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30 Days In On Planning

February 5, 2020 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed
Author typing on an old typewriter | Tracy Read | A Slice of Orange

Happy February.  It’s hard to believe we are 36 days into a new decade.  Let’s get started.

Last month I invited you to follow me on my planning journey.  One month down and I am in love with planning.  Full disclosure, I have not settled on a system, yet.  Once I do, I’ll share it with you.  

In the past, at this time of the year, I would still be looking for a calendar I liked.  I am a huge Kate Spade fan and have been using KS planners for a few years.  It’s not to say they aren’t good because they are.  

What have I learned from my first month of organized planning?  I learned to focus and  not beat myself up when I don’t get everything done on my daily to do list.   

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube channels on planning and it’s fascinating. I’m so excited to find channels on writing and planning.  I watched another Sarra Cannon video about “Kanban Boards.”  I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about.  In fact, I thought she was saying something else.  But when I watched the video, I knew it was exactly what I needed to help me organize my writing life.  

A Kanban Board forces you to focus on a few goals and all the tasks required to complete them.  To be specific, here’s the Wikipedia definition: A Kanban board is one of the tools that can be used to implement Kanban to manage work at a personal or organizational level.  

The way Sarra set hers up was on a board into three months.  I like the idea of focusing on three goals.  Here are my three: 1] Publish and promote both new and backlist titles to increase average income; 2] Increase fan engagement across social media, blog, BookBub, Amazon and newsletter 10%, 15%, 30% and 3] Complete Unexpected Love #2 and start a KDP Select book.  [For privacy reasons, I didn’t disclose the financial aspects of the first goal.]

The goals and their tasks are broken down by 30, 60 and 90 days.  My head went into a tailspin and I immediately understood why Sarra suggested limiting the goals to three or maybe two.  I chose three. If you’re inclined, you can also add a personal goal.  Each month has a different color to help keep things in order.  If you’re interested, check out her video [https://heartbreathings.com/how-to-achieve-your-goals-when-youre-busy/].

How did I do the first 30 days?  I missed the mark on a few things.  Seeing all of the tasks on a board made me face my new work reality.  I sort of mixed up my stickie notes…something I’ll correct in the next quarter.  This first thirty days, I planned to rebrand a series.  I made a set of covers late last year, but when I went back to them, I started having second thoughts and made another set.  I’m not satisfied with the new set and will start on another set this month.  This indecisiveness, has caused all the tasks attached to that series, to be pushed back.  A few of the other tasks for January which I’m carrying over include some minor admin things.   

This new plan allowed me to write again.  I hadn’t written much the last quarter.  I signed up for NANO, but didn’t complete the book. I would like to blame it on the business of life, but after NANO finished, I realized it wasn’t time to complete that book.  If I’d stayed with it, it would have meant I wouldn’t get a book out until summer and I felt that was too long of a gap between releases.  My last release was in October.  

Instead, on January 13th, I know this because I wrote it in my planner, I went back to working on The Good Girl Trois [I had written 2653 words and put it aside].  I made it a point to be consistent.  I set a daily goal of 1000 words per day.  That first week was hard.  There were a few days where I barely wrote 500+ words.  And days when I did 2000+.  As of today, I made my goal for January, 15,000.  My new goal is to complete this book by the end of February.  I’m not pressuring myself, but if I stay on track, I’ll make it.  

My social media has been up and down, but that’s my fault.  I have a plan, which I need to implement. 

This year, I really want to put all of the things I’ve learned from courses and conferences into play and develop a marketing plan that’s right for me. This could mean limiting conference attendance and author signings.  My goal this year is to publish four books and build up my readership. I hear you saying, “Author events will help with readership.”  That is true, but I really want to advance and or complete two of my series.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far, is planning is no joke.  I also see why, planner girls start working on their plans in October.  I don’t like playing catch up, but I am a lot further along this year than I have been in the past.  I’m excited to see how I do this month.

See you next month.


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