Sometimes I am far better at the planning than I am at the actual doing.
“Don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through.” — Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog
The thing about plans is that they are nothing but words. Without action, they are nothing but ideas. I can plan until I am blue in the face — but unless I take action I have nothing but hardly-used ideas here.
This is why I began to take New Year’s Actions, rather than resolutions, starting in 2012. What began as a once-weekly blogging habit is 8 years old now, and I write new articles daily.
A couple of years ago was getting coaching. My coach helped provide me with someone to check-in with, as well as some much-needed direction and advice.
My coach and I had discussed some means by which I could promote my writing and increase sales. This would entail presentations.
I have no fear of public speaking
For some time now I have desired to go to local small bookstores and libraries, and maybe even coffee shops to bring a bunch of books to sell. But it’s not just about that. I want to talk about the craft, my journey, my fiction, and non-fiction work alike. I’d like to read some of what I have created and then sign and sell books.
When it comes to spreading the ways and means of mindfulness and conscious reality creation, this would be an excellent way to expand it further. I can build a real audience and connect with people as well.
I don’t expect a huge boost in sales right away, but this will get me out there, get my name and my works out there, and start further building things up.
It doesn’t matter if I am writing non-fiction, fiction, copywriting, business writing, or what-have-you. I am doing the work and will continue to do the work. But there is room to expand and improve, as well as to do more marketing.
Ok, great, I have a better notion of who I am and how I wish to present myself. I began to research and came up with a list of libraries, bookstores and coffee shops to reach out to and see if I could get in the door.
More than once.
Then I paused. Every. Single. Time.
Why? To ask the question of whether I had planned enough?
Planning versus doing
Rather than beginning to contact anyone, I started to consider other plans. How many places should I reach out to? How many places do I want to hit before the end of the year? How many copies of my books will I need? Which books do I want to have with me to sign and sell? What do I read from? What about business cards? Should I get an easel and create a poster board to have as my background?
I have, thus, totally and completely gotten ahead of myself with all the planning. Yes, most of these things need to be taken into consideration. But first, I should maybe actually reach out to these venues and see how many are willing and able to accommodate me.
That, right there, is the elephant in the room. I want to start putting all these bits and pieces together, I desire to plot these parts out and know what and how this will work. However, I have yet to start the process of reaching out to prospective venues.
How many can I get into before the end of the year? Well, if I reach out to zero venues, I will successfully get myself into zero venues. Success!
Or maybe not. Last I checked, zero plus zero equals zero. Having nowhere to go to read, sign, and sell books — or spread my philosophy of mindfulness, conscious reality creation, and Pathwalking — means I will not do any readings, nor signings, nor generate any sales. Which means I don’t use this idea to build up my presence and income.
You have to take action
Action is required.
Yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
Substitute “try” with “plan”, and this is where I need to act.
Why the inaction? Probably fear. Fear of failure, coupled with a fear of success, and the ultimate fear of rejection. An unreasonable fear of being told I am no good and my efforts at being a writer are wholly pointless.
What should I do? Take action. Enough with the planning, I need to get with the doing.
Further planning can come when I have an idea of what venues will have me, when they will have me, and so on. I can put the rest of this together when I have somewhere to be. But planning for it now is totally putting the cart before the horse.
I won’t deny that sometimes it’s utterly necessary to have a plan before you can act. For me, it’s about finding the balance between planning, overplanning, action, and inaction. If I desire to take my writing and philosophy to the next level, I have to take the necessary actions to make it so.
Manifesting dreams into realities requires the right blend of thought, feeling, and action. In other words, mindfulness. Planning is thinking. I can then use that to feel what it will be like to be there at that bookstore or library, reading to an appreciative audience, answering questions, then signing books.
In order to make it happen, I need to take action. That means identifying and then communicating with the venues.
Planning is complete. I have thought it through and felt it over. Now it comes down to doing.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as does doing what you desire to do.