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The beauty of organization

I am a lover of well labelled files and folders. Of having everything within easy reach – long gone are the days when I have to hunt around after a story I’ve not looked at in awhile.

Well, so I thought. Seems I haven’t been keeping up to date and there were a few stories languishing on google docs that had never made it into my files. I knew I’d written more, so it’s a relief to find them!

However, I am once again up to date and setting myself up for a massive organizing spree in the lead up to baby’s arrival. I know full well that time will be limited and that in order to make the most out of both my first weeks with a new baby, and my writing stuff, organization is the key to success.

My goal prior to then is to have a bunch of short stories ready for submission (I might even beat a novella into shape while I’m at it), and make sure that Lifelines is looking good still. I want to spend most of the last half of the year submitting, maybe writing a little fresh stuff but I doubt there will be time for revision or editing.

Submitting isn’t actually a quick process though, I know that now. You can spend hours searching for the right markets to send a story to and then making sure you are presenting it in the right way – so this is where the organization comes in.

My goal is to have a spreadsheet for each of my submittable stories/novels/etc with lists of markets for each, along with the basic guidelines and email addresses to send in to. In this way, I can simply submit, then if the story gets rejected, move onto the next market on the list until it finds a home – after I put in the time and effort to build a list for each story it should make things a lot more streamlined when my time is at a premium after June. Being realistic means that I know I won’t have the time later on (not only that, but I don’t want to be spending that time when I have a new baby to care for and bond with), but I know that I will want to be doing something writing related and being organized will take the guilts out of it all, and hopefully mean I can maintain being ‘productive’ while expending a minimal amount of time and effort on the writing front.

How do you do this submission thing? Find a market, submit, then find another if need be? Or make lists? I’d be interested to know. Prior to this it was a little haphazard, so I am feeling pretty good about this new approach, and have a feeling it might be continued even when I do have time further down the track.

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8 thoughts on “The beauty of organization”

  1. I use Duotrope, which sorts out the searching and the tracking part. Then I just have to check the guidelines and make whatever alteration to submission format they require 🙂

    And go nesting! Lol!

    1. I use Duotrope as well, and Ralan at times, they are very handy! I find that checking guidelines, and checking out the site can take some time though – too much time for a mother of three with one a newborn 😉

      Haha, I hadn’t considered it nesting but it is really, especially considering I’ve just spent several hours organizing other things around the house….

  2. I have no idea – I’m nowhere near the submission point. It is kind of overwhelming to think about, honestly. I barely have enough time to write anymore! How am I supposed to brave the waters of submission and deal with query letters, markets, agents, etc? Yeesh!

    But I, too, am an organizational fanatic. I appreciate others who have the same quirks I do. Life is so much easier when you know where to find everything!

    1. It is! Can be hard to stay on top of things with little kids, but ah well…
      When you are at that point there is a lot of really helpful information on the web, so don’t worry too much! Besides, thats what the rest of us blogging writers are here for, feedback, advice, and encouragement.

  3. Debbie and I have a spreadhseet set up to keep track of submissions. Each story sits in a row, and two columns are filled in each time a story is sent out. The first records where and when it was sent, and the second is either filled with the date of rejection or the word ‘accepted’. If rejected, move on to the next pair of columns…

    Then I highlight the accepted cells yellow so they stand out and make a neat pattern ;P

    1. The highlighting is one of the best parts of organization!! lol That sounds a lot like my spreadsheets.

      I also have one with all my stories/novels etc in it, with dates for when the first draft, revision, edit, finished was achieved, with all the projects complete to each stage highlighted in different colours lol. I wonder what the whole highlighting thing says about us? hehe

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. I’m a bit of an organization freak as well. Not just with writing.

    I don’t submit to as many markets anymore as I used to but I’ve used this:
    http://www.spacejock.com/Sonar3.html

    Also if I’m feeling lazy I have an iGoogle simplified homebase with gadgets installed. I can quickly jot notes and transfer it later on.

    1. Sonar is very handy, and I have used it in the past to track where things are at (probably will continue to use as well), does it have a function to set up a list of potential markets for a story do you know? I should probably not be so lazy and go look myself 😉 lol
      Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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