Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Your Submission Record for 2015
We're still in those end days of the year when we can look back and see what we accomplished these past twelve months. If you keep a submission record--and I hope you all do--open it and study your track record for this year. Which Snoopy will you be? The one on the left or the happy guy on the right?
1. Look at the number of submissions. How do you feel about that number? Is it minuscule or way up in the double digits? What do your numbers say about you, the writer? I'm working my butt off. I could do better. I didn't give my writing much effort this year. I'm satisfied with the numbers.
2. Look at the SOLD or ACCEPTED comments next to the submissions. What was the percentage of submissions sold vs those made? Are you satisfied? One thing to keep in mind is that few writers sell everything they write. I was once told that the average sold is 1 of each 12 submissions. Pretty discouraging. It seemed to me a lot of good writing was being overlooked by some editors, but I was a newbie and should have given thought to the writers not submitting to proper markets as one reason for failure.
3. Look at the column that tells the places you submitted to. Do you see a pattern of any kind? Are you top heavy with one or two places? Ask yourself why you tend to submit so often to the same market. It could be that you and the editor have a good relationship and you know you'll get special attention. You may have had lots of work published in one place, so why not keep on going there? You might be afraid to venture from the secure into scary new markets. How varied is the list of markets where you submitted? Maybe one of your 2016 goals should be to try markets new to you.
4. Look at the money you made. How much becomes far more relevant if you are trying to make a living as a writer. If you're writing on the side or a hobbyist writer, the amount you made is not as important. Important yes, but not as much as for those trying to keep food on the table. Rate yourself as Satisfied or Dissatisfied, Euphoric or Damn Mad. It could be any one of those.
5. Look at the overall picture of your Submission Record. This is your starting place for your 2016 goals. When you make up a new Submission Record page for 2016, consider stating your goals at the top of the page. At the end of 2016, you can check to see which ones you accomplished and those that never got off the ground.
If you're happy with your 2015 submissions and acceptances, congratulations to you. If you're mumbling and grumbling about them, I sympathize. No, I empathize. I'm in that category myself this year. What I have to figure out now is the why and what I need to do to increase the numbers for next year. I have a post that tells about some great advice I was given as a newbie writer regarding submitting my work. Take a look and see if the advice my friend gave me resonates with you. Read it here.