Writing a Book: Why Plans Fail

Apr 1, 2014 | Writing A Book

“Plan your work and work your plan.”

That’s classic advice and it sounds so simple. So you plan your writing in logical steps. And then reality comes calling and your well-laid plan disintegrates. Here are three common reasons why plans fail.

Plans fail because we plan at the worst possible time

We plan our books when we know the least about how we will work and how things will go. Delay your plan until you’ve done some writing so you know where the holes are in your project. Delay your project until you’ve gone over the planning of your points and transitions several times and you’re dead sure of what works.

Plans fail because we don’t know our capacity

Many writers, especially first-time book writers, lay out their writing deadlines without knowing how fast they write. Learn how many finished words you can produce per hour. Then figure out how many hours per week you can devote to writing (not research or planning or revising).

Plans fail because we forget that life goes on

You’ve already got lots of things on your plate and your calendar. You’ve got work and commitments to family and friends. You need time for recreations. And you can be sure that fires will break out and need to be fought. Laundry will still need to be done. Be warned.

Plan realistically. That’s the only way you’ve got a shot at making your plan work.

What advice do you have for others about planning well?