Six months ago I started a new remote day job with set clock in/clock out hours. My previous job was more fluid. As long as I got the work done, it was all good. I held that job for 16 years, so switching to a more rigid schedule was new for me.
At first, I worried that this new job would be the end of my writing. I wouldn’t have my normal mornings of writing/admin time (choosing to do the day job later in the day and focusing on my writing in the early hours.) So, before I even accepted the new job, I planned out (of course I did) what my writing year might look like given these new time constraints. Bear in mind that I’d already started publishing my series, Where You Left Me, and had teased out the fact that it was going to be a rapid release.
Once I started a new job, however, how would my prior writing plan change? I sat down one weekend and mapped out lots of different release dates. What was realistic? What needed to be pushed back? And the big one; did my plan of four releases a year (one per quarter) need to shrink back to two? Not if I had anything to say about it.
I’m a morning writer, so I decided to lean into that. But, I also need to get my yoga in, and that ever-important first cup of coffee before the brain can go. I log in at 8:30, which means, waking at 5:00. Coffee and contemplation until 6:00. Yoga, shower, etc, then 7;00-8:00 am writing all the words. Or editing them. Or formatting them. Whatever the day calls for. And yes, I have a plan for what I’m working on each day. It’s what keeps me on track. I have a yearly plan, that I break down into monthly goals, that I then transfer to my daily planner. Meet the daily goals, you meet the monthly ones. Meet the monthly ones and you have your yearly goals.
Is it time-consuming to plan in that way? It can take the better part of a Saturday morning, but so worth it for me to know I’m working toward a goal. It takes the stress off wondering if I’ve done ‘enough.’ If I meet my daily goal, I’m golden. If not, I’ve built in buffer days each month to catch up. This sets me up for success, even if it only feels like tiny moves at the moment.
Originally, the plan had been to release all 5 volumes of Where You Left Me back-to-back. But then, I lost a large chunk of writing time, which meant I need more time to finish those two off. That means for November, I’ll be releasing a project that has been on the back burner for a LONG time. One that’s written, just needs the editor and cover done. So, in order to keep that release plan going strong, I’ll push that one out into the world, and then early next year, Vol. 4 and 5 of Where You Left Me will drop.
That means my 2023 writing plan only needs two more projects. And yes, I already know what those will be. Because, of course I do. I have until 2024 mapped out. ha. Beyond that, however, the plan is a little fuzzy. As it should be.