This week I seem to have spent more time communicating with editors than working on my writing. It’s a fun development, which came about from my new year’s resolution to pitch at least one editor and write for at least one hour every day, including weekends. And by day, I usually mean evenings as I have a day job.
I started on January second and managed to hit my two goals most days. The only thing stopping me have been headaches and migraines, which always show up out of nowhere and can last up to three days. Even then I usually managed to sneak in a bit of market study or write a few lines on my work in progress. So even though I didn’t actually hit my goals on those days, I still moved forward, which was super exciting and motivating.
Here are the two rules I set for myself and what happened:
Rule for writing goal – Work in small bursts if I have to, as long as I hit that one hour mark before I go to bed.
Result – For the most part, as soon as I started writing, I lost track of the time and hit the one hour mark no problem. It’s a process that seemed to build on itself. If I could do it one day, then I knew I could do it the next. As I saw the progress I made each day, it made me eager to get to work. In four weeks, I wrote two blog posts and three new articles, finished one work in progress, and rewrote another from scratch. I don’t consider myself a fast writer so these numbers are pretty impressive for me.
Rule for querying goal – Send a pitch or a complete manuscript to a book publisher, magazine editor, or literary agent before I go to bed.
Result – The regular querying brought me to discover new markets and opportunities here in North America as well as the UK and Australia. It forced me to put self-doubt and fears of all kinds aside and just send that pitch so I wouldn’t fall behind. Except for a few quick rejections, not much happened in the first couple of weeks. But on week 3 and 4, I started getting interested replies and requests for more information, which led to my first contract of the year. Joy! This, of course, is making me want to write and pitch even more.
As a side goal, I also decided to journal every day. It’s something I had let go of in the last few months because I stopped being able to get up early enough to get it done. It was a painful decision, but I chose to prioritize giving my body the rest it needed over my love of journaling. The thing is, I’ve always preferred journaling first thing in the morning. I feel as if it sets me up for the rest of the day. Over the long Christmas break, I got a taste for it again as I was able to do it first thing. I hated having to let go of it when I got back to my day job. So I decided to keep journaling no matter what the time of day. Sometimes I do it as soon as I get back from work. Other times it’s just before I turn in for the night. The nice thing is that even though I don’t get exactly the same benefits as I used to, something good always comes out of it no matter what time of day I journal. I especially love when it leads to new insights and ideas for writing projects. I’m happy to say that I only missed one day of journaling this month (stupid migraine).
My goal for February is to continue pitching, writing, and journaling every day with the addition of managing the growing number of editor responses. It’s a really good place to be and I intend to enjoy every minute of it—migraine or not!