still had June's list up, LOL! But, tonight it will be back in business as will I. If I don't plan, even if I do play around with the plans, I get nothing done. So, for me, the white board is essential. You might prefer to keep a spreadsheet style plan on your computer, or print it out and keep it on your desk. You have to find a system hat works for you. If you don't keep an eye on your submissions and publications: what you want to do next, it's easy to get in a muddle and your output will suffer.

Happy organising and writing

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Plan or no plan, you were up early! And you know what they say about the early bird - no sorry, you are too young to know that song! Hugs..

Nari said...

I went through a really good phase of keeping track of entries and deadlines and what to work on when - I used to have various strips of paper with the titles and lengths on and when they were to be finished by. It worked for a while, but I've since moved house, in which we haven't set up the study yet.
It's a bad excuse, because I know I;m rubbish at planning anyway. Your system sounds like it works well, so I might give it a go :) Thanks Julie.
Nari X

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole

I'm afraid I have a confession to make! I wasn't up at 6am - I scheduled it to come out at that time, LOL! I really should get up earlier though!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Nari

Yes, I like my system - when I stick to it! It works for me. But I suppose it's all about finding a system that works for you.

No system of organisation is foolproof. Like you, now you've moved house, your system has faltered. Mine did too when I still had June's to-do list on my white board when it's August!

Onwards and upwards!

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Hi Julie! I must tell you, I got so frustrated at not being able to read your blog (it seemed to keep crashing my internet but I'm sure it's our fault, our internet connection is so rubbish and so's our old computer) - that I've tried accessing it on my laptop and eventually after quite a wait -I'm in!! Hooray! I've missed you!

You're so right that it's good to be organised (I'm afraid I'm not). I do keep a card-index system for my short story submissions etc but I am NOT organised about when, how often and how much I'm going to write. I've never been a '1000 words a day' (or whatever) type of writer. Some days it's loads, other days it's nothing. Today - been with my daughter and baby Caitlin so it's been nothing!
But ... I get there in the end.

Julie P said...

Hello, Olivia! Great to see you. Sorry if I keep crashing your computer!

I think that as long as we get there in the end it doesn't matter if there are days when we don't write. I can go for days without writing sometimes, but, at other times I seem to write non-stop!

I hope you enjoy your time with the lovely Caitlin - I have a fair few years, if ever, before I get any grandchildren, having come to parenting a little later in life!

Julie xx