Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Strategic Planning for Writers

C S Lakin is a novelist, copywriter and writing coach with a website called Live, Write, Thrive full of brilliant advice. If you follow the link to her website a popup will invite you to join her mailing list, and offer you an ebook, Strategic Planning for Writers, as a reward for joining. Or you can find it in the sidebar. I recommend the site, and it’s worth joining, not just to get the book, but I want to tell you about the book.

The subtitle is 4 Easy Steps to Success and I did indeed find it easy to understand, but quite challenging to actually do. I don’t want to give you the contents of her book, that would be cheating, but it gives you a way to work out exactly what you need to do to achieve your aims, and how long it will take. Once you have done your planning, you not only see the future mapped out, but have the satisfaction of ticking off all the things as you do them.

So often we writers are strong on the creative side, but not good at the practical side. These days we have to do our own promotion and marketing, and I often write about that, because it’s a lot to sort out. Strategic planning is another challenge and this book is so helpful. A lot of writers work better to a deadline, and especially if you self-publish as I do, there is no editor breathing down your neck.

Strategic planning helps you to set out what you have to do and when you expect to have it done. Suddenly you have deadlines to work to and a shape to your vision. A lot of plans you will be able to use again and again, like a plan for writing a book from start to launch. This book shows you how you can fine tune your plan as you use it, so next time it is much more accurate.

My big project at the moment is writing the second in my Flight of the Kestrel science fiction series. I only had a vague idea about how long it will take. When I worked out all the steps I need to take and estimated how long each will take, I was quite surprised at the end result.

Starting on 20 September 2016, I launch on 9 October 2017! It will be interesting to see how the reality squares up to the plan. I promise to report back.

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at

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