Friday, June 15, 2012


If you’re a new writer, undoubtedly you’re positive this is the YEAR. Your year. The year you will sell and prosper. It sure could be, but it’s all up to you.

Have you thought of what you’ll do to make your dream come true? How you are going to make it happen? When, besides sometime this year?

GOALS…BUSINESS PLAN… These are words you need to consider. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But have you decided your goals or written a plan? Don’t panic. Neither has to be on the order of a Fortune 500 company. Keep it simple, something that will work for you.

Today, we will concentrate on goals and save the business plan for a separate lecture.

Is it okay if we use me as an example? You agree? Thanks!

My goals for this year are;

1 - Edit my present book
2 - Write the second book in the series

Each of these works will be 50,000 plus words when completed. Success requires a plan, in my case a written plan, because it is never going to happen if I just sit around and dream. Allow me to share how I approach this mind-numbing task.

I’m a daily to-do list and calendar freak. I like my life plotted and planned. Of course, there has to be room for flexibility. By having an ADJUSTABLE plan I’ve got it made.

To work out a feasible system of accomplishing my two goals, I grabbed a legal pad and the calendar, which already has enough social commitments listed for the year to make me weep, and parked myself in a comfortable chair.

We’ll lay out the schedule for each goal in two separate plans for easier reading.

Goal 1 – Edit my present book

This novel has twenty-four chapters and an epilogue.

All of it has been printed because I work better with a hard copy. I will study each chapter, one at a time, and scrawl notes to myself all over its pages and, when I run out of space, into a spiral notebook. This way, I can easily take a chapter with to pore over while I’m waiting for an appointment, a slow moving train, or anything else which has me sitting and doing zip.

I want this work done in a relatively short period of time, hopefully thirty days. By reading the calendar I know there are many days when editing just isn’t possible. Personal appointments or necessary chores are marked in red. Writing tasks such as blogging, research, characterization, reading trade magazines, and so forth are noted in blue.

The good days have listed a chapter number and a brief note as to what must be done to finish the edits. All Fridays are reserved to re-read that week’s edits and make any changes.

So the calendar looks like the following;

Sunday January 8
No work today. Play with my granddaughters.

Monday January 9
Chapter 3
Bring in tour business somehow / change D’s business purchase to a tax audit? Would it work and simplify?

Tuesday January 10
Chapter 10
T must confess credit card over extended / Move dialogue from pg 89 here

Wednesday January 11
Great sale at Carson’s!! If I finished my work I can reward myself!!!
Dentist at 2
Meet Lor for dinner at 7

Thursday January 12
Jesse here at 8 a.m. for her edits
Pick up C from school 3:15 – take along new RWR
Chapter 20
Embellish sex scene / needs more emotion – switch to hero’s POV

Friday January 13
No time to worry about superstition
Re-read three chapters and approve
Out with the friends at 7

Saturday January 14
No work today. Play with Studly.

Please note the chapters are not in sequence. To finish in my allotted time, I’ve selected the easiest chapters to final edit and saved the more involved for the end of my month. It’s a trick I do to reduce the load while I mentally work out those tough scenes that are driving me crazy.

My daily to-do list will embellish on the above such as;

This is the calendar entry;
Monday January 9
Chapter 3
Bring in tour business somehow / change D’s business purchase to a tax audit? Would it work and simplify

This is the to-do list;
1. read chap as is
2. check POV of D – is it all his?
3. embellish D’s anger through his actions
4. is C a big enough pain in the ass?
5. is the setting over described
6. check out tax audit info to be accurate
7. lunch at 1- no exceptions
8. walk around and do neck exercises in am & afternoon
9. My daily to-do list will embellish on the above such as;

It is very important to treat your goals seriously. You need to work at your writing career with the same diligence as a fulltime job if you truly want to succeed. Let the machine pick up those calls, stay off the internet, eat, drink plenty of fluids preferably water, take scheduled breaks. And above all, have fun.

Have a great weekend. I'll be back Monday with the perfect summer read. Until then...

Happy Writing!

Sloane Taylor

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