Sunday, February 22, 2009

Plan, plan, plan on it.

Almost everybody wants to write, don't they? Doesn't just about everybody think they could write a novel? Or a memoir? Or some kind of nonfiction book on their expertise

And I suppose it's true that everybody could write a book on something. Not that it would sell or that anyone would be interested in it. It's easy to dream about doing it, but it's hard to make a plan and then live by it and get it done. For a long time before I retired I thought I could write a book. It all started when my wife's cousin left her husband. It's her fault.

Bless her.

Betty (names have been changed for the standard reason given) left my fraternity buddy, Bob, who had become her husband for a polygamist. They had three kids by then and she planned to take them with her too. I felt so badly for Bob, who I could tell loved his wife and his children more than anything.

It was too difficult to wrap my mind around, so after my wife and I got over spying on her with the guy, I decided to write a story about it. It all eventually transformed itself into a story about some Catholic gal from the Midwest who left her spouse for a Western polygamist. So for me writing a novel started out quite haphazardly . . . unplanned. From that initial beginning, I started getting more and more organized and making more and more plans.

Anyone who wants to make their writing business better needs a plan. And such a plan shouldn't be nebulous. It should be written. It also ought to be malleable, dynamic, and able to adapt to the situation.

The United States Small Business Administration has a section on making business plans. It is also viable to search Google to find plans for writers and freelancers.

Your business plan and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) will have something in common. Every time you reread your plan, just like the Congress reading the IRC, you'll find something you want to revise. Something you think you can make better. Something that will increase the chances that you will succeed and be able to make money in your writing activity. Your business plan should be a work in process, a series of actions, with changes when needed to bring about results.

Plan on it.

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