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  • January 17th, 2011 | 9:54 AM
A plan for the plan

It's a good day for reflecting so I'm looking back at the goals I've set for myself for the year, the habits I hope to cultivate and the planning I'm doing in order to make it all happen.

I tend to think big. I'm a great idea person and brainstorming is like crack to me, I get so excited by the many possibilities and think I can and should be able to do it all. And maybe I can, just not all at the same time. So this year I'm writing down all those great ideas and then picking a few for the year and then, breaking it down even further, picking a few for the first quarter and then for the first month. From there it goes to daily and then hourly.

When I worked in the corporate world we called this making a plan for the plan. I used to laugh at it. We'd fly people in from all over the world and then we'd spend a week or two in one of the giant conference rooms making plans for the plans. We had giant pads of paper on easels around the room, maybe 20 of them, and each group would brainstorm around various topics then tear off the paper and tape it to the wall. Then they'd rotate to the next topic and another group would come in and brainstorm around the same topic the first group just did. Then we'd do it again, combining ideas, filtering them, moving them from group to group. We'd fine comb this several times until finally, at the end of a week or two we had a plan for the plan. A nice overview that the managers could take back to their team, plug into Microsoft Project, and begin to plan in more detail.

There's a power in planning that I have rarely achieved in my creative life.

But this time, some lessons I've always known but rarely applied seem to be sticking. I made a huge dream list. I culled it for must-dos. I organized the list. I picked one project for the first quarter and then broke that project down into daily goals. Finish a rough draft in three months when my writing has been sporadic this last year sounded intimidating. Writing two poems a day for three months makes it sound doable.

So planning is working for me but I think it is working for me because I am making time for it.

Planning to plan. Planning to succeed. I like the sound of that.
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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 6 comments — Leave comment )
January 17th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of planning to plan. Next time I need to plan, I'm giving it a try.

Sounds like you've got a plan you can live with, which is what really matters.
January 17th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Still working on the final tweaks of the plan but yes, it's starting to feel doable which is HUGE.
January 17th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
It does have a great sound! :)
January 18th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
That sounds nice. I'm not good at making plans or sticking with them. =( Maybe I'll give the making a plan for the plan a try. That might work better for me. =)

Best wishes for yours!
January 18th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
I did a bit of this today, and then... I even acted upon it! I made a list of local sci-fi/fantasy/comics conventions in the bay area, by date. Then added other West Coast events in grey type. Then another list of events that happen around my hometown, so that I can mix events with visiting family to optimize air fare costs. And then I started thinking about other types of events that would suit my weird work!

I wasn't at the meeting, but it sounds like I was tuned in none-the-less!
January 18th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Love the way you worked down from dream list to a daily goal! I'm trying to do something similar right now, and this is an inspiration.
( 6 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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