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The next part of the Writer’s Project Planning Phase deals with the costs related to actively writing and/or growing in your skill as a writer. Some things can be done for “free”, while other options cannot.

  • Hardware / Software – related to the Writing Tool Bag, you need to consider the cost around equipment needs:
    • Pens / typewriter / computer or you may have free access to a computer at your local public library
    • Paper for writing, printing, or copying
    • USB drive or other hardware to backup multiple copies of your writings, so if you lose one you aren’t totally out all that time spent. NOTE: I keep 3 copies of everything!! I’m a little paranoid that way. 🙂
    • Writing software (i.e.  licensed copy of MS Office) or free copy of Open Office
    • Internet access – If you cannot use your local McDonalds or Starbucks free wi-fi, then you should consider the cost of the different types and speeds of internet access for your home
  • Mentoring / Advice
    • Attending writer’s conferences to hear keynote speakers, meet authors, agents, publishers and editors – Shaw Guides has a great list
    • Critiquing Services – you could use a free service from other would-be authors such as, Critters or find an active critiquing group on Yahoo! Groups. Also you could Google for paid professional services
    • Writer’s Workshop / Course – you could take a writing course at your local Jr. College or sign up for workshops online, such as from Writer’s Digest University
  • Resources
    • Books – It’s been said that writers are voracious readers. When the local library doesn’t cut it you could participate in the free book sharing service at PaperbackSwap.com. Also support your local used book store.
    • Writer’s Markets – details on where to publish your type of writing. There are various print copies of Writer’s Market based on genre or sign up for the online version
  • Self-publishing – if you choose to self-publish you’ll still need a service to help you. There are many services out there, but a couple of examples are CreateSpace by Amazon and Para Publishers
  • Marketing – this is a topic of multiple future blogs, but one resource I found that has a ton of information is, 1,001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer
  • Miscellaneous
    • Coffee Shop – as part of your “writing space” some writers choose to get away from the distractions at home and sit at the local coffee shop. You should support those businesses, so figure your costs for this too.
    • Snacks – Yes, I put this on the list. These costs can add up!!

As you can see there are several areas that can be free, but other costs can add up quickly. Plan for these! Save a little here and there, so the costs don’t become burdensome.

Exercise: Get a spreadsheet together and plan out your costs for the coming year.

Next Blog: Planning for risks and interruptions

Set the timer for 10-minutes and try this writing prompt.

Writing prompt #0010

Pick a favorite song. Write about the lyrics and how they speak to you or why else you like the song so much.