Monday, August 31, 2009

Preparing your fall calendar

When I was in sales we had something called planning your calendar. That meant figuring out what you needed in sales and then looking at your ratio of calls to bookings and finally looking at your average income per booking. The way this usually worked out was about 4 or 5 calls before you got a “yes”. Once you had a yes the average income was about $75-$100 for the booking.

With that information you were to look at what you needed to earn and time available and get your calendar booked. You always booked it 4-6 weeks out starting with the first two weeks.

Writers need to do the same thing. Our industry is slower than making a cold call [most places require a month or more to give a response on a proposal, even an article] but that isn’t an excuse to delay building your calendar. In fact, that makes it even more crucial.

Now that the chaos of summer is over the excuse from many will be “Well, we have back to school, the holidays, etc.” I think you’ve figured out by now it is always SOMETHING. There will always be SOMETHING that makes writing a challenge, but there is nothing in life worth doing that comes simply.
Take some time to determine what is necessary to get your goals met. Here is an example of what I am doing:

One editing project per week

Ten new coaching clients per month

Three blogs per week on each of my two blogs

Three examiner articles per week

Monthly marketing columns for the three different magazines I write for

Complete rough draft of one book every 6 weeks

Read one book per week on business and read one novel per week

In order to do each of these things I know what I need to do daily. I need to bid about 8 jobs because I know ½ of people who contact me for a quote end up booking a job that month. I need to read the book/novel every week and maintain the blogs because that leads to the new material that leads to more coaching clients. Everything builds on something else.

With that I go through and determine what must be done each day.

So what are you working towards in September? Do you even know? Do you have a plan of any kind? That will be the first thing.
Once you’ve done that, go plan your calendar.
Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at
Tiffany is a speaker and teacher. Find out about available topics for your group’s next event.
Tiffany is a National Examiner. Read her articles here.
Learn more about Tiffany’s Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Common-sense money management is free at The Balanced Life website.
Read Tiffany’s award winning manuscript “A Face in the Shadow” on her fiction blog.
She writes a blog for the Christian writer Tuesdays at Writer’s Rest.


Edwina said...

This is a great post and I appreciate the way you plan your fall calendar. My challenge is that I work a 40 hour/week job, and have responsibilities at home. Recently, I've taken on too many add't. projects - reading books for reviews and editing ms. for other writers. I am almost caught up on those projects, and realize that I can't take so many on at one time anymore.

Do you have any suggestions for those of us who do work 40 hrs/week? How can we balance what we have to/need to do with what we want to do?


Karen Lange said...

Thanks Tiffany for this post! I have been regrouping and rethinking my priorities, writing tasks, etc., after a busy summer, and this gives me some ideas. You are right, it is always something!