I have a lot of things going on right now in my writing world. I am in the process of writing a series under a new pen name and I am planning to release the first of three books the beginning of November. The other two technically need to be released by Thanksgiving time as they are Christmas related. I also need to release the first book of another series by the same pen name around that time as the first book in that series is Christmas themed. The rest of that series won’t be. But the first one is so it must be published. I also need to finish up my non-fiction book on homemade cleaners. That one is getting closer to being finished. I just need to fill in several more recipes and then format it and get the cover from my designer.
In case you can’t tell, that is a lot of writing and editing that must happen in the next few weeks. These are hard and fast goals for me, so they will happen. But how am I planning on accomplishing this feat? Obviously I need to write and write a lot each day. This means no distractions and a hard word count goal. This is non-negotiable to me. I need this to happen.
I have found whenever I talk about these goals, that the people I associate with begin to sabotage me and have to have my undivided attention and help right that very minute. So I have placed a few things things into my writer toolbox this week. I think this will help and I am determined to make it work, Here are the tools I am using to accomplish my writing goals the rest of this year:
Writing down my goals.
It always helps to write down your goals. Until you write them down, they are just good ideas or dreams. Now that I have written down these goals, it helps me to break them down into bite-sized chunks that make them not so overwhelming. My goals are now attainable.
Writing in my offline writing software.
I have several things that I use to write. Often I plot things out with good old paper and pen. But the actual writing happens elsewhere. I used to use Microsoft Word to do all my writing. I still use that program, but not for my books. Instead, I have invested in some writing software. I actually own a few of these programs. I have Scrivener, which I do like, but that isn’t what I am using at the moment. I like the corkboard and the ability to set up a writing template and keep my entire series bible in one place. This will be very handy for me to use when I set up a future series in the cozy mystery genre and another in the action and suspense genre. I have every intention of using Scrivener for these books.
But for this particular book and series, I am using a software that I am more comfortable with using. I find it more intuitive and it still offers me a corkboard. I am using Writeway Professional software for all of my books through the end of this year. I will most likely continue to use it for other books for this particular pen name. I just really like how easy it is to use and how friendly it is to use. I need that in order to meet these current writing goals. I just really love this software. The learning curve isn’t steep like it is with Scrivener.
Writing in airplane mode.
I have a wonderful little feature on my new laptop computer. It has an airplane mode. I can press a simple button and the internet is virtually inaccessible to me while I need to be writing. I started using it today and it has been wonderful. I think this is going to work very well as no one can reach me during my specified writing time. It has virtually quieted that time for me and I pretty much love it.
Setting aside a specified writing time and amount.
Prior to today, I have been trying to write a little here and there. That is not going to work and get these books published in the timeframe I am working toward. I am currently setting aside the morning and I will work until I meet my word count goal. If I am not writing quickly, this could mean a few hours. If I am quick, then I am free sooner. But no matter what, I am taking care of the writing first so I can have the evenings free with my family. Afternoons need to be used for helping my son with his school work. So writing in the mornings seems like the perfect time to me. And this will help to keep me from going to bed so late each night. I have set up office hours for myself for this part of my business.
Spreadsheets to track word count.
My writing software keeps track of my word counts and tells me the percentage I am at for completion of my estimated word count for the entire book. This is great, however I am a visual girl and I love spreadsheets. I have a special one that I am using that will track my daily word count, my total word count and then tell me when I am estimated to finish each book. This is very motivating to me. I really want to finish each one earlier than I have estimated. This will help me to do that as I see the progress each day.
If you are a writer, what are some of your favorite writing tools?