Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writer Accountability

A friend and I decided to make a yearly creative map to keep us on track this fiscal year. The maps did not have pirate marks, cartoon drawings of mountains and oceans, or treasure at the end. But, they did plan out our goals for finishing numerous projects (drafting and revisions and queries), and the like, as well as family/health/life goals.

Since I'm on a strict budget, and I needed more than a centimeter worth of writing room, I made my own planner. I started with the back-to-school clearance items at target: Five-Star poly prong folder ($2)*, Smash-Book elastic w/pen holder ($.99), box of binder clips ($.50), and star stickers ($1 - not on clearance).

*The poly folder was a 'luxury' item as I knew the paper prong folders would not last long in my chaotic world. 

After gathering supplies, I sat down and rummaged through google images for templates that tickled my stylish fancy. This is something I want to be excited and intrigued by for the next year. I needed it to be colorful.

There are tons upon tons of printables out there. If you'd like to take a look at the free ones I found they're listed at the bottom of this post. But here's a peek at what I came up with.

TaDa! Life Planner DIY. I'm in love, y'all.

Once I had my map planned out (goals marked, templates filled in) I started my journey. As for the writing accountability I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I made a daily word count goal (6 days a week) and the stars are to reward myself when completed. I've heard of many people doing this before and I finally decided to see if the system alone was enough to keep me focused.

I love it. It is gratifying, and encouraging. It also points out, with its blank squares, when I'm falling behind.

To my credit I did all of this on September 1st and jumped into the words on a brand new WIP, Monday September 2nd. So, I have two stars at the beginning of that week. Guess what happened the rest of the week? I had no idea where to take the story. I'd been trying to not over-plan this idea, but I fell short as a panster. So, I took a few days off and yesterday I fleshed out a rough outline. My excitement for the story is high and I've written yesterday and today!

I wanted to share this Life Planner DIY because it has already proved to be a wonderful creative tool for me, and a great motivator. Plus, I saw yesterday on Twitter that the hugely talented, Victoria Schwab made a youtube video all about writer-calendar rewards! How cool is that? And she even adds more stickers for different types of rewards - which I'm definitely picking up at the store the next time I'm out.

PS: We totally have the same star stickers. So, I obviously make good choices ;-)

I'm attaching Victoria's Video. And below that is links to where I found some free printables.
Happy planning and motivating and rewarding yourselves!


Tina's Dynamic Homeschool - (Year At a Glance w/code box, Goals, Planner Cover - though I used a student planner template instead of the teacher options.)
Picklebums - (Monthly Calendar sheets)
Kyla Roma - (Weekly fill-in sheets)

These are what I used, but trust me there are seemingly endless freebies on the webs. Even planning for menus, blogs, activities, finances. It was A LOT. Kudos to everyone that is uber organized. My little planner is all I can keep up with right now, even though the other templates are sooooo tempting.

Happy writing, y'all!

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