Monday, November 5, 2018

Getting Organized

Remember this post back in April? The one where I said I’d be done with my current WIP by the end of May? You may not be surprised to hear I didn’t make that goal. And exactly what I feared would happen did—we’re almost to the end of the year and I’m still not done.


There’s a whole host of reasons it’s still hanging over me, but the bottom line is I haven’t made it a priority. In fact, I haven’t made my writing a priority. Outside of my regular posts here on Across the Board, I can’t remember the last time I posted to my personal blog. And that’s okay because I quit my very well paid, secure job to spend time with my daughter and run our household. Writing was supposed to be the thing that kept me busy when I had nothing else to do. Well, the last few years I’ve had a lot of other things to focus on. Writing got pushed to the background.

Now I’m ready to bring it back to the front. I was ready in April, but what I quickly learned was that it had been so long since writing was my focus I didn’t know how to get organized around it.

Recently, my daughter started talking about bullet journals. She was annoying me with trying to find her a very specific kind of journal, so I finally Googled what this bullet journaling was all about. Here’s a link to the basic concept if you’re not familiar.

During my research, I got to thinking I could use this system for my writing, so I narrowed my research. The result was lots and lots of links out there with suggestions and tips on how to use bullet journals specifically for writing. There’s a short list at the bottom of this post, but if you’re interested I encourage you to do some of your own research. For example, you might want to research bullet journals for your specific genre. And for those of you doing NaNoWriMo, there are even layouts to help you organize your month of frenzied writing.

Over the weekend I ordered our journals (her’s will be a Christmas gift) and I started to brainstorm what I’d put in my writing journal. Below is what I’ve come up with so far. This may change once I get into the journal, but I like having an idea of where I’m going to start.

- 2019 Goals
- 2019 Memory Bank
- Habit Tracker (writing/editing/exercise)
- Word Counts
- Reading Challenges (yearly/quarterly)
- To Be Read (monthly)
- Book Ideas
- Blogging (dates/topics)
- Collections: one for each book to include plot outline, characters, setting, beta/critique group feedback, plot holes, ideas, titles, cover ideas, etc.
- Book Promotion
- Querying and Submissions

I’m already tracking some of this, but it’s all in separate locations such as Word files, printouts, Excel files, and notebooks. One of the standard items in a bullet journal I dont plan to incorporate is the monthly/weekly calendar. I have another calendar I use that Ill keep. That calendar gets bogged down with all my mom/home responsibilities and I don't want to mix all that in with my writing life. Thats how I let it get to the back burner in the first place.

I’m hoping that having a specific bullet journal for my writing will keep it in front of me and help me make it a priority. And besides, Im addicted to journals (remember this post?), so I loved having a reason to buy yet another one. I’m planning now so I can be ready to hit 2019 running. Ill update you in a later post once Ive been using it for a while. I should note that if you do some research on bullet journals youll find that some can be really creative and involved. I plan to start simple. I dont need this to be yet another distraction to my writing by spending all my time creating ornate pages...

Oh—and Im getting a new laptop soon. I really will have NO excuses for not getting back to a regular writing schedule. Its time to make it my job again, and not just my hobby.

Have any of you used a bullet journal for your writing? If so, what has worked for you? Any tips or advice?

Helpful links:

~ Carrie


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

So, journaling and list writing has never worked for me. Keeping track of stuff only makes me more overwhelmed. I found that a morning writing habit has been the biggest boon to my productivity. I just get up earlier. But, if this works, let me know. It will definitely work for some.

Carrie Beckort said...

That's great you found something that's working for you! I can't do that - I don't like to have to be interrupted to get the kid off to school, and I don't get to bed early enough to get up any earlier to make it productive. I do like lists - and marking things off, so I hope this will be my boon :D

Cheryl Oreglia said...

This is intriguing Carrie. I like to write when I’m alone but with a large family this almost never happens! So I would speed write in these unexpected pockets of time. Now that the kids are gone I find it harder to stay organized because now I have more time than I need. Maybe this journal would help? I’m going to check it out. Great post.

Blogger Template by Designer Blogs