Tag Archives: copywriting

Writing Journal 39: Copywriting Workshops

Writing Journal 39: Copywriting Workshops

My writing journal for Saturday, September 20, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Back to normal this morning; I start off the writing day with the novella. I manage two scenes: 2,500 words.

Next week, I’ll begin a new ghostwriting project: a book proposal for a memoir. I’ve already done several interviews with the client, so I have lots of material. In preparation for starting on the memoir, I spend a couple of timer sessions reading through what I have, and developing cluster diagrams.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. Her arthritis is still bothering her, but she’s enjoying the warmer weather.

I eat my toast while reading email, which is light this morning. I need to get to the backlog of student emails, but I can’t see myself getting to it until tomorrow. It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day, and I can’t do it tonight, because I have a couple of student coaching calls.

I’m still loving the bullet journaling process BTW. I love the way you can just dump everything into it, and that you can see what you did, what you didn’t do, what you need to remember, and what you changed your mind about.

There’s lots of info on bullet journaling on the Web; I’ll need to do a blog post about them.

Next, blogging.

But before that, I need to mention that October’s copywriting workshop is fully booked. A couple of people missed out, so my apologies. We haven’t promoted it at all, so I was surprised that it filled so quickly. However, you can book for November.

Leap into Copywriting: October workshop is full

Our October copywriting workshop, which starts on September 29, is full. The next copywriting workshop starts on November 3. It will be the final copywriting workshop for the year.

I haven’t settled the dates yet for the NaNoWriMo workshop. I’ll need to get moving on that.

Blogging and SEO: write content to meet your goals

A blog coaching client asked me about blogging and SEO. In a nutshell: write content to meet your goals, and help your audience, add the appropriate meta data, and promote it as much as you can. Do link outreach. Integrate content with your marketing, and your website. Strive to do more with the content you have.

Next, I do some work on the company history; just 1,200 words, but that’s OK.

Time for lunch, then my Saturday commitments. I hope I get back in time to do a little work before I need to prepare for the coaching calls.

Student coaching

I’m back, just in time to prepare for the coaching calls.

The calls are fun for me, as always. I still need to send the students a quick memo on the plans I developed for them, plus their MP3 recordings. I’ll do that tomorrow.

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to do more with the Christmas short stories, so I create a quick outline and cluster for another story.

And that’s it for the day. My review is done, word counts are done. Another writing day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 38: More On Bullet Journal

Writing Journal 38: More On Bullet Journal

My writing journal for Friday, September 19, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A complicated morning. I managed to complete the nonfiction book edits; that’s now ready to go off to the client. I need to complete the rush copywriting job; that will take a while. I make a good start on it.

Time for Honey’s breakfast, and my own. I read email while I eat my toast, and have a couple of extra-strong coffees. All the student feedback will need to wait until tomorrow. I have a meeting late this afternoon. It will take several hours, so I won’t be able to write tonight. Julia can handle the general email enquiries.

A quick walk, and then it’s back to copywriting. I’ve promised the client that he’ll get it today, and he will. :-)

iOS 8 seems to have downloaded itself to my devices, so there’s short diversion while I get them updated. I’ve been so busy the past week that I haven’t had a chance to check what’s new in this iOS. I’ve heard that you can now copy straight into Evernote, which is good.

Love the bullet journal system

As you may know, I procrastinate, if I allow it. After just a day of using the bullet journal system, I’ve managed to complete two tasks which have been hanging fire for a couple of weeks. There’s something about seeing something written on paper which inspires a “must do this NOW” feeling. No idea why that is, but it’s working for me.

Ryder Carroll, the creator of bullet journal, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign was fully funded within eight hours. And yes, I’m a backer. Not only do I like the bullet journal, I’m also a big fan of Leuchtturm1917. So Ryan’s new “unlimited” funding tier appealed to me.

More writing on the copywriting project. It’s moving right along, so I’ll get it done after lunch.

Ghostwriting: the company history

I manage 2,200 words on that; I’ll need to do more over the weekend. Julia’s scheduled more chats with the client for next week. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum. That’s always a challenge when you’re ghostwriting — you need the information to keep flowing, so you can keep writing.

