(Orginally published in the Long Ridge Writer's Group Newsletter Jan. 3, 2011)
January is typically a time when we focus on resolutions, goals, along with what worked or didn't in the past year. And for us writers, it's a good time to evaluate where we want to go with our writing and how to get there. It's also a good time to get organized. Here's a couple places to help you get on the right track.
First, each month Productive Flourishing posts a new planner. For bloggers, there is The Blog Post Planner for brainstorming topics. The Blog Post Calendar lets you schedule posts and see what you have planned for the whole month on one page. I wish I'd found these earlier.
The Monthly Action Planner lets you see just what needs to be accomplished each month and breaks it down by the week. It includes major events and objectives along with a space for notes.
Need to keep up with multiple projects? The Freelancer Worksheet is the perfect tool to keep up with schedules, deadlines and time spent on each project. You'll need one for each week so print out several.
These are free to download with new planners being posted toward the end of each month. If you prefer not to wait, you can pay a small charge and download a whole year of planners at one time.
Next, over at SpaceJock you'll find two really nice tools created for writers, by a writer. And again, these are free to download.
Sonar 3 is a manuscript tracking program that tracks submissions, markets, rejections, and sales. You can see what works you have out and which ones need to be submitted. Not only can Sonar 3 be used for short stories and nonfiction articles but novel submissions as well. Sonar 3 is easy to learn and simple to use.
You'll also find the yWriter software at Spacejock. This is a word processor that breaks your novel into chapters and scenes. It won't write your novel for you or make plot suggestions but if you're the kind of writer who likes to be organized, then this may work for you. Again, it's a fairly simple program to learn and use.
Norman Vincent Peale once said, "All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do." I hope these tools help you visualize and reach your goals.
Lagniappe: Share your weekly goals and progress Under the Troll's Bridge with our new Monday Goals & Friday Praises series of posts. We'll even break out the prod if needed. :-)