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    Writing Registry: A Must for Freelancers

    I'm freaking out! I can't trace an article I've written weeks ago! Have I submitted it to any publication yet? Is it in my diskette or do I have a hard copy? Yikes! And that article on dealing with school bullies...I wrote it eons ago. I'm not sure if it has been paid. But then...I can't even recall *where* it was published! I just know it *was* published. Somebody told me so! And that magazine clipping about Dolly the cloned sheep...where is it?

    If you're an active freelancer, you know what I mean. You can get overwhelmed by the clutter. It is a must to get organized!

  • The moment you finish an article, record it "Full Title" and "Number of Pages." Upon submission, record the "Publication," the "Manner of Submission" (e-mail, facsimile, snail mail, etc.) and the "Date" you submitted your piece. That makes it easier to trace and/or follow-up your article.

  • Have a separate logbook (a columnar notebook is ideal) for your published pieces. Record the following: "Title" of article, "File Name," "Publication," "Issue Date," "Volume/Issue Number" and "Page" number. Provide a column marked "Check #" (for check payments) and another column for "Remarks." In the remarks column, indicate if you used a pen name, if your byline was omitted or any other important information regarding the publication of your work.

  • Gather your unfinished articles in a separate file. Do not delete a piece just because you've been trying to finish it for a whole week but just can't! You can get back to it someday.

  • Always have a backup of your articles. Relying on the hard disk alone is dangerous. Make it a habit to hit the "Save" button after typing a paragraph. (There's an option in your computer that allows automatic saving every so often. Check that out.

  • Create and partition (D or E) in your hard drive. Save your articles in that new partition in lieu of "My Documents" in drive C. That way, you can still recover your articles even if the operating system bogs down. Use a third party program like Partition Magic to create new partitions.

  • Have separate folders for your "Freelance Materials" based on "Topic" (for example: parenting, personality development, spiritual, health, etc.)

  • Have separate folders for your "Finished Works" based on "Classification" (for example: essays, poems, stories, etc.) Compress the files (using Winzip) and burn into a CD-R.

  • File hardcopies of "Important Correspondence" such as contracts, complaint letters, receipts, notices... and of course, fan mails!

  • Compile your "Column" articles. Have them book bound. A publisher might get interested, you know.

  • Have a facsimile of your best articles -- as "Published" -- for your portfolio. (Always update your resume and portfolio for this is your passport to success.)

  • Have an "Ideas" notebook/file so you won't forget concepts, lines, phrases and titles -- even interesting names of characters -- that flash in your mind at the most unexpected times.

  • Keep a logbook/file of writing-related information: addresses, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, editors-in-chief, submission guidelines, article preferences, etc. Always update, okay?

  • "Clip" feature articles, press releases, ads, notices of writers' contests/opportunities/workshops... that you come across. File them in a separate folder. Who knows? They might open doors for you.

  • Keep business cards given to you at workshops, symposiums, book launchings and other writers' affairs you attend.

  • Save articles published online into a diskette or file the hardcopy -- as published.

    Getting organized may take time but it sure is worth the effort. You can trace the history of every piece you wrote, retrieve important reference materials in a jiffy, go over old articles and review your own works. With just a glimpse in your logbook, you'll know that you have written 2,588 feature articles, 67 short stories, 98 scripts, 3 books, earned over a million, won in 7 contests and got published in 38 publications...

    Now, isn't that inspiring?

    Copyright © 2003 Lizzie Santos

    Lizzie Santos writes features, literary pieces, scripts and other writing projects both in English and Pilipino. She also lectures at creative writing workshops. Her first book, The Laughter of the Leaves and Other Musings, was published by Giraffe Books. She is working on her second book. Contact her at liz_pages@yahoo.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

  • FOR JOURNALERS

    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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