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!

13 comments:

  1. 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. :)

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

      Delete
  2. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely deserve the reward!!! Enjoy!

      Delete
  5. 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

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

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

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

      Delete
  7. 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.

    ReplyDelete