Revisit, Rethink, Revise, Rewrite

A lot can happen between January and April. A writing plan that is made at the beginning of the year, without revision, will simply not take us past spring, into summer and beyond. It’s time to revisit, update and, if necessary, rewrite.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions: Is my plan still working? Is it still realistic? What has changed in my life since the plan was written? Do those changes affect my being able to carry out the plan? If so, what needs to be adjusted?

Here is what I have found. The culprit in my efforts to keep to plan is time. When I wrote my plan in January, I failed to factor in time necessary for research, webinars, and writing-related reading. I hadn’t allowed for the hours necessary for completing submissions. And finally, I had scheduled so many hours of writing, that I hadn’t left enough time available for my personal life—attending family dinners, movies with my husband, walking the dog.

So, perhaps I need to write a life plan that includes devotions, writing, exercise, volunteering, family/friends activities, housework, and leisure. Writing can be a large part of that plan, but I need to allow for the unplanned, too—that surprise visit from Aunt Martha, an unexpected phone call, a refrigerator on the fritz.

This quarter, I am going to tackle this time problem, once and for all. First, I am not answering the door or the phone during my scheduled writing time. I’m going to take advantage of voicemail, email, and texting by answering once my writing time is completed.  Secondly, I am building in an hour of flex time into my day—time for the previously unexpected, which I am now going to dub the “expected interruptions.” I don’t know exactly when they will come, but I do know with a fair degree of certainty that they will come. And when they do, I’ll be ready.

I am hoping this new daily plan will keep me from getting frazzled and help me meet my husband at the door with a smile, rather than the wild-eyed look I have been famous for these last few months. And, oh yes, I am setting up a reward system. I am giving myself a little reward at the end of each day that I actually keep to my plan. Time to pleasure read, calling a friend and chatting (yes, a real conversation, not a text), enjoying lemonade on the patio, and watching a favorite television show are on my short list.

Your problem may not be time. Yours may be self-motivation or organization. No matter what they are, problems will remain problems, unless we meet them head on.

It all starts with a plan. A plan that is tweaked often so that we can better reach our writing goals. A plan that is rewarded in increments so that we are encouraged to keep on writing on a daily basis.

Someone will write words that will inspire others for generations to come. Will they be yours?

Brenda

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GO FOR IT!

So, here it is. A brand new year. If you’re like me, you contemplate making a few resolutions—goals for your lives, for your writing. Rather than hear about mine, perhaps now is the time to spend a few minutes in reflection of the past year and set your face toward the future. Will you be content to let the days go by without a plan, or will you resolve, as I have, to attempt more control over your writing life?

I say make a plan. Put it out there for all to read and enjoy their encouragement along the way—every day of 2015. Spotlight your goals. Update often. Revise when necessary. Feel free at any time to scrap them, rethink them, rewrite them. Go for it.

If you don’t start out to achieve, I think it is dead certain that you won’t. I’ve never heard of an athlete, musician, or public figure that didn’t work toward their goal, on a daily basis. One step, one note, one idea at a time.

One stroke of a key can mean the difference between meeting that goal or forever wishing that you had. It’s all at the tip of your fingers.

That next broken record, sonata, or humanitarian act is just waiting for someone to achieve it. Will it be you?