Monday, September 15, 2008

Making lists = organization

I keep records of all my submissions and stories in a binder next to my computer (I also use Duotrope, but I don't feel comfortable unless I also keep paper records; I live in fear of accidentally resubbing a rejected story to the same market). Every few months, I go through the binder and make a list that I print out and stick in the front. The list has three sections, "Active Stories," "Sold Stories," and "Retired." Not only do I list the stories by title, I also count up how many rejections each story has received.

This is supposed to make me feel better about things. Generally, it does. For instance, the "Sold Stories" category is nice and long now, although when I adjust for this year's sales only (I've bolded those), it's a much more modest list--six sales and one reprint sale, and two of those are flash stories. Unfortunately, the "Retired" list is also growing. But I'm writing better stories and dropping the older ones as unworthy.

It's the "Active Stories" list that's worrying me at the moment. It's only got seven stories on it, three of them flash, one of them marked down as "probably need to retire this one" and one pending a rewrite to be fully active. That leaves me with two real stories out there. And one of those is in limbo since it's technically not out anywhere--that's the one where the editor wrote me last week telling me it'd be October before I heard back on the story, but the editor seems to have his wires crossed because he already rejected that story in April.

Maybe he should keep a binder like mine. Maybe I should, you know, actually farking write some new stories.


Cate Gardner said...

I'm the opposite - I've got too many stories out there and not enough in my sold list. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

But that's changing fast for you!

Hey, I got a hold notice from Cinema Spec this morning! That makes me happy even if the editor passes on it ultimately.