Planning the Year of Publication

Yesterday we dived into 2020’s intensive planning, looking at how our Year of Publication will break out. 2020 is more complex to manage than 2019 was.

I found 2019 challenging because I had to learn quite a bit to write a good short story and then I had to write a story a week. (I am still learning.) But it was a linear process. Write a story. Learn more. Send out the story. Rinse. Repeat.

Next year will be non-linear with intersecting timelines and the need to integrate with other people’s timelines (editors, artists, publishers). I will learn publishing in addition to novel writing and short story writing. I will also learn Illustrator. We are under contract for a game supplement and Steve has a contract for his academic book.

This year was busy in the best possible way. Next year will be even more so. I am dipping into  my project management skills pretty deeply for this.

How We Plan

This year we are using Trello to track our goals, as we have for several years now. Since we have so many writing and publishing projects planned for the year, we will also break out the professional goals into their own Trello boards and on a wall calendar so that we can see them each day.

I’ve done a search for other project management software but nothing really comes close to MicroSoft Project, which is unavailable for the Mac. I don’t want to invest time and money into something that won’t work as well.

I’m using Trello, spreadsheets, and wall calendars for time management and Duotrope to manage my submissions. In addition, I’ll be using the Intellectual Property Tracker that I supported in Kickstarter to manage IP. I don’t think it is open to the general public yet but I’ll let you know when it is.

There are about twelve projects to complete in 2020. (Some major projects like academic books or novels and some minor like short stories. Some are of unknown complexity like publishing.)

It’s a lot.

I created a Task List of general projects and am creating a Task List of important stages in the larger projects. We also have nine trips or nearby conventions to attend in 2020 and those need to be integrated into our plans as well.

I added a gym visit every weekday to the list and am setting up eating and sleeping rules. It will do no good to accomplish the writing tasks if I gain more weight or wreck my health. In addition, there are social writing obligations since I facilitate two writing groups. I’m integrating everything into our plans.

We switch our budgeting process next year to Mint. In 2019, we used a combination of Mint and my own spreadsheets as we tested Mint. This year we jump into Mint with both feet. I really like how it automates everything and that it can memorize the categories I put things in. It saved me a lot of work this year even as I maintained two systems for our budgeting. Imagine how much time it will save if I don’t copy everything into my spreadsheets!

Our business budgeting will be done using spreadsheets. We may move it to Quickbooks in 2022, if we are making enough money and have enough projects to make it worthwhile.

So that’s our planning for 2020. I know that this has been a long post, so if you followed all the way down, you deserve a cookie.

May you experience success in all your endeavors in 2020, and the harmony that comes from a perfect work-life balance.

Be well!

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