Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Business plan for writing

Adams Family: Cousin It

Several times the last few week’s friends, family and other writers have asked where I’ve been. Well, I say, I’ve been right here at my desk typing and all those other pesky ‘life gets in the way of my novel’ things that occupy my days. It wasn’t until my friend Maureen said, “You’ve sure been quite on the internet, lately” that I realized that was what everyone was really asking about – my internet activity, or lack thereof.
(Oh, and this crazy picture will make sense soon. I promise.)

So, here’s the scoop:
It was time to reassess my life, the same way I’d reassess a failing business.

Given my health issues, family obligations and other life stuff, I needed to take a good long, hard look at my daily routine; where I spend time and energy. Time an energy are precious as gold when you’re aware of how little you may have – the edge of mortality and all that. 

So, I looked at my daily routine and plans for the future in terms of energy, clarity and courage, both of which diminish with reduced get-up-and-go, obviously. Then looked at my writing goals, productivity, hopes and desires and realized I was sabotaging myself. How, you might ask?

       Too much time on computer NOT writing

       Too much time reading/editing/critiquing OTHER peoples work

       Too much time going to book readings & signings…. Good stuff, just too much time.

       Too much time on Facebook, Linkedin,Twitter (God help me!) and all the social media sites that we’re all convinced we can’t live without. All Sabotage to my goals!

While those things may be critical when marketing a book, I don’t need to be doing them right now. I needed to set new goals. After all;

Aspirations, desires and passions without discipline are just hopeful wishes and dreams. Mindset without methodology and action is just hope. And while I’m a big fan of HOPE, I needed a more effective business plan for my writing.

I put aside all the time consuming activities that got me nowhere and created a plan I could live with. It’s very simple (as most good business plans are) –

       Create a ‘To Do’ list for my rewrite

       Stop looking at what didn’t get done, focus instead on what I can do TODAY

       Visualize the daily life of a successful author. Live it NOW.

       Don’t simply set Goals, set Challenges.

       Don’t compare my manuscript to others, instead compare it to previous versions and see if it’s better. Measure growth as a writer.

       Focus on sharpening skills, not writing timelines and deadlines or missed opportunities.

       STOP getting sidetracked by other projects; writing apps, travel blogging, teaching – until the novel is finished.

Does any of that resonate with you? How are you a saboteur to your writing goals? Do you have goals? Put them in writing and make a promise to yourself to fulfill them in this lifetime, not the next.

Oh, and one final personal challenge to myself; no haircuts or manicures until this novel is finished. Now that’s suffering for your art. I could end up looking like cousin It from the Adams Family. And that explains the picture.
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5 comments on “Business plan for writing

  1. Phoenix
    July 20, 2012

    Mindy, your Literary Liaisons always spur me on to keep writing. Thank you so very much.You mentioned you have health issues. Is there anything I can do? Pray, visualize, etc.? Please let me know if there is. Seeing you happy, healthy and full of energy – and writing!Cassie

  2. arleen
    July 16, 2012

    Thanks for the reminders, Mindy. I've sat here for 30 minutes reading email and FB and drinking coffee. Have a written a word yet? Nope! I need to prioritize or the end of summer will be here and I'll return to the classroom feeling as though I've accomplished nothing.

  3. arleen
    July 16, 2012

    Thanks for the reminders, Mindy. I've sat here for 30 minutes reading email and FB and drinking coffee. Have a written a word yet? Nope! I need to prioritize or the end of summer will be here and I'll return to the classroom feeling as though I've accomplished nothing.

  4. arleen
    July 16, 2012

    Thanks for the reminders, Mindy. I've sat here for 30 minutes reading email and FB and drinking coffee. Have a written a word yet? Nope! I need to prioritize or the end of summer will be here and I'll return to the classroom feeling as though I've accomplished nothing.

  5. arleen
    July 16, 2012

    Thanks for the reminders, Mindy. I've sat here for 30 minutes reading email and FB and drinking coffee. Have a written a word yet? Nope! I need to prioritize or the end of summer will be here and I'll return to the classroom feeling as though I've accomplished nothing.

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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