Make a MAP!

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Happy New Year everyone!

And what a start it’s been. I’m working on a new online magazine, writing stories, editing a book and preparing a new short story serial for publication, my head is spinning.

But in truth I’m never happier than when I’m busy. And as I have the attention span of an infant it bodes well to have a number of projects on the go at any one time.

Last year I worked and the results were mediocre at best. I had periods where it seemed I did nothing but work – completing a script with a co-writer being one of the highlights for me – but there were also times where I didn’t seem to be working at all. Instead I became some kind of sofa monster, guarding chocolate like a griffin guards treasure.

So instead of engaging in the tradition of making resolutions that I have very little hope of keeping, I decided to make a MAP. Not the drawing X’s and staining paper with tea kind – although that would have been fun, but a Massive Action Plan.

A Massive Action Plan is where you come up with your desired outcome and then list a load of ways you can achieve it.

So first I came up with my outcome;

‘Create a portfolio of work that I can be truly proud of and enjoy the process.’

Then I brainstormed as many ways I could think of that would help me achieve this outcome. Now it’s unlikely I will do them all. But if I can complete, say even a third of my list, will I have achieved my outcome?

Absolutely!

So now I have a list of roughly 35 viable things I can do this year to not only increase my output but also improve my chances of publication. This includes, sending a short story out once a month, sending out poetry that has been languishing on my hard drive since the dark ages and working on my fiirst short film.

Now what I need is a plan so I can measure my progress. A list is all well and good. But at the moment it still remains almost a wish list of what I’d like to give a go.

So I go through my list and pick out six things that I’m committed to working on for the next three months. I write them down and come up with small steps I can take towards their attainment.

For example; Make a short film.

  1. Write character Bio’s
  2. Brainstorm with co-writer and outline script.
  3. Begin working on first Scenes.

…and so on.

The more specific your steps, the better your chances of reaching your outcome.

Now I assign each step a date to be completed by. This way I can begin to measure what I’m achieving and by when. If, after two months in, I find myself behind or (in the very unlikely event), ahead. I can adapt my plan accordingly.

It doesn’t matter if my plan changes. Most of the time it does. All that matters is I have a way of measuring my success. This also reduces the chance of me getting to the end of the year and finding myself not even having started, staring at my wish list with a feeling of desperation and craving for cake.

Now I find myself two weeks into January and I’m already two thirds through my list for this month. Not only has my output exploded, but I’m building momentum.

I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but its certainly given me the boost I needed. I would love to hear from anyone who gives this a go. Did it work? Did you follow your steps? Hopefully we can all creat our MAPS and eventully achieve the ultimate goal…

…taking over the world, (followed by best evil plan laugh!)

Good luck everybody, I hope the new year brings you adventures, opportunities and chocolate…lots and lots of chocolate!

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