A few years ago, during the time when I took
my first nervous steps from the comfort and familiarity of
writing romance fiction to the uncertainty of freelancing, I had
the brilliant idea to create something unique, novel and useful.
Something all my writing friends would find most helpful to
their career, regardless of genre: A calendar for writers.
Not any old calendar, mind you. Chock full of
quotes, room for goals, work completed and submitted, important
checklists of things to do, submissions and reminders, the dream
came to life in the form of a Word template that began
enthusiastically but was soon sent to the backburner as more
lucrative assignments came my way.
Luckily for me, Sylvia Forbes, editor of the
Bylines Calendar for Writers, had the same dream—and
followed through—compiling the functional, necessary writer’s
calendar I’d hoped to someday create myself, only better.
Don’t let the notion of a writer’s calendar
fool you into thinking Bylines is simplistic way to pass
the days of the year. Packed inside the pages of Bylines
are tools to help every writer from novice to seasoned get the
most out of their writing time. Beginning with a short, sweet
and realistic overview of how to set goals, the calendar has a
set-up page for planning your goals in a broad overview.
Writing, poetry, personal enrichment and even publicity goal
suggestions are included, along with blank list you can
From there, monthly calendars are laid out,
one per page, with enough space to write in deadlines and
appointments. Each calendar includes a list of goals to choose
from (or create your own) as well as a list of tasks to
accomplish during the month (i.e. backup files, organize taxes,
update list of clips), with room for tasks of your choosing.
Before we dive into the daily planner section,
Forbes includes a two-page spread of literary holidays to
celebrate by month. Whether you’re a freelancer looking for
ideas to pitch based on the holidays (check out "Simplify Your
Life" week in August) or a fiction author wanting to connect
your book’s theme to a celebration for promo ("Read an Ebook
Week" in March), don’t miss this tidbit of entertainment.
From there, we move into the meat of the
calendar—the week-at-a-glance daily planner. Each date includes
at least one literary reference (mostly author birthdays) and
each two-page spread features a short, thoughtful essay from a
writer on the writer’s daily life with plenty of room for notes
And you thought that was all? Not even close.
Forbes also includes listings of Nobel Prize winners in
Literature, Fiction and Poetry, a place for notes from
conferences, pages for general notes and books and website
resources for writers. Best of all, there’s an order form for
next year’s calendar.
No writer likes seeing their ideas in print
before they can finish the project, but in the case of Sylvia
Forbes’ Bylines Writer’s Desk Calendar, not only am I
thrilled to see it in print, I’m even more pleased that the
finished product is far better than my own initial thought.
While the holidays might be over, it’s never too late to start
planning the rest of your writing career today—don’t do it
without a copy of Bylines to help you along the way.
About the author: Beth Morrow is
obviously a writer with more ideas than time. In addition to
working on an article to help ease fiction writers into
freelancing, she maintains two blogs for writers: the updated
for resources and the not updated as often as she’d like take on
the writing life at:
Visit her on the web at: