Tag Archives: plotting

Busy? Break Your Writing Projects Into Small Chunks

I have a confession: this blog has been going strong for 3+ years and lately, because the other editor (Mel) and I have been really, really busy, we haven’t been posting nearly as often as we used to.

That’s because writing takes time, and with her new gig as a publisher (everyone say CONGRATULATIONS to her, by the way) and my 5-6 academic jobs (and I’m not exaggerating there!), we’re fairly low on time between the two of us.

Time slips though my fingers like sand falls from the hourglass and - wait, I don't have time to write poetry!
Time slips though my fingers like sand falls from the hourglass and – wait, I don’t have time to write poetry!

Today I was helping a student plot out a large paper assignment and the advice I gave him is the advice I need to follow myself and that I recommend anyone without a lot of time and a penchant for writing follow: break down your writing assignment into small, digestible chunks you can finish in about a half-hour every night.

I know that sounds pretty easy, but being able to judge your own ability to get a task done isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are a few tips that’ll help make the process easier.

1. Planning should be sessions 1-3, at the least. Planning takes time, and sometimes people feel that if they aren’t at a keyboard typing, they aren’t getting any work done and that simply isn’t true. You’re going to need to start planning before you can really start doing anything else.

My First NaNoWriMo Project

As you may have read in previous posts, my fellow contributors and I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. This is actually my first year participating in the novel-writing project. Mainly, I believe that’s because I haven’t ever had a very disciplined approach to writing. I have to be in an I-just-feel-like-it mood. And when I’m not in that mood, I blame it on writer’s block. But then, as an English major in college, I was forced to write. And again, when I began this blog, I was forced (by myself–which was kind of the point) to write. And so I figured being forced (by a writing project) to write a novel, I might actually develop the discipline to do it one day. So I began.

I’m a planner. When it comes to school, I plan out how each quarter will go and how long it will take me to graduate; I plan which classes to take and how they’ll benefit me in the long run. I’m the same way with budgeting, divvying up money for groceries, bills, and miscellaneous expenses. I have literarily spent hours working on spreadsheets that help me plan out my future. So you’d think that I’d like the idea of planning a novel–of sitting down and plotting out each twist and turn–but I don’t.