Grid Goals to Keep You Writing

Hi everyone,

I’m so sorry for my blog absence last week.  It has been CRAZY around here. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic though. I’m sure you’re all as busy as I am. But during those weeks when things become overwhelming, it’s usually something that I love that doesn’t make the cut.  This time it was my blog post. 😦 😦 😦

However, I’m back now. I have my freelance project under control and my own manuscript polished up shiny and bright. But this period of crazy has gotten me thinking…

How in the world do other writers manage it all?

I’m trying to organize my writing time for the next few months. So what is the best way to do that? I read something on Twitter this week. I really wish I had the energy to search my feed and see if I retweeted it. But the gist of it was to get a calendar.

Hmm. I like calendars. I like checklists. I love being organized. In fact, I thrive on being organized. Maybe that’s why I fall to pieces when I’m not…Sad but true.

The article suggested that writers break their large tasks into small ones. Let’s suppose you are beginning a new manuscript. If you have a chapter outline, you could break the tasks down into chapters. Perhaps write 5 chapters a week. However, it also went so far as to suggest creating your own grid type calendar—especially if you don’t have a chapter outline. In it, you could create boxes. Let’s say you know your target word count is 50,000. If you’d like to complete the draft in 20 weeks, you would shoot for 2500 words a week.

But how do you determine your goal for each day?

Some writers write every day without fail. Some writers (like me) tend to write most days, but not all because some are way too crazy with other obligations. I usually write five days a week though.

So, considering I have a new MG manuscript to start, I think I’ll create a grid…five boxes across and twenty down. Each box represents 500 words. I’ll put a checkmark in each box that I write my 500 words. It won’t matter whether I write Monday through Friday or skip a Monday and add Saturday. I’ll shoot for five sessions a week where I write 500 words. By the end of 20 weeks, I’ll have my completed draft! If I write more than 500 words in a day, I’ll be ahead of schedule. 🙂

Drafting a story is the hardest part of writing for me. I love to revise and so the thought of having my draft completed in 20 weeks sounds awesome. Now of course if I find I have to complete the draft sooner than 20 weeks, I guess I’ll have to adjust my grid goals. Besides, I’m a rule follower, If I have a grid to fill within a certain amount of time, I just may stay on track!

I may try this method for my freelance projects too. For me even though it’s a business project, it’s still drafting a new story. And even though I work most mornings, and I’m pretty disciplined, it is sometimes very hard to keep going. A grid box could help here too.

What do you think? Would this method help you at all? I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have a different method that works for you, let us know. If you have a new manuscript to write, let us know that too. We’d love to cheer you on!

Thanks for checking in, my friends. I hope your week is full of amazing things—both writing and other stuff too!

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