Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking Time

What did I learn this past week about writing?

I learned what a huge difference a little time makes. Last week my schedule of running errands calmed down to what, I hope, is normal. So I actually had two entire days of uninterrupted time and concentration to write and submit.

It was heavenly.

I pulled out some articles I had sent to magazines (no response yet), revamped them, and shipped them off (by email) to some anthologies that are taking submissions. I really enjoyed hitting that SEND button.

Then I dusted off some poems, sanded off their rough edges and sent them to anthologies, too. Whoo-hoo!

But what was really exciting was adding the finishing touches to some rebus stories. Over the past few months I've poured a lot of effort into learning how to write a decent rebus. They are short, and cute, and extremely difficult to write! (For me, anyway!) I was ecstatic to print out those babies and a brief, professional cover letter, slide them into a big brown envelope and ship them off to Highlights for Kids. It feels great to accomplish a goal and those rebus stories were a big goal for me. It may be that this particular magazine doesn't buy them. But I won't be crushed by that. I'm making a promise to myself to just ship them off to the next magazine on my list.

Next I opened a PB ms I've been polishing with a particular publisher in mind. Actually it isn't the ms I've been working on for the past few weeks. It's the accompanying proposal document. In this particular publisher's guidelines they have specific and detailed instructions for submitting what amounts to a proposal along with each ms. Such an in-depth document helps me to examine the foundation of my ms. It helps me to see ahead of time whether or not this ms comes anywhere close to the type of ms a publisher is searching for. It helps me clarify the theme and premise of my story. It forces me to do market research to see if there is even a possible market for my idea.

Proposals are a lot of work. But they help me to produce a better story, and to take aim at the best possible publishers. Yes, doing the proposal actually takes more time than the ms for me. But it's time well invested.

Completing these projects left me with a terrific sense of accomplishment. And, frankly, I like it. I'm praying I can do this again next week--that is, take full advantage of any time I have for writing, and actually get two or three more projects out of my computer and onto an editor's desk.

Time--so very valuable. I thank the Lord that I was able to use some of mine this week to accomplish some of my writing goals.

Now it's time for a nap! Occasionally that's a wise investment of my time, too.


Linda A. said...

Congratultions on getting so many works on their way! I'm so happy for you. GOOD LUCK!

Did you find a good source of tips on writing rebuses or did you comb examples in magazines and learn on your own? If you have tips to share, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for all you offer writers and for all your encouragement too.

Linda A.

Carol said...

Time is valuable and it sounds as if the Lord multiplied your minutes! I'm impressed with what you did in those two days. I know how precious uninterrupted writing time is. what a gift!

Jean said...


Some of both strategies. I found a couple of articles on Highlights and another one on a blog.

Then I read about 25 Highlights issues to see what they publish.

Then, my critique partner went over them with a fine tooth comb.

Next I'm headed for other children's mags that use rebus stories for more study!

Hopefully one day I will get it right and one of my little stories will make it to print.


Kristi Butler said...

Way to go, Jean!!! Writing surely does take time...and discipline!!! I hope I can follow your example!!

Love and hugs!

quietspirit said...

I just wanted to let you know that you won the basket of writing supplies in my giveaway.
Please contact me via email and give me your address,so I can get this out to you.