i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

4 steps to complete a Project (or what I learned from being a witch in a play)

What I learned when I was a witch.

I was The Wicked Witch of the West in the play, Dorothy Meets Alice. At our first rehearsal the producer of the play handed each cast member a  Rehearsal Schedule. On the schedule was a detailed  list of objectives.

The script was broken down into sections. Each section of the script was scheduled. The cast members were told what day we had to have our lines memorized by, or be “off book.”  We were told  the last day we could call for lines. We knew when the dress rehearsal was. We knew when the play opened and what time we had to be on stage.

Dorothy Meets Alice Rehearsal Schedule

When the play ended, I realized that the process to produce a play could be applied to any project.

4 steps to complete a project

1. Have an end goal in mind.
What is the end result you are looking for? Is it a book?  A play?  A published blog post?

2. Set a date to ship.
 What is the launch date for your book?  When will the play open? What day will you publish your blog post?

3.  Break down the process into steps.
Write down a daily writing goal. When do you want to be finished writing the rough draft?  When is the final editing due?  When will you send the manuscript to the publisher?

4. Be disciplined and follow your plan.
A plan is worthless if you don’t follow it. ( You can tweet that here.)

My unfinished project

On my desk in a black wire basket is the manuscript for my book, The Artist’s Manifesto.  The manuscript has sat there for months untouched because I didn’t have a plan.

The Artist's Manifesto

I have a plan now. At the end of this week, the illustrations for the book have to be finished. The book then gets sent to an editor and a graphic designer.

The Artist’s Manifesto will be published on May 1st, 2013. It will be available for a free download when you subscribe to my blog, i paint i write. I will also send the book to my friends who are already subscribers.

I just needed a plan.

Do you have an unfinished project on your desk? Will you make a plan and finish it?

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.

Slice of Life Writing Challenge

You can read today’s stories from Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March writing challenge here.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Almost forgot: I love your witch pictures!

  • I’m so happy you have a plan for the Manifesto!!

    These four steps are great. There are far too many things I need to apply them to. I think for this weekend, I’ll start with making a plan for finishing the second episode of the comic …

  • So true. I work much better with short deadlines! I guess I’d better create a few of those deadlines this week if I want to finish a couple projects I’ve started!

  • Bev

    Great how to’s – I’ve got several projectys in limbo right now. Must get at them.
    Thanks for this advice.

  • I definitely need a plan–to finish the book that is a mess at the moment, to finish grading the papers piled on the dining room table, to come up with engaging test-prep for the next month. Maybe I need to focus on one plan at a time. Congratulations on the work with your book!

  • nanc

    yes…I have a book on my laptop at home…i am 4 chapters in …and I need a plan xo

  • The Manifesto…good for Pamela! Looiking forward to read it!

    Encouraging for me! I need to work on mine…an e-book! Will you help me once I write it to do the rest? I feel paralyzed just thinking of it!

    Blessings and light!

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Katina. Of course I will help you Katina. Just do a little bit each day.

  • elsie

    I think #4 is the most important. You have to keep to the plan because we all know just making plans won’t get it done. I try to have a plan and follow it. Can’t wait to see your work.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Elsie. Now to go and work on it.

  • I’ve been wondering how your Manifesto was coming along. I’m anxious to see the finished product, especially since you’re illustrating your own work. Bravo!

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Shelley. I am excited as well. I don’t know what I will end up with until I do it.