Contributed by Karen Cioffi
When I first started out in my writing career, I began to think more and more about organizing my writing. But, I was in what I call, slow mode.
I worked on my stories with the intent to eventually... hopefully get published. However, I was in no rush; writing came after everything else I had to do.
Being a former assistant controller for a manufacturing company, I knew what commitment meant. So, I decided to make writing my second career.
Suddenly, I was writing and illustrating a book my family decided I should self-publish. That meant researching companies that offered print-on-demand service along with working on the book itself.
While in the process of doing this, I was writing other works and submitting them to publishers and agents. As with most of us, I received rejection after rejection.
I also joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This site has tons and tons of helpful writing and publishing information from new and seasoned writers. In addition to this, I joined a critique group.
Writing clubs were on my mind too. I found a good one at the time and that was when my writing took on more depth and I entered the business of writing.
At the time I joined the writing club, my book was in the process of going to the printing stage of publishing. So, I had to broaden my writing arena to include learning about marketing and publicity on a very low budget. I also became a member in several children's writer's groups online. Juggling all these things was a true challenge, one that I didn't always live up to.
In addition to all this, I tried to participate in every teleseminar and teleconference I came across as well as doing research on writing and marketing. To add more on my plate, I became a co-moderator in a very active critique group, and I created a website and a blog. At times, it felt very overwhelmed.
What I finally realized, out of necessity, is that I had to create and enforce a time management schedule.
This came to a boiling point when I received a letter from an agent requesting three chapters of my short story along with a 3-5 page synopsis.
I was so overwhelmed at the time, I didn't immediately respond. Okay, it was also because I didn't have a 3-page synopsis ready. Because I was so frazzled I sent the agent the chapters she requested, but told her if she still wanted my synopsis after reading the chapters I would love to send it.
I still cringe at my stupidity when I think of this . . . at the lost opportunity.
After this long, long lead in, my advice is: don't wait until you become so frazzled by an overwhelming workload and lack of organization that you become your own stumbling block to success.
If you're reading this now, and don't have a time management schedule in place, MAKE ONE TODAY and try your best to stick to it.
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Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author. She runs a successful children’s ghostwriting and rewriting business and welcomes working with new clients.
For tips on writing for children OR if you need help with your project, contact her at Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.
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