Don’t scrap it, modify your writing plan, is a more productive book writing strategy that offers author self awareness and results.
If something’s not working, don’t scrap it, make modifications.
Let’s say the current path to your book writing goal isn’t getting your book done. You’ve given your plan a decent amount of time to work, but it’s still not working. How can you modify your existing strategy, rather than scrapping it altogether and starting from scratch?
Cue baby and bathwater analogy.
Similar to what I do with clients in my author coaching program, look at all the pieces of your book writing plan. Evaluate which parts of your plan are working and which are not, and see how you can swap out the pieces that aren’t working. Don’t scrap it, but rather modify your writing plan instead.
Here’s a recent example from my life about the value of modifying vs. quitting:
There’s a move in lyra – ‘aerial hoop’ – called ‘straddle back’ where you essentially balance on the bottom bar on your sacrum with your legs straight up in the air on either side of the hoop in the shape of a V.
My favorite way of getting into straddle back has always been from up above, from a move called ‘pin’ which is exactly what it sounds like – you turn your body into the shape of a pin, and slide down the rope that the hoop hangs on (the spanset), all the way down until the small of your back lands neatly on the bottom bar. I’ve done this transition literally dozens and dozens of times, including in several performances. It’s my favorite transition to straddle back.
But, as I found out the hard way recently, I haven’t done this transition since getting my own hoop last year, an extra large circumference hoop to accommodate my long arms and legs. So, when I tried to do my favorite transition recently, not thinking twice about it – fail!
Frustrated and assuming that my “fail” was a fluke, I tried again with the same result. I slid right through, hanging in the air. And, because clearly I don’t understand Einstein’s famous quote about insanity, I tried again and again – fail and fail.
I couldn’t understand what was happening. This transition, this strategy of getting from point A to point B, had always worked for me.
Why was my tried and tested aerial strategy no longer working???
Finally, I consulted with my longtime aerial coach Andy who figured it out immediately (of course). It was the difference in hoop size that was the problem. Without going into all the particulars, he created a modification that worked immediately! Like – magic. By making one key change in the transition, it worked perfectly.
Moral Of The Story
Be self aware, regularly assess your strategies, and modify your writing plan as needed if you’re not reaching your book writing goals. Break down your individual action steps and see which ones might need to be modified.
And when in doubt, ask for help, whether from your peers or from an expert. When you ask for help, you ensure that you’ll never be left floundering alone, metaphorically falling through the hoop, and hanging in mid-air wondering why the thing that used to work so well for you – is suddenly not working.
What’s currently not working about your book writing plan? Which action step or steps might need to be modified between where you are now, and the completion of your book? Where do your writing habits fall into the mix? Self evaluation is one of your most valuable tools as an author!