And it’s time for lunch. Today, we’re having our usual Friday lunch out. Hummingbird cake, here I come. :-)

Back again, and on with the client’s copywriting project. Finally, it’s done. Julia will proof it, and send it off to the client.

Back to the novella

I feel odd writing fiction in the afternoon. To me, it’s an early-morning activity. I get into it, and a manage 1,800 words, which is good. I need to outline the next couple of scenes, so that I can start work on them tomorrow morning.

That’s it for today. I’ve done my daily review, and totted up my word counts. A meeting tonight, and the week is done too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 36: Journals and Story Journals

Writing Journal 36: Journals and Story Journals

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 17, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another slow start this morning. Late yesterday a copywriting client called and asked for a rush job. He needs some marketing materials by the end of his week. He’s bought out another company’s inventory. The new stock is a change of direction for him.

So before I could get on with the novella, and the nonfiction book edit, I needed to rearrange some of this week’s projects to make room for this new copywriting project. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of wiggle room, which means that I’ll be working late.

With that done, it’s onward with the novella. Yesterday’s brainstorming means that I’ve got a firm grasp of the story and the characters, so things should go more smoothly. They do; I manage 2,700 words.

A couple of readers have asked me about journals.

Journals and story journals

I have two kinds of journals, this journal, which is an expurgated version of my daily journal (a work diary, if you like), and project journals.

Journals are invaluable because they keep you writing. I handwrite my daily journal, three times a day. Always before I start writing, then after lunch (sometimes before lunch) and again after the writing day is done.

People keep journals for many different reasons. My reasons:

  • My journals clear my mind; they keep me focused on my writing tasks;
  • They help me to both capture and work out ideas;
  • They get any emotional stuff out of the way so I can focus on words.

Focus is especially vital when you’re writing fiction; a novel, or as I’m writing currently, a series of novellas.

Over the years, I’ve ditched several novels because I lost their emotional thread. Anytime you take time off from fiction, you take a risk that you’ll lose your inspiration.

Keeping a story journal helps: you can talk to yourself on the page. Mystery author Sue Grafton often talks about her book journals.

Journaling is a form of pre-writing, and it helps my productivity. Whenever I get “too busy” to journal, I end up writing less.

I don’t have time for the nonfiction ebook edits this morning; I’ve slated them for tonight.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. Then I eat my own, while dealing with email.

Next, some phone calls, and then onward with the company history. I manage to write 2,400 words; it’s going well.

I’m tempted to eat at my computer, but that would be stupid. I didn’t go for a walk this morning, and I need a break. It’s a lovely day, so I go for a quick walk, then come back and have lunch.

The two presentations are almost done. It takes another two timer sessions, then they’re ready for Julia to check.

More email and phone calls, and then it’s back to the company history book, so that I can read over what I have, and make some notes for tomorrow.

Research for the rush copywriting job

I called the client, to get some phone numbers. I need to do a couple of quick research interviews. I manage to catch both people in their office, with time to chat. That’s wonderful; it means that I can get most of the material I need.

My Livescribe Echo is perfect for these kinds of interviews, because I don’t need to record the entire conversation, just important parts.

The time slips away. Before know it, the day’s done. I do my daily review, and total my word counts. I’ll need to work on the nonfiction book edits later tonight.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 30: Fiction Tips Series

Writing Journal 30: Fiction Tips Series

My writing journal for Thursday, September 11, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Started the day writing fiction and nonfiction. This is my default. I like to get the most creative forms of writing out of the way before the day really starts. I managed 1,800 words on the novella, and 2,800 of nonfiction.

Last night, I spent a couple of hours catching up with student email, and then created the first set of questions for the company history ghostwriting project. Julia set up a time for me to chat to my primary contact later today. So I’ll start on the project tomorrow.

It’s time for Honey’s breakfast. She’s been a lot livelier the past couple of days because the weather’s warming up. Then my own breakfast, while catching up with today’s email.

And it’s time for my walk… The sun’s shining, all is well with the world. :-)

Fiction tips: backstory

Back again, and it’s time to create some more draft posts for my own blogs, and for clients’ blogs. I’m writing some tips posts on the Just Write a Book Blog for writers who are doing NaNoWriMo in November. Wonderful as NaNoWriMo is for writers, it can be dispiriting when a writer ends up with 50,000 words and tries to edit them into coherence.

