Saturday, August 28, 2010

Twitter page

www.twitter.com/sarakjackson

Monday, August 23, 2010

Keeping A Schedule

I know. I know. The best part of being a writer is not having to answer to "the man" and not having to live by a schedule.

But, sometimes I need a schedule to help keep me on track. So, every Sunday I write out a schedule - listing what I need to do that week. The schedule consists of days to work on my magazine articles, setting time aside to work on either my short stories or novel and making sure I get at least 5 queries sent out.

I leave my schedules pretty loose, meaning that I never set a goal of pages to write or a word count. If I did that, I would drive myself insane and be guilt-ridden if I wasn't able to adhere to this strict a schedule.

Let me know what your schedules are.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips And Tricks I've Learned

Three years ago, when I set out to be a published writer (by the way, I was published only a few short months later), I started organizing my research and papers into my "Writing Binder."

The Writing Binder:
What you'll need-
1. Large-ringed binder
2. Dividers
3. Plain paper
4. Folders

I've divided mine up into sections:
1. Payment - where I list what I made from which magazine and how much. Date paid.

2. Contests - where I list which stories I've submitted to which contests. Date submitted and response time. I also include a second piece of paper which lists date responded, story, and whether or not it was accepted. If so, what the amount was.

3. Queries - where I list which queries went to which magazines. Date submitted and response time. Here, I also include a second piece of paper which lists date responded for which magazine. And whether it as a "Yes" or a "No." If yes, the date published.

4. Contests - this is another section in which I will include listings of contests I've found either in magazines, online or in Writer's Market. I take down all the information from these sources and type them up and include them in this section. Each contest is divided into three sub-sections: Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry.

5. Taking the same concept for contests, I apply it to magazines that I've come across. Each magazine is divided into three sub-sections: Consumer, Literary and Online.

6. When I first started out, I wrote a lot of reviews, so I put in a section for Reviews. Here I just added some college-ruled paper.

7. In the back part of the Writing Binder, I've included 3-4 folders. Each folder holds anything you want for misc stuff. My folders hold rejection letters, contest entry forms, old clippings from Opinion articles I wrote for my local paper.

Each year I update the binder. And each year you can go back and look at how you did moneywise, how successful you were with querying and your contest entries.

HOW I EDIT MY FICTION:
I'm one of those writers who still does everything longhand. I don't know, I just like to feel close to my work and be able to cross out, scribble and write off in the margins. Once I've typed something, I print it out and look at it. Now I don't want to rewrite the whole thing again while doing the edits. So I go through with the type copy and with a separate notebook, I will go through and write what I don't want to change in black ink and make all of my corrections in blue ink. So, when I go to type the edited product, I won't have to spend hours at the computer retyping the entire manuscript.




Monday, August 2, 2010

Quoting Virginia Woolf

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

Technically I have both, but still feel stifled by my surroundings, which prevents me from being creative. I seem to be stuck writing for magazine, which I love and am grateful to the ones that I write for, but I wish I could churn out creative prose on a daily or weekly basis.

Soon I am to move into my very own home, and somehow I feel that the creative juices will flow then - at least I hope so. By then I will have a "room of my own," and be earning a steady paycheck working part-time at my dad's dental office. I could be lying to myself in order to put off procrastinating the need or want to write. I know I'm losing essential skills in order to cohesively put together a story and make it believable and readable.

Who knows what will happen, but I will soon find out.