What kind of challenge do you want?

I am looking at doing another challenge in the middle of January.

My question for you is this:

Would you rather have “5 Days to Increased Creativity” or “5 Days to a Better Planner”?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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Plan Your Writing Schedule (video)

Last week, I shared a video from Sarra Canon of Heart Breathings. This week, I’m doing it again. She has good information for writers, no matter how long you’ve been at it.

In this video, she talks about setting up your writing schedule for 2019 and being realistic about your goals.

Planning for 2019

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

It seems strange to think that there are only two weeks left in this year. I actually had to check the calendar after I typed that. Yes. Two weeks.

The other day, I was thinking that it was early to be planning for next year. When I look at the calendar and realize that, though? It’s not too early at all. In fact, I kind of feel some pressure being applied.

But… I’m good.

I don’t have everything in place that I want for 2019, but who does? Not only am I not that organized, I don’t want to be that rigid.

My planner setup for the year is in a purple Carpe Diem A5 6-ring binder. I’m doing a hybrid method using a traditional calendar (week on two pages layout) and Bullet Journal methods. I’ve been giving it a trial run for the past couple months and it’s working out great.

I already have my goals lined up. I will be tracking them per quarter so I’ll better know where I stand with what I’m wanting to do. I won’t share them here just yet. I will let you know some of them as they come along because it involves new books, courses, and reviving my podcast.

It’s more than keeping on keeping on. It’s growing and improving and loving what I do so that I will have more things to share with you, too.

Have you started planning for 2019 yet? What kinds of content do you want to see here (or hear on the podcast) that would help you reach your goals?

Spotlight on Create Your Own DIY Planner

The first draft of this book was written in a notebook while I was at various doctors’ appointments. At the time, I was keeping a Bullet Journal. I had several people ask me how to do it.

I repeated myself so often, I decided to write a book. It’s not very long, but it doesn’t have to be. Please be aware that in this book, I’m not talking specifically about the Bullet Journal Method. That is the intellectual property of Ryder Carroll. I am, however, talking about ways you can create your own DIY planner. Because of that, I have no doubt there are some similarities.

Because of it’s brevity, this book is only available on Kindle.

Price: $3.99

As with all books in the spotlight, it will be free starting Friday, November 9 and ending Tuesday, November 13.

Making Plans

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

I’ve heard it said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. That deadline involves making plans.

In the past, I’ve made plans, but I’ve only halfway followed them.

That is changing.

A few weeks ago, I heard about this thing called a planathon. It’s actually a Facebook group/virtual conference. And it is amazing! Check out The Planathon for more information. It’s hosted by Amber McCue and she does a fabulous job!

Have you ever been in the middle of something and realized it has the potential to be life-changing? Yeah. That. It’s kind of heady.

There’s one day left of it and then a workshop on Tuesday to wrap it up. It’s intense! I’m making plans. I’m already implementing some of them. And I’m excited about what’s coming next. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

By the way, if you’ve looked at the information about 40 Days of Creativity, you’ve already seen one part of the plans implemented.

Are You Consistent?

Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Whenever we are getting ready for the day, whether the night before or the morning of, we have routines. We know what we’re going to do and in what order. This is part of how we get ourselves motivated and going for the day.

Routines matter.

If routines matter so much in the day-to-day operations of our lives, would they not also matter when it comes to your creative time? For that matter, let’s talk about your creative time for a minute.

Are you consistent? Do you have a specific time set aside that you work on creative projects or do you do it as the mood strikes or whenever the muse speaks to you?

I used to do it when the mood struck. Or when “the muse” spoke to me. I created only sporadically.

I don’t do that anymore. I create on a much more consistent basis. Why? What changed?

My routine.

I started planning my creative time. I started developing a routine for getting started.

I am currently a full-time freelancer. I write books, articles, blog posts, and short stories. I make jewelry, knit, and crochet. These are all things I do to earn money, yes. But they are also all things I do to be creative. If I wanted to be consistent, if I needed to be consistent, I needed to have a routine for getting things done.

Even as a creative, I want to be taken seriously. I want people to think that I am a professional in what I choose to do. Because of that, consistency matters. And routines matter.

Routines helped me become more consistent. Routines help me stay consistent.

Look at what you do and why. Is it working for you? Do you create — in whatever form that may be — on a regular basis? Change your routine. Or, if need be, develop a routine. See how that works for you. I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised.

I know what you’re thinking. You can’t schedule or plan creativity. Except that you can. By having a schedule/plan/routine, you trigger your mind into knowing this is your creative time. You sit down to work and “the muse” shows up.

What do you think? Let me know what tips you have to stay consistent in the comments below.

The Planner Is Coming

Front cover of a book, gray and black. "2018 Project Planner for Creatives" in white on the black band.Does that sound too much like “Winter is coming” a la Game of Thrones? No? Hmm. Maybe I need to try harder.

But seriously, I have the files uploaded for the 2018 Project Planner for Creatives. As I write this, I’m still waiting for CreateSpace to finish vetting/approving my interior files and cover.

I am also working on a way to make a PDF available for those of you who want the planner but want to print your own. While there are several project planning pages in the print version, I understand that might not be enough for some people, so you need the ability to print your own.

If all goes well, the planner will be available Sunday, October 1. It contains monthly and weekly pages for the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018. It has a place for limited advanced planning for 2019. There is a submissions log (previously uploaded as a freebie for you) and master projects list. There are project planning pages and a content idea log. There are extra blank pages to sketch/map/plan any other ideas you want to include.

I had hoped to be able to offer a spiral-bound planner, but that is not currently an option. I will look into alternatives for that for future editions, though.

In the meantime, watch this space. I will post a link to where you can purchase the planner once everything is approved and it is live.

Happy creating!