Apropos of that, we’ll have a NaNoWriMo Preparation Workshop in October. A little planning goes a long way toward ensuring that your output in November builds a great novel.

The first fiction tip, on backstory in fiction has just been published.

I spent a couple of timer sessions creating draft posts, and checked the blogs for older posts which should be revised. I’ve got a mass of older posts on the freelance writing blog. That blog is over eight years old. I love blogging, but keeping up with a blog’s archive as the years go on is a real challenge.

Next, it’s time for the first chat with my ghostwriting client for whom I’m writing a company history. We talk for almost an hour. I like to keep interviews to half an hour; it’s easier for clients. However, we covered lots of ground. I’ve got enough now to outline the history, and draft the first chapter. I’m glad I called in at the library yesterday for background material.

Lunchtime. I’ve got a meeting this afternoon, so I’ll grab a quick sandwich in a coffee shop. I need to brainstorm some material, and I think better when I’m out of the office.

Writing Web content

I’m back; it’s mid-afternoon. I need to keep going on the Web content for the new product-launch website, so I can get the draft done today.

Done! Julia can proof it and send it off to the client for his review. I’m glad that’s out of the way.

The pitch presentation’s almost done. I add a couple more slides, and that can go off for a client review too.

I’d love to write another “Christmas” short story, but I can do that tonight. For now, I need to read over my notes from the long interview this morning, and start on an outline. Biographical ghostwriting projects always take longer than you’d think, because it’s hard to know how information you’ll need, and then you have lots of questions which only the client can answer.

Rats, a headache. I hate taking any kind of medication. I’ll take a break now, and play with Honey in the garden. Fresh air always helps.

I’m back. It’s time to prepare tomorrow’s schedule and review the day’s output. Today’s word counts are very good, and that’s the end of another working day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 28: Copywriting, Fiction, and Apps

Writing Journal 28: Copywriting, Fiction, and Apps

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 9, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I didn’t get to my novella last night; I spent the evening reviewing students’ stories, then chatted with two students about their writing. It was huge fun, but I felt guilty for not working on the novella.

So, with all the guilt, I put my head down and WROTE this morning. I managed 2,800 words. With any luck at all, and with a couple of long sessions, I should manage to complete the novella by early next week.

Amazingly, the nonfiction book flowed well too — 1,600 words. I received responses to some research queries I sent the client. I’ll add that material in the next draft.

Honey’s arthritis was bad this morning, but it’s supposed to be a warm day, so that should help. The cold weather’s been hard on her. She had breakfast while I burned through email. It was reasonably light this morning. I made notes for Julia to respond to important messages.

The new-product website

I need to get this Web content done. Julia managed to schedule a couple of calls to subject matter experts for this morning, so that’s great. If we can get the research out of the way, I should be able to complete the content within the next couple of days. I’ll be busy with the calls this morning, so I had to move the work on the pitch presentation to this afternoon.

The perils of beta software…

Eeeek! I should know better. I installed the latest beta of Evernote as soon as Evernote told me it was available. Horrors… it decided that it needed to migrate my notes to the latest version. Judging by the progress bar, the migration looked as if it would take HOURS. Thankfully, it only took 15 minutes — just long enough for me to panic. :-) Note to self — install software at the end of the working day.

I wrap up email, and head out for my walk.

I’m back, and the phone calls are done, so I need to dive into the product launch website.

Lunch at my computer today, then the pitch presentation.

Pitch presentation

I’ve done the research, so I create a couple of cluster diagrams to develop some inspiration. I’ve got a great tagline, and theme. This means I can move right ahead on it.

Mid-afternoon, it’s time for email again, and to catch up on phone calls.

Then, some reading. But…

Newsreader software: the pain…

I tried to open ReadKit; no luck. Ditto with Reeder. (Sigh). I need a newsreader which isn’t a royal pain; I’ve tried various apps since Google Reader died last year. Feedly’s good, but messy to read in a browser.

