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Here it comes. The New Year’s Resolutions and writing schedules. In writing groups and on personal social media profiles, the questions are already coming. Are you planning your writing? What are your 2019 goals?

If you’re like most authors I talk to, you have some thought about what you’d like to accomplish. Perhaps you have a publishing schedule you’d like to keep or maybe a word count you’d like to hit. If you’re in a group that tells you once you reach X amount of books you’ll be successful, then you might be working toward that goal. Either way, you have plans. You also might not be sure how to reach them.

Here are three ways to think about your plan, and the best part is, they work together even more powerfully than they do alone.

1. Daily word count

BICHOK = Butt In Chair. Hands On Keyboard. Morning pages. Writing every day. It doesn’t matter what you call it or how you think about it, evidence has shown that authors who write every day are more successful than those who write when they feel like it. You can’t edit or publish a blank page (okay so there may be a market in journals, but that’s another type of publishing) and by breaking your larger goals down into daily word counts, you’ll make steady progress toward what you’d like to accomplish.

2. Set publishing schedule

Some authors use pre-orders to make this happen. Others just have spreadsheets. A set publishing schedule will help keep your readers happy, anticipating your next book, and help you build consistency.

3. Plan writing projects

I have a trusty spreadsheet I call, surprisingly enough, “writing project planner”, where I will write the title/or what I’d like to write, the pen name it goes under, the word count, and any due dates. In this way, I know how many words I’m writing in any given month so I know what my daily goal is. It helps me to keep from overbooking myself (much). (So many projects! So little time!) Having a plan can also help me see release dates, lulls in the publishing schedule and pitfalls to look out for.

4. Get some help!

Finally, to help you reach your goals, get some help. Let’s talk about my taking your newsletter or website updates off your plate. I’d love to be there to format your books. Getting help will keep you focused on writing and editing, and will help you reach your goals.