>Keeping track

>Let’s talk about keeping track of our submissions. It’s amazing how quickly we can forget what went where, unless we’re only sending one thing out at a time and staring at the computer until an answer arrives. That’s a good way to go crazy, so I recommend keeping as many submissions out there as you can. While you’re doing that, keep track.

You can do it with file cards, one for each query/article and one for each market, a paper list, a spreadsheet on the computer, or one of the many tracking programs available online. If you subscribe to Writers Market online, a submission tracker comes with your subscription. Whatever method works best for you is the one to use. Make it easy for yourself. Just make sure you note what you sent, where, when, and the response. It shows the IRS you’re trying, it lets you know how long it’s been since that query or article went out, and it keeps you from the embarrassment of sending a piece to an editor who has already rejected it.

Tracking also helps us keep a running list of what we’ve sent to those publications we really want to get into. And sometimes, looking at that list, we have to acknowledge that we have sent our best and they didn’t want it, so it’s time to move on.

This week I got one of those “nice rejections.” The editor didn’t have room for the piece I sent, but she wants to keep my contact information in case she needs me for upcoming articles on the subject. It’s still “no”, but it’s a good “no”. I also received a double rejection. The original rejection came in November, shortly after I sent my submission. This week I got another rejection, in which the editor said she has decided to cease publication. I guess that’s better than never hearing anything.

Keep trying. It’s worth the effort.

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