Since this part is going to be long, I’ll actually have another blog post about 2021 goals, in terms of walking, diet, and email. This one is just about business and publishing.

Blaze and I had the annual Knotted Road Press, Inc business meeting in November, where we went through the 2020 business plan and came up with the 2021 business plan.

I review the business plan every month and make sure that we’re staying on track, particularly for the big picture items. There are lots of little steps to make sure those big things happen, and I need to keep pace.

We also spent some time listing accomplishments, both as writers and as publishers. I did a LOT in 2020. Do not get me wrong. I understand that I was productive, though it doesn’t feel that way.

All my systems broke in 2020. There are reasons why. There was a lot of Life that happened in addition to pandemic.

I didn’t realize just how broken my systems were until recently, starting to look forward to the new year.

I am working on forgiving myself for everything breaking so badly, granting myself the grace to be human and an artist. That is very much a work in progress.

I realize, though, that instead of being pro-active, I became very REactive during 2020.

Therefore, I fell back into old habits, that are actually bad for me. I am someone who needs to gives myself credit for the things that I do. I had systems in place so that I would feel good about what I accomplished.

As I mentioned above – all those system broke down, and I didn’t do anything to replace them. (I know, it was 2020. Give myself some slack here.)

I have no real system at this point. Just a bunch of cobbled together stuff. So I started looking around at what I’d had in the past.

I remembered my productivity planner that I’d used for a while last year. When I pulled it back out, I realized that I’d used it for six months.

It was shocking to open it and look at planning out a week. The first thing it asks you to do is to list the five most important things you need to do that week.

I didn’t a fucking clue what was most important. (Besides, you know, staying at home, wearing a mask when you go out, maintaining social distancing, and washing my hands often.)

All my systems. Broken.

I started planning out the week, then working the system. What I end up actually doing during the day isn’t even mentioned in the plan from the start of the week. This happened the first time I started using this planner. I remember it took me a couple of weeks to get back into the groove of things.

Then I ran headlong into the reason why I stopped using this productivity planner. It’s a five day planner. It assumes a normal work week. I work six or seven days a week.

So I went ahead and ordered myself a new planner from Amazon that goes seven days a week. It gives me space for listing goals and working the system. Plus, it has stickers. Because, you know, STICKERS!

(For years I had a calendar system with gold stars stickers. I had three things to do every day – writing, walking, and eating veggies. If I did one of the three, I got a hand drawn star. If I did two, I got a hand drawn star that I then filled in. Only if I did all three did I get a gold star. This was incredibly motivating for me, because I still got credit even on bad days, when I was sick, and all I did was eat my veggies.)

In all honestly, my business planning is still evolving. It will involve spending time determining what’s most important for that week, then finding the time to do it.

I have to come up with a system that works through the end of March. I’m hoping that by April 1, we’ll be out of lockdown and coffee shops and restaurants will open again. (Fingers crossed.) Once things open up some, and more people have been vaccinated, I’ll need to come up with a new plan, how I allocate my time. (We don’t have unlimited bandwidth out here on the property, so I need to go someplace to do the heavy lifting of publishing, using someone else’s internet.)

Then construction will start. And I’ll need a new plan.

After construction finishes, I’ll need yet a new plan.

So that’s my plan for the year, in terms of business planning. Ever evolving. And hopefully, not completely breaking down again.