I love any reason to begin again, and the last best one of the year is the start of school. I’ve walked past my writing space all summer looking wistfully in at the books, piles of clutter and the welcoming little desk that I’ve rarely sat at. I’m hoping that finally the wheel has turned and I can get back to having a schedule that allows for more dedicated writing time.
It takes some effort to get the pump going again, to wind up the clock, to get up to speed on the merry-go-round, and that is the spot that I’m at now. One of the first things I did when school started last week, was to get out my day planner that had been buried under stuff all summer. I love being able to see my day in chunks and the Poetica by At-a-Glance has the format that I like the best. This one has the day arranged in a vertical format with lots of room, so I can fill each hour in with the things I need to do.
To get in a writing mood, I’ve been listening to podcasts about writing and setting up habits. I recently got some ideas from Shannon Ables’ podcast about setting up an efficient desk away from home. She mentions using a planner as well.
Shannon Ables’ podcast, the Simple Sophisticate, is a great way to get yourself motivated to move forward on all sorts of projects. This podcast is top-quality and I look forward to each weekly installment. Her blog is also amazing and inspiring. Shannon uses a pen/pencil and a Franklin planner. I have to agree that hand-writing a list on a piece of paper is very satisfying. Or maybe its the part where I boldly cross off the things I have accomplished. I like having lists on my computer calendar as well, but I’m a sucker for well-designed paper products. I love planners with gorgeous pictures too.
I’m aiming to be actually writing pages on my novel during the sweet spot from mid-October to mid-November. To effectively use my planner, I’ve got to make sure to assign a block of time to writing, not just walking our dog Buster and going to the dentist. After all, National Novel Writing Month is coming in November and I don’t want to miss the energy around writing that Nanowrimo generates. Barring any new surprises or unexpected chores, I expect to be up to speed by then, whirling effortlessly around the merry-go-round and cruising so quickly that even the duties of the winter holidays can’t stop my writing momentum. I’m hoping the planner will help give me the extra push I need.