Pursuing Your Craft: Have a plan

Yesterday, I talked about the importance of having a plan.

Today, I want to talk about the plan itself. Most specifically, I want to talk about how I create my own writing plan.

Because I’m busy with kids and a daycare, I have a limited amount of time to myself every day. I’ve built in two hours during the day where I can work on my own things, but lately, I have found that it’s hard for me to get settled into the writing mode during these blocks of time. I’ve been using that as an excuse to not write, but I know at some point, I will have to choose the path of discipline and just do it.

I had written out a weekly writing plan of all my projects, but so far, I haven’t been disciplined enough to use that either. However, what I did (and what I DO plan on utilizing) is I made days of the week columns and morning, afternoon, and evening rows. I picked specific projects to work on in specific blocks of time, so now, on Tuesday afternoons, I know it’s time to edit my blog posts.

What I am most looking forward to about my weekly writing plan is that I work on every open project I have during the week. I believe that will keep me moving forward and excited about all of them without feeling overwhelmed by one single project.

Also, since every project is at a different stage of completion, I can keep honing all my skills – whether writing, editing, recording or researching – no skill goes too long without being exercised and I’m not trying to hone all of those skills on one single project.

So, what about you?

How do we go about determining a plan?

The big thing is asking yourself one question – what is my GOAL for this project?

Once you’ve determined your goal, then you can start breaking it down into little pieces that answers the question “how do I get from where I am to THAT goal?”.

When you have your steps, then you can start organizing your plan by putting a timeline with it, the point at which I would start plugging stuff into a spreadsheet. Look at each of the items and see how much time you need to complete it. Bear in mind that you (probably) have a life outside of your writing, so be realistic.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.33.09 AM

This is what my weekly writing plan looks like.

I’ve just ditched my overall goals plan because I was SO far off that it wasn’t worth keeping it anymore. I even emptied out my trash, so I have no evidence left of it!

However, I do also have a rough social media plan.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.35.09 AM

These don’t have timelines because as I decide to work on them, I plugged them into my other spreadsheet.

As I’ve said before, find what works for you. This is what works for me. I do have plans to sit down and sketch out another 2-3 month goal/writing plan spreadsheet. Life just gets the best of me sometimes.

Once you have these ideas written down, then it’s time to execute the plan. This is where discipline comes in. It takes a lot of effort to stay committed to following your plan and your timeline. I am really good at that for about 8-10 weeks, then I need a new one. In time, you will figure out what works for you. Be prepared to mess up a lot, to fall off the train, to feel like you’ll never get this figured out.

You will, though, I promise. It just takes some patience and dedication to figure out what went wrong and then address it in the next iteration of your plan. Don’t feel like you need to wait until the end of your current plan to write another one. Believe me, I know what that feeling is like. If you realize two weeks in that it’s just not working, scrap it and start over again. It takes time to figure this out, but you can do it.

Do you write with a plan? What things work for you? What things definitely don’t?

2 thoughts on “Pursuing Your Craft: Have a plan

  1. Impressive. Sometimes I think I had more discipline when I was working in terms of time allocation. Now that I am retired and empty-nesting, I tend to drift a bit – must make a plan!

    Like

    1. Thank you!

      I can definitely see where having more schedule provided by working could really help with keeping on task. Since I stay home with the kids and technically I DO work since I also have an in-home daycare, but it’s only one other kid and it’s not doing much more than I would be doing otherwise.

      I find it hard to consider myself a ‘working mom’ even though I totally am! It’s easy to drift and get lost. It’s hard to stay on track.

      Like

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