Friday, July 12, 2013

Don't Set Goals. Instead, Make a PLAN

If you are a writer you know about setting time aside to write. The kids are running around, so you write at the end of the day. Or maybe you work at a job that allows you to take an hour lunch so you go outside with your laptop or your pad and pen and sit on a bench in a park. Or maybe, just maybe, you are a morning person and you wake up an hour or two early enough to write with a fresh cup of coffee before you start your other day.

For me, I try to set aside at least an hour of writing time. Sometimes I sped my hour in the morning, or maybe in the afternoon. I work from home so I can set my hour of time pretty much anytime I need. But for my "writing time", I only have but one rule.

I don't have to write, but I can't do anything except write.

What that means is, no surfing -unless it involves research for the book I am working on...
No phone calls...
Unless I am writing.

So during the one hour (usually more) that I am writing, all I plan to do is write. But how much should I or can I write. Do I set a goal of 2000 words, 500 words, one chapter, 20 pages? What is my goal?

I recommend to NOT set goals. Setting goals is basically setting the bar. If you set the bar too high, and cant reach your goal, you may experience the feeling of failure or disapointment. If you set the bar too low, you may reach your goal and stop. It's like being in the gym... COME ON... ONE MORE REP... ONE MORE LAP... TEN MORE POUNDS...

There is nothing to push you along to do more. So instead of setting yourself up to pass or fail with goals, make a plan.

The beauty of having a plan is that it can change. If the game plan is to write 2000 words, or twenty pages and that doesn't work, then change the plan. It doesn't matter that you only wrote 1700 words. The plan was for 2000, but hey, that's okay. Why? because the plan can change. Change the plan to 1500 words and then if you end up writing 1800 words and 22 pages, or three chapters, the feeling will be awesome. 

And if the plan doesn't work, then change it until you have a plan that works. Take this post that you are reading. My PLAN was to work on my book Plan Right and Pack Light, but because of the tendonitis in my shoulder I really didn't feel up to it. But since this is my writing time, and I can't do anything except write, I started thinking about my situation. The pain meds are kicking in but I had to DO SOMETHING because I can't do ANYTHING except write. In other words, my plan was not working for me, so I changed it.

I am still writing. I'm just not working on my book, but I am writing. It will not be 2000 words, but I am writing. I did not reach my goal because there is no goal, so I don't feel like a failure. WHY? Because I am writing.

Just make a plan to write at a specific time of day (it doesn't matter when) and write something (it doesn't matter what) for as long as you like.... you guessed it (it doesn't matter for how long) because it is YOUR plan, not mine, not some other writer's plan, it is your plan. If something happens to make you feel like you didn't do enough, change the plan. If something happens to make you feel like you did too much, change the plan.

That is the beauty of the plan, it is ever changing. Make a plan and stick to the plan, and before you know it, you will have written more than you have written before. Well maybe not, but you will have a lot more successes and feeling of accomplishing more. Small victories will win the war. And you will start to feel like a writer and not a wanna'be writer.

Make a plan and write. Write like the wind.


Now available in Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble

Okay gang, "12 Steps To A Lighter Pack" is really moving now. You can now order it from Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble. Order it from their stores and pick it up locally, or you can order from their online store:

Barnes and Noble: