Song of the Day: Busy by Lyfe Jennings
Plan, plan, plan! Did I mention plan?
You know the saying, "those who fail to plan, plan to fail?" Well, it's true. My first suggestion is to sit down with a calendar. You can use an actual calendar, planner, or your smart phone if you prefer. Set aside time once a month to plan which contests you want to enter or where you want to submit your work. It's up to you to determine how many you can handle applying to or how many you can afford (they're not always cheap or free.)
A calendar will be your best friend.
I'm finding that a lot of bloggers plan their posts and write them ahead of time. This is something I'm going to start doing because I always seem to have trouble keeping up. The same goes for submitting your work. You should use a calendar to remind you of all the deadlines, then plan to follow that schedule. Treat those dates you mark off as actual deadlines.
Don't bite off more than you can chew.
It's a total cliche, but a fact it is indeed. I think part of the reason writers find it hard to submit their work and balance it with working on a WIP, plus daily life is because they think submitting requires so much effort. If you plan, then it's much easier to balance both. Wouldn't it be better to submit one thing a month as opposed to nothing? Why not zero in on one contest or one magazine in which you'd like your work to appear? You can start small. There really are no rules.
Make Time to Work on things to submit.
Here's where it gets hard. You're working on your WIP, you've got the day job, you have to make dinner, clean the house, and your "to be read" pile is out of control. With all that life throws at us, we barely have time to write at all. But you know those moments when you get stuck on your WIP? The moments when you just need a break or need to step away from your manuscript? Why not work on something else, like a piece you can submit. Another good idea might be to pick one day of the week when you work on pieces you can eventually submit. Or, you can dedicate your lunch hour to working on a submission.
Save time by submitting the same story.
One other suggestion is that you write one really good story and submit it multiple places. This will also save a little time. You can try submitting the story until it is accepted. If it's just not accepted then maybe during your monthly planning, you could re-evaluate it, and fix any problems and submit it again. Don't let this particular piece of advice limit you, though. This is just a way for the very busy to focus on one thing at a time. My suggestion is to submit as many stories as you can.
Setting aside a little time each month can go a long way. With just a little planning, you can find the time to work on your WIP, do the laundry, wash the dishes, take care of the kids AND submit your work.
Can you think of any other suggestions for balancing life with your WIP and submissions? Was this post helpful?