Keeping motivated

Your 'done' list doesnt have to be fancy!

Your ‘done’ list doesnt have to be fancy!

I admit I can’t remember where I read the suggestion to keep a spreadsheet of everything you do that’s writing related but at some point this year I began making a note of what I do. Thank you to the person who recommended it – whoever you are.

There has been a lot of emailing back and forth this year to sort out formatting and design issues with Sarah’s Song – an individual email is exactly the sort of task that seems like nothing done and nothing achieved. It doesn’t make for a very sexy list either, but looking back over it it certainly helps to acknowledge all the time and effort that went into each milestone.

Behind each short story acceptance is editing, submission processes (all with slightly different rules and requirements), fees paid, rejection, resubmission, reading journals and keeping up with who’s looking for pieces. Not to mention seeking feedback on work and building a community.

For a manuscript there’s literally years of drafting, rewriting, submitting to agents, ms awards, festivals, fellowships. It’s enough to make a sane woman cry! But a look back through your ‘done’ list is a deposit in the self-esteem bank and a real motivational boost. Let me know how it works.