To be a writer you have to write…a lot. Much of your writing won’t see the light of day, but it’s critical to keep writing daily. That said, making time to write isn’t always easy. Sometimes your computer systems decide to make life difficult; other times “life” keeps you busy enough; and still other times you need to take a break from work and stimulate some Vitamin D production on the nearest tropical beach with an umbrella-based beverage.
But I digress. This post is about creating an editorial calendar. If you’re like me you have a million WIPs (works-in-progress) all running at once, so it’s critical to keep them moving and meet any requisite deadlines. My current projects, for example, include the manuscript for a book on Thomas Edison (submitted last week to the publisher), an e-book on connections between Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla (to be out on Amazon next week), a long article for the Lincolnian (an Abraham Lincoln newsletter), and my usual suite of blogs. Add to these at least two book proposals and tons of research time for future projects. Juggling so many balls in the air can be tiring.
An editorial calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar on which you schedule your writing commitments. You can combine it with your “to-do” and “event” calendars if you wish, but it’s important to keep track of everything you need to write and when it is due.
In addition to the ongoing book projects, I provide content for several blogs. My main author site has a blog called Science Traveler. This post is on my creative writing and memoir site Hot White Snow. I also contribute to The Dake Page (science communication), the Lincoln Group of DC Facebook pageand blog, and will shortly start my own Lincoln blog as part of my outreach for the new Lincoln book. I have to write for each of these. You may also have articles for magazines, editing sessions, and a variety of other writing assignments.
An editorial calendar can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be, though I suggest starting simple and expanding only when it’s obvious you have to….
The above is a partial of a full article on Hot White Snow, my creative writing blog. Please click on the link above to read further. Thanks.
David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is scheduled for release in summer 2017.