June has been a crazy, busy month so far! What I’m re-learning is how important it is to know how to prioritize when involved in multiple projects. In this post I’ll highlight my strategy as I discuss what’s been filling up my time. Because in the words of YouTube rap icon Jake Paul, “it’s every day, bro!” …Sorry I had to -_-
Task 1: Finish book 2
Chapter 6 is almost finished and it’s really at the point where even I am wondering how this wild ride will come to its conclusion!
First, to talk about the story a little bit… Book 2 dives much deeper into the who the Keagans are and why the brothers are doing what they’re doing. My opinion about reality is that maybe 2.5% of people are just bad and only do bad, 2.5% are just good and only do good, and 95% mean to do well the majority of the time but make mistakes along the way due to greedy instincts and/or bad influences. You will see this concept a lot more as the characters are developed in book 2. For now, that’s all I can say…
As for the writing, I’m seeing tremendous improvements on all fronts. Not only have I written this book much more efficiently time-wise, but the quality is also higher, pre-editing. It’s really been cool to see this development along the way of writing the series.
As of today my expected finish date for the draft is June 30 and scheduled release is still November 1!
Task 2: Social Brand
I originally labeled this section, “marketing,” as I was typing this. However, my friend, Malachi Vargas, has taught me not to use this word. Instead, my current goal is to build a social brand.
The two might not be mutually exclusive, but the key is the way that you think about and approach the process. For me, I dread the idea of being a pushy salesman. I don’t want to think about people enjoying my stories as, “fans,” either. Most of the people I meet daily don’t even find out I’m an author unless it naturally (somehow) comes up in a conversation.
This is what makes the concept of building a social brand so enticing to me. It forces me to instead think about the goal as making friends of similar interests who might also like what I have to offer. In the same way that my hobbies/activities come out only naturally in conversation, and usually only once a trusting friendship has been established, the goal should be the same in building a brand. We should focus on giving first, in order to build the trust of an established brand.
So how have I been working to implement this? The key has been to develop a strategy of using only the outlets that allow me to connect with my future, “friends.” So far, this has involved increasing my blog posting frequency, utilizing Goodreads more effectively, and figuring out which other social networks will, and will not, work best for me.
To follow-up on the shout out to my good friend, Malachi Vargas, I’m also very excited to be working with this guy on our first vlog. I should have links to the videos posted here very soon. For now though I’ll say Malachi has come up with this genius philosophy of creation and brand building you should check out. It personalized branding significantly for me and should for you too!
You can also find more content from Malachi here.
Task 3: TV Writing
Book publishing is thrilling. But learning the TV industry and script writing process is as good or better. To do this I have heavily utilized Masterclass, a website which contains video courses taught by industry icons about how they got to where they are. Some particularly cool ones on there are acting by Kevin Spacey and comedy by Steven Martin! However, for me to have come to this dream at a time when the ridiculously talented Shonda Rhimes (Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, etc.) is outlining her TV writing journey online for only $90 is almost too good to be true.
I’ve been progressing through the lessons mostly one at a time, but this week I’m working on completing my story bible (easier with a book already written!) and my pitch document. Feedback on the pitch will be very important along the way so I’ll seek out some helpful eyes once finished. Having it mostly drafted though, writing the pitch document has certainly been–after holding my paperback book–the second craziest, “all too real,” moment I’ve experienced thus far on my journey.
And to think… it’s only just beginning! Next week the script writing begins!
The bottom line is that it isn’t easy, but there are ways to ensure you meet each of your goals in a timely manner.
Strict hourly planning isn’t the way I go about it. Honestly, the process of making a precise schedule stresses me out more for some reason than the thought that I have a lot to do. Things come up and it’s just too hard a lot of the time to produce hour for hour. Now that’s not to say it wouldn’t work for you, but it just isn’t for me.
Instead, what I like to do is to draft weekly goals. As noted above, my actual weekly goals this week are as follows:
- Finish first draft of chapters 6 and 7 of book 2
- Finish story bible and pitch document for TV series
- Draft detailed marketing plan with specific goals and outlets
- At least 3 blog posts this week
- Work out at least every other day
This leads to much less daily stress in completing tasks, while also providing enough pressure to reach goals that are challenging, but attainable.
And look at that, I might even get some occasional exercise! 😉