November 30, 2011

The Working Writer's Daily Planner - Susan Barclay

I imagine December will be a blur as our family prepares for the Christmas holidays. It will be challenging to find time to write, but I still hope to get some writing done. A tool that will hopefully help is one that I discovered last year around this time: The Working Writer's Daily Planner published by Small Beer Press.

Self-described as a "calendar made by writers for writers", this is a potentially "powerful motivational tool and concrete proof of [one's] commitment to write." I add the word "potentially", since it definitely helps if your planner doesn't get lost in a pile of papers! (ahem)

For several months of this year, this planner was indeed helpful. It would have been helpful the whole year, but for its disappearance from July through October. (I know, I have a clutter problem). Each week has a "double-page spread with  a handy list of upcoming deadlines. Every month has a planning page." There's also a simple but effective Submission Tracker; lots of information about upcoming contests, opportunities to apply for grants and residencies; writing prompts; reading lists; etc.

Last year this was on my Christmas wish list and purchased for me by my ever-loving husband. He doesn't like to buy me clothes (anyone out there relate?), I'm not big on jewellery or perfume, and my lips might like chocolate, but my hips won't. This is one gift my husband could be sure met both my needs and wants. I just learned that the Trade edition of this was cancelled this year and scheduled to be released as a black-and-white print and ebook only, so I guess I'll be getting it for myself instead of asking for it as a gift. My husband will have to come up with another idea. Or maybe I'll ask him for Pick Four, the updated version of Zig Ziglar's Performance Planner, or The Writer's Digest Weekly Planner. Anyone tried either of those?

What's on your writer's wish list, and/or what tool have you found most helpful in the process of writing?

[For more of my writing, check out my website at


  1. Susan, the calendar sounds wonderful Too bad they changed it to an e-book! The Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, some adult novels, and a few new DVDs, when I want to escape! I'm easy. We don't need much, so would rather donate to favorite charities. And, I love heading the annual Operation Christmas Child shoe box program -- 8.5 million receive all over the world.


  2. This planner sounds like exactly what I need. I'm not sure how effective it will be as an ebook, though ...

  3. That planner sounds like a great idea... I use an Excel spreadsheet right now to track stuff like that, but that means the computer must be on. I've also started using a wall calendar beside my desk, so perhaps having one just for writing would be good. I want Starbucks gift cards for Christmas - so that if I can go down there to write on my Netbook, I can afford my favourite drinks! :)


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