What’s Next? Prioritizing Your Work

Choosing what to work on nextMany weeks, deciding what I’m going to work on is something of a no brainer.  That’s because I’m fortunate enough to often have a contract.  When I have a contract (drum roll, please), that piece is my priority for the week.

But then there are weeks like this one when I’m waiting for my next contract.  Last week when I was contract-free, I worked on my rewrite for the puke book.  Why?  Because I have an editor who agreed to look at it if I could have it to her by the end of August.  Hello!  Instant deadline.

I sent that in on Monday which left me once again adrift.  Except Little Pickle Press has a call out for manuscripts from SCBWI authors.  I’m a SCBWI author and I have a completed manuscript that I think might be perfect.  I’m going to spend some time poking around their site and, if I’m right, out that manuscript goes.

Next, I’ll be sending another finished manuscript off to Sky Pony.  Why?  Because it is a stand alone chapter book and I just saw a deal announcement in which Sky Pony bought a chapter book.  I was about to rewrite this particular chapter book because e-future wants early readers and transitional books for use as ESL texts.  Although I normally write pretty short, the maximum word count for e-future is 6000 words.  My manuscript clocks in at 10,500.  If Sky Pony doesn’t want it, I’ll see if I can tighten it by 30%.  But in the meantime, I have a few early readers sitting in my filing cabinet…

I think I’ll get one of them out to shape up for e-future.  I need to make sure the plots are solid and that the reading level is spot on.  I’ll type up a mentor text and test it and then see how close my manuscript is before I set to work.

So how do I decide what to work on next?

  1.  Meet contracted deadlines.
  2. Meet other deadlines.
  3. Get things back out there that are ready to go.
  4. Something that would fit a market but needs work.

Hopefully in another week or so I’ll have two or three more pieces in the hands of various editors.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pop over to Little Pickle and write that cover letter.


P.S.  Oh, irony of ironies.  As soon as I finished prepping my submission to Little Pickle, an e-mail popped into my inbox. I have a new assignment from Redline.  Looks like that’s what is on the top of my list!