A Road Map to Fame!

Clickety-click clickety-click clickety-click…


Uh-oh, who stole what?

“Yes, sweetie?”

“I want to make a kwaft.”

And I want to make a book. Sigh…

Empress Erika

Empress Erika

These are the sands of our life. Okay, pretty melodramatic, but these things will steal our time from writing while fulfilling our other needs. Erika loves crafts, and who am I to stifle creativity?

After last time, you are probably sitting in front of your new computer with a redundant drive currently setup with all sorts of neat-o directories, but still unable to create your masterpiece. Not a problem, we will continue to work on making you a productive writer.

One of the most basic problems when starting any project, big or small, is organizing the activities from which the product is created. Task management is the bane of our existence but the soil from which our creativity takes root.

All right, maybe you are one of those artsy people and the idea of a list or organized set of tasks makes your skin crawl. Too bad, because everything requires organization or you will spend all your time trying to figure out what to do next. Remember, you only have your appointment to write, so you must make the most effective use of that time.

Organization is not just another “tion” word, but a real active process that you can easily master with some simple practice. Not me, you say? Yes, you, I say! Now, there are many tools at our disposal that will help us manage our time. Some are expensive, some are not. Some are electronic, some are not. Some are red and some are blue, but not all of them are right for you!

Wait a minute, I think I was channeling Dr. Suess! Later, we can spend time sorting out which of the many solutions are right for you, but for now, let’s begin with the basics. Task Decomposition is another big “tion” word you need to become familiar with. We cannot proceed until you have created a broad stroke list of tasks which you must accomplish to create your book, short story, blog, or whatever.

Task Decomposition is simply that. You take a task, say writing a book, then you break it down (decompose) into smaller tasks. Let’s say, write chapter 1, chapter 2, etc. From there, we break those tasks into even smaller tasks, if necessary. When we are done, we have a very good start at what must be accomplished to create the end product.

Obviously, if this is your first go round, then this process will not yield every single task you must do to publish your writing, but it will be a good start. The rest you will learn as you go, modifying your list as necessary. The list becomes your appointment scheduling book. Instead of saying something like ‘see Mrs. Smith about her molar‘, your appointment will say something like, ‘write outline of chapter 1‘. Come appointment day, you will work on that specific task. Voila! You are now a writer. Well, sort of.

Your mission until next time is to sit down, state a high level goal like, ‘write a science fiction novel‘. Then, think of all the things you know you need to do to make that happen. Order does not matter until next time, so don’t get bogged down in operational details, we will flesh those out in the next blog. Your road to success can only be paved if you map out the path to get there. So start mapping!

Well, that craft won’t get done by computer. Now, where did I put those scissors?