Ep 179: Time to Schedule Your Writing Life Tune-up

WritingEp 179: Time to Schedule Your Writing Life Tune-up

Ep 179: Time to Schedule Your Writing Life Tune-up

Tis the season for many things. One thing that doesn’t roll off the tongue as jolly as a line in a carol is a writing life tune-up. Yes, tis the perfect time for writing life maintenance.

It sounds so boring, I can’t believe I’m sending you off for two weeks with this message. Then again, I’m convinced if more of us would take the time to develop a simple system that supports our whole writing life, we’d stay on track and meet more of our goals and make new discoveries and find new outlets for our work—in part because we aren’t scrambling at the last minute to meet a deadline.

So it’s time to schedule your writing life tune-up.
Your Writing Life Tune-up
Your writing life as a whole includes both you, the writer, and your work. In a few days, we’ll tumble into the new year with big goals, plans, intentions, and resolutions.

But before all that, at the close of this year, a writing life tune-up looks at what you as a writer need for success, then turns to your projects, so you can determine how to set yourself up to nail deadlines and build your body of work. Doesn’t that sound like a worthy, satisfying activity—even if it’s boring?

A writing life tune-up isn’t sexy, but it’s effective.

I’ll be spending time on a tune-up for myself in the days ahead. Why not join me?

I’ll be looking back at several areas to see what worked well last year and what I’d like to see in the year ahead. I’ll be examining things like:

Professional Development
Writing Habits and Systems
Writing Deadlines
Editorial Calendar

Professional Development
What did I do last year for professional development?

Three writing conferences
Subscribed to multiple podcasts that offer writing-related content
Attended several webinars led by industry leaders
Read books about writing
Read other books, fiction and nonfiction
Read articles and blog posts with relevant content

Some activities you might consider to advance as a writer that aren’t on my list could be working with a mentor or coach and joining a writing group or author mastermind.
Writing space and tools
Our writing life evaluation can include practical elements such as rearranging our writing space. Does my current desk suit my needs? Are there tools that made life easier—did others waste time with complicated steps? Is your current writing chair a good fit? Mine is, but the arm rests need a little duct tape repair. Did you try a standing desk and find it helpful? How well did a writing notebook serve you?
Evaluate effectiveness
Make a list of equipment, outings, activities, and input from in the past year related to all of these writing life details.

What worked and what didn’t work?
What helped you improve as a writer and what wasn’t worth the investment of time, money, and logistics?
What gave you energy and what sucked energy from you?
Also, what from your work and life gave energy to others?

As I review last year’s activities, I’ll determine what helped me level-up as a writer. Then I can make better decisions for the year ahead, scrapping anything that wastes my time and resources and continuing what offered the support I need.
Plan it out
I like to get a big-picture view of how I want to invest in myself and my space so I can include it when mapping out any given week or month.

When, for example, do I intend to listen to a podcast or watch a webinar? I don’t want to steal time from a writing session, for example, to read an article about queries. And yet I want to read about queries. When will I do that?

I know, I know. It’s a boring process, but this tune-up keeps me from scrambling and squandering time. Because left to my own devices, I totally squander my time.
Writing Habits and Systems
James Clear and many others advocate a Kaizen philosophy of improvement claim that tiny goals set us up for success; just a one percent improvement adds up over time. We can decide what small steps we can make that will mov…

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