Delilah Devlin · planning

Planning the Work

I always have a plan. And I’m constantly revising it. This writing gig is very fluid, especially if you write for more than one house. When you’re not a superstar, you are chasing the next contract and not wanting to be out of publication too darn long, so when opportunities creep up, you don’t want to say no. You try to figure out how to squeeze them in.

Which is exactly where I am at the moment. Trying to squeeze another book into an already overbooked winter. How’m I doing? I really, really tried to look at the holidays as just regular ole writing days. I figured out I needed to write a minimum of 3000 words a day to finish in time, but Christmas happened. Now, if I can’t write 4000 words a day for the duration, I’m going to be late. Seeing as I’m house and babysitting for my dd while she’s on vacation, there’s not a hope in hell I can meet that level of output.

I just taught a free online class with my sister, “How to Write 50 Books a Year.” I made myself go through the lessons with the class so that I can do better this next year about planning for the work. What we preach is the following (in a nutshell, because we take a week to actually teach you tools!):

1) Take a macro look at your dreams and actual commitments, dream big, and make a big hairy list of everything you hope to accomplish.

2) Take an annual calendar and mark out every day you won’t be writing (vacations, holidays, if you don’t like to work weekends-every weekend of the year). Now you can see how many days you have to work with.

3) Now take that “dream big” list and figure out how many words or pages each of those projects will take to complete.

4) Once you have that combined number, divide it by the number of working days you actually have. You have your pages/words per day requirement. Does it look doable? If not, start chopping that “dream big” list down to size.

I really, really wish I would have followed my own advice. 🙂

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