The past couple of weeks have been a busy time as I tried to rearrange my goals and writing schedule to accommodate them. The other day, I got links from a good author friend on two excellent videos.
1. This is a good one on focusing in on goals in a way that won’t get overwhelming. It’s aimed at writers, but honestly, it could work for any goals.
2. The other video was on handling burnout. Again, it’s primarily aimed at writers, but I can see how the symptoms of burnout and ways to overcome it could work for other areas, too. Writers aren’t the only ones who get burned out.
I took both videos to heart and worked on how I can best modify things I have control over. Trying to work with things I can’t control is pointless. This is what I’ve been trying to do for the past 2.5 years, and it hasn’t worked. So now I’m working with goals I do have control over.
Regarding the 90 Day Plan:
Now, the author in the videos does a board. I like having something printed out in paper form that I created in my Word program. I like being able to cross things out as I finish them. I know an author who likes putting everything in a planner.
The bottom line is to use whatever method best motivates you. Seeing stuff on a board and moving them around wouldn’t motivate me. Also, I don’t like to list out every little thing on a sticky note. I like to have everything on one sheet of paper that I can glance at. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed. So this is a flexible plan.
If anyone’s interested, these are the three things I came up with for my 90 Day Plan.
Things I’ve decided to change in how I do things. I’m hoping these will help eliminate burnout and renew my focus on writing for passion.
- I log in to work on writing, publishing, and/or marketing Monday through Friday from 8am to 2pm. Wednesdays will end at 1pm due to kids’ early out from school. (Note: I do household chores during this time, too.) Once the 1-2pm mark hits, I quit no matter how much I did or didn’t do.
- Once You’re Next (my YA thriller under my pen name) is done, I’m going back to working on three books at a time. I’m also lowering my word count per book.
- At least three days a week, I will write 250 – 1000 words in each the book for the day. I was making myself do 3,000 words total Monday through Friday. That seemed to be pushing myself too hard.
- Monday through Friday, I walk for 30-60 minutes on the treadmill. (I finally broke down and bought one since it’s cold in Montana too many months in the year.)
- Saturday and Sunday is for other activities. It’s time I got back to reading more and doing other hobbies I haven’t done in ages.
Regarding my publishing schedule:
- I want to be three months ahead of schedule. Part of my problem is that I’ve been writing, editing, and publishing as quickly as I could. I published back all of my pre-order dates so far out that I hope to be able to have every book done three months before I publish it. That way, I hope to be more relaxed about things.
- I will no longer put up pre-orders until I finish the book. I’ve finally learned my lesson on this one. Pre-orders are nice in that they give me time to put all of my ducks in a row, so to speak.
- I’m not going to stress how often I publish books. When they’re done, they’ll get ready for publication.
- I’m also only taking on stories I want to write. I’m hoping this will get me out of the writing to market mindset.
One final thought on the You Tube video on avoiding burnout that I think is important to mention:
The author made an excellent point that when setting goals, one of the best things to aim for is how you want to feel. I’d never thought of things that way before. How I feel is something I can control. It’s something we can all control. The idea is to think of how you want to feel and then take the steps necessary to get there.
For example, my goal is to feel relaxed while writing. Since publishing eight books in 2019 would stress me out, I lower the number to six books. I can comfortably do six books that range between 50,000 to 70,000 words. I’m not focused on how the books will sell, who’ll like them, or anything else I can’t control. I’m just focused on the thing I can do: write.
I don’t know if something in this post can help, but I figured I’d pass this along in case something in here will work for you. I think part of living a hectic life is trying to figure out a way to best organize our time so we don’t stress ourselves out, whether we’re writing or doing something else.