As we came around the last turn of 2015, on the home stretch for the new year, I was doing what I usually do. I went, deep, deep, deep, into the world of planning. I wasn't just making an editorial calendar, I was making a podcasts-to-listen-to schedule. I wasn't just time blocking for the week, I was time blocking in chunks of full quarters. The lead smudges on my left hand left sludgy trails across my calendar, marking my progress like the path of a slug. And I was so happy, surrounded by the fresh pages of new planners. I'm creative, so to balance out my tendency for wild distractability, I have to be disciplined about taking the time to really think ahead; to chart out my time and projects in advance.
And I do. I've come to love the order because it gives permanence to the created. My favorite quote lately is Flaubert, who said “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” This makes sense to me. So, I try.
I try to be as structured and premeditated as I can be about my time. I write it down, I measure my progress.
But I've also learned to use a pencil.
So, here's what went down. I blocked the first three months of the year for finishing the memoir I first-drafted last year. I color coded my days. Pink is for editing, red, I do new writing. Orange means "crafting the launch plan", and blue equals the administrative tasks that come with a book, like cover art, web sites and dedications. It was a rainbow of creativity, hard work and more finishing.
In the words of my nana Francis; it was marvelous.
And then. The first of January hit and with it, a storm of opportunities for the Multiply team. The problem? Those great opportunities also came with some sharp deadlines for rolling out the re-brand they'd been planning to implement throughout the first quarter of 2016. Long story short, they just needed some extra creative collaboration and so I turned my pencil and my plan on it's head.
As Richard Branson once said
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.”
That's probably true. All I know is; This probably calls for a lot of coffee