You may have excellent writing skills and the evidence will be all there. Unless you know how to plan your writing so that you can manage your time effectively, your writing talent and effort will go to waste. What you need is a plan that guides you to remain focused. Some people call it an Action Plan or a Calendar of Activity. Whatever name you may want to give it, a writing plan is a right way. My intention is to leave you with some tips on how to plan your writing.
The consequences for lack of planning your writing
Looking back to my life I see many times I woke up looking forward to a new day with a fresh start. I would tell myself, ‘Today is my day to do some serious writing’ but from nowhere a WhatsApp message would just pop up.
Out of curiosity to know who would have sent the message and the message is about, I would tell myself, ‘Calm down. There is no real harm in making a quick check.’ Most writers have been there and know it doesn’t stop there.
The next thing is I will be reading not only the message that has popped up but a bunch of a lot of messages. Without realising it, I find myself deeply into text messaging. As a writer, each time I fail to get down to some serious writing, it is easy to put the blame on the so-called ‘distractions’ surrounding me. More so, if I am working from home.
Working from home is a dream for many but can be extremely challenging. Its out-of-office working environment comes with its own set of challenges. It’s very easy to get distracted away from your writing task at hand. Watching television is one of the culprits to watch out for. The best way to avoid it completely is to treat your work-day exactly as you would if you were in the office.
If you were at your workplace, would you be allowed to watch a film whilst on duty? So to avoid this temptation altogether, do not switch on the television. When I am working from home, I usually prefer to work from my bed using my laptop. I have always regretted in the end. Very often I would fall asleep in the middle of ‘writing’ after getting too cosy.
To solve this once and for all, I resolved to get myself up first thing in the morning and find somewhere I can sit upright to work. This has really helped me to stay in a productive frame of mind for the rest of the day. Temptations or distractions do come no matter what. You may think, ‘Let me start with doing some chores so that I leave all the time to writing.’
In real life, we find that these distractions are unavoidable. For example, watching television and doing chores, are pretty normal. They are part of our day to day living. I think what matters most is having a written work plan to guide you. I have my own plan which I use on a daily basis. Some people call it an Action Plan or a diary of action.
Basically, this plan is a diary of activities that I want to do, including my writing. When you place all the tasks you want to do on your calendar, it is harder to forget to do things.
Is this the way you plan your writing?
I write down all the things that I need to accomplish for the day. I include any appointments that I might have along with little things such as shopping or be on Facebook. I make sure that I highlight the most important things to be finished on that particular day in order to meet deadlines. I also include the timeline. By this, I mean I get more specific. I describe certain tasks that need to be finished. I write down when I have to finish them and starting with the most urgent ones.
To add, I leave out time on the calendar for refocusing. I leave for 1 hour at the end of the day. It’s time to stop to see how much progress I would have made. I go to my action plan and check out the things that I accomplished and those that did not go according to plan. This will help me to assess the effectiveness of my plan and review things that need to be allocated more time. In other words, I then adjust my plan accordingly.
The key things to remember are that the plan should always have 3 elements to it. Firstly, it should spell out what will be done. Secondly, it should specify the time in order to be clearer when you will do it. Lastly, I need to explain if there are any resources needed for doing a particular task such as money or transport.
If you have any questions related to how you can plan your writing please leave them below. Also, feel free to share your views or to leave comments below. I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible.
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