Organizing Your Writing Goals

If there’s one thing about me that I consider both a positive and a flaw – well, let’s face it, I could name a few, but let’s pretend for a moment – it’s my need for organization.  I’m one of those people who, if I’m not careful, will spend so much time organizing a project that’ll I’ll burn out on it before I actually even start it.

Last year, when working on organizing my meeting notes and recording my work on tasks so that I could charge time correctly to various projects, I stumbled on the work of David Seah.  He makes beautiful and functional forms for organizing your work life and your personal life.  Many are especially great for project management, but honestly he covers a LOT of ground with these.  And as an added bonus, many of his organizational tools are free!  Others have a small cost but are entirely worth it.

Later, I discovered that he creates a goal calendar each year for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have been thinking quite a bit about my writing habits and working toward goals, and, since we all know it’s important to set and track goals for writing (and most other things in life), I went back to his site with the idea of possibly trying to adapt that calendar to something I could use monthly. Lo and behold, I discovered that Mr. Seah had already thought of this.  There is a 2015 Word Counting Calendar available, and I couldn’t be more excited!

seah

It does cost $7, but I have found uses for so many of this man’s elegant offerings that I’m more than happy to pay that cost. To use the form, you can simply fill out the number of words per day, then, if you want a nice visual representation to keep you motivated and feeling accomplished, check a box (right to left, bottom to top) for each 250 words written.

I tend to store Mr. Seah’s forms, and a few others I’ve picked up or created myself over the last few years, in one of two ways.  If I feel the need for a hard copy, I use the ARC organizer system from Staples.  That can be costly, but I love modular, customizable things.  It’s an addiction, really.  For a less expensive and more environmentally-friendly solution, I use some apps I’ve mentioned in an earlier post; in this case, I use Noteshelf in conjunction with Evernote.  If these aren’t your cup of tea, there are other options out there as well.  For hard copies, you can certainly use a simple three-ring binder, and there are other free or cheap apps – for example, you can now edit .pdf files directly in Evernote, which is free with a basic account.

Of course, if you’re not as head-over-heals crazy about organizational tools and visual records as I am, you can simply keep a notebook listing your daily word count or buy a basic planner and note the number each day, or a hundred other methods, too.  Whatever works to keep you focused on your goal and motivated to keep moving!

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