We all know how life can run away with us. Most of the time we are chasing our own tails and time seems to accelerate at an alarming rate. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything that I'd like to achieve done. This is particularly true with writing which, I have to say, has been treated a bit like Cinderella recently - the underdog. Not high on my list of priorities.
I'm ashamed to say that the realisation at just how far I'd slipped with my writing subs was when I suddenly realised I'd written an article back in May, sent it to the person it was written about but not heard back from them. So I contacted them and resent the article which they loved. They were apologetic but it was my fault as I should have contacted them within a couple of weeks after I'd sent the article - not almost five months!
Anyway, the point of this post is to say that if you want to be a published writer you need to:
* Make your writing a serious priority and actually make the time to write.
* Keep a log of the article pitches you send out and any articles you send out, so that you know exactly where you are.
* Whatever the outcome of your submissions make sure you log this down too so you know which articles to revamp and send elsewhere.
* Accurate record keeping is important so you don't send the same pitch/article to the same magazine twice!
*If you are interviewing people for your articles, remember they also have busy lives and don't always pick up their messages. So if you've contacted them but not heard back from them, give them a reasonable amount of time (only you can determine this time scale as only you know when the editor is expecting the article) then try contacting them again. It might be a good idea to indicate within your e-mails to those you are writing about the time scale you are working with. It might chivvy them along!
*Bide your time. The world does not revolve around the writer! We have to fit in with other's busy schedules. People will forget. People will dither and chop and change their minds. It's human nature. I know it can be frustrating, but life happens and the mark of a good writer is for them to learn not to let it bother them. Work round it.
I've been trying to get my questionnaires filled in by the Morris Dancers for ages - but there was a couple of times I couldn't get up to them due to my family commitments and other times when they forgot to tell me about a venue change, they were away dancing the other end of the country, they had meetings, they forgot to give the questionnaires out! But I don't panic or cause a fuss. What would be the point in that? I'll get the questionnaires in when I get them in and the articles will still get written eventually. Just go with the flow and be grateful that people have agreed to let you in to their worlds. Enjoy the process of meeting new people and watching what they get up to! Your writing will be so much better.