Why writers need calendars: a quick rant

I just brought a calendar.  A real calendar.  Not a ‘virtual’, ‘oh, my phone’s got a calendar’ calendar, but a real one.  I’m sticking it up on the wall after I finish this blog.  And I think, as I continue this column for writers, I felt I should write something that tells you all why writers need calendars, and why it should be one of the first things that you buy for your new writing space.

Yes, even before the comfy chair.

Yes, even before the laptop.

Even before the pen!

The real reason why writers need calendars: Deadlines

You see, writing as a hobby is a frustrating exercise for many reasons.  I won’t list them all here, simply because, reading this, you probably know about most of them.  One of the biggest problems that I find is I have no real deadlines.  No target to aim for. This is the real reason

This was not an issue during my Masters.  I had to have something down by the middle of the week, otherwise I’d be missing valuable feedback from my tutor and fellow students.  This deadline pushed me forwards and made sure that I had something, anything, finished.  Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it was drivel, and the group was subjected to many a horrifically planned sitcom, badly structured play and opening scene of a film that didn’t quite… work.

But now, as I sit alone watching the cat sleep on the sheets that he’s not really allowed on, things can get in my way.   You know, pesky things like part-time work, relationships and bank balances (there was no order there, I’d like to point out).  You know when the rent is due, you know when the bill for the TV will come out, and you know when you get paid.

But could you tell me when that competition closes?  You know, the one that you saw last month and thought the play you were working on would be perfect for?  The one that you’ve been pushing towards all month, fine tuning that masterpiece.  Of course not.  Because your loved one’s happiness don’t depend on you finishing that script.

And before you know it, that competition deadline’s sailed by, and you’re left with yet another half-finished piece of work and no desire (or reason) to get it done. Luckily I can help with lack of motivation.

How it helps

A calendar will help with all that.  Mark down the dates that you want to have things done by.  You might still miss them, it’s true.  But you’ll stand a better chance if you’ve got a constant reminder every time you sit down and type.  Or write (sorry, poets).

A calendar won’t force you to do something, and you may find that you still miss a lot of deadlines.  However, you’ll know exactly what you missed, when you missed it, and you can resolve to fix it for the next time.

And a calendar won’t mean you’ll win the competitions.  We know that we are all going to suffer rejection almost all of the time.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up and not even bother entering.  Nothing ventured…

So there.  My argument for why writers need calendars.  Buy one.  Go on.  It’s January, they’re usually cheap.

Picture credit: Pexels – great free images here.

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