great-writers-badgeToday’s challenge for Jeff Goins’ 15 Habits of Great Writers is to prepare and put into action!

I’m all about preparation. In fact, after reading his post, I think sometimes all I do is prepare, or I prepare for a long time and execute either minimally or poorly!

Also, in participating in this 15-day challenge, it’s hard to define exactly what I am preparing for. I know I want to write, but I have never been able to pinpoint exactly what I should be writing. Perhaps this challenge is a method of preparation for me. While in some ways that bothers me, not knowing exactly what I am preparing for, I do know that this is going to benefit me in one form or another! 🙂

So for the sake of completing day 5 of the challenge, I present to you some tips on how I have prepared for various projects in the past in hopes that it may help or inspire you, the readers!

1. If you are tech savvy and/or an Apple disciple, there are a ton of productivity apps that actually help you prepare (rather than just make you believe you a preparing by looking pretty and organized). Evernote should be on your computer and your mobile device. Seriously. From checklists, to screen shots, to just jotting down notes, no matter where you are you can prepare as soon as something enters your mind. When I was preparing for my album, I made a checklist of everything that had to be done, as well as a list of expenses. The checklist made me feel a lot more organized and prepared for the tasks at hand. It helped me prioritize, as well as budget my time and money. Seriously, Evernote, people. Evernote.

2. Go to a coffeeshop by yourself with your computer or notebook, etc. Sometimes solitude and a good cup of coffee are all you need to get your planning in action. Particularly if you have a short amount of time to kill, this is a great way to check something off your list! I had to drive my brother to the gym for a weight training session and didn’t want to drive all the way back home just to turn around to pick him up again. I instead located the nearest Starbucks (thank you GPS people who put “Points of Interest” in the menu!) and stayed there for about 50 minutes. I wrote my album Thank You’s and liner notes in that time, and I wasn’t even near the end of the recording process, nor do I even think I had begun the design process!

3. Ask questions. Preparation involves a good deal of research. For all you Twitter folk, that’s your biggest audience! Explore your hashtags, perhaps there is one that encompasses all that you are working on! For me, #MusEdChat is always my go-to resource for music and education questions. Twitter is a great way to make connections, even if only briefly. Twitter wisdom will shock you sometimes!

So there you have it. That’s how I have found success in preparation, and maybe it will inspire you! Maybe it won’t…in which case, I apologize. But know that by reading, you are helping me prepare for whatever it is that I am preparing for…so thanks!! 🙂