Writing Resolutions

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Each New Year I make resolutions – only a few brave-hearted and determined souls I know can avoid the annual period of reflection and reassessment. Along with the usual suspects, this year I’ve added ‘submit work’ to my list. Although I’m primarily a novelist for middle readers and young adults, I often write poetry, flash fiction and a small amount of creative non-fiction. Back when I wrote mainly poetry, I was constantly submitting it to journals and competitions but these days I treat these excursions into different forms as a kind of small holiday away from the main project.

This year I’m changing that.

I subscribed to the Poets and Writers weekly newsletter some time back and recently received a post from them which turned out to be a submission calendar for 2014. It’s a fabulous tool – if you’re based in America. I’m not based in America, and nor do I want every writing competition or magazine reading schedule listed on my writing calendar. The solution is simple. I have to compile my own calendar of not-to-be-missed competition and journal submission dates.

I’ve decided to do this in a detailed excel spread sheet that I can print out every month, but there’d be other ways of organising this material. The physicality of a paper schedule stuck on a corkboard suits me, but tech orientated writers might prefer to use a calendar already in their system which would allow them to easily link to websites.

This kind of administrative work should be part of every writer’s life but when it’s difficult  to wrestle writing time from each busy day it becomes almost impossible to think beyond the next thousand words. On the other hand, like everyone else I know, I waste a fair bit of online time. This year, on the first of each month, some of that will go into creating my monthly calendar. That will go in my smartphone calendar – with an alert!

If you seriously don’t have time to do compile your own calendar and are a member of one of our professional writing organisations such as your state’s writers’ centre or Fellowship of Australian Writers, simply cut and paste their lists of writing opportunities each month. You might find that simply knowing about a competition or specialist journal kickstarts a new writing venture!

What are you writing or creative aims for 2014? We’d love you to share your ideas.


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