In this episode, you’ll get a high-level overview of the B.I.R.D. Framework — my personal methodology for managing any writing project.
Links and things mentioned in this episode:
Intro and outro music from Uppbeat (free for Creators!): https://uppbeat.io/t/hartzmann/clear-sky
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Hey Toucan! Welcome to episode 13 of the podcast. This is a little shorty episode and I’m so excited about it. Fun fact. I actually wrote this episode in one Toucan20 session. See, I do practice what I preach!
So today we’re going to dive into project management for busy authors, with a high level overview of my project management system.
The B.I.R.D. Framework.
But first, I want to talk a little bit about what PMP means. You may have noticed on my website or in my email name that I have the credential PMP after my name.
This means Project Management Professional.
It’s an actual credential I earned in 2014, when I started managing IT projects at the business I worked for for my day job. In order to get the PMP credential, one must take a grueling four-hour, 200-question exam.
I studied for this exam for probably three months before I took it. And when you study for this exam, the hardest part about it is tossing out everything you know about practical project management. Because, let me tell you, the Project Management Institute’s methodology is rigorous. And in my 10 plus years of experience doing this, probably around 10% of that methodology actually applies to the average project management day-to-day job.
Instead of boring you to death with the Project Management Institute’s project management methodology snooze fest, today you will learn about how I’ve adapted something so corporate and businessy and complex, into a creative way to manage myself, my books, my business, and occasionally putting together Ikea furniture.
No, I’m dead serious about that.
Let’s get into it.
Project management, according to the Project Management Institute, or PMI, has a crap ton of inputs and outputs that all lead from each other, into each other, and it’s it’s crazy.
But the Toucan methodology, The B.I.R.D. Framework, is much less intense because we should be writing our books, not creating documentation we will probably file away somewhere and never look at again, as is the case for me when I create character sheets or dossiers.
PMI’s methodology is: initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close.
What I did was I took the most important aspects, and the parts that pertain the most to what we do as creative people, to create the B.I.R.D. Framework.
Today, I’m going to give you a high-level overview of what each part of the framework is, and in later episodes, as part of this project management for busy authors mini series within the season of this podcast, you’ll learn more about each phase.
So let’s get into it.
B is for build.
It’s all about first building your writing habit and selecting your next project to work on. We set a lot of groundwork in season one for building your habit, but I haven’t talked a lot about choosing what to write. If you aren’t writing a series and sometimes even if you are writing a series, determining your next book can be a challenge. Shiny new ideas abound. Right?
Maybe even during the writing of your last book, a shiny new idea tried to lure your attention away. Luckily, I gave you some tactics back in episode four to combat it. Or, if you’re just starting out, you might have a bunch of ideas you want to explore.
In the build episode coming up, we’ll explore ways to determine which idea you love the most with a simple trick I use.
I is for initiate in which you do the actual work.
You follow all the plans that you created in the build phase and you track your word count for each writing session and your time at your computer or your notebook or stone tablet and you execute on your goals to get your book written.
]R is for reassure.
This is the part of the process in which you check in with yourself.
How you’re feeling about the manuscript, your progress on it? You look at your tracker and you make adjustments as needed to your schedule. This is all about monitoring your book project and making sure you are still aligned with it, it still lights you up, and if it doesn’t finding ways to get that spark back, and managing any negative internal voices and other obstacles.
Reassure is all about being and becoming your own best cheerleader. I say that in the intro to this podcast, and now we are finally discovering what that actually means.
D is for discover, in which you take what you’ve learned during the course of your book project to create a repeatable process that you can fine tune as you learn more about your writing life and yourself.
You’ll discover your personal flight path, whether it’s a non-process process like my own, or an actual plan, it will be yours and yours alone because everyone writes differently.
There is no one size fits all way to write a book.
So that’s the B.I.R.D. framework in a nutshell.
So next week’s episode, we’ll dig deeper into the first parts of building your flight path with the build episode.
That’s all for this episode. I know it’s super short but before I sign out, sign off, I wanted to let you know about the resource library I’m putting together. If you haven’t downloaded any of the freebies yet from the podcast episodes–maybe you listen while you’re driving or out walking and you forget, or you binge multiple episodes in one sitting and can’t remember them all. Or maybe I haven’t been clear about where to even find the show notes to a download the freebies–Whatever the reason, they’re all going to be in one place, one convenient place at YouCanToucan.com/resources. Head over there. You can sign up and get access to the resource library and all the instructions on how to get the resources will be there for you.
Okay. All right, that’s it. So I’ll see you next week. Set your timer. Go write!
Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. If you liked what you heard, please consider sharing this podcast with a friend or on social media so amazing listeners, just like you will find me.
For a quick start guide to writing more in less time, please visit youcantoucan.com/guide.
Set your timer. Go write!
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Claire L. Fishback
Author coach, project manager, published author, amazing wife, dog mom, artist, twin, and your host and guide to discovering your path to the writing life of your dreams!
Youcan the Toucan