Friday, December 21, 2012

What's Your Plan For 2013?

Every December I take a few hours to map out my business plan for the following year. Sitting down to do this is always one part daunting, one part exciting, and one part confusing. How can I possibly know what new obligations the next twelve months will bring? I can't! But I don't let that stop me.

I use Microsoft OneNote to organize my writing life. It's where I create my business plan each year, too. The main tab in my 2013 Business Plan notebook features my goals. I've learned the hard way not to etch a full year's goals in granite, so I create two tentative plans, and they each get their own sub-page.

The first is January-June 2013 and the second is July-December 2013. I copy/paste an annual calendar onto its own page in this tab, too, for referrals. Since I track my daily writing/revising/plotting progress, I know roughly how long I will need for each phase of writing a book. With these figures, I can accurately predict the amount of time to block off.

I always allot extra time in the schedule. An extra week here and there makes a big difference for me to stay on track.

Here is a sample of my overall January-June goals:

  1. Polish finished manuscript 1 and send back to agent
  2. Brainstorm and Plot  UNTITLED 1
  3. Revise first draft of manuscript 2
  4. Write first draft UNTITLED 1
  5. Send revised manuscript 2 to agent
  6. Brainstorm/OneNote Plot UNTITLED 2

Any number of things could throw this plan off, but I'd rather have a general plan than none at all.

The nice thing about OneNote is I'm able to create a little checkbox next to each goal (simultaneously press the "Control" and "1" keys). Love it!

If--let's face it, when!--I need to alter the plan, I change it and add a note on top of the page with the day I updated it.

I also keep track of my expenses, continuing education, and promotion efforts in my 2013 Business Plan notebook. Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency wrote a terrific post about her business plan and how she grades herself at the end of the year. The post is here, An Agent's Report Card, if you're interested!

Do you have an idea of what you want to accomplish next year? Have you written it down? Try it!

I'll be taking a nice, long break for Christmas. See you all January 7, 2013!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!


  1. You are one of the most organized people I know! I love it. It motivates me. Yes, I know what I'd like to get done in 2013. But characters and novel concepts always find a way of sneaking in and surprises me. ;-)
    ~ Wendy

    1. I wouldn't want to live in a world where characters and concepts weren't welcome at any time! That's part of the fun of life! :)

  2. You need to teach me how to use One Note. LOL

    I haven't had a chance to sit down and do my goals yet but it's one of the things I actually enjoying doing in the new year. :)

    Merry Christmas!!!!

    1. It's just like a virtual Trapper Keeper! I'm addicted. Really, I am! :) And I know what you mean. I love getting a plan together, too.

  3. Love seeing your plans, Jill. Personally, I hope they're tossed out the window because you celebrate your First Sale and have to drop everything to complete your edits for your new publishing house. :-)

    1. Oh, Keli, wouldn't that be something?? I would love that too!! :)

  4. I'm always very impressed with your organizing ability. I know this will help you a lot. Hope you can stay on schedule.

    Have a very Happy New Year.

  5. Yikes! your organization is intimidating :) ... I have set down my goals through Feb. Haven't tackled the rest of the year. maybe I should!


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