He who fails to plan … is planning to fail

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeI’ve recently joined Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (the link takes you to details on what that means and how to join. You’ll also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge – do check them out).

On the first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.


This month’s question:
What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Damn fine question. Positively and uncomfortably so. I’ve spent the past few weeks looking at planners and my oh my, are there are vast bundle out there, each of them insisting that they’re the one. And you know what that means, I’ve stalled …

Or have I procrastinated? Is the lack of the right planning device going to be my excuse for not having made a plan? For not having attempted to put together a structure giving me a regular time in which to plan and write? Damn you ISWG …

I can’t tell you what my plan is … not yet. But I can tell you that it’s clear now that I haven’t only suffered with an inability to work on my “big” writing because of grief. No, it’s because I never replaced my late night writing with another time slot. You see, life required that my days change to one of early mornings and early nights. And I just accepted it, without carving out a new writing time.  I failed to plan …

I am suffering from a lack of focus at the moment. I’ve been bouncing around, completing nothing. Himself said so and I sort of stuck out my tongue at him. But he was right (damn his eyes).


© Debra Carey, 2018

18 thoughts on “He who fails to plan … is planning to fail

Add yours

  1. Hm. I can relate. Twenty years ago I had a 45 minute train ride to and from work. I got a LOT of writing done then. And then I moved away. I do miss that time, and have for twenty years. Time to change? I think so!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant minds! My post has the same title/quote/focus. I’m a big planner, just short on time. At least you’ve identified the problem, now just to identify the new time. Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on Diana. It’s a tough job juggling life. I’ve always just allowed things to fall into their natural place, but now that it isn’t … a girl’s got to plan!


  4. Lee thank you. The ISWG prompt is exactly on point for January when we’re all dusting off the previous year and trying to make plans for the new one. Still don’t have “that” planner, but my bullet journal will probably do the job perfectly well. No more procrastinating!


  5. Thank you Rhonda. I’d decided to accept that and probably only noticed that my writing slot was missing when focus (and inspiration) returned. Funny that! Thank you for your kind wishes – I wish you the same.


  6. Deb, in my desire to be supportive I have an idea. Feel free to ignore it if it doesn’t fit. Pick a time, any time that is your writing time – let’s say it is 6:30 am to 7 am. When it comes and you start thinking about plans just say “sweetheart, we’re going to write now and you can work on a plan later.” Yes! Trick your fearful procrastinating self by procrastinating the planning! I think this will work. When we fuss with plans that is the left-brain horning in, and we must be very firm with it. Just say no, I’m writing now – planning, revising, rewriting, editing are all for later.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Yep. With you all the way on this one. I would very much like to have a scheduled writing spot – and am working to make this happen. The problem is that I would also like to have quite a regimented schedule on various fronts, but family, co-workers and students conspire to make things more chaotic than I would prefer…one of the lessons that I am trying to build into everyday life is to make notes as and when I can and expand on those notes when the opportunities present themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It feels wrong to say “been there, doing that”, but the deja vu I felt reading the issues you’re having with writing Deb (right down to the grief, because a lot of my writing stopped during a very hard year of loss)… well, I can relate. And finding that new, “perfect” time/place/pen can be so very hard…

    Maybe Jan Morrison’s idea will work. Should we try it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jan, I love your advice. I always have writing ideas and usually use them for the odd blog post or short story. I’ve always wondered if I’m squandering my ideas by not developing them properly. Being a pantser has been great for short bursts of writing but I’ve been seeking a way to incorporate some sort of structure into my writing so I can pick things up whenever I get time, rather than a flash of inspiration. It’s a bit scary but your suggestion feels right. First get the regular writing slot nailed on and feeling natural, then work on the planning. Thank you 🙂


  10. I have no idea how you keep all those juggled balls up in the air and still come up with regular bursts of writing and inspiration. Inspirational!


  11. Eden, firstly I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to suffer the grief of loss too. A friend once told me how long “they” say it takes to get over loss and I panicked thinking “I don’t have time for all that”, but there’s no avoiding it is there. It must have it’s time. I’m going to try Jan Morrison’s idea & hope you will too. I’ll update on how I’m getting on & will check in to see how you’re doing also. May 2018 be kinder to us both and more creatively rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Alex. It’s funny how this stuff works. But you’re probably more used to it than this newbie is 🙂


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