We all have days when we struggle to write. We feel blocked or the words don’t flow. Those days are tough, and it’s important to power through and try to write anyway. Here’s how to rescue a bad day.

Other days it may feel like we’ve run out of ideas. You know you could write, but nothing is jumping out at you or you forgot an idea you had recently.

What if I told you there’s a way you can never run out of ideas about what to write? By using a content calendar, you can plan your entire year of blogs,  newsletters, and books. With a little planning, imagine having ready-to-go blog posts that you could publish in five minutes.

I use a simple calendar within a Google Sheet to plan my blog articles. Next to each date, I write the topic of the blog. I also note the dates I want to send my newsletter (every two weeks) and I add any conferences or events that I’m attending.

Here’s how I planned my blog posts and newsletter themes for January and February 2017.

content calendar

There’s power in planning your writing schedule. 

First, you see the entire year laid out. You know that you need 52 blogs to publish an article each week. Can you blog at least 20 topics about which you could write 500-1000 words? You could probably knock that out in an afternoon and come up with a nice list that would give you a nice selection of topics to choose from. You won’t get stuck the next time you sit down to write your blog.

Second, using a calendar helps you create themes around seasons or holidays. You might want to launch a Groundhog Day themed course or book. Halloween is a good time to promote a horror or fantasy novel. Plan a book launch in the shopping-heavy days just after U.S. Thanksgiving.

Another great benefit of a content calendar is to plan your creative projects. November (National Novel Writing Month) is a great month to block off for getting a complete novel done! Use the calendar to plan your projects. Start small with one project per quarter.

I plan quarterly projects in my calendar. My goal is to write a first draft in 30 days, edit the book the next month, and launch/market during the last 30 days. Four books a year may be slow or fast depending on your school of thought, but it works for me since I run a consulting business too.

Planning my year project-by-project reminds me what I’m supposed to be doing. Otherwise, my lazy brain would rather be watching Netflix or surfing social media. I don’t end up running out of ideas to write about on my blog. When I’m super productive, I’ll get ahead of schedule and write a few blogs in advance—good for busy weeks.

Try using a content calendar and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. 

Signing off now to brainstorm more blog topics and add them to my calendar. Happy creating!