So I downloaded Leaf (Mac.) So far, so good. I like the minimalist interface. Time will tell.

I’ve just checked the list of non-urgent emails, and they’re mounting up. Please be patient if you don’t get a response immediately.

Slow on email, sorry

If you’ve sent me a message, please be aware that I’m running some 72 hours behind on non-urgent email. If you’re a client, or a student, and neither Julia nor I have replied to you within 12 hours, please resend the message. We’re using a combo of Gmail, Mac Mail, and Mailbox. A message went missing on the weekend, so if you need a response quickly, please resend your message, or call.

And we’re at the end of the working day. After the daily review, I tot up my word counts. Not overly impressive, but I’m pleased.

Tonight, I’m reading the Christmas short stories I’ve done so far. I’m aiming for 25, for December 25. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 25: Fiction is Feelings

Writing Journal 25: Fiction is Feelings

My writing journal for Saturday, September 6, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Up early, and back to my usual routine of writing fiction and nonfiction before I do anything else.

I managed 1,800 words of fiction, and 2,000 words of nonfiction. The fiction flowed well, but it took a little time to get back into the feelings of the characters.

Fiction: stay with it

That’s the big danger with fiction: if you take too much time away from it, it’s very hard to get back into it. You need to be able to feel what the characters feel. If you can’t, your fiction is dead, because it’s an emotional experience for readers. If you can’t feel it, your readers won’t either. :-)

I know this, of course, but I still make excuses for myself, and give myself days off from fiction. I’ve decided that if I know that I’ll be “too busy” to write fiction on a particular day, I’ll get up earlier to make sure that it’s done.

When you take time off from fiction, not only is it hard to get back into it, you end up second-guessing yourself.

A tip: here’s what works for my students when they take too many days off from a piece of fiction. I ask them to go back a couple of scenes, and copy them. No copy and paste however. I ask them to type the scenes again, because that gets them feeling the characters’ feelings again.

Yes, typing is a hassle, but if you can’t FEEL your characters, you’ll start procrastinating. Then you’ll give up on your story.

Another tip: always go with FEELINGS when you’re not sure what to write next.

(More on scenes, and emotion, on my Just Write a Book blog.)

I fed Honey, then had my own breakfast, while checking over the schedule for next week. I remind myself that I MUST walk today. No excuses.

Next, email. Feedback for students, and quotes for clients. Julia can deal with most of it.

It’s Saturday, so I need to run some errands. Since I’ll be out most of the day, I need to get to the “must do” tasks right now. I’ve got a couple of coaching calls later on tonight, so I set myself an alarm to remember to prepare for them.

Draft blog posts, and writing workshops

Firstly, I need to complete several blog posts for clients, and schedule them for publication. Next, I need to do more research on the rush product-launch website content.

OK. Time for my walk.

And back… Lovely morning. It takes a couple of hours to finish up blog posts, and write a page for our new “Leap Into” writing workshops.

Enrollments are open for the first workshop, a three-week copywriting workshop.

I need to work on the NaNoWriMo workshop we have coming up; watch for that one if you’re writing a novel in November.

With that done, it’s time for Saturday’s commitments.

Phone coaching sessions

I’m back. The daily review is done, and so is the word count.

Now it’s time to prepare for a couple of phone coaching sessions. I always enjoy these. After this week’s tech aggravations, I’m glad that the connection’s fine, so we can Skype away.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 24: Website, New WordPress, and Workshops

Writing Journal 24: Website, New WordPress, and Workshops
My writing journal for Friday, September 5, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another oddball morning.

I received a call last night from a client who’s developing a website for a product launch, so I can’t start the day with my current fiction and nonfiction books as I usually do. I had to start work on the website content, because it’s a rush job.

I read all the material he sent me. Then I created lists of interview questions. Julia will call the company to line up some chats for me with their subject matter experts (SMEs.) I hope the chats will be later today, but somehow I doubt it. It’s Friday, and it’s very short notice. Not to worry, I can do some research on my own. I’ll need to look at competing products and the marketplace, so that will keep me going for a while.

