I’m sitting here working on my monthly writing plan for October. I enjoy this part of the process, where I look ahead at all the projects I want to get done in the month ahead. The time is full of promise as I think of the possibilities. (Sometimes my end-of-the-month review is less exciting, especially if I didn’t get everything on my list done.)

For October, I’m finishing up an educational white paper, articles for National Geographic Kids and Teaching Tolerance, three profiles for the Association of Educational Publishers, a brochure for the Highlights Foundation, and a publicity project for theOneSchool, One Book project.

In the cracks between these projects, I’ll be sending out queries for school visits and magazine articles. I’ll also be speaking at the Diamond State Reading Association and the New York State Reading Association conferences (and submitting proposals for some spring conferences).

Best of all, it looks like there will be time for me to work on some books at various stages that have been waiting patiently in line for several months behind other more pressing projects. One is a poetry book about the beach that I’m trying to finalize, another is a poetry book I’m just beginning about things to be thankful for, one is a biography about Revolutionary War figure John Greenwood, and one is about the ongoing work of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery to solve the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in 1937. With a variety of topics like that, I’m certain to remain mentally stimulated throughout the month.

Another aspect of these monthly planning schedules is that they are often subject to change. If new projects emerge that have tight deadlines, everything else shifts around to accommodate them. Of course, unanticipated projects are good—especially ones that generate income.

As I wrap up September and look back at my list for this month, I see that I accomplished most but not all of my priority items. All in all, it’s been a pretty successful month. It will be interesting to see what I think this time next month when I look back on October. Maybe having shared publicly what I plan to accomplish will make me even more efficient about getting it all done! We’ll know in a month.

Random Thought of the Week: I’ve often heard it said that when budgeting time for household projects, you should estimate the amount of time you think it should take and then double that estimate to get a reasonable projection of the time it actually will take. I don’t quite do that with my writing, but I do assume that most projects will take longer than I initially expect.

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