Planning my Writing Success For This Year

The Door to Future Success

Managing A Twelve Month Calendar for Success

Each of us has the same number of hours in a day. I cannot create time, but I can use hours that I have been given effectively. I have only 60 minutes every hour, 24 hours every day, seven days per week, and twelve months in a year. If I want to be successful as a writer, I have to plan those hours so that they don't simply slip away.

I keep a year long calendar and maintain a timeline for getting things done. Some projects can’t be completed until other projects are begun or even started. By managing a year long calendar, I can map out what projects I need to do when so I am not rushed to get a specific project done at the last minute. In addition, I am less likely to miss a step because I already have it on my calendar of events.


Use a Project Planner to Evaluate Every Month

To help me determine what goals I need to do in a given month during the year, I have created a project planner to plan which projects I have completed, my current projects, which projects I want to work on next month, and what projects I want to work on for the rest of the year. I have divided my year into four quarters and then into individual months. I try to work on two quarters at the same time. By working on both quarters, I can add projects well in advance of the projects’ due date.

Each month, at the end of the month, I take time evaluate how I have been doing throughout the previous month and to decide what I will do to improve my writing success for the next month. By reevaluating my writing success on a monthly basis, I am able to readjust anything that I need to readjust to make the next month even better.

I determine how productive I thought that I was the previous month. I evaluate whether I met that month's goals. If I did, great. If I didn't, I would evaluate why I didn't reach the goals I set for myself. I would then determine what I could do to improve my chances for meeting those goals for the next month. In addition, I would add more goals for that following month.


Set Aside Specific Times to Manage Specific Work

To be successful, rather than setting aside specific time each day to work on specific projects, I set aside specific days to focus on aspects of my writing business. I have one day a week that I set aside to develop new writing ideas. I have another day per week that I set aside for marketing activities such as writing my newsletter, submitting articles, or other related activities.

This way I am more focused on that specific aspect of my business so that I not jumping around from task to task and never really accomplishing anything.

Take Time For Marketing and PR Planning Success

Certain days during the week, I work on developing clients and other income generating activities. On these days, I spend on social media, developing radio and internet interviews as well as reviews. In addition to all these projects, that I have planned every day, I also schedule time to write new material either fiction or nonfiction. This way I always something new that I am working on developing.


Keep A Business Success Mindset

I work at home, but my business is a business. I do my best to keep regular working hours and not fritter away my business hours doing household tasks. Of course, if there is an emergency, I will take time off to take care of a sick child for instance, but I fight to protect the time I spend working on my writing business. Like everyone else, I have only 168 hours per week and many of those are taken up with sleep, personal care, housecleaning and food preparation. I also have to make time for getting out and getting exercise and for socializing with family and friends. That is also why I must force myself to limit my time reading emails, avoid spending time in discussion groups or even running errands.

By spending a little time every month assessing how my time is spent and by taking the time to schedule my projects I am able to focus, and treating my writing as the business that it is, I get a lot more done with the limited amount of time that I have.

© 2012 Donna Brown

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Comments 13 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You are amazingly organized and have developed an incredible time management strategy to stay on track. I spent so many years being driven by a project time line in my career that I try not to get too crazy with it at home. Everything had a Microsoft Project Timeline with scheduled completion dates and severe penalties for missing milestones like the late delivery of equipment.

Still I try to keep to a certain routine since that makes me stay on target and keeps things moving along. My brother stays on track by entering reminders in his blackberry that sound an alarm when due. He calls me on Fridays at nearly the same time each week. He calls my sister just afterward. He calls my Mom on Sundays. Last week he called on a Thursday and I thought there might be something wrong. No, he said he didn't want to become predictable. Haha.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

Thanks Peg,

Because I'm self employed, I have to treat my work as though someone else is the boss otherwise I tend to let deadlines slide. That's why organizing my day is so important. I like the idea of using an alarm for deadlines. I'll have to try that.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

This is a great idea to plan out your schedule, even when you are self employed, and make sure that all the things that need to be done are taken care of. It is good that you have added social networking and marketing to your schedule - I always thought that was wasting time, but now I see that it can be quite valuable. Voted up.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

Exactly. Millionaire Tips! Social Networking and marketing do not have to dominate my week to be effective. If I comment on one other person's blog or make a new friend on twitter or facebook, I am connecting with a potential readership!


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

I like your way of thinking. Good planning! I enjoyed your hub!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

Sounds like a great plan. I think the key is making a plan so that you have goals and something to follow so you can spend your valuable time on important things.


KoraleeP profile image

KoraleeP 3 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

Thanks for this hub. My problem is definitely organization. I am always on top of things, when I work for someone else, but I have a hard time doing that for myself. I am going to try your suggestions, with the timeline and hopefully that will help me out. Provided, I actually do it lol.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great suggestions. I do a variation of these but basically the same thing. I find it helps greatly in staying focused on my goals.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers.

I sure wish I could plan ahead like that. I recently downloaded an open source program called GantProject for doing that sort of project planning, but I find it overwhelming. I get sidetracked even from my do today plans. Result: you are far more productive.


zeke2100 profile image

zeke2100 3 years ago

cygnetbrown, do you have your own domain and personal blog?


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

I do have my own domain. http://www.cygnetbrown.com. As for blog, define personal blog, zeke2100.


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I loved # 3. This is something I keep telling myself I'm going to do and then I wind up switching from marketing to writing books to writing hubs to photography. I think I might do something similar by split it up hourly instead of by day. Voted up!


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri Author

thanks for the comment, epbooks. I have to admit, some days are more difficult to balance than others.

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