The rule of three

The idea for this week’s post comes from Bob Baker, who is the guru of guerrilla marketing for authors and book publishers, so you can probably guess why I know about him.

Bob suggests we limit ourselves to three big goals for the year, instead of overwhelming ourselves with a long list of resolutions as we embark on the new year.

He suggests that once we have our three goals, we can draw up a plan of action, using the rule of three, to break down what needs to be done to achieve those goals into manageable steps. What the project management people call ‘chunking’. Yes, I do project management in other parts of my life – and it comes in handy when you’re writing and publishing your own books.

Here’s the big three for my writing life, and an action plan to give you an example of how it works.

The big three for my writing life for 2014

  1. increase the volume of my published body of work
  2. engage with my readers
  3. improve the level of my physical wellbeing

Three actions that will increase the volume of my published body of work

  1. complete writing The Holiday, the second book in the Inspector West series
  2. write According to Luke, a novel for young adult readers
  3. continue writing Sharing the journey

Three actions that will allow me to engage with my readers

  1. blog on my author’s page on
  2. post regular updates to my Facebook and Google+ author pages
  3. encourage readers of Sharing the journey to leave comments and ask questions

Three actions that will improve my physical wellbeing

  1. regular meditation
  2. regular exercise
  3. regular sleeping pattern

So how does this translate to a daily action plan?

  1. daily writing target of 700 to 1000 words to cover all the words required for increasing my body of work and engaging with my readers – this gets an 80/20 breakdown, with 80% of the writing effort going into writing the books
  2. daily meditation and exercise, and
  3. sleeping.

Looks pretty easy when you break it all down to three daily activities, doesn’t it? And, who would have thought sleeping would end up the action plan? 

By year’s end we’ll know how successful I’ve been.

You might not want to announce your big three but I invite you share your goals for 2014 by leaving a comment to this post. If you’re not that game, maybe you’d like to suggest a topic for a future blog.

The new year’s already started, so don’t leave it too long to set your big three for 2014.


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