Road Maps Help Get You There

I have found in my writing and in my life, that if I make a list, take notes, outline, plan – I will get whatever it is needs done just that much easier and quicker.

I’m talking about making a six month, one year, five year plan for your writing and for your life. They aren’t the same, although sometimes it may feel that way. As a sidebar – life is what feeds our writing, so don’t ignore it or you may find your writing drying up and getting stale from lack of fresh inspiration.

Family, friends, classes, the bowling league, hobbies, reading and the latest movie are not only food for your soul but food for your writing. Do you know how high a priority they are? Will you have that on your list in a year or five? Think about it…

My friends know my schedule is hectic, so if they want to have time with me, it has to be scheduled. I make time for my friends because they are important to me, but I also have to literally make time for them or they get lost in the craziness of my schedule. They are a high priority and on my master plan, so that is covered. 

I recently had to turn down helping on an event in 2012 I really wanted to do because I didn’t have the time to commit to it. Is it now on my plan for 2013? You bet it is. I have a plan for it and other things will have to get sacrificed so I can participate, but that’s ok. I’m planning ahead so I know what’s coming up, what needs done, and when.

What about your writing? Will you have one book done a year, two a year, one epic and one novella? What’s your goal? What’s the plan to get there? How are you going to accomplish it? Do you write intently one weekend a month, a page a day, an hour a day? All this planning helps you accomplish your goals. It really does. 

This is Clancy Lost

If you spend a little time planning ahead, you don’t have to think about it, you can just get on with what needs done. An hour of planning on Monday for the week can save you several hours wasted while you figure out what you needed to do each day.

In my writing, I’m a plotter not a pantser, but I recently tried pantsing a novel. I got a good start on it, about 30K and then I had no idea where I was going. I knew how it ended but I had no idea the route to get there. I was completely lost. Now, I’m having to map my course so I can finish my story’s journey. 

I may be a little over-zealous on this planning issue, as I am the person who had a 47-page itinerary for a ten-day road trip from coast to coast, but maybe that’s just how I need to operate in order to get to my destination. Some of you may be able to jump in the car and drive with no plan, but I suspect most will fall in between the two extremes. 

I’m just suggesting that you consider planning. See if it doesn’t make things run smoother. If you aren’t already a planner, try it as an experiment. Figure out the goal for the week, day by day, and follow it. Let me know if it helps. 

My goals for the next year?

Writing – Do my regularly schedule blog posts on all three of my sites, write at least 4 hours a day/4 times a week with a goal of finishing two books during the year, and actively submitting.

Life – Do not take on any more commitments, schedule time at least once a month with my “best-y”, schedule my days so they are more productive, and ensure my writing time is held sacred.

 Go forth and plan…Be ‘Fictorious!’

 

7 responses on “Road Maps Help Get You There

  1. Frank Morin

    Life is definitely crazy, and only getting busier. I am less of a life planner than you are, and probably less than I need to be. One of my goals this year is to better plan ahead for events, and better schedule my writing time weekly for more consistency.
    Frank Morin recently posted..Burst Writing

  2. Clancy Metzger

    Frank,
    I just started tracking my progress more diligently (when, how many minutes, how many words) so I can find my most productive writing time. Also, I’m taking five minutes or so, before I write, to hand write out a plan of what I’m about to write. After just a few days, I’m already finding I’m being more productive and getting more and better words done per hour.

    Whatever it takes to get you on task and productive – I hope you find it.
    It’s a joy to figure it out!

  3. Alexa Bourne

    I love plans, lists, and goals. I write a business plan/goal list in December and then I review it in the summer to see if I’m on track and to make changes when necessary. I agree that plans/goals definitely make a difference in accomplishing the goals. It’s like writing them down makes them public and adds a level of accountability to the plan.

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