Monday, November 28, 2011

Pursuit of Publication: The Daily and Weekly Schedules

At this stage of our preparation, we must develop the habits, the deadlines and mode of time management for the work ahead of us. Procrastination is unacceptable. To continually put off this pursuit of publication will result in exactly what is, put off.

In rehash, at this stage, we know our work, we know ourselves, at least in theory. Now, we've delved into an examination of our work habits. We've kept the new material generation in the forefront of our schedule. We've found the “other” hours. Now what?

Using myself as an example, here's the breakdown.

-I know I will be punching a time clock 5 days a week. My work week begins on Friday and goes straight through until Tuesday. I choose to spend the weekend days with my accomplice doing fun things. That leaves the Monday-Friday schedule. And in fact, I have the daytime from Tuesday through Friday. All said, I can muster at least five hours a day for those four days. In short, I have found twenty hours a week for this pursuit.
-My “other” hours are late at night when I'm either playing pinball at the bar, reading Kerouac in bath, or enjoying chips and salsa over the debacle that is the daily paper. This is important only because, I can use these hours in which my energy is low to read magazines, and find potential markets.
-The schedule:
Sunday: Plan the week. Which story(ies) and which magazine(s) do I need to pay attention to? How much new material needs work? What hours, what days and how long each day? Fill in the time.
Monday: Maintenance. I write a weekly blog, and Monday is the day for it. In the “other” hours after work, I'll research at least 2 magazines. (See next week's blog post for research).
Tuesday: Find the week's submission selections. Reread, revise, rework, if needed. In the “other” hours, research at least 2 more magazines.
Wednesday: Clearly match at least one story to one magazine. Follow the guidelines perfectly. Write a cover letter. Send it out. The “other” hours: more research.
Thursday: Maintenance on other projections. For me, I spend most of the workday on Thursday on Umbrella Factory Magazine. The “other” hours: more research.
Friday: Follow up with any correspondence. Finish any task that needs it.

This is only a thumbnail of the weekly schedule. I suspect that it may shift week to week. It will probably get refined once we figure out what works and what doesn't. At any rate, this preparation should prime the process. Despite any misgivings I seem to have about the trap of procrastination, our lengthy preparation process is in a way, procrastinating.

Next time: Magazines. Research and contact  

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