I remember last year when I kicked off 2017 with a publishing calendar for the year. It was ambitious and I failed to hit a number of those dates. However, in failing, I also succeeded on so many of them that I count it as an overall win. I know that without that schedule, I would not have accomplished a fraction of those writing goals that I set out for myself.
As 2017 moved to a close, I was filled with finishing energy. I started purging clothes, getting rid of piles of paper, and shredding old financials. I suddenly started knocking out those things that had sat on my to-do lists for ages.
Recently I started reading The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months. It’s not a very detailed book, it’s up to the reader to really unpack the info and execute but it really resonated with me. Basically, the book helped explain what had been happening to me at the end of 2017. All the finishing energy was like a hockey stick in productivity. But maybe I’m lagging in July and August. This structure reminds me to check in quarterly.
Also and perhaps most important, it gives you a scheduled break that you don’t feel bad about.
So my bullet journal still had the very helpful list view of the year by month:
- Jan – revise Girl on Kraken, complete Rosie’s bonus chapter
- Feb – revise Cold War for paperback format
- Mar – begin draft of Blood Ore Chronicles
- Apr – keep drafting
- May – still drafting? work on short fiction The Coolers
but now I added a new one for the 12 Week Year.
- Week 1 – Finish Rosie’s meeting with Landau
- Week 2 – Add Scorpion away team mission scene
- Week 3
- Week 4
- Week 5
- Week 6
- Week 7
- Week 8
- Week 9
- Week 10
- Week 11
- Week 12
It’s not rocket science but I’m definitely a believer in writing things down. Also, as an old boss of mine used to say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” So writing this down in this format gives me a road map, and gives me small goals to concentrate on each week.