The Writer Emergency Pack is going to be fun, I think!
The Writer Emergency Pack is going to be fun, I think!
The Weekly Plan is starting to hone in on your Life. It’s great to say you’ll write 6,000 words, but if you have doctor appointments or your house is being renovated, writing may not happen. Not accomplishing your intention is a slap of your face by you! Each week, take the time to see what you can Really do. That way, if you don’t achieve your goals, it’s a learning lesson, not a failure. What happened? An emergency or other Life Stuff? Or just not putting your seat to chair seat?
Then it comes down to Daily Plan or Next Action. If you have Day X off from work & want to plan writing as though it is a doctor’s appointment (it is good for our health), then go for a Daily Plan. If your Life is as chaotic as your writing organization, then Next Action is the way to go. When you find writing time, you’ll start here.
Regardless, the basic idea is the same: what are you going to start on when you sit (or stand) to write?
Okay, cheat a little. one thing that takes 15 minutes or less that you can whisk out of the way. And the next Writing Thing: Chapter X. Research Y. Whatever.
Oh, BTW, add another page: Accomplished. At the end of your writing day, add a page & insert the day & date for a title. Write down what you did. Or the number of words written.Not only does this give you a sense of accomplishment, it has a practical side, too. When you get back to writing after Life Happens, you know what you’ve done already.
But why go to all the trouble of organizing you writing? This planning & recording takes up valuable writing time!
1) It’s on paper, no chance of being forgotten.
2) You’re holding yourself accountable. Find a person or group that you can do that with, too.
3) Because in a week, month, quarter yea, 5-years, you will get closer to a) finishing the manuscript, b)learning what you need to know, & 3) reading those books you want to read.
But, more happens. You start accomplishing more in less time. You discover you can write more than the 6,000 words a week & stretch yourself to 7,000. You discover that one Next Action isn’t enough. You put down as your Next Action:
1. Write Chapter 5,
2.Write Chapter 6
By organizing your writing, you’re priming your Muse. While you attend to babies & doctors’ appointments, she’ll be getting ready to do her Brain Dump.
But, we’re not finished with the Big Picture Notebook.
You’ll find out in next post, just how.
Next: ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Projects (pt 1)
How can I write a 5-year plan? I don’t know what gong to happen tomorrow, much less during 5 years!
1) That’s why I call them Intentions.
2) That’s why you must.
1) You have writing ideas rumbling around. Simply list them all. I think the book Getting It Done calls it a “Mind Sweep.” I call it a thought dump. Regardless of its name, you want to get all those ideas (good & bad) on paper without judgment (that can come late. It doesn’t matter that it would take your lifetime to write them all, this is where writing ideas go. Next year, and when you’re 68, this page will still be called 5-year plan.
2) Life happens. Babies are born. Friend or family get sick. Someone dies. But in the quiet moments, this and the other pages are waiting to kick-start your writing.
If you’re a visual person, search Google images.
Starting with the 1-year plan gets trickier. Put the current year in the title (even if it’s almost over).
If your new to writing or don’t know the craft, you don’t know how long writing anything will take. But put something down. One novel. Or two novellas. Or four short stories.
Don’t forget to write down the list of core competencies you wish to have in five years. Reorder them by priority. Do the research into workshops and books on those subjects.
Speaking of books, this is a great place to list those books you want to read. Fiction & non-fiction. That’s as much a part of writing as breathing (unless you are a zombie writer).
We’re getting closer to actionable steps now!
For the 3-month plan, name the months & add the year for the page,
Take the 1-year plan & divide it by 4 . If you’re writing one novel, divide it by stages: Planning, Writing, Rewriting, Polishing—or any other stages.
Don’t forget to write down Learning & Reading!
Now you smarty one think you know that for the monthly plan, I’m going to tell you to divide the quarter by 3.
This is where you start to hold yourself accountable.
If you’re in the Planning stage, how long does it take you to Plot? Or create a character?
Or if you’re a Pantster, how many new words can you write?
Next: ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 3)
So many have said and written so much about Intentions recently, there’s nothing I can say to equal the beauty of their prose or power of their delivery. All that I can do is highly recommend one.
In The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way is Dr. Wayne Dyer’s public television special, taped live in front of a thousand fans. He transforms our conventional thinking about making things happen. If you haven’t already, let him give you a profound understanding of how you (and every person) possess the infinite potential and power to co-create the life you desires. That includes the writing portion, too.
