Do Your Deadlines Whoosh By?

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” -Douglas Adams

I always start a project full of energy.  I can visualize where I want it to go and that enthusiasm carries me until life gets in the way.  Suddenly my real estate business picks up and I have to change gears to work with either a new buyer or seller and my writing has to wait.  At this point in my life, the real estate business has to come first, that is where I make my living.  It’s not unusual for me to be working with several clients at a time.  So why do I always seem to drop my writing before I can complete a project? 

It’s because, my clients are my priority.  I plan to work with them.  I schedule appointments with them.  I schedule time to take care of their needs.  Why can’t I do that with my writing?

I can. It’s all a matter of planning and prioritizing.  I’ve taken the Franklin Planner class and I understand how to use it so I have decided to apply it to my writing.  My writing project has become my new client.

If you’re dealing with some of the same issues I am, maybe you can benefit by some of my suggestions.

  • Schedule your writing time into your planner.  Even though I use a Blackberry, I still like my paper planner.  I use the larger Monarch size.  It allows me a large space for writing notes and tabs to keep track of my clients.  I include a tab for my current scene that I’m working on.  I’m a fairly patient person but sometimes I end up waiting for appointments and it’s nice to have something to work on while I wait.
  • In that tab, I also keep a writing journal.  It keeps me on track.  It’s nothing fancy, just lined note paper.
  • With each journal enty, I write the date at the top. By writing the date, I can keep track of my writing success.  If my last journal entry is a week old, I can tell that I’m having problems focusing and need to address it.
  • I also make a note as to how long I plan to write on the journal page as well as my calendar for that day.  I block the calendar time just like any other appointment.
  • I then make a note of what I plan to accomplish during this writing session, in my journal. If I’m writing a new scene, I write a brief description of that scene.  If I’m revising, I have notes about what I want to do to make the piece better.
  • At the end of my writing session, I try to determine how it went.  Did I accomplish what I wanted to for that day and if not, where did this session leave me for tomorrow.
  • My last journal entry is where I plan tomorrows writing session.  I give a brief description of what I plan to do and then I flip back to my calendar for tomorrow and note the time I plan to work.

I run my real estate business by planning the night before what I want to accomplish.  Over time, I’ve discovered that planning ahead can help me be more successful.  Writing is like any other business so now I look at it as a business.  With real estate, I keep notes of my conversations and activities with clients.  With writing, my notes are my guideline to the end and my journal keeps me on track.

As always, I’m interested in what other writers do.  If you would like to share your approach to the writing process, please feel free to comment.

Oh, and by the way, this month I have been working on chapter three. My day job as a Realtor has limited my writing time but now that I have a plan, I plan to implement it. 

Until next time,

Virginia