By: Margena Holmes
Okay, show of hands—who bought a planner (or you have one on your device) expecting to put all sorts of fun writing things in it for the year (or already had fun things written in)? *raises hand* Back in December when I wrote about planning out your year using a planner I had no idea that 2020 would be the equivalent to playing Jumanji. How many things have you deleted or crossed out because of this pandemic? Probably a lot. There was a meme going around which said the planner was the most worthless purchase for the year. Maaaaybe—or maybe we just need other things to put in it! So what CAN you put in your planner as a writer during these uncertain times?
Protect your writing time
If you’re finding it hard to keep writing during these odd times with family perhaps at home now, add in your writing time and protect that time. With a lot of us out of work from our day jobs (or slowly going back to work, working part-time, etc.) demands for our time from family may have increased. Of course you want to spend time with your family, but make sure you schedule in time to write. That book won’t write itself!
As writers we still have deadlines to meet and goals to reach. I kept a few of my entries in my planner, though some have been moved around quite a bit (which is why I should probably be jotting down my deadlines in pencil!) since I lost my motivation for a while. Putting in deadlines for getting your book edited or published gives you the feeling of being in control and having a purpose to get stuff done.
The What and When
Also, WHAT are you working on that day? World-building? Editing? It’s sometimes helpful to write in what you’re going to work on. If I know I’m going to be working on world-building, I’ll probably need a little less time than, say, if I’m editing a piece.
Another thing you can keep track of is your word counts. Having it written down you can see your growth as a writer. Don’t obsess over it, however. If you only get 100 words written one day, it’s still progress.
My planner has boxes for each day to write in, so why not write down how you’re feeling that day? I know with this pandemic, some of us are not feeling our best. You may be able to work out what you’re feeling and who knows? It could turn into inspiration for a story.
Plan your blog posts
I know I’m pretty lax about planning my blog posts, both here and on my author page, and I need to do this more often—jotting down ideas to follow up on later. Take your themes you’ve thought of and plan out your posts. Will you be writing about craft? Or maybe a great story about what happened at a workshop?
These are just a few ideas to make use of that planner you bought back in December. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon and we’ll have lots of events to write into our planner (and don’t tell me you didn’t read the title of this in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice). Happy planning, all!
Margena Adams Holmes has been writing ever since she can remember, writing her first poem in 1st grade. At her day job, when she’s not kicking young kids out of R-rated movies, she’s sweeping up spilled popcorn from the hallways and aisles (she’s not your mother, though, so please take your trash out). Her days off consist of writing science fiction, short stories, and more movie theater shenanigans. Reading is a close second to writing, and she normally has her nose buried in a book. Her publications are available through her author page. Contact Margena via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.