Renee Beasley and Karen Bateman struggled to stay on track with their writing goals. Like most writers in Australia, they were holding down jobs and other commitments. They couldn’t find time to be creative. Books about writing sat on shelves collecting dust. Their journals went untouched.

Together, they wanted to create a writing companion to be looked at every day, one that couldn’t be forgetten or left behind. They came up with Pilot: A Diary for Writers. It is made to be a feature of the writers’ daily routine.

“I would like to think the diary is a real little friend, who’s there all the time, championing your writing,” says Beasley.

The Pilot diary features a week-to-view layout, with public holidays and school terms, alongside writing exercises, motivational tips, writing prompts and advice from some of Australia’s top literary journals. The diary includes a list of more than 150 Australian writing competitions, festivals and awards; tips on how to lay out your writing; and hints for how to improve your grammar and punctuation.

The diary’s goal is to counter some of the difficulties that slow writing down, and make it as easy as possible to get into the habit of writing regularly.

“We looked at key ways to improve writing productivity, and automatic writing is a big part of that,” Beasley says. “You sit down and give yourself that time to write every day.”

The 2016 Pilot diary is available at pilotpress.com.au.