This is an update to this Process post.
Stephanie Christine asked if I was still using a bujo for writing and the short answer is YES.
I actually filled up an entire notebook! Okay, this might seem like a dumb thing to be proud of — unless you saw how many notebooks I have with 10% (or less) of the pages used and then it’s stuck on a shelf, never to be used again.
Here’s proof that I filled up an entire notebook! You can see the word count stickers I continued to use all the way to the end, plus random notes to myself as I needed it.
My only complaint with this method was cutting out the word count stickers. They were just a hair too long to fit into my notebook without hanging out, and it annoyed me when it hung off the side or got crooked.
The Etsy shop where I bought the Tomoe River notebooks (Paper Penguin Co) had a new notebook they intended to be used as a monthly calendar/planner. It was so colorful and artsy with the watercolor splashes that it inspired me to give it a try, even though it’s not the super nice paper I like. I got the grid version, and now instead of having to cut out the word count stickers, I just color in the grids under each day’s totals. It’s not dated, so if I want to skip days, or need to go over to another day, it works perfectly.
(You can see those massive weekend counts I had in order to finish!)
My only slight gripe is that it bugs me that each day isn’t symmetrical. But I’m trying to just go with the flow and not be anal about one day having more space than another. It’s actually great (if I’d just get over my appreciation for symmetry) because I can’t write as much during the week as I can on the weekend, assuming That Man stays out of my hair.
I’m still using my other Tomoe River notebook that I customized a bit. For example, when doing my first pass edits, I make a scene list, a timeline, and a fresh character list, along with a master list of any questions or things I want to consider changing that involve more thought. It also has all my research notes in it. I know a ton of Maya mythology after the Bloodgate series – but did not know quite as much Aztec mythology as I needed for Queen and I had to look a bunch of things up. There are *many* similarities, but unique items too that I had to document.
I’m also using a combination of several planners at the moment – but I haven’t settled into a routine with them yet. I picked up both the New Release Planner and the Book World Domination planner from Nicole. There are pieces of each one that I like a lot and have printed out, but I keep forgetting to use as much as I need to. These are especially helpful for planning out release schedules. I need a calendar to do that – and I don’t want to have to draw one in my bujo.
That’s one thing I’m still adjusting to: lead time. I have pre-order dates to set, coordination with the formatter, cover artist, editor, beta readers, etc. It’s not just MY date I need to keep track of. I’ve already had one release go out with my crap temporary cover and it was my lack of enough cushion in the schedule to get other people’s things in place. I’m also struggling with the best way to keep track of the various promotions I try, for which book, how much it cost, and what the ROI was. I’m getting better at this with the New Release Planner though the sheets provided are for a single book – not across all my spending each month.
AND yes, I bought a different downloadable planner that is focused on tarot: The Biddy Tarot Planner. This one is more weekly and monthly focused with spreads to help you tap into your intuition. I’m behind on it already, but I’ve been trying to pull a card each day and think about what it may mean. It came with a cool printable tarot card set that’s the perfect size to stick into the planner for the card of the week. I printed them on sticker paper! However now I’m back to having to cut things out, which yeah, I find annoying (I can’t cut straight and back to the symmetry thing again).
For each of these downloadable planners, I printed out the pages I liked and used an ARC system to make my own pseudo 3-ring binder. I’m reusing the cover I made ages ago because I love how it looks – even though I get annoyed because things slip around.
So what has all this tracking accomplished, you ask? The numbers speak for themselves and you can see exactly when I started to shake things up and get some traction after a disappointing 2016.
- May: 2,324 words
- June: 49,281 words
- July: 19,888 words
- August: 3,589 words (a bit of a hiccup here with school starting, Princess went to college)
- September: 29,851 words
- October: 38,265 words
- November: 41,194 words
- December: 17,711 words (this would have been way larger if That Man hadn’t planned an Eureka Springs trip on my week I’d taken off from the Evil Day Job to write)
- January: 61,434 and the month isn’t over yet.