Goals

Back View of Man Running on Stairs

Writing is Long Distance Running

Running ShoeI was out running the other day and came to a downhill grade. It was nice to cruise along feeling comfortable – much easier than going up hill. I wished my writing was this easy on a regular basis. I also wished I was running writing the NaNoWriMo in November.

Then it hit me, running isn’t constantly easy and neither is writing. Like running, writing has uphill challenges as well as other. With running you might face rain, heat, snow, wind or any combination of these conditions. When writing I face any number of difficulties that challenge what I’m doing from distractions of various forms to keeping up with the business of writing to discouragement over what I’m doing.

So if writing and running are similar in that challenges constantly abound, how should I approach writing in regard to running? For those who reading and are runners you already get this. Running is simple but requires both some planning and positive mindset. Runners often plan the schedule, mileage, pace, type of training and many other details.

Back View of Man Running on StairsCompetitive runners (and even those of us who run races for our own benefit otherwise) also plan their race strategy. Yes, there is a strategy to running a distance race. Check out the first American 10,000 meter Olympic champion Billy Mills in the 1964 Olympics. He ran behind for much of the race and then edged up later before finishing with incredible burst. When it came to the last push he was ready and finished with an amazing final kick to the finish. He had a strategy that he executed to perfection. Interestingly, no American even medaled in the event until Galen Rupp finished second to his training partner, Mo Farah of Great Britain, by only hundredths of a second. Both men had similar race plans and beat heavy favorites from other countries.

Writing is the same way. As a writer on a long project you must have a plan to accomplish your goal of finishing the book and publication. Overall, you must be willing to meet constant challenges and retain your morale through these to finish this “race”.

I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year since I’m working on other projects but I have written the largest part of a novel’s first draft in a month. It is a marathon that is challenging. When next I attempt this I will have a plan that is more than how many words I intend to write per day. I will plan ahead with an outline, character sketches, plot lines (and write to them) and many other details.

My hat’s off to those who are starting the writing marathon in just a few days. I wish you all well. Get your sleep, plan for it and stretch for the goal and then enjoy the accomplishment. Run strong, far and finish with strength, speed and determination.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenges? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

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Cover art image licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office

Back View of Man Running on Stairs — Image by © Royalty-

Quick Tip: Using Klout to Enhance Your Reach

Klout Suggestions

Some days my analytics suffer and sometimes they really click well. Part of the reason for fluctuations in analytics is availability to interact. Weekends and holidays are some of the reasons I might post less. Of course I can schedule some tweets and posts but I also need ways to share other content than my own. I’ve found Klout to be a source that supplements my social media, especially on the days when I spend less time on my author platform. Here are a few aspects of Klout that help my social media:

  • It suggests some Twitter followers for me. I’ve followed some of these and gotten extra follows back off this action.
  • It suggests articles I can schedule to tweet the next day. This is great to share content links that I like. I’ve gotten extra retweets on days when I’m not able to be as active as other days.

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneThese little suggestions have proven to enhance my author platform in supplemental ways that really help over weekends and holidays.

Do you have a Klout account? What do you use as a supplemental strategy to enhance your analytics when you have less availability? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

 

Project Management for Writers Pt 6: My Own Medicine

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is an ongoing series about managing writing-related projects. In this edition I want to get deeper into analyzing time. The original post is here, part 2 is here,  part 3 is here, part 4 here and part 5 here.

Here’s my application of my scheduling in light of analysis of my own needs.

What I needed done. Initially, I needed to complete some short story projects, jumpstart my author platform and complete a revision of my novel for my editor. Of course the details are much more complex. I calculated the amount of time I had available within a range. Next, I calculated how long each project would take in total hours and compared how much time I had per week to identify deadline dates(note: the author platform will always be ongoing but accounting for the time is necessary). Based on that information I could assign commitment to each project during a week by day.

How I scheduled. I dedicated the largest amount of time per day to The Bow of Destiny since it is the largest project and needed direct attention for a deadline. Next, I dedicated one day a week to work on a short story. Lastly, I put in a daily slice of time for my author platform development – social media updates, blogging, etc.  All of these were scheduled as a range of time since my availability might vary depending on daily situations. The point was to have a plan to address my goals.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Things changed so I adjusted. When I found out my novel deadline was delayed for two months by my editor’s availability, I then adjusted my schedule. I assigned less time to my novel and more to the author platform and short fiction.

What I needed done. However, I realized that I needed to address goals/priorities one at a time. My author platform was lagging so I wanted to draft/schedule as many blogs as possible and then work on several pieces of short fiction.

The result. Last week I focused on blogging and social media engagement. As a consequence I have published, scheduled or begun drafts of sixteen blogs and increased my social media engagement. This week, with so many blogs scheduled or in process, I need less dedicated time to my author platform so I can focus on my short fiction with the goal of submitting several stories to magazine markets.

In conclusion, due to my change in deadline with my novel, I’ve adjusted my strategy to focus on short-term goals to accomplish as many of them as I can in order to gain more focus on my larger project – The Bow of Destiny. While I intend to continue working on the novel as I can, its priority is lower for several weeks while I clear other projects out of the way. Recently, Robert Chazz at ChazzWrites.com has written about similar need by addressing marketing and how he needs to focus his writing in his post which has already been re-blogged on this site: What if What We Think We Know About Writing, Publishing & Promotion is Wrong? Check out his reasoning and conclusions.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Have you started scheduling your work? Have you already found a need to adjust your schedule? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft