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Several years ago I was hosting a writer’s group. My intention with the group was to find a place to share writings and critiques with each other. What it turned out to be, was a group of five or six people asking the following:

I want to be a writer, where do I begin?

In twenty plus years of technical support, I’ve never been the one with all the answers. But. . .I know how to find answers. The same went for answering the question these other would-be writers wanted answered.

Before I knew it, my daily schedule would consist of:

  • Get home from work
  • Sit with my wife while she watched her regular TV show
  • Pay attention a little to the show but otherwise I’d write for the hour long episode
  • Have dinner after the TV show

This became a routine. In a few months I had written a 150-page non-fiction book to try and answer the question.

Thus when I started blogging about the Writing Project Plan, one of the early steps is to figure out what to write. I sat down and figured out what stuff I had in progress and what new writing ideas I really wanted to work on.

I then sorted the projects with the following categories:

  • What sort of idea was it? short story, novel, article, etc
  • Had I completed a 1st draft?
  • Had I completed a 2nd draft?
  • Current word count vs. estimated word count
  • Likelihood of there being a market for that book / story?

The items that had a first / second draft complete rose to the top of the pile. It was then I realized I had accidentally written a few first draft books along with multiple edited drafts of several short stories. The non-fiction book was one of those completed first drafts.

Exercise: Look through all your writing projects. Use your own criteria (depending on your writing goals) to sort your projects, with a hope of completing a first draft that may be nearly finished or starting the editing process on an already first / second draft.

Next Post: Where do I go from here?

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

Writing prompt #0026


Write about a time you were in bed ill.

How did you feel? Describe myriad of things you went through. What did you do with your time recovering? How much did you appreciate it when you were well again?