I meant to work on the novella last night, because I didn’t get to it yesterday, but I had the coaching call, which took longer than expected. MUST get to fiction today…

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, while reading email. Then answering email, and giving feedback. I’ve got several students’ short stories to read, but I’ll save those until the weekend, when I have more time to think.

WordPress 4: looks great

When I checked my blogs this morning, I noticed that WordPress 4.0 has been released. Excellent… I’ve updated the blogs, but haven’t had a chance to check out the new options yet. TNW has an article reviewing 4.

The updated WordPress editor means less scrolling: excellent. I do most of my writing in WordPress. Well, I use a Markdown editor to write drafts, then I post the HTML into the WordPress editor, but one way or another I spend a lot of time scrolling.

After that, I set a reminder to make sure that I WALK today. I need to get back to daily walks. I spend far too much time sitting. As a reward for that, hummingbird cake at lunch. :-)

More email, and a post about our new “Leap” workshops for the freelance writing blog.

Then it’s off for a walk…

UGH! Rain. And it’s cold. So I weasel out of walking and set a reminder to do some yoga and a session on the rowing machine tonight.

Finishing up the week’s projects

I’ve made a list of projects which are almost ready to be sent to clients, so I devote the rest of the morning to that.

Julia and I head for our weekly lunch. We missed out on it last week, and I can hear a BIG slice of hummingbird cake calling my name…

Back to the office. It’s time to return phone calls, and wrap up the week. I do a quick review of the week’s projects, and adjust our schedules for next week.

No more tech aggravations, I hope

I’ve got to keep an eye on my data usage with the hotspot — I’ve used 1.5 GB in a day and a half; that means I’ve got 2.5 GB left before I need to recharge.

And… YAY! Cable Internet is back. Bless you, Telstra.

The technician suggested I turn the cable modem on occasionally to see whether the cable has been fixed, and it appears it has… a miracle.

However, that was a real lesson to me: keep the hotspot charged. Usually when I go out, I use others’ networks: clients’, the library’s, etc. From now on, I’ll take my little hotspot with me. That will keep the SIM active, so that it doesn’t die. It’ll save unexpected journeys to get another one, and it gives me peace of mind too.

I feel like dancing around the room… Happiness is a good Internet connection. :-)

Research for the client’s new website

As expected, Julia couldn’t get any interviews with SMEs today. Onward to research the client’s competitors, and make notes.

Evernote’s Adonit Jot Script stylus, or Livescribe Sky?

Last night I was making some notes in Notability on my iPad, and trying to get a fine line. Not possible, really. I’ve been eyeing the Adonit Jot Script stylus, but can’t justify it as a business expense. I may treat myself to one for Christmas. It looks amazing, but so does Livescribe’s Sky pen. I’ve got the Livescribe Echo, but the Sky pen pushes notes directly to Evernote.

(Sigh…) OK, when I start researching purchases, I know I’ve lost my focus. Time to finish up for the day.

Daily and weekly reviews are done, and I know what I need to do on the weekend. So that’s it for today.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 23: Copywriting and Workshop

Writing Journal 23: Copywriting and Workshop

My writing journal for Thursday, September 4, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

An odd morning, but in a good way. I received another rush copywriting job yesterday, so I started it last night, and need to continue with it for a few hours this morning.

Both the novella and nonfiction book can wait until the end of the day. I’m on track with both, so if I don’t get to them, that’s OK too.

Took a break from copywriting to clear my mind, feed Honey her breakfast, and have my own breakfast. I made a note that I MUST walk today. I haven’t been walking. First it was cold and raining, then things kept coming up. Yes, I know, excuses, excuses. :-)

I’m pleased that it’s a light morning for email. I got the messages out of the way quickly.

An interesting message from Amazon KDP about their new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. I don’t write kids’s books, but I coach several students who do. I made a note to familiarize myself with the program.

I managed to get some blogging done yesterday afternoon, and that’s a good thing, because I don’t have time for it this morning.

A reader asked about a blogging process. Here’s mine. It’s simple:

  • Create draft posts regularly. I like to keep at least ten draft posts in a blog;
  • Complete the draft posts, and schedule them to be published;
  • Repeat.

Off for a walk, then back to do the final edit on the rush job. Edit completed, and it’s time for lunch, when the Telstra technician arrives.

