Friday, December 30, 2005

Organize Your New Year

In my last post, I talked about my goals for the year. It's an ambitious schedule -I'll cop to that - but it's also attainable if I break it all down into manageable units.
Units that I can work on every day.
Units that become part of my daily routine.

That's the Secret to being productive:

1. Set the goals.
2. Schedule the deadlines.
3. Work backwards from there so that you don't kill yourself.
4. As you accomplish a daily, weekly and monthly goal - mark it off. Chart your progress.

Most of you know me as a very practical guy. No flourishes nor fancy, flowery language making writing an almost mystical pursuit. No sermons about inspiration striking, and the work flowing down from on high. No secret to writing success. Ain't gonna happen, folks. Writing is a discipline, plain and simple. You either do it or you don't. Butt to chair. Fingers to keyboard.

To schedule the work, what I do is print out:

1. An MS Word Outlook calendar showing the entire year at a glance.
2. Then I also print out the individual months.

Then, I take out a red , green , and blue pen and get to work.

Red is for writing goals. I plot the deadline on the yearly calendar of a particular writing project.
Green is for producing goals. I plot it out on the yearly calendar in the same fashion.
Blue is for personal and networking goals. Events, reading and the like are plotted in here.

Then I plot it all out on the monthly calendars, breaking it down and working backward from there, scheduling my work: Outline by a certain date; then first draft; revision one; revision two; polish.

Wow, big secret huh? (not to mention low tech)

It's almost the New Year. I'm signing off now to do the pulp writer thing and get a bit tipsy. Okay, a lot tipsy. Here's to everyone who dreams it, and more importantly who works for it -- that first sale.

Your mad pulp bastard,


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