CHAPTER 2THE 12 WEEK YEAR: YOUR STRATEGIC OPERATING SYSTEM FOR WRITING

The 12 Week Year combines five disciplines into a system that helps you determine what, how, and when you should be writing, and how to stay on track toward your goals. The disciplines include Vision, Planning, Process Control, Scorekeeping, and Time Use. The 12 Week Year also identifies three principles – Accountability, Commitment, and Greatness in the Moment – that help determine your ultimate success implementing the system. In this book, I expand these three principles into what I call the “writer's mindset,” a somewhat broader concept that I believe helps explain the success of the most productive writers. In this chapter, I explain why the 12 Week Year paradigm shift is so crucial as well as provide a brief outline of the five steps you'll take to put the 12 Week Year into practice. The following chapters will then guide you through those steps in more detail.

THE 12 WEEK YEAR PARADIGM SHIFT

Is there anyone who has made it through high school or college without pulling an “all-nighter” to finish a paper? I doubt it. Why is it that everyone has had this experience and what does it tell us about writing productively?

The first thing we can learn from all-nighters is the power of urgency. Beyond the simple fact that students would rather party than work, the most obvious reason that students routinely write their papers at the last minute is that they lack a sense of urgency until the deadline approaches. ...

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