Posted by: nancyisanders | July 22, 2019

Writer’s Journal Table of Contents


When I add my Table of Contents to my writer’s journal, I like to write it on the right-hand side of each spread. That’s because in many of my journals I like to add information on the left side that I want to keep up front and center in my mind.

The Table of Contents covers 4 pages in the 100-page wide-ruled composition books I like to use.

On the first page of my TABLE OF CONTENTS, I like to include a piece of scrap from my scrapbooking paper or sturdy cardstock. (See it in the top right corner of the photo?) That’s cause I flip constantly back to this page as I’m filling in and I like to get right to it.

After the Table of Contents, on the following pages I start numbering my pages in the lower right corner of each page. I usually do this over 4 or 5 sittings as I’m waiting for my e-mails to load or sitting in the car waiting in the drive-through of Carl’s Jr. for my Beyond Meat burger. (Yummy, but kind of pricey!) Once the page numbering is done, however, it’s done, so I like to get it done right away when I prepare my journal.

In photos below, I’m including several pages of my Table of Contents from this journal just so you can zoom in and see what topics I covered in this journal. This was my first journal that I started, so as it took shape it gradually became my “BIG PICTURE” notebook. Meaning I didn’t take detailed research notes in it or write any first drafts of pages in it. Some of my writer’s journals I include all these things in just one journal, especially if the project I’m working on is a stand-alone picture book.

But in this one, I wrote down more general notes such as title ideas, market analysis (for preparing my proposal) and favorite quotes of Jane’s I wanted to collect.





  1. I’m so glad you’re taking me through this step-by-step. Thanks.

    • Glad you’re enjoying this journey!!! I love creating and writing in these journals. Have fun!!!

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I’m a Jane Austen fan and I’m enjoying your book, that I bought for myself 😉. I’m wondering about your process with this book. You included proposal ideas in your table of contents, how much writing and preparing had you done before you sent the proposal?
    I also use journals, my favorite is the dotted journals.

    • Yay for you! For this particular publisher they want a query or pitch first. Just a 2 paragraph email is fine. Stating your idea, explaining how it will have national or international sales appeal, and your credentials as a writer. If they give you the go ahead, then they want a formal proposal. That can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on how much research you have to dig up for the proposal.

      And thanks for sharing about dotted journals. Do you draw in them? Or just write?

      • Thanks Nancy!
        With my dotted journal, I write in them, mostly lists and “to-dos,” and my calendar. I paste pictures and art. The only drawing in them are from my grandchildren. I have a small one 3×4 I carry in my purse for instant ideas or notes. I’m going to use your idea and create a writing project journal, with the dot grid notebook that I like.

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