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  • Writer's pictureRegina Grimm

Self-Publish in 12 Weeks Step 5: Why You Might Not Be Writing

Are you looking to self-publish your first book this year? Follow this blog series from the beginning here.

In a previous blog, I explained the process of creating a project plan.

Great, Regina, I did that. But what if it's not working?

Let's review...

What is a project plan?

A project plan is a step-by-step breakdown of the activities, tasks and milestones required to complete a project, complete with target dates and, when used in group settings, the names of those responsible.

Who uses project plans?

Every successful business, organization, group or committee that regularly delivers on a goal uses a project plan whether they realize it or not.

What if the project plan doesn't work?

Creating a project plan is as much art as science, and as soon as there are humans involved, with lives and conflicting commitments and especially if there is no risk if you do not meet your milestones included along the plan, things get more complicated.

If you are not writing, if you are procrastinating or overthinking or doubting yourself, it is possible that your plan is the problem - not you!

Let's walk this back. To create a plan, you start with a goal:

  • Self-publish my first book.

You chose a "due date":

  • Twelve weeks from today

Then you broke it down into chunks- Aka Epics in Agile language:

  1. Write draft

  2. Edit draft

  3. Format book

  4. Create cover and front and back content

  5. Publish book

You broke the chunks down into tasks, and assigned timelines to the tasks working backwards from your target completion date:

  • Publish - Week 12

  • Cover and front and back content - Week 11

  • Format - Week 10

  • Final edit - Week 9

  • Third edit - Week 8

  • Second edit - Week 7

  • First edit - Week 6

  • Finish draft (Chapters 1-10) - Week 5

  • Write chapters 6-8 - Week 4

  • Write chapter 3-5- Week 3

  • Write chapter 1-2 - Week 2

  • Planning, picking topic, getting organized - Week 1

Yes! I did that. It is not working, Regina!

Then, we can break down those tasks even further. Let's focus on Week 2:

Ask: How are you going to write 2 chapters this week?


  • Write 3 hours every night for 7 days in a row, or

  • Get up at 5 am and write for an hour before the kids get up, or

  • Go to a coffee shop after work for 30 minutes and write before I go home, or

  • Schedule my lunch and breaks together and write in my break time or

  • Whatever makes sense for you...

This is where we look when things are not going as planned!

This is where we look and get critical about our plan. Did you set it up so it is possible for you to meet your target?  Are you already asking yourself for 30 hours of work when you only have 2 hours to spare?

If your plan is impossible, you'll have to shift it if you want to make any progress. If you didn't realize you created an impossible plan, your procrastination and hesitance to get started may be a sign that you are simply asking too much of yourself. So, it is time to get critical. If your plan is impossible or impractical, you'll need to shift your plan.

Here are a few ways you can do it:

  1. Reconsider the scope of your topic. Is your goal too ambitious? if you are planning to write a book about birds, could you focus on just one type of bird rather than writing a comprehensive guide to all birds?

  2. Reconsider your timeline. If 30 days is impossible to write your first draft, maybe 45 might work. Remember, you're the boss! You are not trying to impress anyone, you are simply trying to accomplish the goal - publish your book. You get to set the timeline. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' amount of time to take. If you get it done, you win.

  3. Consider your capacity. Getting clear on the time, energy and capacity that you currently have is a powerhouse move that can serve you in more ways than just publishing your first book. Take some time to examine your calendar and get realistic with the time and energy you can consistently commit to this project.

  4. Start small and build up. If you have never written consistently, you may need to start smaller. Set an alarm, then a 2-minute timer, and focus on building the habit of writing first. Once the habit is set (give it a month or two), start increasing the time until you find the right fit. The months will pass anyway, so decide where you want to be in the next six months and make the tiny changes to help you get there.

  5. Remember: Progress is progress as long as you keep moving forward. You can complete this course in 120 days or six months instead of 3 and still win! Just keep trucking.

Rewrite your project plan into a format that pleases you because you're going to want to post this thing somewhere prominent, then put it everywhere! You'll want to see your plan once a day. At least! I have mine posted on my phone, on my desk, in my car, and on my computer.

Do you need more reminders or accountability? Share what you are doing online. You can set up reminders on your phone. Tell your friends and ask them for encouragement.

Ready to level up the accountability? Put your money where your mouth is! To keep myself on task these last few months, I made a public $10 per day bet and said if I missed a workout, I'd give my sister $10. This kept me on track because I really like money and like keeping my own money to myself for fancy things like food and shelter.

So, you've looked over your plan, reassessed, and tweaked it so it makes more sense - and may need to do this a few more times to get it right. That is okay and part of the process. Tiny adjustments make big impacts over time.

Now comes the tough part: come Hell or high water, you're going to hit these milestones.

What's the goal? Your first draft in 30 days or the right amount of days for you!

Let's do this.

Happy writing!

With Love,

Regina Grimm is the author of erotic fairytales written for the uninhibited readers 18+.

Check out her books:

Would you prefer to read the whole story at once? Grab your copy of Snow: The Complete Erotic Series now! All five books are available now on Kindle and in Paperback.

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