Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How I Make My Writing Life Easier

A few years ago, I was starting a new novel and I wasted time trying to remember my process. I also stressed about if I was forgetting anything. That's when it hit me. Why not write myself a template--a checklist--of steps to do each time I start a new book?


Since I'm a plotter, I used OneNote. I created a Notebook with several tabs. The first tab was named, Plotting. I added several pages for character guides, GMC chart, Romance Journey, and Plot Points. Additionally, I typed up a numbered list of what order to fill the pages out. 

In addition to Plotting, I created tabs for Business, Research, Scene List, and Revising. 

This template made my writing life a whole lot easier!

Why? Having written instructions, an ordered way to tackle the project, and one place to keep all of my data frees my mind to focus on the book. I don't worry I'm forgetting anything. And I have every piece of information at my fingertips that I will need later. 

I called this OneNote Notebook my Book Plotting Template. I use it whenever I write a new book. So easy! 

Now that I'm facing new responsibilities with an actual editor (!!!), I created another section in the Business tab. It includes title lists, deadlines, and how-to-fill-out-the-Art-Sheet. I'm feeling much less stressed now that I've typed up instructions to myself. 

What is your best tip for making your writing life easier?

Have a terrific day!


  1. Hi Jill! We met at ACFW last year. Congratulations on your publishing contract!!! This sounds like a lot of work but I can see how helpful it would be. I'm definitely a plotter as well so I'll have to look at OneNote. What's a GMC chart?

    1. Hi Peggy!! I remember!! Thanks so much. I'm really excited. :) It sounds like a lot of work, but once I started, it wasn't. And I added pages and tabs later as I needed them. I write romance, so I use a GMC chart. Basically it's both characters' story Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. (What they want, why they want it, and why they can't have it.)

  2. I set daily wordcount goals, which sound really simple. But the daily goals are (kind of) small - usually about 3000 words. If I'm researching or plotting, it's a different kind of goal but still written down What this does is give me a 'minimum' set so when life interrupts and I miss a single day of writing, I'm not so far behind that I overwhelm myself with 'I'll never catch up' obsessing.

    1. I do that too! But only when I'm in a first draft. I set chapter goals for revising. :) 3000 words is a lot!! It takes a lot of brain energy to be consistent, and I'm always impressed with how much you get done!!

  3. Jill:
    Thanks for the tip. I have one note on my computer but haven't used it very much,


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