As you know, last year I didn’t submit to magazines as many “pieces” — my generic term for both fiction and non-fiction — as I wanted to. Though, if I’d planned it better (rather than completely focusing on other things) I might have.
And I might have had more than the three pieces accepted for publication.
One of my 2011 goals is focused on making more submissions (which will, I hope, lead to more acceptances). But other than setting myself a reminder on the calendar, I wasn’t sure how to make this happen.
And even if I did schedule it, how could I guarantee I’d have something to submit when the time came?
Today I stumbled on a method which might work, and I wanted to share.
I keep this spreadsheet (I love me some spreadsheets) which tells me just about everything I need to know about submission I make:
- Name of the story/article/query letter, etc.
- Type of submission (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Microfiction [added in 2010!] Query, etc.)
- Where it was submitted
- Date Submitted
- Whether it’s still out or not
- How many days it’s been out
- Date I received a reply
Over the years it’s evolved (via much writing procrastination and cat waxing) into a document which tells me yearly totals and percentages of each of those, how many total submissions I’ve made in my writing life, what kind of stories I’ve placed more often, average days out, etc.
(Yeah – there have been days when the spreadsheet, rather than the WIP, has ruled my life.
But, I digress.)
Spreadsheets being what they are, I add a line at the bottom when I’ve made a submission and all the formatting is automatic. I usually close it fairly quickly unless I need to reference something. End of file.
But, today, I added 30 blank lines at the bottom of the file….which are begging to be filled.
Such a small, visual change…but seeing the blank lines has me itching to fill them (and motivated to write something new to submit) – as soon as possible. I’m fairly confident I’ll make, and probably exceed, this 2011 goal.
What tricks do you use to motivate you?