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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Widdowson

Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan

Updated: Mar 3


diver in ocean looking up at swirling fish

In my early thirties, I learned to scuba dive. My then boyfriend, now husband, loved to dive, and he made me curious. Not only did his hobby take him to some very interesting places like Bonaire and Fiji, but I had seen pictures of his diving excursions, and the underwater world looked amazing. So, even though one of my greatest fears was death by suffocation (probably brought on from having asthma as a child), I learned to dive.


You can’t just rent gear and go jump in the ocean, at least not legally, anyway. In order to become a diver, you first have to get certified. That includes not only passing written exams to show your complete knowledge and understanding of all the various diving gear and rules of the ocean, but also demonstrating your capability of using said equipment underwater. So, after a lot of training, I got my diver’s certification card. I was ready!


There are a lot of very adventurous dive types like shark, night, cave and wreck diving. But the dives I went on were of basically two types—a drift dive and an open-water dive. In a drift dive, you jump off the boat, sink down into the depths, and enjoy the wonders of the underwater world as you let yourself drift along with the current of the ocean. These dives can be very relaxing, since the current (not your energy) is propelling you forward. When you come up from your dive, the boat you left from should already be there waiting for you—knowing exactly where you will be at the end of your dive because it has also been drifting along the same current.


In an open water dive, the boat picks a spot and anchors itself. After you enter the water, swim around and let the beauty of the coral reefs and interesting fish dazzle you (and before you run out of air), you swim back to the boat and climb aboard. Hopefully, it is still anchored to the same place you started.


No matter what type of dive you do, however, before you even leave the dock, there are many very important things that need to happen. You need to check that all your equipment works so you will not drown while you’re submerged under 100 feet or more of water. You need to review the dive type so you understand where the boat will be when you finish your dive. You need to check the amount of oxygen in your tank so you know how long you can stay underwater before running out of air.


You need to Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan.


You, the captain of the boat, the company that rented you your gear, your dive buddies—everyone needs to know your dive plan and you need to stick to it. If you don’t, bad things could happen. You could run out of air before you make it back to the surface. The boat might not be where you expected when you finish your dive, and the boat crew may be looking for you in one spot while you are in a completely different one. Your equipment may fail on you. Diving is a dangerous sport if you don’t take it seriously. But it’s also a lot of fun when you know what you’re doing and you’ve prepared everything and planned well.


Fortunately, self-publishing a book is not dangerous at all. In fact, it should be a fun and exciting adventure! And it’s even more fun if you have a plan put together before you begin, so you’re not frustrated later.


When I published my first book, The RH Factor, in 2021 through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service (KDP), I didn’t have much of a plan. My main goal at the time was simply to finish a novel—which had been on my bucket list my entire life. I thought little about what I’d need to do to get my book noticed after completing the KDP publishing process. Now, over two years later, with the publication of my second book, MYND Control, I have a better understanding of what is really necessary to publish and sell a book on my own.


One of the first things I learned, which, let’s be real, applies to every other part of my life as well, is that everything takes longer than you expect. I don’t know if that’s true in your life, but even when I think I’ve thought things through thoroughly and have a good handle on how long something is going to take, I almost always underestimate. So now I add in a buffer (or two, or three) when I’m planning a multi-step project, so I don’t get stressed out because I’m running out of time.


Another lesson learned that is easily applied to other ventures in my life, is that you can never be too prepared. I now have a checklist of all the things I need to do to self-publish my book. The list begins with tasks that need to be done weeks or even months before the publication date and ends with a couple to complete a few weeks after. I’m sure I will continue to update this list as my publishing journey continues, but it has already helped me immensely. If you think a list like that might help you in your writing exploits, click below to get a free copy of mine.



Like most things in life, preparation makes everything easier. If you’re like me and love to write, but don’t love everything that comes after it, creating a detailed plan will save you a lot of time, grief, and headache, and most importantly, get you back faster to what you would rather be doing—writing! And even if you’re not a writer, making a plan and sticking to it will make almost anything you do in life go smoother. So Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan and spend more time doing what you love.


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2 Comments


Guest
Feb 10

Congratulations for your achievements!... Cesare

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Unknown member
Jan 22

I love this! Your sage advice applies to many areas of life, and your generosity with your planning list is wonderful. I’m sure there are many aspiring writers out there who could really benefit from it!

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