Bullet Journaling for Writers: Inside my Craft Companion
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If you want to check out my YouTube video, I go into much more detail about my Writer's Bullet Journal and how I use it every day! Click the link to go check it out and make sure to subscribe if you like it!
Note for February 2018: I have MOVED into a new Writer's Bullet Journal Traveller's Notebook! If you want to see how my system has morphed, check out the video below!
The bullet journal system has gained so much traction in the last couple years and it has been a fun ride to watch it. I won't go into the basics of the system, if you want more information, please go to the Bullet Journal Website for more information!
I love using my <a href="http://bulletjournal.com">bullet Journa</a>l to track my writing, my life, my lists, and my interests. I'd love to share with my new set up as I move into September!
But First: An Epic Back Story of my writing life
*epic music playing, a la Lord of the Rings*
I tried to use the bullet journal system more like a planner and set it up for the whole year, or until it was full, rather than making a page every day and migrating.
I didn't use the future log very effectively and didn't really figure it out that go around. I stopped using it for about a year after that.
I started using it again back in June of last year and got into the Planner Community. Once I saw how everyone was using it; for blogging and their business, using the flexibility of the system to their advantage, using it for creative journaling, it clicked.
My next bullet Journal, I played with the system. I lurked in the community and just tried the system out in that book. I loved it and started to use it to track my writing as my Writer's Bullet Journal.
I started to use it for more, even using it to help me get through NaNoWriMo last year, following Kara from BoHo Berry use her Wrtier's Bullet Journal even though it was my fourth year in a row doing NaNo.
This last planner, I began tracking word count progress more heavily and using it to start a couple businesses and starting my blog.
My Latest Writer's Bullet Journal and How it's Set Up
Now, keep in mind that this is NOT going to be my only post on this. If you're looking at this later, be sure to keep up with the rest of my planning experience, because it's always changing. That's the beauty of this system! It's VERY flexible.
I love that it's purple! I have many favorite colors and usually stick to a fairly monochromatic pallet; wearing mostly black and gray. However, purple is an exception.
The sticker is from the NaNoWriMo store and I bought a pack my first year of participating. They are not available anymore, but the merch store is still filled with great swag!
A great way to support them is to buy merchandise or just contribute to their global fund. Please, if you participate in NaNo, consider donating. They do great things like workshops for kids and it keeps the staff employed and able to reach out to so many people!
The pens I will link below. Full transparency , I DO get a commission if I send you to Amazon through my site and you purchase these items in that shopping session. It won't cost you ANY extra money, Amazon is just saying "thank you" to me for getting you to their site. If this puts you off, you don't have to buy ANYTHING. But it does help support my family, and you know you were probably gonna search on Amazon for this stuff anyway, so I appreciate any purchase you make and you have my thanks from the bottom of my heart!
The Key Spread
Obviously, I have a key in the front. As everyone does. My Key doesn't differ greatly from anyone else's, I like the original.
Dot for a task
Circle for an Event
Put an "x" through the dot for a completed task
Forward arrow through the dot for a forwarded task
Backward arrow for a migrated task
Strike through for an irrelevant task
Dash for a note
Star for a priority task
Exclaimation mark for something needing research
A cross for prayer note
Diamond for a writing prompt idea
This allows me to look at the page and know exacrlt what's happenign in a day and know what my crazy scribbles all mean.
The Index Spread
The Leuchtturm1917 has pre-printed index pages, which I LOVE. I have been a Moleskine girl HARD CORE until I found the Leuchturm1917.
While I still ADORE Moleskine and I will probably use them for many other things, my main writer's bullet journal will continue to be the Leuchtturm 1917 for the time being.
Goals for 2017 Spread
The Infamous Blank Page
I have NO IDEA what to put here. Maybe it'll be my "Shut Up and Write" print. Maybe it'll be something else. What do YOU think it should be? Let me know in the comments!
I have revamped my goal setting process and I have learned a TON in the last few months.
