About seven years ago, I stopped going to a regular job. I no longer needed suits, ties, business cards, daily commutes, dress shoes, alarm clocks, or planning calendars.
Of all of those, the one I missed least was the planning calendar.
You know the kind I’m talking about. Those big bulky things like the one in the picture above that help you keep track of where you’re going and what you’re supposed to take, say, and do. My planner was as much a part of my daily routine as my socks, and it was with much pleasure back in 2011 that I went home from my last day of work, put the planner in a box, took the box to the attic, and forgot all about it. Even through part-time gigs with Proctor and Gamble, the Kansas City Royals, a local university, and a weekly newspaper, I never felt the need to dig out that planner. I kept track of where I was supposed to be on my iPhone. Things that had to get done went on a to-do list, also on my phone. Easy-peasy.
Fast forward to now.
Writing has become a full-time job. I didn’t expect that when I started back in 2012. My first book took me four years to write, though I have to admit that my routine was pretty loose. I would write a little, Facebook a little, and eat lunch with my buddies a few times a week. With a schedule like that, is it any wonder Harvest of Thorns took so long to finish? Had I continued that pace and lifestyle for another ten years, I would’ve had five-thousand Facebook friends, weighed five-hundred pounds from all the ribs and burnt ends I was putting away… and written two books.
Something had to change.
So, a few weeks ago, I dug out my old planner. It’s a nifty leather one that Robin gave me for Christmas years ago. It was like a time capsule, still filled with pages from 2011, so last week I ordered a 2018 refill. The pages arrived, all crisp and clean, and I spent an afternoon putting them into my organizer. I thought about putting on a suit and tie, but the few that didn’t make it to Goodwill are hopelessly out of style. By the way, can someone tell me when ties and lapels got skinny again?
Yep, I’ve got my planner ready to go. The only problem is what to write in it. Don’t get me wrong, I have goals for 2018. I plan to write three new books and give more attention to promotion and editing. I need to invest in daily time with God and continue running/walking five miles a day. I’ll also have lunch with my buddies, though maybe not quite as much.
But, how does all of this go into my planner? If you want to write and publish books, the most important thing you need to do is… write… and write… every day. At my regular job, I usually had a dozen or more meetings in a week. They filled the lines of my planner and made me feel like I was accomplishing important stuff. Now, most of my meetings are with myself. It would look kind of dumb to jot down, Write, in my planner every day, wouldn’t it?
In closing, I wish you a prosperous and happy 2018.
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