Sunday, September 27, 2015

PNWA 2015 Workshop Review #9: Project Manage Your Book to the Finish Line

(Image from:  CEP America, The Role of Project Management)
 While it is said that Writing is art, but Publishing is business; the dividing line between these two aspects are not clearly defined. 
Writing, or any artistic endeavor requires work, and work becomes a project, and a project may be one of several projects, and so--each and any project needs to be managed.
In this workshop, our hostess Wendy Kendall, explained how one could turn their Work In Progress into a finished product by using project management techniques.
(Note:  My attempts at finding Wendy Kendall-Author's website kept leading me to Wendy Kendall-the Fashion Designer in the UK).
First she defined what a project is:  A temporary activity to achieve a goal. 
She then went on to make the following recommendations:
Plan to win (by finishing your book).
Increase your level of commitment by telling others what you're planning to do, or actually doing.
Fear is your biggest enemy.
However:  Never let fear of striking out get in your way (Babe Ruth).
Commitment means sacrifice.
But don't try to do it all, which is where managing this project comes in.
Don't use lower priorities as an excuse to procrastinate, (which is often referred to as "Creative Avoidance").
Maintain self-commitment to your goal.
Having a goal will inspire you.
Make sure your goal is visible to you.
Stay focused and imitate the habits of successful people.
Identify what parts or your life/activity you can control when you're feeling overwhelmed (which may be often).
(Image found on:  The GradPost at UC, Feeling Overwhelmed)
Manage your time.
Define your own success.
Establish a specific finishing goal.
Put specific steps in your plan--then follow them.
End your writing day on an upswing, so you look forward to getting back into it.
Celebrate successive milestone you completed in each step.
Don't say negative things about yourself, and don't listen to negative and unconstructive comments.
Wendy recommended using a personalized project plan worksheet.
Identify required activities.
Identify dependencies and red flags that need to be mitigated.
Wendy defined a dependency as something that relied on something else in order to complete.
Gather fans by utilizing social media and platform-building.
This can include writing on-line columns, blogging, Twitter, Facebook.
Your platform and the material you write will become your brand.
Make separate personal and author social media accounts.
Know the demographics of potential fans on social media.
Despite your best efforts your plans may go astray.  If this occurs, find the point-of-departure and either restart from that point, or "take a detour." 
(Image found on:  CNX, The History of Project Management)
Finally:  Success is not guaranteed.
Losing doesn't make you a loser!

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