As much as we would like to just say, “Yep, I’m going to write everyday!” it rarely happens without a writing plan. A writing plan is one of the best ways to maintain focus and clarity when you are writing your book. There are people who say you can write when the muse comes to you, and while that’s true, if you write consistently, the muse will visit more often and with a higher potential for productivity. As many of us may have more time to write due to social distancing, I wanted to share with you a few tips we have for creating your writing plan for the second quarter of 2020. But, before you create your writing plan you need to decide on a few writing goals.
Creating Your Writing Goals
A writing plan is only effective if you know what your writing goals are. As a quick reminder, creating effective goals means making SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. A book is huge, for example a memoir can be anywhere from 50,000-100,000 or more words. Obviously, your main goal is to finish your book but that is such a huge goal you will want to divide your goal into smaller chunks. Here are a few writing goals you may want to use:
- Creating your outline
- Writing your first chapter
- Re-writing your fifth chapter
- Researching your 7th chapter
- Writing for 1 hour a day
- And so much more!
Important Writing Goals
Like I mentioned above, writing everyday is a key part of writing but the most important goals cover all the SMART check boxes. That means you need to not just write everyday but give yourself a deadline for when certain areas of your book must be accomplished. This is me speaking from experience; if you do not have a deadline for when your chapters will be complete you will find yourself writing, reading, re-writing, re-reading, and writing the same stories over and over again. For example, a good goal for your writing plan would be: I will have the first draft of the first chapter of my book written by March 31.
Crafting Your Writing Plan
Once you have created SMART writing goals you can then create your writing plan. First off, place your end goal on the calendar and fill in your other goals between now and then. Remember to keep your goals relevant and attainable for your timeline! Next, you can schedule out time through your months, weeks, or days for when you are going to write. The most important thing is to write as consistently as possible. Once you have your goals and plan set up, put them into your calendar and make sure you see it everyday! Keep your goals top of mind and you will be more likely to see positive results.
Re-working Your Writing Plan
What happens when you miss that first deadline or you miss a writing day? Nothing. It’s okay if you miss one of your targets. We can’t predict the future, who knows what will come next. Maybe we get sick, maybe we sign a great new client, there are many things we don’t know and which might make us change our plan. That’s okay, make the changes you need to in order to make your book successful.
Remember, create your writing goals, set your goals into your writing plan, and adjust as necessary!