Sunday, May 02, 2021

Anticipate Your Future Actions

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Several months ago, I wrote an article about The Practice of Anticipation.  This article contains different information than the first article and I hope this will help you in your writing life. This process is about taking action today to anticipate the future. It is almost like this photo of a mom helping her child prepare a treat—anticipating your future needs.
As you write and work in the publishing community, do you regularly save data, photos and even social media posts, then you will be able to use them in the future? It's something I've been doing for years and call it the practice of anticipation.  When I come across some data, I use it for my current purpose, but I take a couple of extra seconds to save the data in a place and format, I can access it and use it in the future.
For example, I've been tracking down some old illustrations in one of my out of print books. I'm in the process of bringing this book back to print (more on that soon). I've purchased the rights to the old book but did not get some of the illustrations in a high resolution format. Through a series of phone calls and emails I met the printer for my old book—and I added the name, address, email and phone for this printer to my address book. I have no idea if I will need this information in the future or not, but I'm preserving it in  an accessible format—just in case.  I take these sorts of actions with emails, phone numbers, addresses, and other bits of information.
When I write an article for The Writing Life, at the bottom of the article, I use ClickToTweet to create an easy way for others to share the content. Then I take one more step, I save my ClickToTweet in a text file with tweets. Then I can easily cut and paste this post and use it another time.
I also anticipate using images again. Each day I begin my social media posts with an inspirational quote and a photograph. Social media posts gain a lot more exposure if they are more than text but also include a photo. I save these photos in a file on my desktop. When I travel, I copy this file so I can access it on the road. This file also includes the various royalty-free photos I use for my different articles. I can easily access these photos to use in another social media post—because I am anticipating using them again. For my writing life, it is all about being organized enough to save critical information in a format you can easily access it again if needed.
Several weeks ago I recorded a podcast with James Schramko in Australia—his episode number 820. I had no idea when this podcast would air but got the notice it had launched (follow the link if you want to watch or hear it.) I have promoted the podcast but also saved the various images and a social media post to use it again in the future. It's all about practicing anticipation.
I also anticipate my office supplies. For example, last week I used my last ream of paper for my printer. I ordered another ream of paper. I also used my last black ink cartridge in my printer and ordered more ink. Anticipation is important so when paper or ink need to be replaced, I have already anticipated it and have what I need rather than running to the store or quickly ordering it.
Another way to describe this practice of anticipation is taking steps today to prepare for future actions. What actions are you taking today that will help you in the future? Let me know in the comments below.

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