My 2018 Writing Journey...
I know what you are thinking, dude its freaking March! Well you should know the writer's life almost never goes according to plan by now. This post is an attempt to illustrate how I have seemingly corralled my writing journey into a nice, neat little package that will send me hurtling towards success. I won't lie I have that particular hope hanging out, whispering in my ear.
It says, "You CAN do it!"
You see last year I decided that I would no longer say the words, I CAN'T. It sounds easy but it isn't for multiple reasons. Firstly, just because you say something, that doesn't make it real. There has to be an unyielding intent propelling the words out into the universe. Second, you have to have a certain level of awareness of your own life, abilities, and a keen sense of what might be holding you back. In other words it takes some soul searching, meditation, journaling, whatever method you fancy to clear your head and get down to the nitty gritty.
Whatever you do, you need to do it and do it now! STOP WASTING TIME!
At the end of 2017, I was filled with two distinct emotions. The first was a shocking sense of pride that I had finished and published my first novel. It was a whirlwind of frenetic fun and frustration. Once it was done I felt great. I had done it. Then after a deep breath I began to see flaws. Not only in the finished product, but the process, the journey, and in my craft. Then the second emotion/feeling came to me. I was sickened by the stupid amount of time it took me to write Nemeton and publish it.
Five years I spent...
Five years delaying my journey. Five years telling myself it is just too hard. Five years lying to myself and saying that it was the world's fault. For not giving me the time to write. For not giving me the inspiration. For not providing me with the tools or the money. Five years of I can't. It isn't the right time. It isn't ready. If you didn't noticed there were a lot of NOT's, IS NOT's and CAN NOT's plaguing me. It wasn't until I said...
SAY IT WITH ME... AGAIN...LOUDER!!!
I said that at the end of 2017...Repeatedly...
Until I knew that there was no other path but to continue to vertically grow. I am a goal oriented, DYI guy, and I wanted to crank my craft into the next gear. So I decided it was time to stop playing around and get serious. My first piece was setting up my social presence online via this blog, my social media accounts, and building a readership/email list. If you've been following me you've seen a few of the bits and pieces I learned along the way. If you haven't check out, So You Wrote A Book, What the Hell Do You Do Now.
I wasn't kidding when I said I was done playing
That is insane yes? Most likely. If you had me evaluated you might accrue enough evidence to call the men in the white jackets. Six releases in a year is a hell of a task. In fact I'm not 100% sure that I can do it. But I can tell you what I am sure of, 100% sure... That with a goal like this I am for damn sure not going to waste five more years on the next project. That is set in stone.
So what in TARNATION is that!^^^^
Some may be familiar with the concept. For those who aren't the vision board is a particular way of organizing and focusing your intent on achieving a specific goal. Yeah I am talking more about the Law of Attraction. But beyond the mechanics of wishful thinking, a vision board is a tool that has many uses. For those who do no subscribe to energies, fate, or destiny, the vision board is a fabulous way to focus your efforts. But you can't stop there.
Vision Boards are only the beginning...
For the task of organizing and focusing your yearly goal in writing the vision board can be helpful in seeing the big picture. Before I set up the vision board above with my releases for 2018-2019, I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down my goals for the next ten years.
I'm not going to go into ten year goals here... so don't worry...
My goals were simple.
Ok! I'll admit those are not at all simple goals.
But they are written down in my ten year plan, and once I got into the scheduling of the matter, and really shredded my schedule down to bare bones I found out something spectacular. It is all quite possible. You see my primary goal was to publish at least five books. So I figured what would I have to do to achieve that? I figured a daily word count in writing, a daily page count in reading, and some measurable metrics in social media and the almighty bottom line could give me a baseline to shoot for.
Next Came the Scheduling!
The day to day break down was as follows
Now the goals have been put in perspective. In the world of the writer, the top two goals are easily the most important. How much are you writing per day, how much are you reading per day. If you can master a daily system that works for you and you can consistently hit those numbers, then the other things begin to fall in line.
We all have different schedules.
Now this sort of system works for me. But the chances are your life is wildly different than mine. I have been fortunate enough to approach my writing career full-time and I realize that is not true about everyone. So what I encourage you to do is to find a system that works for you. In fact set writing aside for a day or two or three, hell a week. The thing you want to do is to dial in to your groove. Find your mojo and figure out the best approach to hit those goals.
My super powered Life/Work Balance Schedule
As an example I would like to show how I break down my day.
Try it on for size!
Now this works for me, but for you it may not. The reason I was able to craft such a schedule was because I was clear in my goal setting. I decided to stop spinning my wheels and set down the rules of engagement for my craft. I've implemented this system over the past two months and am glad to report that my numbers have gone up, and the stress of writing has diminished dramatically.
Now why share any of this?
The writer's life is not an easy one and I know that. One of my goals in life is to support other authors. I think that virtually everyone has a story to tell, a book to write, and I hope to leave this world more colorful than the one I was brought into. I share this info as inspiration that others can potentially follow. The heart of the matter is simple, you won't find success in this trade or any other unless you are determined, organized, and focused on clear, achievable goals.
If you don't know how to do that...
Christopher Lee is the indie author of Nemeton, an avid history buff, mythologist, bardic poet, and keeper of the old ways.