If there is one thing that can be a time waster (read: money waster), itis disorganization. Last year I was exploring the nether-regions of my email program's archive folders and I found an acceptance from a regional parenting publication on an essay I sent out.
Now, I haven't sent anything out in a long, long time... this email was from 2003! I hadn't followed up and I had definitely not received a check. Had I been more organized and remembered to follow up, I would have made more money and maybe even broken into a market that I have been considering for a long time.
Here's now I became more organized.
Organize your week by having certain tasks set for certain days:
Thursday: Admin/Filing (this includes your email inbox!)
Friday: Idea Harvesting
Saturday: Market Search
You only need to spend an hour on each task, maybe less. Then you can spend more time writing and you won't have to worry that those icky details are taken care of each week.
Querying: Look over your notes to decide which idea (or ideas) you'd like to query today. Match them up with your target market and craft at least one query.
Accounting: Check on overdue invoices, calculate your expenses from the previous week.
Refueling: Take time to read a book of fiction, pick up your bible and read or watch an inspirational movie. Recharge, it's that horrible Wednesday slump!
Admin/Filing: Clean up that desk and make sure everything is filed away.This also includes your email inbox! Check on pending emails or phone calls you are supposed to return.
Idea Harvesting: Read every magazine or newspaper that you subscribe to and make notes on topics you might have something to say about. Read your bible for ideas, pick your favorite bible story and see if there's a correlation between it and your life. Put these notes aside, let them stew over the weekend and see which ones you can query on Monday.
Market Search: Couldn't you just get lost in this task? Identify a few target markets and read about them, make notes, bookmark and highlight those you are interested in.
As today is Monday, I sent out three queries. Two are still out there and one was retured with a rejection but a request for a requery. YAY!