Here's my process from idea to action:
- Store the ideas. I'm constantly dreaming stuff up, and I store all my ideas on paper and Post-It notes. I find that if I don't write my ideas down, I usually lose them forever. So I always keep pen and paper on me or near me. (And I get out of bed to jot down ideas if needed.)
- Collect the ideas. Some ideas immediately turn into a poem or a blog post. But many are collected in myriad notebooks I keep. I own many notebooks that are stuffed with ideas that will stay there--waiting for someone else to breathe life into them.
- Outline the ideas. Not all my ideas are immediately developed or disappear. Some of the more complicated ideas sit and collect steam. I often revisit my notebooks and realize which ideas seem to have more staying power. For these ideas, I will eventually create an outline to help me put the idea into action.
- Develop a plan. Once I have a somewhat developed idea (thanks to my outline), I develop a plan for executing that idea. Sometimes, it's as simple as writing a blog post. Other times, I might have to develop a proposal or--in the case of this blog, I've created an editorial calendar for 2012 (see below).
- Execute the plan. This part of the process is most often the stumbling block for me, and it's usually how I know if I'm really devoted to the original idea or not. If I'm really passionate about an idea but still have trouble executing the plan, I usually find that I've either skipped or short-changed a step earlier in the process.
Anyway, I used the process above to make a plan for the My Name Is Not Bob blog in 2012. Here's the current editorial calendar, which will go into effect starting on January 1, 2012:
- Sunday--Blissfully. I plan to share a different personal story from my past on every Sunday. Some of the stories will be delightful, others will be nightmarish, but they'll all be me--and they'll all be true.
- Monday--Advice for Writers. I started getting into a rhythm sharing the best advice for writers from various online sources on Mondays. I plan to be even more consistent with this feature in 2012.
- Tuesday--Platform Advice. Since I feel strongly that one of the most important elements to writers' success in the new landscape of publishing and media is an exceptional platform, I plan to share a weekly feature on how best to develop this tool for success.
- Wednesday--Life Changing Moments. Of all the features I'm planning for 2012, this is the one I'm most excited to share, because it will be completely guest post driven. Each Wednesday, a new person will share one moment that changed his or her perspective on life. Some of the first posts will be written by the likes of Jane Friedman, Collin Kelley, Nin Andrews, and Scott Owens.
- Thursday--Successful Writers. Currently, I'm imaginging this slot will include interviews and guest posts from writers who have and still are experiencing success with their writing pursuits. I imagine this slot will include success stories from poets, novelists, bloggers, ghostwriters, business writers, and more.
- Friday--Make the World Better Today. Two main objectives are driving my 2012 editorial calendar: helping writers find success and helping to make the world a better place (through sharing my own stories and the stories of others). This Friday slot will share tips on how to make the world better immediately. My hope is that eventually this will be at least partially guest post driven too.
- Saturday--Poetic Saturdays. I plan to use Saturdays to share one of my poems and also link to some of my favorite online poetry of the week.
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Check out previous Not Bob posts:
I've been putting together an editorial calendar like this for my own blog for the New Year. The plan (at the moment) is to post new poems on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with blog posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Weekends are free, although something might get posted, as it comes up.
In 2011, I started using an editorial calendar for my weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter, and it improved my process (and the content in the newsletter) more than I would've expected. So in 2012, I'm doing it again for the newsletter and, of course, trying it out on my blog.
Good luck in 2012, Gabriel!
In my opinion, one of the most important steps you took here was to make this *available to the public*.
There's nothing like saving face to motivate a person to do what they said they were going to do.
Cheering you on, Robert...
Yes, that does help--a great deal, Susan. Thanks!
A lot of good things to look forward to in 2012!
I'm definitely excited, Andrea!
I found this very helpful. I have been trying to put together a schedule for my blogs and you broke it down in such a way that has me thinking clearer about my strategy.
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