“How do you get it all done? How do you work on multiple writing projects at once?”
The question came from an acquaintance I had met several times at a nearby writing conference. She apparently thought I had it all together as a disciplined writer.
I admitted to her that I had trouble organizing my time and disciplining myself to my plans, but gave her some ideas I wanted to implement.
Do any of us really have it together when it comes to sticking to our writing schedules? Maybe some of you do, but I don’t. However, that is not going to stop me from trying to improve.
I tried keeping track of my writing days by downloading a schedule with slots for every half hour. I didn’t even finish the download before realizing I could never keep a schedule that intense.
I tried rising early to write, but my head kept falling onto the keyboard, and the results weren’t acceptable, even as a first draft.
I’ve heard of prolific writers using different computers and moving from one to the other according to their daily schedule, but alas, I can only afford one computer. So everything gets done here.
What does work? I learned long ago that I am a visual learner. I need to see the whole picture in order to get it ingrained in my mind. For that purpose, I use charts and Excel sheets, but my current favourite is a whiteboard. I list my works in progress and check off each stage as I accomplish it. Sometimes, since it’s a dry-erase marker method, I readjust the goals to make them more realistic or to make up for the unexpected things that come into my life.
Example of my Project Planning Board:
With my blogs, I commit to a particular schedule, and so far, with God’s help, I’ve kept to it. I find it helpful to work ahead, but I’m sure you do the same. It’s nice to go into a busy season knowing that my blogs are taken care of for a few months.
I’d love to hear how you organize your writing schedule. Feel free to submit a comment below.
Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.