Back to ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS.
Add a tab to your notebook called Intentions.
Add pages named:
Now go back to the pages in the the Writing Mission tab, and arrange those thoughts, break them into smaller chunks, into tasks. Even add an estimate of the time it would take to complete if you know. Or put an * next to the small things you know will take 15 minutes or less.
Don’t panic! Help is on the way in the next post
Next: ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 2)
What the strategy you’re gong to use to write your books?
Ah ha! You exclaim, finally a simple question. Or at least a question I can answer simply.
If all you want to do is answer “By the seat pants,” or “Outline,” feel free to skip this step.
But if you want to strip your soul & ego bare to yourself, add another page under the tab called Writing Mission called analyze or strategy or whatever you can think up.
To get to where you were going, just as in any journey regardless if by foot, bike, car, whatever, you need a plan.
But it isn’t as simple as those journeys. For them, you know where you are starting.
In writing, you need to discover where you are starting from.
Analyze your strengths: are you a voracious reader? Can you retain facts easily? Do you have any time, even 15 minutes a day, that you can spend on writing?
Write down ways to apply this to your writing. Make it part of your organizational system, your time management, your creativity.
Analyze your weaknesses and “core competencies“: Are you a poor speller? Are you poor at grammar? Do you have the stick to-ness to be a writer?
Write down a step by step plan, preferably complete with checkmarks, to overcome these weaknesses by hiring an editor or learning these skill, with dates if there are courses or some such you must sign up for and attend (online or in person).
Analyze your opportunities: where will your writing fit into the market? Can you write your novels and short stories slanted to a larger audience? Can current events or fads add to your books’ appeal? This will help determine the genre you will write in.
Again: written, with at least ideas to take advantage
Analyze your threats: Are there other people writing the same books that you are writing? Are you writing distinctly from them rather than being an imitator?
Make a list of your competitors/potential friends. Each one, in writing. Find a way to stand out from them. Then create your steps.
Once again, these are not quick steps that you can make lists and consider yourself done. Brainstorm these. Be brutally honest with yourself.
Next: we’ll put it all in “actionable” format.
What is your deepest held belief, your passion?
What is your deepest held disgust, your hatred?
Whether you intend it or not, these are what will come out in your writing. Rather than floundering around a plot and characters, and having to rewrite constantly, upfront recognition of these areas will save a lot of time.
To know what you are going to write, you need to know why you are writing. In business, this is called a mission statement. Every business has one. Courses and books have been written about how to write a mission statement – this isn’t one of them.
I suggest you Google the words “mission statement.”
Writing a mission statement is not easy. In fact, it’s dang hard. You may not finish it by the end of this blog series.
That’s okay. The deeper you dig into your desire to write and find the perfect words to express that desire, the easier and better your writing will be.
The Mission Statement is the purpose, the Why.
The Vision Statement is the What you intend to become, the realization of your ideal. It’s the “elevator pitch “of you as an author.
[NOTE: You don't have to do all of these at one sitting, or one day, or even one year. Whenever you want to, at whatever speed. Review them when you get stuck.]
Next: ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS (pt 2): Your Strategy page
OneNote, as great as it is, isn’t perfect. Rather what is in basic OneNote is pretty close to perfect, but it lacks bells & whistles.
Two bells & whistle Add-Ins:
Onetastic is free
This EverNote tools designed to handle all pages in the notebooks or tags.
2014.10.01 ( Download2013 Download2010 )
OneNote Gem – Navigator Tools for OneNote 2013, 2010. This Add-Ins basically used for quick navigation.
Add frequently-used pages ( sections, search ) to the tab, and click the button will jump to the page.
Navigation Features: Keyword Tags, Page Calendar, Mind Map 8.0.
2014.09.27 ( Download )
Bookmark web page hyperlink to OneNote 2013, 2010, 2007. Add-Ins for IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Explorer.
These add-ins extend browsers bookmarks bar. We can collect and organize a lot of the links with OneNote now.
Image to OneNote
2014.09.24 ( Download )
Pons create current OneNote object node in MindManager mind map, save and replace mind map as an image and an attach file into current OneNote page, This is a MindManager add-in.
2014.09.14 ( Download )
A tools batch process OneNote objects in pages of all notebooks or selected sections. import from EverNote.
2014.09.07 ( Download2013 Download2010 )
Gem is a toolkit (add-in) for OneNote 2013, 2010. Some commonly used functions collection: 160+ features.
