Working in a timely manner

train conductors
“Now that’s something you don’t see every day, Chauncey.” “What’s that, Edgar?” “A writer setting a schedule and sticking to it.”

Following the lead of some of my writing colleagues, I’m making more of an effort to establish a sense of order and structure when it comes to my writing and all things connected with it.

It used to be “Write when you can!,” which in a way it still is, but more layers and categories have been added to the mix.

-First and foremost, the setting aside of at least an hour a day to work on one of my own projects continues, be it outlining, writing, editing, rewriting, or polishing. This remains the primary objective.

-Networking. While connecting with people is easy, maintaining those relationships takes effort, and can quickly become time-consuming. As much as I enjoy conversing (albeit online) with people, I try to keep it to a minimum – unless it’s relevant to the project of the moment.

-Related to that is the reading and note-giving for other writers, especially those who were equally as generous with their time to do the same for me. I may not always be on schedule about it (something I’m trying to improve), but I make a point of getting it done.

-Career-building. This mostly involves researching potential recipients for pitching and queries, which means diving head-first into the scavenger hunt that is IMDB Pro. While most of the time the contact info is accurate, sometimes it’s out of date (people move on), or there’s no contact info whatsoever, or the person or company in question hasn’t existed for years.

*True story – researching an agent, I’d discovered they’d apparently died several years before but the email was still in operation. I opted not to query them.

-Overall stayin’ organized. I’ve started jotting down each day’s objectives and “must do’s” in a little notebook, and checking off items as they are accomplished. It’s been very helpful in making me stay focused on what needs to get done, rather than hoping I remember later on.

All of this is still somewhat early in the process, but so far, so good. That feeling of being in control helps make the whole thing seem a little easier, as well as feeling like stuff is actually getting done.

How about you? What steps are you taking to be more organized with your writing?

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