More tech aggravation: dead cable

It’s lucky that I got a new SIM for my hotspot yesterday, because the problem isn’t the cable modem, it’s the cable itself. It could take up to three working days to fix. At least I have Internet. The hotspot’s data is expensive, but it would be a lot more expensive not to have a connection at all.

More copywriting…

Email, and then work on my regular clients’ copywriting gigs.

These are on-going projects which come up every month, and they’re simple to do, once I have the information from the clients. Getting the info can be a challenge. Everyone’s busy these days, and for some companies marketing isn’t a high priority. I’ve learned to start nagging for the material I need a week before I need it, otherwise I end up missing deadlines.

Leap into Copywriting launches: the first workshop starts in less than 3 weeks

I completed the “welcome” materials for Leap into Copywriting workshop. The workshop starts in less than three weeks, and we’re very excited about it.

I want this workshop to feel personal to each student; so it’s focused on exercises and feedback. We’ve been testing the exercises with current and previous copywriting students. I want the next exercises to be fun, as well as effective, so that students get methods they can use on all their copywriting projects.

We’ve got several workshops planned. Each has a start date, so they’re not on-going, and each is limited to ten students. I’m not sure how often we’ll be running each workshop.

With that done, it’s time to make some phone calls, and finish up for the day. I’ve got a coaching call this evening with a student in Scotland. I love a Scots’ accent.

Daily review done; word counts done. I’m done… :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 22: Tech Aggravations

Writing Journal 22: Tech Aggravations

My writing journal for Wednesday, September 3, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

My Internet connection died last night. I’ve had problems with this cable modem before. Now it won’t go online at all, and it’s only 12 months old. A tech won’t get here until tomorrow.

Luckily, I’ve got a WiFi hotspot. Unluckily, the SIM card in it is old, so I’ll need to go and get a new one today. In the meantime, dealing with hundreds of email messages on a phone is no fun at all. :-)

So, before I started to write this morning, I needed to rearrange my schedule. Clients expecting material won’t get it this morning. Any tasks for which I need to be online will have to wait, too.

I’ll focus on fiction and nonfiction, which mostly doesn’t need an Internet connection. Then I’ll run errands, and pick up a new SIM card on the way. All going well, we should be online again this afternoon.

Fiction and nonfiction: planning scenes

Fiction first. I needed to plan the next scenes for the novella, so I did that. I created several cluster diagrams, and outlined the scenes.

I created a new character too. This is a nuisance. Like short stories, novellas work best when you have a limited cast. I’ll need to weed out some of the “extras” in revision. My general rule of thumb is that if a character appears in only one or two scenes, he’s unlikely to be important, so you can weed him out.

I managed 2,000 words.

Next, breakfast for Honey, and email.

Fiddling with email on my phone takes forever. Thank heavens for Mailbox. All emails which need more than a sentence or two are postponed until this afternoon. I compose a couple of “sorry, we’re offline” messages for Julia to send to clients.

The nonfiction book is moving right along. I created several cluster diagrams and did some research yesterday for later chapters, so I can work on those. I manage 2,500 words which is excellent. At this rate, I’ll finish the book early.

Before closing the Scrivener file, I compiled the early chapters to PDF to send off to the client once we’re online again.

Breakfast. While munching my toast, I read over the rough drafts of the video scripts from yesterday.

It takes just a couple of timer sessions to get them ready to send to the clients for their review – once we get back online.

Even simple tasks are annoying when you have no Internet connection. I’ll need to pick up some dog food for Honey while I’m out. I keep my shopping lists in Notational Velocity, which syncs with SimpleNote on my devices. I opened Notational Velocity to add the dog food to my supermarket list, then remembered that there’s no sync.

Of course, Evernote isn’t syncing either, and I LIVE in Evernote. I need to call on a client this morning, so I check to make sure that the material is in Evernote on my phone. Otherwise I’d be messing around with USB drives.

More rearranging…

I can’t access my blog post drafts online, so I need shift those tasks to tomorrow. Unfortunately the “do tomorrow” list is growing rapidly. Luckily the posts which I needed to go out this week are already scheduled, so they’ll go out automatically.

