Recently I was looking over one of my favorite resources on book outlining -- Karen Wiesner's First Draft in 30 DaysToward the end of the book she has a section on outlining your career as an author, including a one-year plan and multi-year planning.

It was a bit of a kick in the pants (given that I forgot this section existed). You see, I have plenty of career goals. No problem there. But I don't map out long-term plans to get there in quite the same way I do with my short-term goals and daily, weekly, and monthly plans.

I'd like to change that, especially given that now is the perfect time for a mid-year career check-in anyway. And I think it's an idea that can easily be tweaked to suit writers of all types. For example....

Freelance Writers

  • Plan out your pitching schedule for publications throughout the year.
  • Plan a year's worth of big promotional efforts (like releasing an e-book or launching a new campaign).
  • Come up with a newsletter schedule to reach existing and former clients.
  • Lay out known major or recurring projects for the year so you can work smaller one-off gigs around them.

Bloggers

  • Put together an yearly editorial calendar for your blog so you know what big topics you'll cover and when.
  • Line up guest post appearances elsewhere (or guest posts for your own blog).
  • Plan new blog features or product launches through the blog.

Book and E-book Authors

  • Map out your book research, outlining, and writing schedule.
  • Plan how you'll spread out work on multiple books or series over the course of the year.
  • Plan your editing schedule.
  • Figure out when you'll pursue other elements of the publishing process (if you're an indie publisher) so you can meet your publication goal or deadline.

Do you outline your writing career in some way? Or do you plan more for the near future than your broader goals? What other things might you be able to plan a year or more in advance as a writer? Share your thoughts or your own career outlines in the comments.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Indie Writers, NakedPR.com, and BizAmmo.com.

Jenn has over 17 years experience writing for others, around 12 years experience in blogging, and about a decade of experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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