Friday, January 23, 2015

Planning Your Writing Year

January is always a slow month for me in this semi-new world of publishing books for the masses. But why is it that I always forget that and mentally flog myself for being such a slackerly sloth? 

Because I'm an imperfect human. Geez. When will I be self-actualized already?!! ;o)

In late December through January, I like to plan, plan, and plan some more. See Page One below of my 12-page plan:

I'm trying to incorporate more polka dots into my life.

The thing is, if this plan is anything like 2014 Goals, it's going to change on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. And that's okay. It's like taking a road trip between California and Maine, and hitting blizzards, traffic jams, and hotels that you booked and just aren't going to work out due to the drug dealers hanging out there (true story!). Like that road trip, you have to adjust. Change plans. Maybe be a little late or so late you feel uncomfortable.

But the thing is, just like my 2014 Goals, a roadtrip that has to be readjusted as its taken will still end up at your destination. Eventually.

Maybe not as you planned it.

Maybe not on the day you planned it.

But if you keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, your ear to the weather and traffic reports, your brain turned on to make necessary decisions, and the focus to get that car and the people in it to Your Destination, then you are doing everything you should be doing.

And when blizzards, traffic jams, and drug dealers at your planned hotel occur? Having an open mind, a willingness to change the plan, and the ability to keep moving forward toward your eventual goal is what is called for.

Are you doing that in your writing?

I am. (Goodbye to ever writing a dystopian done and over.)

And I take it one slow, stuttering, sometimes wrong step at a time.

Things to Keep in Mind

-Plan for the year with realistic writing/revising goals based on how fast and well you write/revise AND the demands that other parts of your life require. Be ambitious, but realistically so.

-Plan out the year, but then revisit at least once a month and change things as you go. Didn't hit your January 15th deadline? Aim for January 30th based on the time limits ahead. Don't give yourself too big a buffer, or you will fall horribly behind, get disheartened, and let another year go by with too many unachieved goals.

I followed these two tips last year and I didn't get eight books written as planned. But I got six done, and not all six were on the January 2014 schedule. But that's okay.

Drug dealers were hanging out in front of the other books. ;o)

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Sydney Strand is a writer and mom who has published two books through New York and another five via self-publishing. She writes funny little romances, but not of the Red Room of Pain variety. More like the Dan and Roseanne Connor variety--humor is sexy, dontcha know. You can follow Sydney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and/or you can sign up for her All Things Awesome Newsletter