Monday, January 10, 2011

An Organized Schedule Leads to Success

As many of you know, I had a really productive year in 2010 and a lot of you have asked how I accomplished it all. I did it because I was willing to follow a schedule - it was my way of eating an elephant one bite at a time. I learned how to break large tasks into smaller ones. here are some of my suggestions.

It doesn't matter whether you write as a calling, a hobby or a business. We all perform better when we have expectations and a way to judge results. For those of you just starting out, here are some suggestions.
  1. Set small, measurable goals
  2. Under estimate the time you'll be able to put in
  3. Adjust your goal setting to a weekly mode, rather than daily
Weekly Word Count Goal
One of the things I've found most helpful when setting word count goals is to set my goal for the week rather than the day. I still have two teenagers in and out of the house so sometimes life interrupts life. To combat this, I set a weekly wordcount goal for my fiction endeavors. Then, I break it down into daily totals. If I miss a day's goal, I can make it up later in the week and I don't wind up feeling like I've failed.

Weekly Project Goal
You may normally work on smaller projects, like articles or devotions. If that's the case, try to set a goal of one devotion or article a week.

Revolving Weekly Goal
You might want to try something I call a revolving weekly goal. This is where you have a different goal every week for 3 weeks and then it starts over. The first week you might complete a small project. The next week, you look for markets where you can sell it. The third week you might spend learning about the craft of writing. Then you begin the cycle again.

Whatever method works for you is the BEST method.

Just remember, that no matter how early or how far along you are on your writing journey we all need to spend time studying the craft of writing. That can be done through reading books, attending a seminar or conference, or reading blogs and websites.

All of these are necessary for us as writers to improve our craft.

So what have you found works best for you? Share your insights with the rest of us - please!

Don't forget to join the conversation,


  1. igh06Despite the fact that I am still recovering from vertigo (and thus, I am still dizzy), I like the Revolving Goal idea. Think I'll give that a try.
    I am also determined to take 2 chapters to my crit group each week. It's doable, since I have a good rough draft, thanks to NaNoWriMo.

    Oh--Happy Brithday, Edie!

  2. I'm a stay-at-home-work-at-home mom who seems to be swimming in paperwork. My day job has tons of paperwork, and then to add writing on top of

    However, at the beginning of 2011, I decided to get a handle on the paperwork with a weekly objectives list. So far it's helped a lot.

    Edie, I like your weekly word count idea instead of a daily one. Right now I'm editing so I'm not counting words, but scenes.

  3. Loved this post, Edie! I am working hard to conquer a workable schedule. I, too, have learned that weekly goals work better that daily goals does happen :) Prayers would be appreciated. Bless you!

  4. Thanks Edie! Making my weekly (revolving) goals now!

  5. I'm hoping if I hang around you long enough, I'll become organized through osmosis! :-)

    Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Ah, I need to read this again and again and again! Thanks, Edie!

  7. just gave me a taste of my own medicine! One of my Big 3 goals this year is to start writing. This multiplied into starting a blog (ironically on achieving your goals 1 task at a time), enter writing contests, etc. Your blog is a perfectly timed reminder that I can't eat the elephant in one bite. Even if we could, we would miss the opportunity to treasure each bite! Thank you!

  8. Just saw this post and loved it. It is better (not to mention stress-less) breaking big goals into smaller ones.