Vicki's Book News and Articles

Annual Why Writers Need a Plan

Written by Vicki Hinze

On December 26, 2011

Every year I receive requests to run again a post I wrote years ago, WHY WE NEED A PLAN.  It’s geared toward writers, but the points hold true for other careers.

Since the library has been incorporated into the ON WRITING blog, you can now read it here.

While the publishing industry is changing at the speed of starlight, some basic principles are just good business.  Remember, the minute you choose to sell what you write, those business methods become important to you.  I hope that you’ll pause and read the article and that it’ll be helpful to you.

Years ago, I became extremely concerned at the number of writers who were despairing and down, having a hard time.  Many were turning to substance abuse and falling victim to debilitating challenges like depression and a constant state of grief, mourning what wasn’t working in their careers.

I had written a book called Limping in the Fast Lane earlier.  It’s basic guideposts for living a balanced life and getting or changing things you can control to live at peace with yourself.  When the worrisome stats were revealed about writers, I adapted that book to one specifically for writers, WRITING IN THE FAST LANE.  The principles again are the same–balance is balance.

In a creative pursuit, it’s easy to get bogged down and mired, but there are guideposts for contentment and balance.  We have to choose to recognize them and then implement them in our lives.  If you haven’t read it, I hope you will.

Writers have the potential to influence others, and our goal is (or should be) to do so constructively.  If we’re a wreck, that’s all but impossible.  We have to work at it.  Like others, writers are besieged with obstacles and challenges.  But by nature or design, we have skills (or can acquire them) to get or stay healthy so that what we write can come from a healthy place.

It’s essential to the “write with passion and compassion” package.

If you haven’t read Writing in the Fast Lane, and you’ve been going through challenges, facing obstacles, I hope you’ll take the time to read it.  It’s on Kindle here.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read this book using one of Kindle’s free reading apps.  You can find them here.

As 2012 approaches, we recognize that the year behind us is one we can’t change.  But we can review, plan and prepare for a better year in 2012.

The odds of that happening by accident are miniscule.  I like better odds for us all, and I understand that while we don’t have to plan every step of our lives, we should plan and examine those things that most matter to us.  That greatly enhances our odds of achieving our goals.  And yet, if we’re not healthy, we’re still hampered by limits.

There are three things I want to share about these matters:

1.  Without a plan, you waste a lot of effort and energy trying to achieve some nebulous definition of success that might or might not mean a thing to you personally.  With a plan, you define what success means to you and then prepare a path to it.

2.  The best plan in the world is worthless unless you act on it.  Plan, yes.  But take action to implement your plan.  Without action, you’re dead in the water, doomed to just float.

3.  Planning and action won’t be your best if you’re not functioning with both oars in the water, from a balanced place.  Don’t blame anyone else or make them responsible for your oars–they belong to you.  Get balanced, get healthy, and then create your plan for what you want to manifest in your life.  And then act to make it happen and live it.

I hope that these resources will aid you in making 2012 your best year yet!





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