With a timer session left before I need to leave this morning, I read over the short story. I schedule an edit for it next week, and get started on another one. I want to create an ebook of 25 Christmas short stories; mainly to experiment with emotion. Hey — Charles Dickens did very well with A Christmas Carol. :-)

Online again with the WiFi hotspot

Mid-afternoon, and I’m back online with a new SIM card in my Wifi hotspot. It’s a slower connection, but at least I can send out the emails with attachments from this morning. Synchronicity: I’d just set up the hotspot when I got a call from the Telstra technician to say they’d be out tomorrow afternoon.

The rest of my writing day was spent:

  • Responding to email;
  • Checking blogs, and writing draft posts;
  • Working on our new program, Leap into Copywriting.

I do a quick daily review, plus a word count, and the day is done. At least I have an Internet connection again. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

My writing journal for Monday, September 1, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

An early start, with fiction and nonfiction. Managed 2,000 words on the novella (it’s steaming right along), and 1,500 on the nonfiction book.

Honey’s breakfast, and email. Then my breakfast, while I read over a couple of short stories from students, and make notes, for the students, and for Julia.

Next: planning.

Getting Things Done — you need a system

It’s the first day of the month, so I need to spend time planning. As I’ve mentioned, I use a modified form of the Getting Things Done system.

In GTD terms, Evernote is my Inbox. Everything gets dumped into Evernote. I sort it out at the end of the day, when I do my daily review and word counts.

Projects and tasks get dumped into OmniFocus and Things. Why two task managers? Honestly, I have no idea. I like OmniFocus because of the Forecast views, which Things doesn’t have. I use Things as an extension of Evernote, even though I use Reminders in notebooks in Evernote too.

And I use lots of paper… I have a large Behance Action book which I use with Circa paper, several other paper notebooks both small and large, AND I use index cards.

I think on paper; I remember something when I write it by hand. If I type it, I tend to forget. I tend to doodle a lot, too, when I’m working things out. So paper wins. :-)

Every page of paper gets snapped with Evernote’s camera. Most of these images — cluster diagrams, notes on a scene, ideas which crop up when I’m working on something else — are deleted in my weekly reviews. However, some I keep.

For example, I had a “warning” dream last week, and I’ll keep the notes I made on that. I have these kinds of dreams occasionally. The first time I had one was around a year BEFORE my life went to total cr*p. In the dream, I was in a car, driving down a very steep, narrow and curving road. I knew the road well. Then the brakes failed. This dream recurred for months. Did I pay attention to what was happening in my life? No, but I have ever since.

Whenever I get one of these kinds of dreams these days, I start to pay close attention to what’s happening.

Apropos of dreams: if you don’t keep a dream journal for your writing, start to keep one. Your journal can be a huge source of inspiration.

Monthly and weekly goals — create them

The first day of the month’s an excellent time to plan. You’ve got a whole month ahead of you — four weeks. What can you accomplish in those weeks? What would you like your life to be like a month from now?

I start my monthly planning session by creating some goals for the month. I write some notes about upcoming projects and tasks. Then I look back over the past month, and try to see what I could do better as well as what I’ve accomplished. We can always do better. :-)

Next, I work out what I need to do this week, as far as client deadlines, and my own deadlines, are concerned.

With my planning done, I move on to current projects.

Two video scripts this week

I’ve got a couple of scripts to do so I create some cluster diagrams, and do some research, while keeping the clients’ calls to action in mind.

Writing tip: whenever you’re writing copy, keep your client’s goals in mind.

Lunchtime — I need to run some errands, and stop in at the library to return some books.

I spend a couple of hours at the library, because I always seem to get more done there. I do more work on the scripts.

Then I write 500 words of a Christmas short story. My goal is to create an ebook of 25 Christmas stories,  more or less as writing exercises. I love Amazon. What’s not to like about putting your writing exercises online and selling them? ;-)

Back to the office to more student and client email. I make some notes so so that Julia can send out responses.

Next, the client blogging I didn’t get to yesterday. I create several more draft posts. I finish two more, and schedule them for publishing. I shoot off more messages to remind clients to send me images.

Done for the day. Time for the daily review, and word count.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.