Vision: A Resource for Writers

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Eight Tips to Help Organize Your Writing

By Suzan L. Wiener
Copyright 2008 by Suzan L. Wiener, All Rights Reserved

Are you submitting work without keeping track of what you are sending? Or, are you starting work and then not finishing it? Here are eight tips I have used to avoid these problems. They should be helpful for you, as well. Organization is the key to being less stressed and more productive.

1. Buy Notebooks

I suggest buying two notebooks. Use one to keep track of what you are sending out. One heading should be the name of your submission, the second, the name of the publication, and the third, the date when you sent it. This will prevent you from sending out the same submission twice.

The other notebook should be used for what you have sold and what was rejected. It will come in handy for tax purposes. You can see whether your writing is a full-time job or a hobby.

2. Make a list

After you have written your manuscript, make a list of those publications you want to send it to. You can send it simultaneously if the editor has that listed in their guidelines. If not, send it out one at a time, to the next publication. Should one editor not accept it, you can immediately send it to another.

3. Seasonal Submissions

Keep a list at your computer desk showing when seasonal submissions are due. This way, you won't wait until the last minute or miss the deadline completely. Most publications want manuscripts for seasonal items sent in six-months to a year ahead of time. Always check their guidelines to make sure.

4. Research, Research

If you have already researched a subject and want to do another article with a new slant, keep your research in a separate file. That way, you will have it handy when you need it. You won't have to go looking for it or have to repeat the research process.

5. Make time to write

It is a good idea to set aside a certain time to write, not just when you feel like it. Although it is great to have that excitement factor, choosing a definite time, such as when the kids are asleep, will help you concentrate fully on your writing. You will be able to stay more focused as well.

6. Keep things close

Make sure you have everything you need at hand--computer, notebooks, pens, etc. It is essential to have all your writing tools available in case you have some spontaneous inspiration.

7. Learn from others

Talk to other writers for more inside information about being organized. Usually they are only too happy to give you tips to help you toward your goal of getting published.

8. Neatness counts

Keep a neat work space. This eases any tension you might feel if you are a beginning writer, or even a more experienced one. The proper lighting helps, as does cleaning your computer screen. Wearing comfortable clothes is a plus, also.

Following the above suggestions should help you garner more sales. I know it worked for me.