I walked into my Business Law class for the first time. Knowing the class would be three hours long, I wanted to sit near someone I knew otherwise I might loose my mind. I scanned the large auditorium but recognized no one. That’s what I get for being the only writing major with a business minor. I took a seat in the center – where I’d normal sit if I were at a movie theater. About five minutes later, a fellow writing major walked in the door, spotted me, and made her way to sit beside me.
“Thank goodness. I thought I’d be the only writing major in here.”
“Me, too. I’m surprised more writers don’t minor in business. Being a writer is like running your own business.”
We smiled in shared sentiments.
It’s said that many don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. Something of which I was guilty last year, and last year I made little to no writing progress. Granted, it was also my first year growing accustomed to two retail jobs, but I refuse to allow myself such excuses this year. I may not need a business plan of the usual business-y sort, but writing is my business. This year I need a plan.
I want scheduled times to write, research, and market. I want page counts to hit each day and set times to have blog posts up for you all to read. I want deadlines and dues dates and generally lists of daily, weekly, and monthly goals to accomplish. I need finish lines by which I can measure my writing success. Even if the race is only me against myself, I still want to win by margins even I couldn’t fathom.
If I am a business, I need to set my “company goals” for the year so I can collect data on my performance and progress as well as determine my deadlines. I need to be able to look at my writing through the eyes of not just employee, but employer. Would I, as a manager, be impressed with the writing results I, as a worker, am producing?
My goals may change from month to month, maybe even week to week. And that’s okay. I need to be flexible. Life happens, so I won’t beat myself up over one missed due date, but I will not let it become the rule. Having goals is like having guide posts. I look forward to next January when I can look at this list of guide posts and see how much progress I’ve made.
I’ve deemed January my planning month. I intend to finalize all my plans for the work I want to do for this year by the end of the month so the rest of the year all I have to do is put my fingers to the key board and write! You should tailor your goals to you and your writing ambitions of course. But here’s my loose plan for the year to give you some ideas for your own list:
–update the blog every two weeks
–plan, write, and edit one to two new short stories per month
–write 10 pages for my novel series every week
These might seem like small steps individually, but I am looking at them with the knowledge that this is layered. My blog posts are usually 2 to 3 pages long (I made an excel spreadsheet to track this). My average short story length during college was 10 to 18 pages per story. With four weeks in a month, I should be producing 40 pages of novel, 4 to 6 pages of blog, and 15 pages for a short story. That’s sixty pages of text which breaks down to two pages a day. During my writing sprint on Monday, I managed 4 pages in one hour. Meaning for just 30 minutes of input, I can hit that two page daily requirement which will make the above list happen. Even though I work two jobs, I can make 30 minutes of room in my day to make my writing goals happen. It’s only 30 minutes!
The idea of writing a novel is usually intimidating because of its size, but 30 minutes a day is something I can easily manage. You can, too! I wish you luck. I’m off to make new spreadsheets to monitor my writing progress.
Love and Lightning,
Today’s post idea and title inspiration:
“Business. Business. Business. Numbers. Is this thing working?” –Princess Unikitty