Authors: Mid-Year Review and Planning

It's that time of year again.

No, not for barbecues, fireworks, lakeside loitering, and lightning bugs.

Okay, well maybe it's that time of year, too.

But it's also time for your mid-year review and I think this year it's more important than usual.

It has been a wild year, and I don't think many people will disagree with that observation. I've heard 2020 called a few choice names like, "dumpster fire" and "train wreck."

Regardless of what you call it, almost everyone has been touched by the myriad events: pandemic, civil unrest, political tension, protests, riots, murder hornets, earthquakes, dust clouds, and the list goes on.

What's important is that you should now be a little more resilient to 2020's bizarre surprises and ready for whatever the year throws at you next. Now, parents at home are learning how to cope with the kids being out of school, and more people are returning to work or finding new lines of work.

As a writer, it's crucial to build resilience and remember your goals. If you've followed me on social media, in the Author Transformation Alliance, or you've picked up one of my planners, then you know that I absolutely believe goals and functional planning are essential to writer-life.

Mid-year planning presents a unique opportunity: halfway through the year, after life has thrown six months worth of curveballs and our original plans have naturally evolved, we have a chance to recognize that evolution, redefine our goals, and realign with what we truly desire for our writing lives.

1) Reflect

Before we can build an effective plan for the rest of the year, we need to understand where we're coming from. Take out your notebook and jot down the answers to these questions:

  • Start positive. What were your achievements (big and small) during the first six months? What projects did you complete? Did you hit any milestones?

  • Which things did you intend to accomplish in the first six months but weren't able to?

  • Can you identify why you didn't achieve those things? (ie., 2020 has been a train wreck, but get more specific about how everything has affected you personally -- your life, physically, emotionally, spiritually.)

  • Can you think of ways to mitigate those challenges going forward?

2) Revise

Once you've accounted for your year so far, it's time to revise your plan.