New: Save page as emf image, Rule Line Margin Color, Grid Lines Horizontal Color, Grid Lines Vertical Color, New Update System, Horizontal layout selected paragraphs, Additional tools, Collapsible text box, Collapse or expand the Collapsible text box, Collapse all Collapsible text boxes, Expand all Collapsible text boxes, Change to installed Proofing Languages.
2014.08.16 ( Download2013 Download2010 Download 2007 ) ( How to install Bring to OneNote )
Add-ins send web title, page and images to OneNote 2013, 2010, 2007 from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and Acrobat.
2014.08.01 ( Download )
SumatraPDF Add-Ins, Use OneNote to take note for PDF file in PDF reader.
2014.07.27 ( Download )
Anchor editing position and take notes by OneNote 2013, 2010 for Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, Project, Publisher, Visio, Word, Acrobat, Opera and Firefox.
Pons for Visio and OneNote 220.127.116.11
2014.07.21 ( Download )
Pons create current OneNote object as main topic or subtopic in Visio Brainstorming Diagram, and create OneNote notebook or section brainstorming diagram by one click.
2014.04.07 ( Download )
Send Access, Excel and Project 2013, 2010, 2007 row to an OneNote 2013, 2010 Page, and linked back to the row.
2014.01.01 ( Download )
Designed for Windows8 Modern UI send page and images to OneNote 2013, 2010, 2007.
OneNote page reminder.
An addon to change google search result unordered list to ordered list.
Your Writing Planning Notebook
At the heart of any filing system is the recognition for the need to plan. This doesn’t mean planning or outlining your novel – you can do this in OneNote also – but it does mean planning what you are going to write.
So create a notebook and name it whatever you want that indicates this is for you as an author.
I started off calling mine Writing Life. But this told Muse I could have my writing journals and notes about my writing ideas in it.
This isn’t the Big Picture Notebook intention. No writing stuff should be in this notebook.
So I changed the name of the notebook and called it LBB Planning, but I also have another LBB notebook for my legal and financial author information, so it got a little confusing. A filing system needs to be simple – well, as simple as it can be. I ended up calling my author planning notebook GTD-Writing. You don’t need to be original in your organization.
Perhaps I am the ultimate paradox: an organized writer. In a world of 7,000,000,000+ people, I am sure I am not the only writer who is organized. How we are unlike is the way we are organized.
Because I was a businessperson with my own firm and used business techniques to reach my goals, I attempted to apply these to writing. Some techniques worked. Some didn’t. The biggest frustration was very inability to have an easy writing filing system.
Muse insists on tossing beautiful idea gems when I am doing research, doing nothing, doing anything. I had no way to find these precious bobbles quickly, nor connect them with others once found.
That is, until Muse insisted I start using OneNote. And once implemented, she let loose with a storm of novels and series ideas that has not slowed, nor do I expect her to.
In business, long before David Allen wrote Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, these methods were standard. One of the pillars of his, or any organization method, is setting up an easy reference filing system. For me, that has become OneNote. And, now, it’s free for everyone!
I like it. With the WIP having 7 vp characters, many non-vp characters, and bunches of settings, Hiveword lets me organize it somewhat easily. The Scenes Setting lets me scan down my 117 scenes and check on things like too many scenes in one place. The setting title could have time and weather, too. I haven’t gotten that far in the plotting yet.
That said, I had to number the scenes. It was easy for me add the scene # with the title in Hiveword. Until I discovered I’d forgotten to add a character. I use an Excel spreadsheet to plot the characters’ order of appearance. When I added the forgotten character, the spreadsheet was easy to update the scene numbers because I have one column that adds +1 to the previous scene number. Not so, Hiveword. I had 109 scenes and needed to add 8 more, spread out in different acts. I had to open every scene, click on the title, change the number, and then save it.
But, moving the scenes around was easy with the Scene Sorter. Just move the scene square where you want it!
With the setting scene filter to view one setting, the program dims the other scenes. (There is a place to check mark to hide “unmatched scenes.”)
You can filter scenes in the Scene Sorter, too.
This lets me think where inside this building these should take place, or if the vp characters should have different interpretations of the setting to add conflict. I numbered the scenes as 2-1 and 2-2 when in the scene is in more than one location.
The Scene by Plotline gives a view much like my Excel worksheet, except I have titles in the squares. Not a major difference. Since this has a New Scene option, I might try plotting scenes here first next time.
I’ll update as I use Hiveword more.