When you put your writing journal online, there’s a snag: blog post titles. I could try to glitz it up with themes, or a word of the day, but no. So, we’re numbering the entries. Simplest is best. :-)
5AM start: fiction, and nonfiction.
I’ve been asked about early starts. Try it. The key is to get out of bed immediately the alarm sounds. Don’t allow yourself to think about it. :-)
Coffee, and then writing.
I do the scene planning in my current historical romance novella that I didn’t get to last night, and then manage to write 1100 new words; most of a scene. I could press on, but I need a break, after two timer sessions, so I’ll aim for another session today.
Re the timing, my timer sessions vary, they’re 30 minutes on long projects, but can be as short as five minutes for phone calls. (Yes, I time phone calls. I’m CHATTY. I need to do it, or I’ll talk your ear off. :-))
After a short break, onward to the nonfiction book for a client.
I’m waiting for his review of earlier chapters, so I revised another couple of chapters, sent them off, and then wrote 550 new words in two timer sessions. The book’s almost done, just one more chapter to complete. I may do that chapter in a marathon session — I want to wrap things up, and I need to get started on a new project, for a new client.
Time for a short play session with Honey. The cold weather’s hard on her arthritis, but she’s happy anyway. She’s always happy, but she can’t express it by bouncing off the walls as she used to do. It’s always sad when dogs start to age. After a touch of the grooming brush, and massage session, she’s ready for her breakfast.
A student asked about keeping track of your writing. How do you sort out what needs to be done, and keep track of deadlines? It can be a challenge. I’ve written many emails to students about organizing and managing their deadlines. I need to pull the best tips together, and write a full blog post about it. Basically, I use a modified Getting Things Done (GTD) system. If you’re not familiar, here’s an excellent summary of GTD.
Essential: the INBOX. I use paper notebooks, index cards, and large A5 artists’ pads to plan and THINK. Thinking/ planning is done on paper, writing on the computer. My Inbox is my default folder in Evernote. All paper gets photographed into that folder, and I review it once each day, and then more thoroughly once a week.
Julia, my wonderful assistant, handles most of the email tsunami for me, otherwise I’d never get anything else done. After feeding Honey, I pour myself another cup of coffee, and get stuck into email, mostly client quotes, and giving feedback to students. I love writing with students. It’s immensely satisfying when students start to believe in themselves, in their writing, and in their future.
I check my calendar for clients with whom I need to follow up; I add those to OmniFocus.
Planning: Leap Into Copywriting.
After handling email, and scheduling some phone calls, I move on to planning our new copywriting training. I love copywriting. It’s huge fun, because every project is different. You can write 500 sales letters, but each one will be different from the others.
Although we have several copywriting courses, Leap Into Copywriting is new and emphasizes copywriting practice with lots of exercises and feedback. It’s for beginning copywriters, to get them started off right. Rather than lots of theory, students will “leap” into it, writing copy immediately. They’ll receive video trainings over three weeks. They have exercises to complete, and receive feedback on them. Everyone’s busy, so students will only need 30 minutes a day for the training.
No errands today, so breakfast, and a quick walk.
Many more clients are asking for videos these days, both scripts, and tutorial videos. I’ve just been commissioned by a couple of new podcasting clients, and I’m looking forward to working with them.
Before I get started on new work, I need to finish yesterday’s copywriting projects — the ads, and the writer’s bio. I set the timer, and dive in.
A working lunch: email and blog reading.
I don’t work during lunch every day, but I have so much on my plate (pun intended) today that I can’t spare the time to lunch with a friend. It’s just me, and some pasta left over from last night. And a salad. Then, because I need to psych myself up, a slim sliver of chocolate cake. I tend to indulge myself over winter. :-)
Copywriting: a video script…
Another cup of coffee. I set the timer, then write down some questions. Questions are key to effective research: make a list of questions, get the answers, and you’re done. If you love research, questions prevent you from turning research into an all-day event.
I research the product and the client’s audience, and answer the questions.
Here’s my “speed copy” writing process: research, cluster diagram, summary, write a draft of the copy. I covered that process in an audio in Copywriting You Can Do.
It’s the same process for all copy, including video scripts. However, when I create a script, I create a presentation too; the video producer can storyboard the video from that.
After a couple of hours, I’ve got a a very rough first draft.
4 PM. Time for a long break to relax and clear my mind. Got lots done, so it’s deserved. :-)
9PM. Back from dinner out. A quick daily review to check up on deadlines. Everything’s on track, thank heavens. My word counts for the day are fine. Time for some recreational reading. :-)