Published Author Ahead!
When you sit down to plan a trip to a place you have never been before, you pull out a map (or like most of us, use some form of online mapping tool). When you wake up in the morning and start planning your day, you might use some form of day planner (electronic or not) to plan out your day. In each of these examples, you are using a tool to plan out your path of travel or the tasks you wish to accomplish. Even the helmsmen of the starship Enterprise uses sophisticated instruments to plot the path he wishes the starship to take (and thus arrives at the desired destination).
I would postulate that your writing journey is no different. By listing, plotting, and planning your writing journey, you are visually formulating a plan of action for your writing career. Let me say right off that this is not a rigid plan, but evolves as you sail through the (now) charted waters of your writing career.
Each January, for example, I create a yearly writing chart. This is more than just a simple New Year’s resolution to “write more.” It consists of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals...all in a visual format. Beyond that, I even list things such as:
- Interesting titles that I have come up with that need content (article, blog post, short story.)
- Places I want to submit articles, short stories, or blog posts (publishers, etc.)
- Story outlines (general one line descriptions.)
- Any contests I want to enter into.
- Blog ideas.
- Hoosier Ink newsletter ideas.
There is something very satisfying about seeing all of this “in writing.” I can make notes on my writing map as to how I am doing and adjust the map as I go along. The bottom line is that I have another tool to hold myself accountable and have a map to follow instead of just “writing in the dark.” Your map might have these or possibly other elements, but the key is that it becomes the blueprint to the foundation of your writing journey.