Should a Writer Create a Business Plan
The short answer is “heck yes!” The long answer is a little more involved. For some time, I’ve set goals for myself, but never really felt bound to it in anyway. I kept lists of things I read or money spent on my projects in hopes of using it for a tax deduction. But it’s Christmas! I don’t have time to do this. If I can do it, so can you. Here are a few tips.
Last year I took it a little more seriously because I started writing down exactly what I had done for 2016 and honestly, I was a little disappointed. Part of that lack of success (although I made some serious money) my parents needed some care. I lived three hours away so a great deal of travel became part of my life. Then my father passed away in September and there tended to be a lot going on with my mother until the spring of 2017. Things continued at a snail’s pace with the birth of twins to my daughter. I wanted to be there for her so my writing suffered. It was a trade-off I’m glad I made. Then over Thanksgiving my mother passed away.
I tell you this because life just happens. Unexpected events are roadblocks to get you off track. Having a plan in place helps me refocus what I want to accomplish. Now my goal/plan I wrote down for 2017 looks like it has bullet holes in it. I’m not sure even the Navy SEALS could rescue it. But I did get some things done. I never gave up. For 2018 my business plan makes me excited. I’ve actually already tried to implement it so I’m used to the work schedule. My plan will look different than yours.
This is to be broken down in bite size pieces. Purchase a calendar, a little larger than the size of a spiral notebook. Take your plan and break it up by months or weeks on what you intend to accomplish. In my calendar I have the month where I put in the basic activity. Then the next few pages have a longer space for each day where I can go into detail. I’ve padded things in because there is no way I can get everything done. But you never know!!!!
These are my categories. Under each one I list exactly what I want.
BOOKS TO WRITE
- Words to write each day ( I write these on my calendar to help me keep track.)
- Number of projects to write (include title if you know. I always have an idea.)
- Social Media you want to use
- Ads you want to try
- Do you need a newsletter?
- Helping others with promotion
- Any changes to current published work
- Decide on number of posts a week/month and stick to it.
- Decide on the topics you’ll cover
- Write your posts ahead of time
I like this because I can start saving for the event. But you need to start scouting out where and what you want to do now. Just because you add them to the plan doesn’t mean you have to go. These are the ones I’m interested in for 2018.
- Killer Nashville
- https://www.bouchercon2018.com/ St. Petersburg, FL.
- Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference in St. Louis
I hesitate to show you my list because I want you to find what works for your topic, expertise and comfort zone. Here are a few ideas that might work for you. Remember if your character has a garden or is a farmer you might contact the local garden club, etc.POSSIBLE SPEAKING APPEARANCES
- Workshops – marketing & writing
- Women’s groups at churches or conference
- Book clubs
- Community groups like Rotary, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce
I really go off the rails here. Trying to work this in tends to be difficult for me. Knowing I’ve written it down and committed to closing the computer for a few hours helps me tremendously.
- Read 2 books a month in my genre
- Take one free seminar a month
- Read one educational advice book on writing a month
- Read devotional/inspirational passage each day
- Watch 2 documentaries each month
- Read one book/magazine/article out of my genre each month (Keep track of the titles.)
- Read informative magazines each month (List your preference and keep track of them as well.)
- Meet with other writers for encouragement.
DOCUMENT IN BACK OF CALENDAR WHAT IS ACCOMPLISHED – Be sure you also print off a copy of your plan to place in your calendar where you’ll check it each week. Okay! You’re ready to start 2018. Go!