- A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something
When I first decided that I wanted to be a writer I started with short stories, but after doing a couple of those I felt as though I was wasting my time. I wanted to be a novelist. Once my decision had been made, I purchased almost every book I could about novel writing and I got to work brainstorming and outlining my first novel. As I sat down to write, the words flowed, and I felt an overwhelming sense of joy when the book was finally finished. Then one day I sat down to work on my newest project and things didn’t flow as well. I sat twiddling my thumbs wondering why? I was constantly getting stuck, and as a result, a project that should have taken a month took three, and still wasn’t where it needed to be. After reviewing the project, I realized that it sucked and I needed to start over.
Why was it so hard this time? I had written a full length novel, this was a novella. Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t using the same formula as I did with the first novel. I figured that since the project was short I didn’t need an outline. I could sit at my computer and write an organic story like a “real artist”…what a joke! I had never been more wrong.
My point is that the only reason my first book was any good was because I planned out every detail. The rising action, the climax and every detail of the characters lives were already worked out. And there was no way for me to deny it, I was more efficient because I had a plan. I no longer questioned my lack of progress on my new piece because the answer was simple. I had no plan. I realized that the main reason for me not having a plan in the first place was simply because I was lazy. I just didn’t want to do it, and because of that I ended up doing much more work than I intended because I had to redo everything.
When there is no plan your energies are scattered all over the place and you can never get where you are trying to go. When we set our intention and map out our plan we give ourselves power to execute it in the most efficient way possible. Time isn’t wasted and we feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that we have advanced one step at a time as our plans finally start to become something tangible. I wrote my novella outline with fifteen scenes and I decided that I would work on one scene a day, no matter what. That was the plan.
Remember, get specific about your plan. I could say that my plan is to be a New York Times bestselling author, but that isn’t a plan. It is a goal or maybe even my intention, but the plan would be the steps to getting there. That is the type of planning I am talking about here. Detailed and specific. If you are not sure where to start begin with your goals. Make them S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, realistic and time bound (if you need more info on this click here). Don’t let laziness get in the way of the plan or even your own ego. Your ego is usually the first one to tell you that you don’t need the plan because you’re brilliant and a lot of other flattering crap that isn’t going to help move your forward. Be humble and be industrious. Remember your purpose and write out your plan. Create order now to avoid chaos later because there is power in planning.