How Spreadsheets Help Writers
Spreadsheets Help Writers
Spreadsheets should be a writer's favorite tool, and yet the most common fear I hear from authors is that they don't think they can create a business plan for themselves because they don't know how to do a spreadsheet.
I have even read articles where other writers criticize writers who do use spreadsheets!
You are a business person. And a writer. You CAN learn how to use a spreadsheet – and once you do, you may discover why so many career writers love spreadsheets. And how spreadsheets help writers.
For writers who are intimidated by spreadsheets, I have good news! Spreadsheets aren't that hard to create, read or use.
You don't need to be a whiz at math to learn to use spreadsheets
If you are afraid of spreadsheets here is what you need to know about Microsoft Excel, the most commonly used spreadsheet program:
- Not good at math? Spreadsheets do the math for you.
- Microsoft Excel comes with many pre-made spreadsheet templates that you fill out with your information. You don't even need to learn to create a spreadsheet to use one! (Here is an article by D.J. Dierking, that talks about different types of word count spreadsheets for writers.
- Intrigued? You can easily learn to use Excel from many of the Excel spreadsheet YouTube videos. Here is a free training course you might want to check out: http://spreadsheeto.com/free-excel-training/
How do spreadsheets help writers?
Once you get over your fear of spreadsheets, you will find a lot of uses for spreadsheets. Writers use spreadsheets to:
- Outline your novel: Track characters, plots, sub-plots, etc.
- Track your word count and hours (use these to prove to the IRS that you are pursuing writing as a career, not a hobby this can allow you some tax deductions.)
- Track how much money you are making and which online retailer sells the most copies of your books.
- Track upcoming writing contest deadlines.
- Track your to-do list
Successful writers, just like successful entrepreneurs, learn that spreadsheets help writers. Writing down word counts and hours spent writing and having to add the numbers up by hand is a time-consuming task. That is why I have never understood people who resist spreadsheets because they hate math. Spreadsheets mean you never have to do math! The program does it for you!
You can get a free copy of the spreadsheets I use when you sign up for Business Books For Writers' monthly newsletter, The Weekly Entrepreneur. Are you already a subscriber? You don't need to sign up twice. There will be a free download link in the February issue of the newsletter.