Thursday, July 30, 2009

Assess Your Achievements

My writing career is different than it was last year.

One year ago:

I did not know how to blog.

I was struggling to find a system--for my office, for my writing, for submitting.

I had only just begun to write and submit articles (my first article was submitted June 1, 2008).


I hold myself to a higher standard.

I query more, get paid more and respect myself as an able writer.

I write more and prepare less.

I enjoy the possibilities of a developing platform.

Next Year:

I will be amazed at how far my journey has taken me, just as I am today.

Take a moment to reflect upon your achievements and enjoy the realization that hard work pays off with time. You deserve a pat on the back!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Slow Down

Other moms who write assure me that I am NOT alone--writing often slows down (or almost stops completely) when the kids are home in the summer. I am finding that I can handle the slow-down in production to hang out at the pool; however, I am not so thrilled that the momentum I was gaining in April has almost ground to a halt. In fact, it did grind to a halt, but I am working to get it back.

I am determined to learn a lesson from this summer's slack-off, and here is my game plan! I have started a "summer" folder. While this year's hard-learned lessons are still fresh, I am developing some achievable summer goals and putting them on paper. For example, I can search for homes for each of my essays that still reside only on my computer and submit those "leftovers" without the need for large chunks of writing time. My folder will also hold ideas for articles that can be written based on a compilation of previous research and interviews, so that much of the leg work is done ahead of time. My biggest goal is to have at least one "spare" query prepared before school is out that can be mailed as summer turns the corner into fall. 

What about you, are you experiencing the summer slow down? If so, how are you reclaiming your career? 

I challenge you to start preparing NOW for next summer's lazy days.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Submitting More Than One Article at a Time (To RPPs)

A member of my writing group prepares several submissions per month to submit to regional parenting publications (RPPs). I wish I had that kind of output! She was curious as to whether or not numerous submissions to the same publications would be viewed as pesky if they were sent individually. I thought she had a great point. I also realized that, if sent separately, it would take a great deal of time to send that number of submissions to a large group of editors.

I considered possible solutions and proposed that she try the following:

--Choose a self-imposed deadline each month (the first day, the 15th day, etc.) and complete all work for the month by that date. 
--Submit one email that includes the following information: name of each article, word count and a 2-4 sentence description of each article.
--For those of you who are really on the ball, direct editors to a website or blog that lists all of your other available articles as a reminder each month that you have work readily available.

I am not an editor, but I cannot see how this would possibly be viewed as pesky. In fact, I believe it would be a great way to showcase your work, your ability to meet a deadline and your commitment as a writer.

Do any of you have experiences in this area to share?