Indie Author Weekly

128: How to balance planning with taking action on your book project

September 07, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 129
Indie Author Weekly
128: How to balance planning with taking action on your book project
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Indie Author Weekly
128: How to balance planning with taking action on your book project
Sep 07, 2021 Episode 129
Sagan Morrow

Have you ever struggled to balance planning your book with taking action and actually writing your book? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to get 4 tips for how to effectively balancing PLANNING with TAKING ACTION, so that you write—and complete—your book with confidence...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever struggled to balance planning your book with taking action and actually writing your book? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to get 4 tips for how to effectively balancing PLANNING with TAKING ACTION, so that you write—and complete—your book with confidence...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever struggled to balance planning your book with taking action and actually writing your book? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

But first, don’t miss an episode: You can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share a few recommendations for how to balance planning with action when you are writing a book.

For those of you who follow me in other corners of the Internet, when I’m wearing my Productivity Strategist hat, then you’ve probably heard me say this before: Planning without taking action is just as problematic as taking action without planning. 

Rewind this episode if you need to hear that again!

That’s why I love teaching about how to create STRATEGIC action plans, because that’s really how we can get to the sweet spot of balancing planning and action-taking.

Now, I know there are a lot of “pantsers” out there—authors who fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to writing their book, and don’t want to outline their book. That’s okay! You can totally write a book that way. You don’t need to outline your book if you don’t want to. 

Today, I’m not so much talking about whether you choose to outline your book or not—Rather, what we’re addressing in this episode is the problem of “working on” your book, but then letting months or years go by without really making progress on it.

THAT is why we need some kind of “plan” in place—not for the story arcs and character development, necessarily, but for actually finishing the damn book. 

There are a few things to keep in mind for the balance of planning and taking action...

First things first: it’s not a race to finish your book. You don’t need to force yourself to finish your book as fast as possible! It doesn’t need to be a race or a sprint if you don’t want it to. You get to make your own rules. You get to call the shots. You’re the author. It’s okay to take your time writing it.

That being said, WHEN are you going to finish your book? 

I’m guilty as charged because I keep postponing my own next book publication! But I feel MUCH better about not racing to finish it, as long as I’m actively working on it, on a regular and consistent basis. 

A good rule of thumb is to check in with whether your book is any better this month than it was last month. If it is, then that’s a good sign you’re on the right track with making progress on your book project. If your book isn’t any better than it was last month, however, then either a) you’ve just been thinking or talking about your book and not actually writing it, or b) you are getting in your own way and trying to perfect something that frankly can’t be perfected, because no piece of writing will ever be perfect. 

In any case, creating some kind of timeline for yourself, or at the very least having check-in “meetings” built into your schedule so that you can be really honest with yourself about whether or not you’re making progress, will help ensure that you are truly making progress on your book project.

One of the ways I like to do this is to track my word count. It’s a useful method when you are writing a first or second draft of your book especially, because at that point, it’s really more about getting your ideas on paper and racking up a word count than it is about polishing your story and cutting out unnecessary scenes, right? Exactly. You can get my word count tracker spreadsheet as a template when you visit SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes — link is in the show notes. My gift to you!

Now, I reworked my business quite some time ago so that its underlying mission is, “It’s all about the books.” It’s a bit of a play on words, because on the one hand, “It’s all about the books” reminds me that everything I’m working toward in my business is so that I can spend that much more time & energy on writing books in the coming years… AND also, “It’s all about the books” reminds me that I need to make money in my business in order to support my author career, AKA the bookkeeping side of things.

What I love about this is that it helps me to keep perspective on my goals. Because of my background as a Productivity Strategist, and with my 120+ hours of coaching training, I find that self-coaching or mentoring myself through the process of my book projects is extremely powerful. If balancing the planning with action-taking is something you’re struggling with, then I strongly encourage you to get support or a mentor to help you out. By the way, I’d love to be there for you in your writing journey! We can create a customized coaching experience to keep you productive and on track with your book writing goals when you hire me as your coach—visit SaganMorrow.com/workwithme for full details and to book your spot today.

To sum up, here are today’s tips for how to balance planning with taking action on writing your book: 

  1. Remember that it’s not a race.
  2. Create a timeline for your book and decide when you’re going to finish your book.
  3. Check in with yourself and track your writing progress
  4. Keep perspective on your goals—perhap by getting support or a mentor as needed to help you in your author journey

So: which of those tips are you going to implement? Will you do all four of them, or a combination of a couple of these tips? Post about it on Twitter or Instagram and tag me, @Saganlives, so I can cheer you on! I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress you make with your book project. And of course we can always work on this together when you hire me as your productivity coach—SaganMorrow.com/workwithme

Understanding your author goals, having a clear vision for your book project plans, creating a check-in strategy for tracking your progress, all of these things can contribute to you finally making legit progress on writing your book. The sweet spot is always to have a sort of equilibrium of planning with action-taking—which is why *strategic action plans* are so powerful. If you start to veer too much to one side with just planning or just action-taking, things can get a little messy. The more you can balance this, the better positioned you’ll be to writing and completing your book with confidence.

All right. That, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.