“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Woody Allen
For a very long time I didn’t have plans, not for my books or my writing career.
I didn’t outline for a long time. Chapter by chapter detailed outlines just didn’t work for me. I figured if I’m going to do all that work, I would rather just start the book. I soon learned it killed my muse after a few hours of misery.
I didn’t have plans for my career because…hmmm, I was clueless. I was first traditionally published. So except for doing book signings, handing out bookmarks, and doing speaking engagements I didn’t worry about much else except meeting deadlines. .
I started indie publishing in 2010. Again, no plan at first. Then I thought up a few steps to take:
- Write two original titles
- Send letters to publishers requesting publishing rights be reverted
- Re-design my author website
Slowly I learned more as I networked via Novelists, Inc. and a Yahoo group for authors jumping into indie publishing their backlist. Soon the authors turned to indie publishing original titles. I kept hearing about setting goals, crafting a marketing plan, a production plan, etc. There was that word again- “Plan”.
I’m almost allergic to plans. I don’t know why, but it could be because very little in my life has gone according to my plans. I realize I’m not in control, and my plans either go awry or get changed completely in a snap by something unexpected. And it’s not always a bad thing.
I imagine my past “plans” were like God’s favorite sitcom. I can see him clearing his schedule so he could listen for entertainment. He’d say to the angels, “Okay, now I don’t want to be disturbed. My show is about to come on. Lynn has a new plan!”
So I gave up on “plans”. I went to a writers conference with no plan but ended up meeting the editor who bought my first book. I didn’t plan to have back to back contracts for the next ten years. I didn’t plan to have one of my books made into a movie.
Okay, fast forward to 2011. I decided on being more grown-up and professional and… create plans. Here’s what I’ve done:
- I have two series started. (I’ve never done connected books before, on-going characters)
- I added doing an audiobook to my plan. A Darker Shade of Midnight is now on sale at Audible.com! Yaaay!!
- I’ve re-branded my website and built an author Facebook page
- I now have a marketing plan for 2013 (better late than never!).
- I’m reaching out to the global community via Facebook. Not sure it will increase sales, but I had this idea to try way back in 2010.
I’ve reached objectives and completed steps. I’m being more methodical, though I still tend to spontaneously change. Yes, I turn on a dime! Therefore I can endorse planning and flying by the seat of your pants- at the same time!
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