A plan means nothing unless I am willing to put action to that plan in order to reach my finish line. It WILL take sacrifice, determination, persistence, consistency, and focus but with these elements at work, anything becomes possible.
Building a successful writing career requires one of those plans. Throwing different ideas at the proverbial wall until something sticks leaves me with a tired arm and a dirty wall. To reach my goals, I have to know my goals and know my steps for reaching those goals. I must also have a way to measure my progress to determine what works for my unique situation and purpose and what needs to be released.
Step One: Create a Plan
A writing plan has been mentioned before on this site, but since my own plan changes and twists with each turn in life I think it is worth addressing again. A plan needs long term goals that will be reached in five to ten years. It needs short term goals (or objectives) to help make the long term goals attainable. Finally, it needs immediate action steps that are taken today (or close to today). The plan helps to drive the action.
Step Two: Put a Plan into Action
Take a step. All the planning in the world will do nothing but fill paper if it is not backed up by action. Do something that moves you closer to the goals. It only takes the one step to get the journey started, but remember to follow up the one step with a second step and the second step with a third.
Step Three: Measure the Success
You may have heard that one definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. How can you know what to expect if you are not measuring the results from the steps you are taking? Keep a list of what you are doing (whether it is running an add or submitting comments in social media outlets). See what these actions create (in terms of more visitors to your websites, more sales or more buzz in general). Understanding the cause and effect nature of your actions will help determine which actions are right for you.
Step Four: Plan Some More
Take all of the information you have gathered from the beginning of the planning stages through the measure of success. Allow that information – and any outside feedback – to filter through your thoughts and ideas. Use them to guide the tweaking and perfecting of your individual plan.
It takes planning to turn an ordinary life into an extraordinary success. But without the addition of persistence, determination and consistence – which all stem from action – that plan will fall flat. Plan what you need to do and then do it.
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