3AM is too early, but it’s where I needed to start

Traveling is always an adventure. Planning ways to get where you need to be, or where you want to be, can translate to goal setting for writing projects, too.

In planning a recent trip, for instance, I knew what time I wanted to arrive at my destination in order to make the most of a few days. Translate that into a writing project and it would be knowing the requirements of the final written product.

Next, for the trip, was to figure out the major points that would allow me to get to my destination. I started with “before noon,” “most direct,” “least amount of driving.” For a writing project, that equates to a specific deadline, i.e. “by Friday” or “by the end of the month,” and so on.

Then I had to do some research, since my destination required airfare. I searched various airlines for flights and prices. In a writing project, I would be using the Internet or setting up interviews as the piece started to come together.

Next was selecting the best combination of arrival/departure flights to get me where I wanted to be and back again (full circle, of course!). For the writing project, I’d start seeing the article/story in my mind and know what details to focus on to get me to the specific word/page count.

And then it was all about filling in the details — planning specifics for the week, packing, stopping mail, setting up pet sitting, and so on. The writing should come easily at this point, as it’ll be about filling in the blanks or coloring within the lines (if I may).

So, the result of the planning for my trip meant a 3AM wake up, but it allowed me a full first day (and last day), and was totally worth it. If I booked a flight based on a ‘usual’ day, I wouldn’t have arrived at my destination until 5PM or later — an entire day lost to avoid being tired. But taking the time to plan is always, in my opinion, worth it.

Starting with the end in mind is a great way to attack a writing project, too. The starting point may be a surprise, but by working with the end result in mind, you know you’ll be starting in the right place.

Do you usually start a project with the end in mind?

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who continues to find new opportunities through LinkedIn. She loves writing about NH people, places, and activities. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom where she gets to network with writing professionals on a weekly basis. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Biznik.

5 thoughts on “3AM is too early, but it’s where I needed to start

  1. It’s interesting what it takes to coordinate a flight and travel plans, in general. I just got done a few days ago trying to coordinate everything for a writer’s conference in 2014–a bit way off but to get the better deals early planning was needed. And I ended up selecting a very early flight day that will call for me to wake up around 4:00ish but will no doubt help when the time comes.

  2. No. Endings are difficult for me. I start with character or a situation (or both) and roll from there. The ending will come about later when I take a breath and wonder where this is taking me.

  3. Pingback: From sand sculptures to corn mazes… are you ready for fall? | Live to Write - Write to Live

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