The 50-Week Plan to Finish My Book on Pornography

I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard a musician say one of the most practical things an artist can do to achieve a goal is “going public” with the goal. The pastor who was interviewing the musician mentioned that he agreed, saying deadlines and outside expectations are a good thing for creativity. He added, “If there wasn’t Sunday, I’d never complete a sermon” (Pastor Colin Smith interviewing musician Dave Radford on Readers and Writers).

Here I stand; I’m going public with my goal. I’ve never written a book for a publisher, but this summer I signed a contract to do just that. It’s a book to help men struggle against (not with) pornography. And—Lord willing—by June 25, 2018, I’ll complete the draft of the manuscript.

So what’s the best plan to get ‘er done?

I’m not actually sure what is “the best” way forward. I’m making this up as I go. But below is where the project seems to be trending.

I realize this post won’t interest 90% of my readers, but, as I said above, apparently telling people I’m going to do something is supposed to actually help me do it. Thanks for the peer pressure.

Struggle, Cover_promo_phonecover.jpg

Skimming the 50-week schedule, you’ll notice three things. First, I had already done a lot of research, but not as deep or as wide as is necessary (see Weeks 13–24). Second, because I had already written the book, and it was too long, I need to take out 35% of the words (see Week 25 & 26). Finally, you’ll notice there are numerous breaks where I’m not actively working on the project. Those are strategic too. They provide rest and perspective (you can’t see you the book’s faults when your nose is pressed against it).

If you read any part of this blog post, “thank you” in advance for being your brother’s keeper.

*     *     *

June 17, 2017
Week 1 | Draft of manuscript accepted by publisher; contract signed

July 24 to October 2, 2017
[Week 2 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 3 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 4 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 5 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 6 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 7 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 8 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 9 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 10 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 11 | Take a break from project to work on another book]
[Week 12 | Take a break from project to work on another book]

October 9, 2017
Week 13 | Restart working on this book; read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 14 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 15 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 16 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 17 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 18 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 19 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 20 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 21 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 22 | Read 2 more books on the topic of sexuality
Week 23 | Read 25 blog posts on the topic of sexuality
Week 24 | Read 25 blog posts on the topic of sexuality

January 1 to 29, 2018
Week 25 | Cut down word count by 10,000 words because my previous draft was too long
Week 26 | Cut down word count by another 5,000 words
Week 27 | Rewrite, general
Week 28 | Rewrite, general (cont.)
Week 29 | Rewrite, general (cont.)

February 5, 2018
Week 30 | Send to a professional editor

February 12 to 19, 2018
Week 31 | Send networking email to authors I cite in my book and others who have written on the topic
Week 32 | Send networking emails (cont.)

February 26, 2018
[Week 33 | Break for other projects]

March 5 to April 9, 2018
Week 34 | Manuscript returned from professional editor
Week 35 | Rewrite, general
Week 36 | Send copy to potential “foreword author”
Week 37 | Secure “foreword author”; send to and secure potential “blurb” writers”
Week 38 | Give to my copastor for review and comments
Week 39 | Give to 20 beta readers for review and comments

April 16 to May 21, 2018
[Week 40 | Break for other projects]
[Week 41 | Break for other projects]
[Week 42 | Break for other projects]
[Week 43 | Break for other projects]
[Week 44 | Break for other projects]
[Week 45 | Break for other projects]

May 28 to June 11, 2018
Week 46 | All feedback from copastor and beta readers due
Week 47 | General rewrites; also the foreword and all blurbs due
Week 48 | General rewrites (cont.); send foreword & blurbs to professional editor

June 18, 2017
Week 49 | Submit complete manuscript (including foreword & blurbs) to Rainer Publishing

June 25, 2018
Week 50 | Rest, because—Lord willing—the submittal of the project was completed one week early

 

* Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash.