…and building your writing empire.
If you want to do more than publish a single book (also known as the hit and run version of indie publishing), you’ll need to set some long and short term goals.
That’s because self publishing is a business and you’ll need to treat it like one if you want to have long term success.
Are you ready to take control of your future?
Goals are important but without a decent plan you’re not going to get there. These are the 2 most important questions you can ask yourself.
- What are your long and short term writing goals
- How are you going to achieve your goals?
Why apps aren’t the answer
It’s common for most writers to fall down the productivity app rabbit hole when trying to get on top of their goals.
There’s some great productivity apps available that can improve your productivity but beware of New Shiny Thing Syndrome when you think you’ve found the perfect app.
Choosing the wrong productivity tools can make your writing goals impossible to achieve if you become a slave to the app.
The best way to achieve your your writing goals is to embrace simplicity. You’ll find that pen and paper can be more efficient than an any app.
Here’s the big reveal.
If you’re serious about improving your productivity as a writer, all you really need is a bullet journal and a wall chart.
Stay with me.
Wallcharts organise your year at a glance
I know, sounds clunky right? NO – you’d be quite wrong. You need something to write down your writing goals that allows you to see your year AT A GLANCE.
It’s hard to do that with a digital calendar.
The trick is to use your wallchart to big picture your goals for the year and then use your bullet journal to fill in the weekly details and reporting.
So, your first task as a brand new ‘authorpreneur’ is set your goals for the next 3, 6 or 12 months.
‘Big Picture’ your Year
Buy yourself an annual wall chart. Pin it up in your writing space. Now you’re going to ‘big picture’ your entire year.
1. Commit to your launch date
Put a big red circle around that number. Mark it. You now have a publishing goal. Everything you do now pushes towards that date. In project management speak, that’s your milestone.
2. Work backward from your milestone
Get the picture? You don’t need to map out the painstaking minutae on the wall chart but you do need to map out all your key milestones.
- When should your final edits be complete? Circle that date.
- When should you sign-off on your cover art?
- When should you hire an editor?
- When should you complete your 2nd draft?
- When should you complete your first draft?
Once completed you’ll have a map of your publishing year that will allow you to plan your goals.
By seeing your year on a chart, you’ll see that your goals are achievable.
Don’t Forget your Platform Building
Yes, you do have to blog and promote yourself on social media if you’re serious about doing more than publishing a single book.
Are you going to blog once per month? Pick a date and make it consistent across the calendar.
Just like you worked backwards from your book publishing date, you can work backwards from your blogging and social publishing deadlines.
- When should your blog edit be complete?
- When should your 2nd draft be complete?
- When should you send 30 minutes a month writing and capturing some ideas for your blog.
Put all these milestones on your calendar – because next, we’ll look at how you use your wall planner and a simple dot journal to keep on top of your tasks and complete your annual projects.
I’m a late convert to the bullet journal. I read the Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll and it transformed my professional life. As a way of organising your time and productivity it’s the simplest and most elegant system I’ve come across. I’ve tried just about every productivity app under the sun and just found all I was getting was a longer and longer digital todo list of unfinished tasks and reminders.
Maybe this sounds like you?
For those late to class, a bullet journal is a combination of a calendar and a journal. On one page you’ll have a box for each day of the week. On the facing blank page you have room to highlight what has to be achieved in that week.
It’s a fantastic way of managing your time on a daily/weekly and monthly basis because dot journals force you to consider what has to be done and what hasn’t been done.
You do this by reviewing your journal daily and weekly and keeping your tasks aligned with the big milestones on your wall chart.
You’ll find it’s much simpler to open your journal than to just dive into an app.
The power of the bullet journal is in reviewing what you’ve done, what needs to be done, what didn’t get done and doing this regularly.
The combination of a bullet journal and an old fashioned wall chart will transform your productivity but you’ve got to commit to the method.
This means weekly contemplation of your wall chart goals and your small tasks in your bullet journal that will help you achieve them.