Before you start worrying about the finished plan – let’s start making a mess. The best thing about brainstorming is that anything goes, so get your brain into a storm and write down everything and anything you can think of.
“It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning.” Dr. Gramme Edwards
I love sitting down with a few old weekend newspapers and cutting out pictures of people doing great stuff. I collect wonderful book reviews I wish were mine, pictures of book covers with great designs, words, images and colours. Everything. These images normally end up stuck in the Planning Diary for a bit of colour.
The following questions are just to help your brain start to dream bigger than you were dreaming a moment ago.
Start with all the fun stuff and answer these five questions first…
- What are five things you would write if you knew you weren’t going to fail?
- What are five things you would do or start, if you knew that money was not an object?
- What are five things you would change about your writing practice?
- What would you work on or create, if you no longer wanted to impress anyone?
- How would you answer these four questions above, if you were already an established writer?
- What are your reading goals for the year? – How much time will you give yourself to read? How many books would you like to read over the next year? Are you going to commit to reading the book pages every week? Are you going to remember to read as much as humanly possible?
- What are your writing goals for the year? – Are you going to measure your time in hours spent working or word counts at the end of the day? Are you going to write every day? Are you going to set larger goals of manuscript drafts? Are you going to keep a diary for the year? Are you going to work on freelance material or only on your own work?
- What are your goals for the writing community? – Are you going to allocate time to attend Writing and Writers Festivals? Are you going to join or continue to meet with a writers group? Are you going to tell everyone you know you are a writer now? Are you going to change your job status on Facebook?
- What are your rejection goals for the year? – Are you planning on sending your work to a publisher this year? Are you planning on finding an agent? How many times would you like to be rejected this year? Are you planning on giving you work to a friend for the first time? Or five friends? Are you going to apply for a job as a writer this year? I like to call these rejection goals, to help take the fear out them.
- What are your education and financial goals for the year? – Are you planning on taking any short courses at a Writers Centre? Are you planning on buying and reading any inspiring books by other writers? It is important to remember that Education as a writer is essential and that it does not always come free. Being a writer and developing your career will cost you. How much are you willing to spend? Would you like to have your manuscript assessed by a professional? $$ Would you like to start your own blog? $$ Would you like to join a union or writers guild? $$
There is a lot to think about but I believe the act of making these plans is what brings all the benefit. Even if you never look at these again, this day dreaming and imagining will help make it all the more possible.
I have two books that all of my plans go into. One is for the year ahead. The other book is for the big, distance, impossible dreams. They are both full of images, notes, writing and rememberings. It is great. I brought a huge book knowing that I will be making plans for my writing career for the next 35 years – I want to keep them all together to see how far my ambitions will go.
This might not work for you. Perhaps you would like to have all you goals written on the wall?
Follow this link to help you sort out what to do with this great brainstorming
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