Many magazines and other publications plan out their editorial calendars months or more in advance. It may not be anything fancy — a lot of editors don’t go much beyond assigning a theme to each issue and thinking up a few story ideas. Publishing houses do something similar — they know well in advance what projects they’ll be working on in the coming year.
Especially for freelance writers with multiple projects, creating your own editorial calendar can be a useful technique to help streamline the process. Many freelancers use a minimal level of planning: “I’ll work on this project during this time slot, and this other one later.”
Consider, though, that many writers have a variety of projects with only specific overlaps. They might all be article writing projects, or they might be divided by topics. I’ve found it very useful to plan by project group than by deadline. If I’ve been working on blogging projects all day, I’m going to have a difficult time shifting gears over to writing copy for brochures. Instead, it makes sense to knock out all of one topic ahead of time.
There are plenty of different ways to plan out your writing calendar. You can focus on specific topics or techniques. It’s a matter of your own approach to writing. Not planning doesn’t work so well — just lining projects up on your day planner destroys an opportunity to streamline your work, and often get it done just a bit faster.
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