ACFW REWIND: Make a Plan and Write it Down!

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(Editor’s Note: Today, ACFW re-runs a worthwhile post from the past, in this case from August 2012, in what we call ACFW Rewind, highlighting previous posts that deserve a second look. )

by Lacie Nezbeth

At a recent, local writer’s conference, the attendees (myself included) were taught by New York Times bestselling author Susy Flory, and one of the most popular literary agents known to man, Chip MacGregor.

Some of the topics they covered during the two day conference were: creating killer book proposals and queries, harnessing our fear of writing to write better, more compelling words, and the importance of goal setting…which happened to scream my name LOUDLY!

I’m a horrible goal setter! Probably because I set numerous, large, nearly impossible goals for myself. Even though it’s good to have a few way-out-there goals and dreams, the first step in achieving those whale-sized goals is writing them down. This forces you to actually KNOW what your specific goals are, as opposed to having a vague idea of what you want to accomplish.

Sounds simple, right? (It really is. And yet, I still hadn’t fully done this until that weekend.)

I really appreciated the way Susy and Chip broke down HOW to set goals. (Again, seems elementary but the basics are always good!)

Here’s what they recommend:

First, write out 3-5 goals that fit into each of the following categories.
• What do you really want to DO?
• Who do you want to BE?
• What do you want to HAVE?
• Who do you want to HELP?

Then, write out one thing you’d really like to do as a writer.

Finally, write out little steps you can take to achieve your listed goals and file them in categories of:
• Tasks to complete in the first month
• Tasks to complete in the next 90 days
• Tasks to complete in the next year
• Tasks to complete in the next 5 years.

You’ll be surprised at what you realize you want to do, be, have, etc. At least I was. Dreams and ambitions that have lurked in my subconscious for years came to the tip of my pen the moment I gave them permission.

I encourage you to try Chip and Susy’s exercise. Take fifteen minutes and write out the desires of your heart. Getting them down on paper is the first step. After that, as Susy Flory says, you have to “trust the slow work of God”.

From her earliest years, Lacie Nezbeth knew two things-she longed to be a stay at home mom, and stories, in any form, captivated her. Today, those two passions have culminated into a fairy tale life that continually points her to God’s overflowing goodness. Her love of history, traveling and research made her decision to write Historical Romances an obvious and fitting choice. When Lacie isn’t working on one of her stories or tackling the unending mountain of laundry produced by her three small kids, she can be found chauffeuring her children to their various activities, talking to herself in the grocery store or plotting ways to get her entire family on another Caribbean cruise.

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