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Archive for 'mind maps'

Getting Ready for 2024 (Contest)
Tuesday, December 26th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Beverly!

Today, in between working on my book and an editing job, I’m going to be working on my Mind Map for 2024.

What is a mind map? It’s a terrific brainstorming tool for all sorts of things—book plots, vacation plans, grocery lists… I know, I get obsessive about organizing tools! I actually used to teach an online class in mind mapping that was a leadup to the “Write 50 Books a Year” workshop my sister and I developed and taught online. The picture above is the result of my 2015 class.

It’s way too busy for me now. My chart will start with a central hub for 2024 Goals but won’t be writing-consumed this year. I’m adding things that make me happy—like family goals and artistic goals. Maybe by the end, it will be just as cluttered as this one was.

I already have my large piece of watercolor paper ready with a few hubs written in. When I finish, I’ll add colored pencil or paint pen embellishments so I can stand to look at it. But it will be something I go back to when I lay out my annual work plan and calendar.

I kind of miss teaching the class because it made me think farther ahead then the final week of the year to get my plans in order, but hey, I’m doing it now. It’s never too late!

I love facing a New Year. It’s a chance to start over again. Twelve months of accomplishment are on the horizon. It’s new territory. What will the year bring? Am I ready for it?

What about you? Do you physically write down your goals or resolutions? Does your planning consist of a simple list or an elaborate spreadsheet?

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC, tell me.

Already thinking about 2017?
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

I don’t know if you know this, I have said it before, but before I became a full-time author, I was a professional project planner (PMP certified), first in the Army then in the IT field. So, planning isn’t just something I think about now and then. I breathe it. Love it. Revel in all the bright possibilities of a shiny future. To those of you who aren’t planners/listers, I know you think the rest of us are just a bit touched. 🙂

If, however, you’re like me, I’d love to hear how you get ready for those New Year’s resolutions.

For me, the process begins with something airy-fairy—a mind map. I love putting them together so much that I lead an annual workshop where everyone who participates has a chance to get their next year’s writing goals drawn up. Here’s my 2017 writing map. It’s just a starting point–the big picture goals I want to consider for the new year. I do one of these for my writing life and one for my “real” life. This gets placed beneath a clear mat on my desk to remind me throughout the year of what I dreamed I would tackle during the year.


This week, I’m leading a FREE online workshop, entitled Write 50 Books a Year, for writers who want to develop a more concrete plan for their 2017 work schedule. I teach it because it invigorates my own planning efforts—and it forces me to knuckle down and actually get the work done. Before January even rolls around, I’ll know exactly what I intend to accomplish.

If you’re interested in learning more about mind maps, check out my Mind Maps & Vision Boards Pinterest page.

For 2017, I’m hoping to get ahead of the work, although I think I haven’t evolved much from my Army days. I still work best under pressure. Deadlines are a huge incentive for me, but self-imposed deadlines aren’t all that exciting. But I really, really want to learn to work more methodically. I think I might live longer. 🙂

So, tell me something about how you approach the new year…