Not Having Defined Your Goals That Includes Steps on How You Are Going to Reach Them
Your PLAN is to write and publish your book. Excellent. Now what are the steps you need to get there? They become your stepping stones across the broad publishing stream.
Those stepping stones are essential to identify from the get-go … and know that you will have additional ones pop up as you progress. Your stepping stones should have measurements to them and dates when they will be achieved. Yes, hiccups can come in and bump them—but if you don’t put timelines in play, next week becomes next month, sometimes next year.
When you have others who are contributing (who are they, what are they doing for you, what are their costs, when will they deliver to you, completed, what they are doing), they are one or more stepping stones to your success.
TIP: Your goal is to publish a book. The first stepping stone is to write the book. What are the “stones” you need to write and complete it? These could include a place to write; times to write; things you need around you to write; how you are going to write and on what tool; what research needs to be done to support your book; possible “rewards” as you finish a chapter. I wrote an entire book with a bag of M&Ms as the reward when the first draft of a chapter was completed—geeze, I gained 10 pounds writing Stabotage!.
You may need to declutter—I’m not saying throw things out—I’m referring to removing distractions that will get in your way (it could be visuals around you, TV, outside activities, you may need a social media and email diet—limiting yourself to much shorter times searching, playing, responding) … anything that pulls you away from your mission of writing the book. What else could be on your stepping stone list to move you and your book forward?
For me, ideally, I need sun and water. I need hot cups of tea and in afternoons, lots of peach or mango iced tea. Sometimes I need some of my favorite music in the background. And, I need to be left alone when I’m in the zone. I write “binge” style … not at a set time each day; rather in huge swoops of time—where most other things are blocked away. I write nonfiction—my research is done before I plunge in and I have printed out primary components of it, segregated into piles or files that I can quickly access and then refile when I’m done with them—out of sight.
When I’m in the writing zone and I’m in my inner offices (yes there are water features running at all times) or outside on the lower deck where there is sunshine and a koi pond with waterfall—my staff and family know: leave me alone. They also know I welcome food and drink—but otherwise, leave me alone until I surface. Other writing zones include away from home and office. I’ve started and finished books in Kauai and Maui (water and sun) and many a book was seeded and completed on the balcony of a cabin on a cruise (water and sun) as this one was.
Another step is to learn about publishing. What are the “stones” you need to get educated? Another step is to find an editor. What are the “stones” you need to find the right editor? You will need a cover designer. What are the “stones” you need to find the one that will best shout out your book in today’s market and for your genre? You need an interior book designer. What are the “stones” you need to find—the ones that will best display your book for reading in today’s market and for your genre? If your book will need illustrations or any art inclusions, what are the “stones” you need to find “the someone(s)” who will create the visuals that are the perfect fit? Et cetera, et cetera.
How are you going to get to your final goal? What stepping stones do you need? When do they need to be completed so you can continue to move forward? Write them out—they are critical and essential components to your author and book success.
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