Christmas time is over, we are all fed, a bit hungover I daresay and ready to get back to the grind. For me that is banking 9-5, writing 5-10! I feel energised and keen to get back to it although the break did me a world of good, no doubts there.
One of the things I have been doing today, since I have the day off, is looking over the plan for my life.
Whatever your career or interest is, have a plan. If you don’t have a plan it is so easy to get caught up in day to day nonsense that you lose sight of it.
To take writing for an example , do you want some extra income on the side? Does it not matter if you make money, is it really about artistic expression? Or do you want it to be your primary source of income? Whatever it is, come up with a plan because each of those goals will require unique steps to accomplish it.
Break it into parts:
- What is it you want to achieve in your life?
I.E. for writing to be the main source of my income and to have a high standard of living.
There are some important points there, I want writing to be my day job, not something on the side. I also don’t want to nosedive into poverty, I want to be successful enough to maintain a high standard of living. I’m honest with myself, it is important to me, so my plans need to reflect that.
- What will you do this year to move more towards your life goal?
I.E. Get a book published on amazon.
So looking at the year, it is important to have a pretty major but realistic goal. Be a millionaire and an established writer is perhaps a bit too much, too soon, that is more of a life goal. A milestone, a big one, but make it realistic. Publishing a book on amazon would tick that box.
- What can you do this month to move more towards that year goal?
Less intense than a year goal but still considerable. Something like write 25% of the book this month.
- What can you do this week to move more towards that month goal?
This should be more immediate, something you will be rolling up your sleeves to do shortly. For example, this week set aside a full weekend for writing this week.
- What can you do TODAY to get more towards that week goal?
Every day sit and write what you will do today to move more towards the week goal. This should be fresh and one of the first things you do in the day. It keeps you focused and makes it all seem so much more real, not some dim and distant goal.
Each to their own, I am just telling you what works for me. My biggest problem is that I waste time. Not intestinally but if I put things off, I keep putting them off, before I know it, five months have passed and I haven’t typed a single world. Not good.
Ridgely sticking to a plan and never altering it is also a path for disaster. That is something I see a great deal of. People who are pursuing some envisioned plan so furiously that they miss out on current opportunities, refuse to accept it may not be a good fit- and worse of all, achieve it and realise they don’t want it.
Stay flexible, have a plan but don’t hesitate to change it if it isn’t working. It is not failure to draw up a new strategy. I would say it is by far a greater failure to carry on down a path you have long since lost genuine interest in. It can be scary to do so but you will be happier. I studied law at university and went on to work in the legal and compliance team at a bank. Some of my friends went on to practice law. If you want to be an advocate here (step above solicitor, you can represent people in the high court) that is an even longer undertaking. I could see people launching into it who even admitted they didn’t want to do it but it was “too late” and they had to continue on. What a waste of talent and ability. Far better to change their plans and try and do something they were far more interested in (happy ending, I did know someone who was ready to head down that path and went into training horses which was their main interest- they are still making good money but are far happier).
I hope you had a great Christmas, take care and best of luck in your writing!