The very end of March and all of April, my goal was an hour of writing every day, one blog post a day, and one hour of reading a day. I made an easy goal, and spent many more hours than that, but it kept me motivated. I’m ready to set new goals for May.
If I am not working mornings, I will write as soon as I get up. If I am, I will write after work and before supper. From reading about writing, several people suggest using word count instead of time as a measure. I again want a goal that is easy to reach so I don’t get discouraged. I will start at 500 words a day and see how it goes, in the past month I have written as much as 2000, usually close to 1000, sometimes 300. I will allow myself one day off per week, but probably won’t need it. I read a lot. I don’t think I need to keep track of how much.
I’ve started researching how to submit short stories to magazines. Many say unpublished work only, so I need to be careful what I put on the blog. Some consider any work available online as previously published, not just published on paper or a commercial site. This makes me a officially a published author! Just an unpaid one, unless you count the Grant MacEwan Young Writer’s Scholarship I won in 2007 for $2500.
I think instead of a daily blog post, I will try to work more on my existing projects than put my energy into my writing diary. I will cut back to one post per week, but more if I feel inspired to. I will not post any finished copies of anything I plan to eventually submit to a magazine. I have put up a rough draft of one of my fables, but it will be revised and other stories added. You are allowed to share excerpts with feedback groups, that is not considered published. I’m glad I discovered this before I posted a lot of the projects I’ve been polishing, like ‘Noise Complaint’ and ‘Medieval Feast.’
I started looking into magazines that would be a good match for what I write. So I googled creative non-fiction, which seems to be really flowing for me lately. It was also the genre of my award-winning story on Albertan culture. “True Story” is offering $300 for 5000-10,000 words, that one caught my eye. I could also find magazine websites with submission calls and contests based on horror, children’s books, travel writing, cooking, Canadian writers, women writers. There are actually a lot out there! Some you have to pay to submit, which kind of puts me off. I found a website that you sign up and they will send you different jobs hiring writers for magazines and blogs, but it has that scammy feeling, and I want to write whatever I want at my own pace, not “we need a piece on that football game by 2pm,” or whatever. I might look into it, but I need to be very selective because if a piece is accepted I can’t send it to someone else looking for unpublished work. I also need to research how copyright, First Serial Rights, and all that stuff works.
By the end of May I hope to have some polished good copies, and a better idea of who I want to make submissions to.