You may have excellent writing skills and the evidence will be all around you. Unless you know how to plan your writing to manage your time effectively, all your efforts will go to waste.
You need a plan to guide you so that you remain focused. Some people call it an Action Plan, others call it a Calendar of Activity.
Whatever you decide to call it a writing plan is a right way to go. I intend to leave you with hints and tips on how to plan your writing.
What Are The Consequences For Not Planning Your Writing?
Looking back to my life I see many instances I woke up ready to tackle the new day. I would tell myself, ‘Today is my day to do some serious writing.’
From nowhere a WhatsApp message would just pop up. Out of curiosity to know who would’ve sent it and the message it brings, I would tell myself to 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 I know is I won’t be reading just the message that pops up but a bunch of more messages.
Without realising it, I find myself deeply into text messages.
As a writer, each time I fail to get down to some serious writing, it’s easy to shift the blame on the so-called ‘distractions’ especially working from home.
Working from home is a dream for many but can be extremely challenging. Its out-of-office work environment comes with its challenges.
At home, it’s very easy to get distracted from your writing task. 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 on duty? So to avoid this temptation altogether, do not switch on the television.
When I am working from home, I prefer to work from my bed and 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 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 plan which I use daily. Some people call it an Action Plan or a diary of action.
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 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 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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