If you expect to produce written material on a regular basis in the coming year, you need a plan. Writing coach Nina Amir explains it like this:

“If you were… a marathon runner, you’d have a plan for how to run the race… how to overcome the tough spots-like when you feel tired, physically drained, and unable to finish… what to do when your mind starts saying, I can’t do this. It’s too hard…

“It’s no different with your writing. You need a plan to get you from ‘start’ to ‘finish.’ How will you ensure that you continue to write… no matter what?

Time for Plan B

It’s an important question to have an answer to. The year to come is sure to have distractions, emergencies, and disappointments that will make it hard for you to write at times. Every year has them.

Instead of assuming that everything will go well, so finding time and motivation to write will take care of itself, what if you were to assume the opposite? Imagine that every week will hold interruptions and unexpected events. How will you keep writing then?

Here’s an example of what I mean. To make sure I’ll keep writing, I have a plan to attend a half-day Shut Up & Write session each Tuesday this year. But if I imagine that every week will present me with interruptions, that plan might not be enough. So, I’ll also block off the time on my calendar for a Thursday Shut Up & Write session.

If I attend Tuesday’s session, I don’t need to go on Thursday and can use that time for something else. But if I miss going on Tuesday, the Thursday time is already blocked out on my calendar.

Your writing plan will almost certainly be different than mine. You might plan to write with a buddy, keep yourself accountable by declaring publicly you’ll post to your blog once per week, or commit to thirty minutes of writing each morning before you check your messages.

Whatever you choose, just make sure you a) have a plan, and b) have a backup Plan B for what you’ll do when life gets in the way of your Plan A.

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