I cannot believe how fast the first Wednesday of each month rolls around now that I have committed to participating in this Blog Hop. But I love that the questions make me think AND write.
December’s Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?
Hand waving wildly. Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer!
I love love love this question! I am the unsurpassed Queen of Five-Year Planning. I have used this tool for every achievement in my life. And I am now several months into my current five-year plan setting out the goals for my writing career.
To wit: at the end of my five-year plan, I will be writing full-time and be published. (there’s more, but those are the high points.)
My plan for getting there: a multi-page bullet-point outline, outlining five major goals, which are broken down into bite-sized, manageable goals along the way. I generally work backwards from the ultimate goal. An example of a middle goal:
- published story, [requires]
- submitting finished, polished story, deadline March 31st, [requires]
- finished, polished story, deadline March 27th [requires]
- Beta reader(s) input, March 1st – 15th
- third and second drafts of story, deadline February 28th, [requires]
- sitting down and writing first draft, deadline January 31st, [requires]
- sketching out idea, deadline January 7th, [requires]
- developing an idea when submission request announced, January 1st
Each of these steps are further broken down. For example, submitting a finished, polished story requires additional subcategories, such as investigating places for submission and submission requirements.
I have no shortage of ideas or sketches. In fact, I can stop thinking up ideas and sketching them out, because then I’m all “ooooh shiny! I want to write that story” and it interferes with working on the current project.
My task at hand is to sit down and FINISH the first draft of my novel. I am doing this through Holly’s HTTS course. I am on track financially to transition to writing full-time on the goal date I have set (that was another multi-page analysis which took me six months to perfect). I am making progress according to my plan.
As I move closer towards goals, I sometimes find it necessary to tweak the path. It is something akin to taking a road trip to a specific location. One does not just hop in a car in New York and head west, hoping to end up in Los Angeles. Maps, guidebooks, and planning for contingencies such as road construction and flat tires are necessary. Otherwise, as the Cheshire Cat so aptly observed:
Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Many thanks to this month’s awesome co-hosts – I’m off to find out where they, and other BlogHoppers, plan to be in five years: