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.
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.