I can already tell Tuesday is going to be a favorite writing resource day. On Tuesday at 2:00pm ICL writers get together in a chat room and have discussions. They talk about issues their having with their writing, publishing markets, contests their entering, etc. I am going to set this time aside each week because I think it is important to learn from others and it also gives me a chance to discover new opportunities I may not have been aware of. So Tuesday's at 2:00pm don't come over and don't bother calling, unless you like talking to the answering machine!
Last time I wrote about my course work we left off with Part Five of section one so I'm going to pick up there today.
Part Five: Make contact with your readers.
This one I've got nailed. I don't need to change anything in my life to complete this task. I am a school volunteer! Most volunteer days this year have been spent in the library but in previous years more time was devoted to the classroom. I am also an active parent, I am on every single committee our school has.
My children are also very active at school so I spend a lot of time there even when I'm not working myself. On Mondays my children attend K-Kids which is a community service group. Also on Monday's are the school yearbook committee meetings. Tuesday's are filled with Tutoring and Student Government. Wednesday's are devoted to God and I am the assistant teacher for a class of 4th and 5th graders at our church. Thursday's my children gather their books and attend Harry Potter Book Club and Friday is Mom's Taxi's day off. Unless we've volunteered ourselves for a school function like Spring Fling, Winter Carnival, Family Fun Nights, AR Night (for reading) or The Book Fair. The weekends are family time and kids from ages 4 to 22 can often be found here. Like I said I've got this covered.
Part Six: Start a writers notebook.
This is going to be a bit difficult as I am not the neatest writer. Sometimes even I have trouble deciphering the mess I wrote when it comes to reviewing my work. Part of this stems from my disability and part of it stems from the fact that once ideas start flowing they just run off with themselves and I have a hard time trying to write it all down before it's gone.
I did purchase some small notepads to keep in my purse, and I have a card file with a good starter set of note cards. As an additional measure I put Evernote on my phone so that if I have decent battery life I can skip the pen and go write to typing, which I prefer. I am a tactile person though, I prefer books to ebooks and I like to be able to sort my notes across a desk and reorder them. You can't do that the same way with computer files. So I'm going to have to try and create a happy medium between these two evils.
Part Seven: A writer as a business person.
I think that my self diagnosis of borderline OCD will help with this issue. I can repair my own computer so that's no problem unless it needs a part I have to run to the store for. I write in a home based office so I have a copy machine and a fax machine here. The stationary store is about 7-10 miles down the road but it's right next to Walmart so I can visit it before doing my grocery shopping.
My filing cabinets, all five of them are sorted out already. it's one of the benefits of being meticulous, the drawback is that your so careful that sometimes you save things you really do not need! So I should probably go through these once every three months or so one drawer at a time and dump what information is just taking up space for no good reason. I've got a dry erase board and Excel between the two it should be fairly easy to track submissions, shouldn't it? My main problem is going to be keeping current with the markets. So that is what I'm really going to focus on for this section.
Part Eight: Mixing it up.
Yeah I'm thinking, No thank you! Sure it would be nice to write a novel and a short story at the same time and I'm organized enough to do it. But there is no way I could. I immerse myself in my characters I need to finish one work before starting another. I could do a draft of a short story and then a draft of another and bounce back and forth between each of them as portions of the editing process are completed but in no way could I do this with a longer piece of writing. maybe that is the mark of being a novice? Maybe someday I'll get there? But that day is not today.
And so that's it, I have finally completed all my notes and as many of the activities for the first section in my course work as possible. I feel like I was able to cross a lot of items off of my list as things I'm already doing or have already purchased. So I'm happy with my success so far and have already pointed out those things I realize i need to work on which is a step in the right direction toward fixing them and achieving even greater success.