As I mentioned last week, I am starting a new format for my blog each week. Instead of coming up with different topics, I’m going to cover this exactly how I had imagined it to be from the very beginning…. documenting how I achieving my dream of being a published fiction writing.
How am I going to do that? Basically, my plan is to write in my blog everyday! This might seem like asking a great deal, but I figured how else would anyone know the steps, triumphs and failures I go through unless I document it on a daily basis.
Starting today, I am going to post everyday about what I did, writing related of course) throughout the day in order to show you my process. Some days, it might not be very much, while others I could post a longer blog. It all depends on my motivation and even my commitments on that particular day.
My Writing Process
I’m going to start by letting you know what my writing process/routine typically is.
My full time job starts at 6:30 in the morning and I work until 2:30. Now that my son is one second shift, I get home, get some cleaning things done and then run him into work. This leaves me typically home by 4:30 depending on traffic and if I need to make any stops. The rest of the evening, I make myself something small for supper and either work on my writing or watch Netflix and DVR recordings. I’m typically in bed around 9 and read until I fall asleep. Weekends are reserved for family since I don’t see my husband much during week due to opposite work schedules.
I start everyday by finalizing my daily to do list. This I created simply in OneNote by making a table which has the days of week across the top and my four areas (Household, Writing, Work, Misc) along the left. Then in each section I write what I need to get done that day. My household lists are basically the same every week since I have a rotating schedule of cleaning so I don’t need to bog down my weekends in cleaning the house. I will add things such as bills needing paid or added cleaning. Misc things is typically where I place reminders or even phone calls needing to be made throughout the day.
Creating it in OneNote means that I can access it anywhere with my phone. I know there is a debate between OneNote and Evernote and I actually use both. Daily things or writing things I use OneNote since it resembles my writing notebook, while Evernote I typically use to store recipes, articles, or other items which deal with the house.
I have files on both OneNote and in a notebook. Depending on where I am and how the project is progressing, I will use either one when writing. In OneNote I have a section for each project I am working on and typically add anything throughout the day. I also use this to keep my freelance contracts together with all the information. In my writing notebook, I typically use that at the start of projects. I have flags of different colors that I note where certain projects are. Once I’m done with a project in my notebook, then I will begin working on it in a word processor.
Once my to do list is complete, then I set about getting things done. My job allows me to do a little writing throughout the days when we are slow on work, which helps me complete what is on my writing list, such as looking at my weekly writing website or even checking on messages from clients.
Although a lot of writers swear by setting a daily word count, I don’t stick strictly to it. One reason is that I do a lot of my writing long hand to start (especially when plotting) and don’t want to take time away from writing by counting the words I wrote out. When I am working on a finalized project that is done on the computer, such as blog post, finalizing plots, and writing then I aim for roughly 2,000 words a day. Mainly how I mark achievement for each day is if I can get everything on my writing to do list done.
For a long time I would just write something on my list such as outline. But I’ve learned that to me that doesn’t help. I would work on it for a few minutes and mark that as done. So, I’ve started being a little more detailed.
I also reward myself. Once I have checked everything off my list for writing that day, then I am done. My brain is still toying around with information, but I’m not directly focused on my writing. I allow myself to curl up with a book or even binge on episodes of the current show I’m watching on Netflix.
Some days are better than others. As my day progresses, I mark down on my calendar (hard copy) what I accomplished that day. Looking at July, there have been days where I’ve written over 5,000 words and days where I actually got nothing done. It all depends on my moods. This is the reason I decided to fully focus on this blog again. Knowing that I have to be more accountable for my writing.
Monday, July 27th, 2015
Here is what is on my to do list for the day:
- weekly websites (I have bookmarked a number of websites what I go through every week and read the articles.)
- Blog post
- Sandra outline – Complete first five boxes (I use client names for anything I do through freelance)
- Steve – read through next story papers
- Enchanted Objects – brainstorm idea. (This is my personal project)
Here is what I got done today:
Steve – read through next story papers
This is one of my ghostwriting assignments. I have to take the plot, characters, and setting that they provide and turn it into a 25,000 word book. I’m just starting this assignment and needed to read through everything so I had a sense of what it was about. I also made notes about what things I needed to research and any questions I had. While my mind was on it, I also checked the UpWork website (where I go for my freelance jobs) and checked on a few messages.
I went through the bookmarked websites. While reading, I came across Chris Mandeville’s article about creating a plotting grid (The Plotting Grid: a Tool for Plotters and Pantsers). It gave me an idea about how to help myself with plotting needs. I quickly created my own personal plotting grid to start using today.
I wrote my blog post for this week about how I completed CampNaNoWriMo for the first time. Then I started on this blog post so I wouldn’t forget anything I wanted to include on the first one. I got 380 words on the post for today and started this post which ended with 1361 words. This post I will finish in the morning and publish at start of day.
Sandra – outline first five boxes.
Using the plotting grid I created at the start of the day, I began filling in what I know for the cozy mystery book three plot that I am creating for this freelance client. I had been stuck on this project for a few days and hope that using the plotting grid would help. As I worked on this project, I came up with some new ideas for the plot which I hope will allow me to finish it sooner than I plan.
Enchanted Objects – brainstorm idea.
This has been the project I’ve toyed with for the past few months. It is a paranormal story which is a cross between a few television shows that I enjoy. I hoping to create it into a series.
The basic scenario of the stories will be that a group of paranormal beings need to work together (court ordered) to find different enchanted objects which are causing havoc in both paranormal and human worlds. Each completed mission will help them complete their punishments from the Paranormal Courts.
I already had ideas for characters and the first story. My main focus for the day was to work out the characters. There are a total of five not including the villains and I wanted to make sure I understood them better. I will have more work to do on this tomorrow, but feel pretty good about the amount I got done on this project.
So that was my day. In total I ended up with 1741 words that were typed and tons which I wrote out in long-hand. I got to relax with some television in the evening and felt real good about the whole day. Keep checking in to see how each day is going. Remember, leave a comment and offer advice or even suggestions on anything. Also, let me know how your writing is going if you are a writer. I would love to hear from you.
Until next time (tomorrow), Keep Writing!