Making writing plans

HLF2014It’s been a busy week – I’ve sacrificed some of my writing time in order to attend various Huddersfield Literature Festival events, including the 80’s launch night, a musical storytelling session and a Northern Literary Salon with four brilliant author readings. There’s still plenty to look forward to – so if you live around Yorkshire check out the events diary.

However, it does mean I haven’t been writing as much. Not so great given that there is a competition deadline on Friday that I really wanted to enter; that my novel re-write still only stands at 5,000 words and I haven’t even touched the NaNo 2013 novel since writing those 50,000 words in November.

So I need a plan. Not only that but I also need to dig deep and discover some motivation. The Literature Festival end on the 16th March, so I have no excuse after that not to be writing and contributing to the goals I’ve set for myself. As a result I’ve decided to sign up for Camp NaNo in April to help me finish writing my November novel – That which is FoundI’m hoping I might be able to wrap it up in around 30,000 words so that’s my target. A modest 1k a day that I will more than likely try and cram into two or three days of high intensity writing, leaving me with at least one day a week I can focus on my rewrite for NaNo #1 throughout the month.

plan-of-action-225x300Before then, though, the rewrite gets priority. On days where I’m not sure I can face the rewrite I can focus on short stories – having already identified a couple of possible entries I want to write before July. Of course, there’s also the blog to keep up with: two entries a week to track my progress and share any learning seems to be a good balance. All in all, while that’s a busy schedule I also consider it to be a realistic one; mainly because I’m only defining what I’m going to do – not setting specific targets to aim for. That’s something I will do a bit later down the line, once I’ve assessed how much re-writing there needs to be and how well I’ve plotted the second half of That which is Found.

I always tend to feel renewed once I’ve set up a plan of action, especially after a writing lull. Having it all laid out in front of me, knowing what I need to do and how to tackle it makes me feel like I’m prepared. It also takes the banal choice of what to work on out of my hands – I know I need to work on rewrites so many days versus new narrative on others, so I can pick and choose to some extent but still be aware that I have certain expectations for each ongoing project.

So, through March – on the 3-4 days I have to dedicate to writing – I will focus on the rewrites (and this one short story I want to submit in the next week). Then, in April, I’ll shift my energies to getting the draft of my unfinished novel down using Camp NaNo to encourage me. If I struggle with motivation on either of these, I still have some short story options to consider. Now, though, I just have to get on with it.

~~~

What about you? How do you organise your writing time – do you plan ahead and schedule it in, or just grab moments when you can working on whatever catches your fancy at the time?
Let me know in comments.

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3 responses to “Making writing plans

  1. I have to take my time when it becomes available. I’m a Drill Sergeant and a father of four (two are babies and two are teenagers, so I’m being honest when I say I have fifteen kids :-p)
    Good luck to you on getting published 🙂 You’re braver than me. I’m going to try Amazon

  2. That’s one hell of a schedule! Still, as Sarah says, we all need a plan of action. The difficult thing I find, is sticking to it, especially as things tend to pop up when you’re least expecting them. So as you so wisely told me, cut yourself a bit of slack from time to time and know that the only person setting the expectations so high is….you! We must all try to keep each other motivated 🙂

  3. I like to have a plan of action as well though it does tend to change at times! I’ve actually got a similar plan of action to you in that I’m going to focus on getting my novella written in April during Camp NaNo. I failed spectacularly at NaNo in November but it did get me into a writing routine which I still stick to (mostly) so all was not lost! Good luck with your schedule! Might catch you round a campfire in April 🙂

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