As 2012 draws to a close, part of my day job involves creating an editorial calendar for the department for 2013. The calendar will outline the marketing team’s plan for the year, focusing on projects (and their deadlines) and messaging throughout the year.
As I’m working on this project at work, I’m also working on creating a personal editorial calendar for 2013, focusing on blogging and the collection. It will likely be more flexible than the one for work, but it will help me stay focused throughout the year and meet my goals.
There are different ways to use editorial calendars in writing. You may have one for a particular (large) project, or for blogging, or for whatever else you need to organize and track. Your calendar may be simple, outlining themes each month, or it may be more complicated, listing weekly (or daily) tasks and projects.
As is my advice with lots of things in the writing world, you have to find a method that works best for you.
The editorial calendar I’m creating right now is a month-by-month overview for blogging and fiction-ing. I’ll have specific goals for each month, and my blog will have a general theme for the month (that may not be the theme for every single post that month, but gives me a starting point as I work).
In addition to this overview, I will take time at the end of each month, beginning with December 2012, to create a more in-depth editorial calendar for the following month. The in-depth calendar will be a daily calendar, outlining the blog posts for each day, specific deadlines for writing, and what tasks for the collection I have each day.
I know this is a lot more involved than many of you need (or want!), but it’s what works for me. Because of the craziness of my life, I have to stay organized and keep meticulous lists to stay on top of everything. It’s worked well in 2012, so I’m continuing it in 2013.
There are a lot of advantages to using an editorial calendar. It can allow you to look ahead to and prepare for upcoming content (and events, such as NaNoWriMo), it can show you when your busy months and weeks are, and on the days you simply have no inspiration, you can use your editorial calendar as a sort of writing prompt to give you a starting place.
The difficulty in creating and implementing an editorial calendar really depends on how involved you want the process to be. If you simply come up with content themes for your blog each month (which is done for you if you participate in NaBloPoMo), it takes little time and effort. However, if you want to come up with blog post ideas and specific writing goals for each month/week/day, it’s going to be a bit more difficult. It’s up to you to determine the best way for you to proceed.
Will you be creating an editorial calendar for 2013?