December IWSG Blog Hop

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IWSG Blog Hop

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:

Jennifer Hawes
Jen Chandler
Nick Wilford
Juneta Key
JH Moncrieff
Diane Burton
MJ Fifield

This entry was posted in Enjoying the Journey, HTTS, IWSG, Making Progress. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to December IWSG Blog Hop

  1. These are all great! I found early on that all we can control is what WE do. “Get published” isn’t really a goal we can strive to reach. But all of your goals are things YOU do. If we put in the hard work consistently, it has to pay off eventually!

    • Lee says:

      Thanks Stephanie. You certainly know whereof you speak. I’ve always been a fan of Napoleon Hill, and to paraphrase, “Whatever the mind of woman can conceive and believe, she can achieve.” I conceive and believe that hard work = success.

  2. Diane Burton says:

    Great goals. I love how you work out a plan of action. Well done. I agree with you about how fast this day rolls around each month. We must be busy or time would slow down. 🙂

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    December co-host

    • Lee says:

      Thanks Diane. I have used this model throughout my professional life and see no reason why it won’t work for my transition to writing full time. Busy indeed – no rest for the wicked! 🙂 A very happy holidays to you, as well.

  3. Love the comparison to the road trip, and the Cheshire Cat’s scene is so spot on. You are incredibly detailed and organized! Working backward from the ultimate goal makes so much sense, yet I always struggle with it. Good luck to you! 🙂

  4. First of all, I love this site! It’s so clever–leave a clue, etc. How did I not discover you before now? We should definitely be doing some cross-promotional stuff!

    I love that you include some wiggle room in your plan. Every plan needs a contingency plan, after all. Thanks for sharing! And seriously, let’s talk in the New Year.

    • Lee says:

      I appreciate your positive comments. This blog is sort of like a playground for me. You have probably not discovered me because I am pretty much new to the fiction writing scene. But I am happy to cross-promote on a “pay it forward” for me in the future!! Thanks for connecting!

  5. Cathy Keaton says:

    In the end, the Lewis Carroll quote hits the nail on the head. How perfectly apt.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Cathy. Alice in Wonderland is a book that for me seems to have a pithy observation for so many of life’s situations. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Angela Wooldridge says:

    Wow, you are SO organised!
    Love that quote from Alice 🙂
    (And oh boy – I’m so with you on the shiny stuff!!)

    • Lee says:

      Organization is all that keeps me from careening over the edge of madness on many days. Other days, it is a mild annoyance/obsession. Whatever. I have made peace with it and try to harness its power. Yes, the shiny stuff is such a distraction. Thanks for stopping by Angela.

  7. Juneta says:

    What a great plan. I’ve been reading about goal setting. People who accomplish the most are specific small attainable goals with set deadlines. You Go. I have added that to my goal setting for 2017. Love the Alice in Wonderland quote.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • Lee says:

      Hi Juneta. I credit my late father with introducing me to Napoleon Hill at an early age. It has made all the difference in my ability to keep my head while all about me are losing their minds. At least that’s my version of reality. I love Alice in Wonderland.