Journal

My 2015 Plans for Scrivener Pt. 2

Scrivener has been a key component to improving my productivity this year. I’ve recently written about various uses for Scrivener such as blog posts, newsletters and even template email messages. Additionally, I’ve shared about using Scrivener templates including some resources for these. In my last post I shared about managing templates. In Part 4 I released my Author Platform Management template. In my most recent edition of this series I indicated how I’ll use Scrivener more in the coming year. This post reveals how I’ll approach my increased usage. Next week, I’ll reveal a new template and I’m planning another how-to post the week after.

JournalAs I indicated earlier this week, I want to increase my Scrivener usage in two ways:

1. With my daily journal

2. Tracking my daily goals

Daily Journal

Journaling has become important to my daily writing process. It’s were I come up with blog ideas and solve all kinds of writing issues. But I’ve started collecting numerous Word files for each month.

Scrivener makes managing my journals much easier. I can use the binder to organize my journal in a central location. I’m handling my blogs and newsletter editions this way so why not my journal?

Soccer Ball Hitting NetGoals

I also set daily/weekly/monthly goals – usually in my journal. But why not use Scrivener for this as well? If I already have it open why not use it for this task?

My main question was how I wanted to approach organizing my journal and goals in Scrivener. I could make a new template or incorporate it into my current Author Platform Manager. Either way it’s extremely useful to consolidate this way.

However, as I thought about what I wanted to do, it didn’t make sense to create a new template. Much of what I do with my journal and goals are an extension of what I’m doing with my author platform. So I decided to incorporate these into my current template. If you have this template already, here’s what I did if you’re interested in doing the same thing. If you don’t have the template yet, here’s the updated one.

APM New Version

As you can see, I’ve just added primary folder for daily activities and sub-folders for the journals and goals. Now I just need to remember to kick the year off right and begin using these instead of Word.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonAre you using Scrivener more in the coming year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

Also, in no way do I represent Scrivener or sell the product. All questions about the product, its sales, support and licensing for your own computing needs should be referred to the company.

Is It The End Of The Writing Line? Uh, No!

You’ve written a lot of lately and then just stopped. It’s like you got to the end of your thoughts. It’s the edge and you’re looking off into cloudy nothingness. So that’s it – the end.

Frustration stress and writers blockBut wait, there’s more. Your thoughts haven’t ended. Keep writing. Don’t stop! Like breathing, a writer needs to write. Like running, you need to condition yourself to writing and generating ideas of all kinds, both fiction and non-fiction.

When it comes to blogging, journaling helps. The frequency of writing starts the mind generating ideas and from ideas come blog posts. Likewise, when you start generating ideas they start forming with greater frequency – again the mind’s creative muscles are exercised and ideas flow like a river. I’ve found that journaling and blogging have benefited my fiction with more ideas and creatively resolving problems in my fiction.

Here are some tips about writing:

Writing1. It’s not enough just to say, “Write!” Be specific about what you will do. Intentionality leads somewhere. On the other hand, lack of intention leads nowhere.

2. To start with, journal in the morning. Do as much as you like or have time to do. The habit will get you writing like exercise.

3. What should you write? Well, in a journal like this, it doesn’t matter. Your meandering thoughts will begin to coalesce into specific ideas. Most anything you trip through can be used in some form of creative writing.

4. Take those ideas and transfer them to your blog, story, article or novel. Use those ideas. You’ve allowed your mind to get creative now harness all that energy for something. I frequently journal and find answers to puzzles in my plots, why I’m struggling with writing and ideas for blog posts of all kinds.

5. If you don’t have time to develop all the ideas make sure you get them into some form of development for use later. For blogs I make a content container and quickly type the idea and some notes so I can come back to it when I have more time. Regardless, I make sure my ideas do not fall through the proverbial cracks never to be seen again. I want to use them so I take that seed and make sure it’s gets planted for use now or later.

So when you think you’ve reached the end of your writing ideas you haven’t. Start writing in an open format with an intention and you will start generating ideas that start building into a habit of idea germination.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonHave you stopped writing at the end of ideas? How do you cultivate your creativity? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office

 

Take A Pass On The Block – Just Write!

Frustration stress and writers blockLike a dreaded disease with no known cause it strikes at any time – WRITER’S BLOCK!! At any given time of the day around the globe writers are suddenly struck witless and incapable of writing. With no known cure, l are forced to wait out the sickness until, like the sun rising after a night of stormy terror, it passes and the afflicted are able once again to formulate whole sentences and paragraphs.

Actually, I don’t believe in writer’s block and I just don’t get it. Sure I have days when I write less or just get less done but it’s not something insurmountable, dreaded or mysterious. If a writer is suddenly having trouble there is/are reason(s) and it’s important to nail that down so you can get back to doing what you enjoy. Do I think it’s something chronic like “tennis elbow”? No.

Why do is disregard writer’s block? Simple, ever heard of one of those old newspaper writers getting it? Not really. They just wrote when necessary, for a job – and survival. When you must write in such an environment you do it and move on. You develop a confidence that you can write when necessary and you reach for it like a well-used tool and get to work.

Similarly, with the daily blog schedule that I maintain, I’ve found that the notion of a block goes by the wayside. Uncertainty has been replaced by confidence to write daily and often with increasing an improving word count. I’ve found this helps me a great deal with fiction too. I recently sat down to a book project I haven’t touched in months. I looked at where I was and started writing. I’ve exercised my writing muscles to the point that I can just write without much thought. Sure things can get to be a grind but you can grind through circumstances and come out stronger on the other side – like running uphill, do it often and you get good at it. I’ll share my own experience with a week of grinding in an upcoming post and how it affected me.

But why would you suddenly stop writing? What could be wrong? There could be any number of reasons. I find that journaling addresses many of these reasons. If my mind is telling the rest of me that there’s a problem with the story then I need to explore that. Suppose something has upset me and I’m must ignoring a situation. That could be gnawing at my mental focus – it needs to get out and journaling helps with that.

JournalHowever, there are other reasons you might have trouble writing consistently and with focus. Lack of sleep is one. If you are not refreshed you will not have the mental energy required to write. Getting exercise is another answer. I run regularly but many writers and other creative people have historically taken daily walks in the afternoon. What happens on such occasions is that the mind works through all kinds ideas, problems, emotions and ideas are synchronized.

Also, if you find that your motivation is low. Seek further help. I’ve found the book, The Artist’s Way, to be extremely helpful in getting re-started as a writer. The book explores reasons why you don’t do anything creatively. Check it out and see if this helps you get jump-started.

Regardless of what’s going on with your writing, you shouldn’t sit like the victim of a debilitating disease call WRITER’S BLOCK. There are reasons you’ve stopped flowing creatively. You can overcome them – sometimes in a short space of time. You can live creatively. You can maintain your creativity. Just go digging for your answers to the why.

But what about just coming to the end of what you have to say? Why is it so hard to blog regularly? I’ll address some of these related issues in the near future.

The Black Bag by P H SolomonIs something stopping you from writing? How do you work through your issues with creativity? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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