Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Writer's Calendar and Toblerone

I have 'The Writer's Calendar' hanging on the wall behind my computer so that every time I look up from the laptop's screen I see it. What is a writer's calender, exactly? Well, let me tell you about it. 

Last summer, I attended a writing workshop put on by an amazing writing instructor, William Bernhardt. I learned a ton about the craft that I never heard anything about in college. If you are in the market for a good writing workshop, I would encourage you to check out his website: William Bernhardt Writing Programs. If you decide to attend this fabulous writing program, I should warn you that the homework is intense. 

At the end of the seminar I attended, Bill handed out what he labeled 'The Writer's Calendar'. It is a week by week breakdown that helps you stay on track to finish a top-quality manuscript in six months. 

Yes, I said six months. 

I don't have this amazing calendar stuck on my wall where I can always see it because I strictly follow it's schedule...because I don't . Rather, I use it as a guideline. For weeks 6-18 it says to write 5 pages everyday, 10 on Saturdays with no editing. Just keep moving ahead. Do additional writing to complete 10% each week. 

This seems a bit strenuous to me as sometimes two pages can take the entire 5 to 6 hours I set aside for my writing each day. Some days I have to skip writing all together in order to fulfill some other obligation I am committed to. Do you see my problem with such a strict schedule? *grin* It took me almost 2 years to finish my first manuscript. 

I've recently submitted that one and will be starting on #2 soon. I am going to try to stick closer to this wonderfully well-intentioned calendar, but I bet it still takes me at least a year. *laughs*

How about you? How long does it take you to write a good quality MS from start to finish? Do you write everyday? Only when you feel like it? I would love to hear your version of completing an MS. 


Today, I am enjoying an individually wrapped Toblerone as I sit here and type this post. I will probably eat at least 2 more to make up for the fact that they are individually wrapped and not the big ones I like so much. Haven't heard of them? You poor misguided soul!


Sherri Lackey said...

I kind of sort of have a writing schedule that I try to follow five days a week. I don't write on Saturday as that is my "alternative creative outlet" day in which I make jewelry, crochet, garden, etc.

I started my current WIP last October. It is currently in its third revision. I have approximately 20 pages left to edit and then...and then...maybe I'll edit it again. :)

Lauren said...

I love the idea of a writer's calendar. I should start one for myself!

I try to write something every day; I have a couple of different projects right now that I'm working on. :)

Mmmm, Toblerone. I haven't had Toblerone in a while.

Susan Francino said...

I love Toblerone!!! Interestingly, they are one of the only chocolates that I like better in milk than in dark.

And I drafted most of my current WIP in one summer. It was kind of insane, but since I'm still a student, I was able to stick to a strenuous schedule and get it done.

Speaking of which...I need to decide what my goals are for this summer. Hmmmmmm.

Heather said...

I just created an editing calender for my humor work. I shall be seeking out individually wrapped toblerone for my reward!

Good luck on your completed and your in-progress manuscript.

Morgan said...

Takes me about three months to pants a clean, nearly-ready manuscript. Then another month to six weeks of tweaking from betas. Then I take a break, query for a bit, and dive into the next one. So I'm only able to pop out 2 books a year right now. (Some people are doubling that easy... I don't know how they do it!)

And yaaaaaay for YOU, Sabrina! I'm so stoked for you!!!! :D

Samantha said...

I like the idea of a writer's calendar. I might make one though that's doable for my schedule :D

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Way to go! You'll edit until the day you submit and maybe even after, but hey, no big!!!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Make your day, go find the Toblerone!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Sounds like a new 1st draft to me!!!!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

You definitely deserve the reward!!! Enjoy!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Ah, thanks, dear heart! And way to go on 2 books/year. I am far from that, but I hope to get better!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

You can do it!!!! Don't forget to reward yourself after with your version of Toblerone!!

Dawn Malone said...

When I wrote my first full-length manuscript, I stuck to a 1,000 words a day schedule. If, by the end of the week I was behind, I made up for it on the weekend. It was hard, but by the end of five weeks, I had written a rough draft of my first MG novel. That was in 2008. I did one more revision that year, then started submitting it. My next manuscript took longer because I didn't follow a schedule. From rough draft to submission-worthy manuscript, it took me two years. I like the idea of a schedule or calendar. I work best with deadlines and concrete goals. Thanks for the link to his workshop. I'm going to check it out.