writing bullet journal

I’ve always loved looking at other people’s bullet journals and watching Plan With Me videos, but I never thought I would keep one for myself. I like using pre-made planners to organize my schedule, and keeping a mood or habit tracker didn’t appeal to me very much. But! With that said, there is one thing I always need help keeping track of and that is: MY WRITING GOALS.

So, this past month, I decided to make a bullet journal dedicated exclusively to writing. Here’s what it looks like:

LEFT: A cover page! I chose pigs as the theme for my February spread in honour of Lunar New Year. Fun fact: my mom was born in the year of the pig so she has little pig figurines all over the house. They’re her favourite animal. RIGHT: A monthly calendar! For each day I meet my goal, I get a sticker on this page. It felt pretty rewarding to look back and see all the stickers I earned this month. Also, see the pig in the bottom right corner rocking the Korean pama? That was also a touch of mom inspiration.

Here are two examples of my weekly spreads. Each day, I write down my daily goals here. Making daily goals was super helpful for me. I used to make general deadline-based goals, like: ‘By the end of the month, I want to be done this draft!’ or ‘By Feb 15th, I will be finished Act 1!’ This didn’t work so well for me because it kept my eyes on the deadline, not on the present day where work actually gets done. More often than not, the deadline would feel so far away that I would put off doing any work because I felt like I had all the time in the world. Then D-Day would sneak up on me and I would be frantically calculating how many words I have to write per day to still make it.

I still set a general deadline to give me a finish line to work towards, but from there, I create daily goals to make it happen. The biggest change for me was setting my daily goals either the morning of or the night before, taking into consideration everything I accomplished or had to adjust in the last 24 hours. Before, I used to make daily goals like, ‘I’m going to write 1000 words per day!’ and then I’d miss a day and have to write 2000 words the next day to make up for it and then I’d miss that day and so on and so forth until I’d end up lying on the floor, staring blankly at the ceiling and wondering where I went wrong. The difference is subtle, but I think really key. Pre-setting a series of daily goals makes me shape my day around them and if I miss one day, the rest of my days become more inflexible. Setting goals for each new day while being mindful of what that day holds for me is, I find, more forgiving and also more likely to be accomplished. Our goals should work for us to help us get to where we want to go, not make us tip into an existential crisis when we can’t meet them.

Anyway! This system has been working really well for me and my writing. It might change in the future as my needs and preferences change, but for now I’m going to keep going with it. Here’s a sneak peek of what I have prepared for March:

If you couldn’t tell, I like eggs. I’m especially proud of the tamago nigiri I managed to sneak in this spread. Hehe. Whatever you’re working on this month and next, these eggs and I are cheering you on!