Organizing Writing

Writing organization, tracking and planning

I printed out my manuscript and sent it with the cover letter and SASE off into the cruel world.  Which reminds me, all writers everywhere- back up your work!  I almost deleted the file accidentally in place of an older one.  Which led me to my next project, cleaning up my computer files.


Every writer submitting their work needs to have a tracking system. What type you use depends on what works best for you.  Right now I’m using a spreadsheet that lists title, destination, date sent and result.  Tracking keeps you from making mistakes like sending a story twice to the same place, or simultaneously when you meant to send it exclusively.  It keeps a tally on how many times you’ve sent a piece out. My current reckoning is I have 82 rejections total.  I read once that I have to collect a thousand to be a real writer, so I better get cracking! One of my unpublished stories has 15 rejections.

I also made a master list of finished novels, unfinished novels, finished stories and unfinished stories.  I’ve sold five stories.  I’ve written six novels and twelve stories, and have nine unfinished pieces.  I’d be impressed, except my friend Melissa Mead keeps cranking out short stories like … Asimov.  I have a very hard time with short stories.  I also have a hard time with long novels.  I seem to hit my stride at novellas.  I think I should really look into writing juvenile to young adult fiction.

So, now that I’ve shoved all my old files into categorized folders, backed up my novel and made these lists, what does it mean?  Where should I go next?  I think I should challenge myself in making a flash fiction story (1,000 words or less).  I should also rewrite my children’s story, finish all my unfinished stories, and submit them like crazy.

I also want to knit a sweater for my daughter, sew a crazy-quilt, make a robot costume for my son, make a Stargate Atlantis jacket for my daughter and craft presents for all my friends for Yule.  And sleep.  Sleep is important.  Life is full of difficult choices, idn’t it?

2 Replies to “Organizing Writing”

  1. Finishing all my unfinished stories (or at least taking a crack at it) is my project/goal for November. I just organized them all with cover sheets indicating what elements of the story i have in place and what it still needs, with attached hard copies of the excerpts, where I have them. I also did cover sheets for all my story concepts and attached excerpts to those, where I had them.

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