Tag Archives: diary

Planner Hall of Shame

While undertaking some therapeutic displacement activity I discovered a whole new genre of planners.  Planners designed specifically for writers.  I felt that my heart should have leapt, but instead it sank.

Surely the planner junkie in me would be whooping (much like the way the Inner Goddess cartwheels through Fifty Shades).  But instead it sighed and clicked somewhat despondently on the link.  It was not disappointed.

What do writers need in a planner that engineers, dancers, doctors and flower arrangers do not?  Answers on a postcard please, or you could just write on the back of a stamp.  When was the last time you saw a planner dedicated to the needs of a butcher?  I rest my case.  We all have appointments, commitments both one off and regular.  We all have to do lists (even if those of my husband are always, without fail, on the back of an envelope) and some of us have goals and monthly targets both practical and emotional.

Most of us need planners.  Actually we all need planners, but sadly some people believe themselves to be exempt from this rule.  They are the ones whose necks have been wrung on a regular basis (in fact I could even schedule the neck wringing in my own planner).  What we do not need are twee quotes “to encourage you along your journey”.  I’d love to see what would be selected for a planner dedicated to an abattoir manager.  Okay so I am edging on the edge of facetiousness but I hope you get my point.

There are a lot of things that as a would be author I need to know.  I can find them all in the wonderful Writer’s Yearbook, or on any one of the excellent blogs and websites dedicated to the writing process.  I do not need them in my back pocket or taking up valuable space in my planner.

So here is a sample of the Hall of Shame.

 A working writer’s daily planner – your year in writing  I note this is the 2011 version ……

Mslexia Writer’s Diary   I love Mslexia but why oh why did you stoop so low and why does it have to have a twee yellow flower on the front ……

Writing World    Fortunately I suspect that most people would have lost the will to live just trying to find the link to the planner.

Personally I find it all bit condescending.



For anyone who has read my blog for a while the revelation that I love organising, de-cluttering, setting up and following systems etc. etc.  is not news.  But the question is do they make me more productive?  The answer is possibly not.

The Boss is, on the surface, highly disorganised.  His diary other than his online work diary, is non-existent; to do lists are scrawled on the back of envelopes and filing is a foreign language.  On the other hand he is highly productive, while some jobs do slip through the net it is rarely the important ones.

I set annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals.  I set disciplines for myself and I have a fully up to date diary and keep all my to do lists and notes in notebooks that I keep and can and do refer back to.

Reader, I procrastinate.  I waddle my way through my to do lists.  Not exactly cherry picking but certainly not attacking those jobs which won’t give me pleasure.  Consequently I do a lot of decluttering and sorting and tidying and cleaning and I am always behind with the invoices.

Leaving work to write full-time means I can no longer work this way.  If Book Two is going to come to fruition I have to “go to work” .  Previously I have snatched writing time around my job(s).  Now writing will be my job so that must be the occupation around which everything else is wrapped.

I need a plan.  I always have to have a plan.  A timetable, maybe?  A set number of hours?  A set number of words?  When I didn’t have the luxury of time I wrote.  Now I have the time I am worried I will fritter it away.

How do you write?