Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday--The Writers' Porch

Keep Good Records.

I remember when my children were little I thought, “I will always remember who is in this picture.” Now I look back and sometimes can’t tell which of my boys is in the picture. I should have recorded the names, dates and event. But I didn’t.

The same thing happened with I began submitting my writings to various publishers. At first it was easy. One article sent to one magazine. Or a devotion mailed to an editor. I knew I would never forget when and where I sent my book, which I knew inside and out, for possible publication. Ah!

Before I knew it, I was confused and disoriented in my submissions. It was then that I began to keep a record of every submission. I now keep records of who and where I send my manuscripts to and what their response is—if any. (Smile).

One of the things I cannot stress enough is to keep good records of your writing. I have a chart on my computer on which I note the details of my submissions. If you are interested, I would be happy to email you a copy. However, it is easy to set up your own systematic chart. Here’s what I include in mine:

Working Title of Manuscript
Date Sent
Type sent: Query/Proposal/Manuscript
Editor & Publisher
Date Published
Payment (if any)
Type of rights sold
Date of Thank-you sent to editor

Keeping a great writing record jogs your memory as to when you sent it in. This allows you to know if you should send a gentle reminder to the editor if it has been months and you haven’t heard anything. Things do get lost. It also prevents duplicate submissions. Besides all this, if your writing is your ministry/career it proves you are a professional.

Trust me, it takes less time to record your writing projects than it does to try to remember or run a paper trail. So your assignment is this: if you don’t have a way to track your submissions, start one today—before you dot another “i.”

1 comment:

DeeDee said...

I would love to have a copy of your chart...

Sweet Blessings!