If you're struggling with setting goals and taking ACTION on them, make sure to check out the blog posts below!
Writing To-Do List
2017 Future Planning Spread
This is my BRAIN. These are meta goals and minor goals all slapped onto a spread that keeps me SANE. These get merged into monthly, and daily spreads. I need to break a couple of them down into action collections, but most are fairly self-explanatory.
I regret having to cover most of it up, but there are quite a few spoilers. Not just for my books, but also for a couple Blog posts in future! So stay tuned!
The Hero's Journey Spread
But this is just a reference sheet. It helps me hit certain beats in my drafting and redrafting process. Most of writing is rewriting!
But these beats are part of Meta-narrative and mostly universal. You can pull it apart and rearrange it. However, it will stay mostly unchanged and easily recognizable.
Three Act Structure Spread
Basically it breaks down fiction into 7 key elements:
- Point of View
This can be really helpful during your redrafting and editing process. It will help you find plot holes and places where you may be lacking. It can even help you in crafting some side quests for your characters.
The 12 Common Character Archetypes
This has two different sources. They break down the characters into three Types with four subtypes.
- The Ego Types
- The Innocent
- The Orphan/Regular Guy or Gal
- The HeroThe Caregiver
- The Soul Types
- The Explorer
- The Rebel
- The Lover
- The Creator
- The Self Types
- The Jester
- The Sage
- The Magician
- The Ruler
This is for character development. Many of the archetypes here are used for specific roles in a story. It doesn't make sense for an Innocent to l become a Rebel without a very specific character arc. So, the progression must occur. You can't have them just switching roles mid story! So, we use these archetypes, with more nuanced and more developed sub-structures, to create dynamic characters and stories.
Dynamic Story Equation Spread
This is a LOVELY spread for this equation! And it's a great reminder to plug in all these elements. You can find the original post here.
If you want to learn more about how I use this equation to fill plot holes make sure to check out the blog post below!
Meyer's Briggs Personality Spread
I am an INTP (Introverted, intuitive, thinking, prospecting). A big part of who I am is my innovative spirit with an endless hunger for knowledge.
The good thing about this resource is that it also breaks them down into 4 groups.
This looks very similar to how the character archetypes are broken down! This makes both spreads very valuable when used in tandem for putting together detailed characters.
I've made an ENTIRE blog post on my process of making characters from this spread. If you want to read it, click on the link below!
Scrivener Custom Metadata
Elements of Craft Emotion Hacking Spread
This spread is a work in progress. I have to go back and listen to Season 11 of the Writing Excuses Podcast before this spread is done.
Character Worksheet Template
This next page is the template that I use for my Character Profile Worksheet. If you want to snag the freebie, sign up for my mailing list below!
Then, I have a small Character Catalog for the book, in which I'm in the first draft stages. Not all of them are filled out, as I'm still fleshing these people out, and figure out who they are as I write.
I'll make a post very soon about my personal writing process. Maybe it will help some of you find your mojo!
Landmarks In the Sahara Spread
I have a couple of posts about my outlining process, go check them out below!
MICE Quotient Spread
Revisions Visualisation Spread
This is.. yeah. Anal. I realize. But it's pretty and makes me feel good when I make progress.
Each cell is a chapter or scene and has a line of five dots next to it. Those dots get filled in with the corresponding draft. I have the goal of each draft written down in my writing to do spread. I'm toying with the idea of filling in the cells with my character color code or my beats color code (more on that later) so that I can see the story as a whole. But I haven't decided that, yet.
The next spread is another character catalog. These are still not filled out, but this is where I'm going to flesh out these characters just a little bit more. Again, I can't show them all to you, but they are a huge part of how I write.
This is ENORMOUSLY long! 😂
I will do a part two of this, which will have a few non-writing related spreads, along with my monthly, weekly, and daily spreads.
Thanks so much for reading!
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-The Ginger Wordsmith 🐙