Over the last three decades or so I have submitted hundreds of pieces of my writing to a variety of publications and competitions. A reasonably healthy percentage of these have been published or performed. My list of writings have included:
- short stories
- songs – well, one song!
- comedy routines
- picture books
- teaching materials
- devotional material
Writing published on my blog sites
In addition to the above figures I have self-published over the last 10 years more than 4000 articles combined here on this writing site, and on my other sites, Trevor’s Birding and Trevor’s Travels and on our church website where I am the webmaster.
That’s a heap of words. And I have many, many more waiting to be sent off to various publications, and heaps more ideas for more stories, novels, poems and articles. Finding a balance between creating new writing and submitting one’s writing is always a fine line to walk.
I must admit that I err too much on the side of not sending out my writing to places where it stands a good chance of being published.
In the light of that last statement I find that it is good to come across an article which outlines some basic reminders of what to look for when preparing a manuscript for submission to a magazine or a literary journal. I recently came across an article titled “7 questions to ask yourself before submitting to literary journals.”
It is worth taking a look at; while you are gone I think I will prepare a few submissions of my own. After all, I’ve had a list of them ready for a week now.
Good writing. Good submitting.
Over the years I have been writing this blog I have written just over 1,000 articles. Some of these include poems or stories I have written (see the sidebar for links), and many others have been about blogging and writing. Of those about writing, many have been on the topic of goal setting.
I have always been someone who likes to set goals, not just for my writing but also my daily to-do lists. Such lists help me to keep on track as well as keep me accountable to myself. After all, I do not have a boss leaning over my shoulder keeping me on task, though sometimes it feels like my wife might like to have that role.
I have just read a very thorough and useful article called Setting Goals: why you need them and how to write them. This article is a thoughtful discussion on the reasons behind having goals for your blogging, and practical ideas on how to write and implement them. While the article is primarily aimed at blogging, most of the ideas are also applicable to writing in general.
It’s worth a read.
- Goal setting – articles from the archives of this site
- Setting goals: why you need them and how to write them on ProBlogger.
I know from several decades of taking my writing seriously that I experience seasons of high productivity, followed by leaner times. It is during those times when writing is a struggle that we prove to ourselves what it takes, and the price needed to be paid. I am currently coming out of a very lean period, a dark, season of little output and plenty of discouragement.
In the early 1990s I read the Stephen Covey book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I devoured the contents of this book, and those he subsequently wrote, and successfully applied many of the principles to my own life. It changed many things about the way I lived, including my writing. At the time I was teaching full time and the books also influenced how I approached my teaching career. (Note to self: time to reread those books – and any subsequent books he wrote.)
I recently came across a short article called The Habits of Highly Effective Writers. While this article didn’t go into great depth on the subject, the author has some valuable principles from which all writers could benefit.
Productive writers don’t reach for excuses when the going gets hard. They treat writing like the job it is. They show up, punch the clock, and punch out. Nothing romantic about it. They give themselves a quota; sometimes it’s butt-in-chair time, sometimes a word count. Simple math allows you to figure out how quickly 1,000 words a day adds up to a book-length work. These writers know how to use deadlines, whether external or self-imposed, to stay on track.
I guess that I have, in part, been using the excuse of illness in recent months for not making as much progress with my writing as I would have liked. To be fair to myself, there were many times when I was nearly doubled up in pain due to a stomach ailment, or being unable to even sit at my computer for any length of time due to back pain, or even falling asleep in mid-word at the keyboard due to the effects of sleep apnoea. Despite all these hindrances, I pushed on as best as I could, but achieving far less than I had hoped. It was a frustrating time.
Apart from still some back pain, these issues are in the past – I hope – and now the reality to those dark days fading into the distance is being realised. I have reset my goals and look to the coming year with great anticipation. I dream that this will be my best year of writing ever, eclipsing the year I achieved my Masters degree. All I have to do is put in the hard yards – and quite a few miles as well – and those dreams may turn into reality.
Over the years I have plodded along with my writing on this site with little attention to milestones along the way. Only today I suddenly realised that I have passed two significant points quite recently.
- I have now written over 1000 posts here on Trevor’s Writing.
- I have now written approximately three million words over the last 22 years.
Not all of those words were on this site – the figure includes several novels, a daily journal, dozens of essays for my Masters degree, more than 2600 articles on my other sites Trevor’s Birding and Trevor’s Travels, and thousands of emails and letters. Oh… I forgot – I also do all of the maintenance and most of the writing for our church website here.
No wonder my fingers are tired.
The archives of this site now contain over 1000 articles about writing, writing ideas, reading, books, teaching, reviews, poems and short stories. You can access this amazing resource here, or go to the Archives button above.
You can also access articles on various themes or topics in 3 other ways:
- The Contents section on the sidebar.
- The Categories on the sidebar.
- The search button near the top of each page.
As impressive as all of the above is – in my mind anyway – there is one thing I would like to add: “You ain’t seen nothing yet, folks.” Planned for the future include:
- Many thousands more articles about writing.
- More reviews and essays.
- More writing hints and ideas.
- More poems and stories.
- News of forthcoming ebooks and printed books.
Please help me:
I am open to suggestions about what my readers would like to see here on this site. Please respond in the comments, or send me a short email via the Contact form above.
Good writing and reading.
I think I need to give my fingers a rest – and go read a book.