Sometimes it’s difficult to plan what you’re going to cook for dinner much less where you want your writing career to be in five years. But whether you are writing for fun and only plan to write one book a year, if that, or you are planning to write and publish maybe as many as ten books a year, (It can be done. But should it? That’s a different blog post.) a publishing plan can help.
Setting deadlines is a wonderful way, and sometimes a necessary way, to force yourself to write regularly. Talking about writing is easy. “If I write 1,000 words a day, I can write a book in three months.” That sounds like a piece of cake, but if it were, everyone would do it. When you are a writer, you are your own boss. No one is going to make you get to work. You need the willpower to do that yourself. So when you say you want to write 1,000 words a day, stick with it. But don’t set impossible goals for yourself—you’ll just feel rejected and depressed when you can’t meet them.
A publishing plan can help you with a marketing plan. Are you writing a series? How are you going to publish them? All at once? Three months in between? What websites will you use to promote your books? How will you find reviews? A deadline can help so you can plan to give ARCs to readers who will hopefully review it. Will you contact bloggers to organize a blog tour? All these choices will be made more easily if you have a publishing plan.
Do you want to add more to your writing resume? Maybe start some freelance work? Or maybe you would like to start an editing service? Maybe that requires taking some editing courses and taking on some pro bono work to gather testimonials of what a great job you would do. If you want to branch out and not sacrifice time for your own work, fitting in extras like these would be easier if you had a plan.
For me, I know what books I want to write for the next little while. I have a lot of ideas for plots that should keep me going for the next couple of years. I beta/edit for people and I’m always researching something about the publishing industry. Right now I’m waiting for a book I want to read about how to effectively use Facebook ads, and I just finished a book about using Amazon ads.
I build time into my schedule to blog, and every day I work a little on my writer’s platform.
I stumbled upon Kindle Scout, and I’m trying to work into my publishing schedule when I would want to enter the contest and what book I would write to try that with. I also haven’t completely ruled out querying.
I do know that now that I am a better writer (goodbye head hopping and garbage filler) I can write faster. I aim to publish about three books a year.
I like having a plan in place. It keeps me on track and accountable. It’s much too easy to waste time online and be waylaid by low productivity.
Maybe you feel you don’t need a publishing plan. That’s okay. Always write to have fun. I love writing, and a publishing plan isn’t to force me to write and make me feel guilty if I don’t, but it does allow me to look ahead to where my writing will bring me. Because I eventually want to quit my day job.
Where do you want your writing to bring you?
Where will you be in five years?
Let me know!