Trouble is my business

I told you that I’d divided my spring break plans into the categories Writing, Organizing, Teaching, Fun, and Writing Biz.  Writing Biz, as may not be instantly apparent to everyone, is everything that a writer has to do (or should do) other than actually writing whatever she writes.  This might include query letters, grant applications, submissions, notes to editors, grease-the-wheels emails, and travel plans, among other things.  Some of these things have deadlines attached, which helps to ensure that they get done if they really need to, but a lot of them have no deadlines and are easily overlooked or put off from week to week.  That’s why I created the category for this spring break.  Some of the things in it are:

  • I should send out one or two submissions, as I have nothing in circulation right now except for one solicited submission.  If I can get two submissions together, I’ll send one to a journal I admire, where I’ve been published once before, and the other to an editor who invited me to send something when I stopped at the magazine’s table at AWP.  (I used to think about submissions all the time.  I always had work in circulation.  Since the book came out, I’m not as anxious to get work into magazines.  I should be paying more attention to that.)
  • At AWP, I also saw an editor I met last year whom I’d offered to send a book I thought might be of interest.  I should send the damn book already.
  • After Easter, I need to email the writer who got me the New RU gig and see whether we can make a lunch or coffee date while I’m on break from Starfleet Academy.  I owe this writer big time for this gig, although it is very unlikely that I will be allowed to pay for lunch.
  • I owe a few people emails.  Some of these I don’t mind considering Writing Biz, as they are not people I would be corresponding with otherwise.  A couple of them are more like friends than like Writing Biz colleagues, but if I take advantage of spring break to write to them, I’ll still feel productive doing it. 
  • In a similar vein, I need also to have lunch with a writer I really like, with whom I might be doing a sort of project this summer.  I would still want to have lunch with this person even if there were no professional reason for doing it, but I’m happy to let it count for Biz purposes.
  • At the moment, there are no prizes or grants I should be applying for (that I know of, anyway).  Poets & Writers magazine always lists contests, and in the past I’ve applied for some of the $500-$1,000 prize-and-your-entry-fee-gets-you-a-year’s-subscription variety.  My first magazine publication was as a runner-up for one of those contests, actually, in a good solid Midwestern literary journal.  Right now, though, it seems to make just as much sense to subscribe and submit separately. 
  • Speaking of subscribing, I’ve let a couple of subscriptions lapse.  Since I expect to be at Starfleet Academy next year, maybe I’ll resubscribe using my school address?  Then I’ll start getting the magazines–and the bulk mailings–at school, where I can also leave the mags in my classroom, and put some of the relevant mailings up on the bulletin board.

By the way, before spring break I had fun transforming one of the bulletin boards in my classroom into a National Poetry Month board.  Maybe I can post a photo here in April.

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