My goal for this series of blog posts is for writers to save themselves a lot of time and frustration. This series is meant to get you on the path toward publication, provided you put in the work of writing and revising. Don't worry if you don't follow all these recommendations--who could? I'll be the first to admit that even I'm guilty of sometimes not using my time wisely--look for my tip on social media! But overall this series contains hard-won truths on how to make writing a bigger part of your life. I hope it clarifies the publishing guidelines, professional etiquette, and protocols you may have been unsure about in the past. More than anything, I hope it puts you on track toward opportunities you may not have imagined.
Not to belabor the subject, but Google Drive really does make my writing life easier to manage. Before creating my submission tracker document in Google Drive my method of tracking submissions was a wreck: random Post-Its here and there with quickly scrawled notifications of rejection, a stray notebook that listed about 30% of my work that was out on submission. At one point I even created a Microsoft Word document that listed key categories (name of journal, pieces submitted, date submitted, etc.) and I would pencil in the name of the journal and the work I submitted. This was something I packed around in a notebook....
Because I am at a computer other than my home computer during the day, I really like being able to log in and update my Submission Tracker on Google Drive. It's when you start forgetting to update your submissions that things can get confused and you run the risk of letting submissions sit in your submissions file that may have been accepted for publication, or rejected already.
And like I said, your method for organizing submissions will change over time. In the Submission Tracker I designed in Google Drive I now have a category for the agents to whom I submitted my first novel, book contests I have entered, and creative writing contests I have entered. Having these other categories saves me time by presenting all this information in an organized way and also allows me to see when I submitted work to these different places and individuals.
Tasha Cotter, @TashCotter, is a poet and fiction writer based in Lexington, Kentucky. She is the author of two chapbooks of poetry and the full-length collection, Some Churches (Gold Wake Press, 2013). You can find her online at www.tashacotter.com.