SETTING UP YOUR WWW (WRITING WORK WEEK)
The debate is ongoing as to whether an author should or should not have a set schedule for writing. That choice is uniquely one’s own. But for those who feel a weekly writing schedule is a necessity, this sample WWW (or Writing Work Week) can help get you on track. For those with families, your WWW may be somewhat abbreviated, but you can still apply it to achieve success.
Monday = Manuscript
Monday is a good day to work strictly on crafting your manuscript. For some, this means simply taking pen and paper or sitting at the computer and getting the words on paper. You may be one who enjoys free writing, or you may be more comfortable working from an outline. Your process does not matter, so long as it is the way with which you are most successful getting your ideas out of your head. This is not the time to edit or revise. This is the time to let the creative juices flow. Some authors prefer to write a set number of words or pages. Others will write for a certain length of time. Yet others continue until the writing well runs dry, and then they take a break. I am the latter. My fingers will type until my mind is finished. I may go back later in the afternoon and write well into the night. Whatever your preference, just write however long you need to make a dent in your book. There will be plenty of time later in the week to tweak it.
Tuesday = Technical
Tuesday is the time to check what was written on Monday. Read everything, make notes, annotate, fix what doesn’t work, celebrate what does. This can be the day to work one-to-one with the editor, whether on the current project or one that is in the process of being edited. Be critical of your own work. Do you like it? Chances are, your readers will like it, too. Are there confusing transitions or redundant word choices? Change them. I like to go over my Monday manuscript with Microsoft Word in Track Changes mode. Using this markup tool is an excellent way to get my work on track. If I’m reading a printed version of my manuscript, I mark it up with colored ink and use pads of tiny sticky notes.
Wednesday = Web
Wednesday offers the chance to increase your online presence. This day is used for updating personal websites, checking emails, searching for opportunities to be in the public eye, and making sure everything someone may see online is accurate. After all, in this age of electronics, what others read reflects on an author’s talents and abilities. Does your personal website have outdated information? Update it. Have you written something for your blog lately? Do it today. I have a list of sites I visit every Wednesday, and I don’t stop until I have checked each one of them.
Thursday = Research
Thursday is for all things related to your chosen topic. Research is often underrated, and even more often neglected; however, an author who fails to perform due diligence on his/her topic may find the reading audience giving unfavorable reviews on his/her work. If your book is set in a location you have never visited, it will show as unprofessional to those who have visited the location. Do your characters reflect the period of time in which you are writing? Does their dialogue fit with their age or ethnicity? Did you portray historical events accurately? Do the research and give that level of authenticity to your work. I have a timeline of birthdates and important events with correlating relationships for each one of my characters, as well as historical references to keep me on track as I write. A discerning reader can pick out an error and leave you a bad review, so be safe and do the research.
Friday = Funding
Friday is when your focus turns to money matters. Writing is only one aspect of being a successful author. Unless you write solely for the personal satisfaction of having written a book, you must have a mind towards selling your work to others. Funding involves getting your book into the eyes and hands of the public. Books signings, tours, social media, libraries, bookstores, schools, radio, and television are a few of the funding sources you should investigate. I use Friday to make and post video promos to Facebook and YouTube, create scripts to use when calling radio stations, package books to present to libraries and bookstores, pre-sign books for tours, and craft emails to potential buyers. Be passionate about funding; it is what pays your bills and makes it possible for you to write more books.
Saturday = Strengthen
Saturday is perfect for taking stock of your work’s strengths and weaknesses. Take everything you have done during the week and apply it to your book. Reread your manuscript and determine if the changes you made on Tech day are still relevant. Still love your writing? Great. Continue. Are the blurbs or teasers you put online reflected in your manuscript? Be absolutely sure they match. Check to see if your research is relevant and find where you might need to insert what you’ve discovered. Not happy with what you’ve done so far? Fix it. See your work with a reader’s eyes. Love what you are presenting. This is the way to make your writing stronger.
Sunday = Settle
Sunday should be a settled day—a time to take a break from the previous week’s work. Let your mind and fingers rest. I find a full day away from my book keeps my mind fresher when I come back to my manuscript on Monday. Does it mean you will not think about your book? Probably not. But by allowing yourself to settle, you will be ready to tackle the WWW with renewed vigor and be the successful author you envision.