Sixty second writing tips: a plan a day keeps the panic away

Ever been overwhelmed by the enormity of your writing? By the sheer scale of the task? Its complexity – especially as you start getting out to book length?

sleeping-man-with-newspapers-mdIt’s something every writer slams into sooner or later. Especially if you’ve got a publishing deadline – one agreed with a publisher, or one you’ve created yourself to release a book.

There’s the writing, the revising, the proof-editing, the line-editing, the typesetting, the production process, the marketing plan the – aaaargh! You get the picture.

To me the answer’s in the planning – in identifying what has to be done, setting out the dependencies, identifying the critical time-constraints, then systematically working through them.

The twist I put on it – which I’m sure I’m not the only one to envisage – is that this works to any scale. Not just the big-ticket project of a book, but even figuring out how a writing session is going to proceed, before plunging into it.

It means I can figure out when and how I’m going to deal with correspondence, social networking, revisions, editing, the writing itself, and so on.

At that level, fifteen minutes sorting out what has to be done that day can save hours of floundering later.

Even ten minutes, actually. Time well spent. I find it’s handy. Do you?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013


5 thoughts on “Sixty second writing tips: a plan a day keeps the panic away

  1. I wish I could be so organised. The last few months my husband and I have had hospital/doctor/dentist appointments four days a week. Keeping up with correspondence, two blogs and knowing I should be working on book two in the series… overwhelming sometimes. What you have described sounds like a great plan.
    Thank you, I shall endeavour to take the hints and put them into practice. Susan

  2. Certainly this planning ahead can create a structure which keeps me focussed. There are days though that I just sit down, start writing, and get in the flow without an idea in my head. I can write fluidly for hours without a note to hand. Yep, they’re few and far between though. Good advice Matthew. 🙂

    1. I find daily ‘micro planning’ invaluable – even as a few minute worked out in my mind. Currently I’m juggling two books in last stages of publisher proof with another I have to write, on top of everything else. Gets awkward without some kind of structure.

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