Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Weekly Writing Roundup

The unexamined life is not worth living.
How much writing did you do this week? Was it a productive or unproductive week? Why?

If you can't come up with at least a rough answer to these questions, you aren't making the most of your writing time.

This is where a roundup of your week's writing can add a lot of value to your weekly routine. My roundup, which I've borrowed from Havi Brooks and adapted specifically to writing, is a simple list of five categories:

1) good things
2) not-so-good things
3) new habits
4) bad habits
5) plans for next week

Beneath each category, I type in two to three quick bullet points specific to my writing. The process takes only 10-15 minutes, and it allows me to reflect in a constructive manner on the writing I did over the past week.

The simple act of looking back on the week and writing down the good, the bad and the ugly can help you analyze your writing process dispassionately. It will help you avoid passing judgment on yourself. Instead of having vague, frustrated feelings about a bad week, you can think though the bare facts of what happened and adjust accordingly.

Most importantly, you can use this information to adapt and improve your writing habits. If your weeks are less productive than you want them to be, this roundup technique will help you understand why, and it will give you ideas to change up your routine. And if a particular week was highly productive, you can repeat that week's patterns in the future.

Just spend 10-15 minutes, once a week, carefully thinking about your writing. It could make you into a far more efficient and productive writer.