One Writer’s Journey

August 8, 2017

What to Work on Next…

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:08 am
Tags: , ,

Most days what I work on is a fairly easy decision.  Deadlines must be met.  And I have plenty of things to get done this week.  There’s that pesky requested rewrite with a deadline for tomorrow and the publisher has a new manuscript for me as well.

I’m critiqing a manuscript for someone and really should read it again before writing up my comments.  It is fairly long and I always read a manuscript more than once before I critique.

And I’m practically done with a poem that isn’t going to find a publisher if I don’t submit it.  Annoying poem.  Why can’t it just send itself out? It knows what magazine is my first submission choice.

I’ve also targeted a possible agent who is only open for queries until Thursday.  I know what I’m sending in.  I have a synopsis.  I just have to finish the letter.  I roughed it out right before I finished this post and needed to reread it this morning.  So by the time you read this, my submission should be sitting in the agent’s in box.

But . . . but . . . I have a new idea.  It is brilliant.  It is amazing.  There are yeti!

The reality is that I would almost always rather work on the new manuscript.  The new manuscript is still just an idea.  It is pristine. It sparkles.  I haven’t had the chance to goof it up yet.  Honestly I was a bit of a snot today since I made myself work on other things.

Sigh.  I know I should be responsible but I’m hoping that I can find the time/space/energy to write a page every day starting tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that that will satisfy my need to work on this book as well as my need to keep the lights on.

Lights.  One of life’s necessary luxuries.






January 4, 2016

Scheduling Your Next Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:38 am
Tags: , ,

nature-animal-mouse-beautifulSometimes it is really easy to decide what to work on next.  Deadlines must be met, whether an editor is expecting your manuscript or you simply have to turn it in during their reading period.

But then you reach a point where you don’t have any deadlines.  That’s where I am right now.  I can do this or that but . . . there’s a reason to put off any number of projects.

  • I can do a bit more research on the NASA book but can’t wrap it up until I read another book that isn’t out yet.
  • I can get started on a novel but have several picture books to rewrite.
  • I can rewrite the picture books but next week is ReviMo, the Revise More Picture Books challenge, more on that tomorrow.

What I’ve decided to work on first is a new picture book based on an idea I came up with during PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month).  What I came up with is barely 12% of  a plan (nod to Guardian’s of the Galaxy) so I had to do a bit more research before I could get started.

First, I had to come up with various animals that would be going to bed as the sun comes up.  Nocturnal animals include both prey animals and the predators that hunt them including mice, rats, opossum, foxes, bats, moths and more.

Glancing at the list I quickly crossed over a variety of animals.  Bats — done.  Foxes — too popular so they’ve been done too.  Raccoons?  Cute thus done.  Opossum.  They seemed like a good bet so I did both an Amazon search and a search at my library.  Whoa.  Possum freak people out so I didn’t expect to find many books.  Yes, I could still go this route but I’m going to have to read the books first and see what holes have been left in the material presented.

I finally settled on mice.  There is almost nothing written on mice.  Nonfiction leans heavily toward “how to take care of your pet.”  While this could also mean that there isn’t a market, I’m going to give it a try.

What are you working on the first few weeks of the New Year?


October 6, 2014

Prioritizing My Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:39 am
Tags: , ,

Setting prioritiesLast Friday, I met my deadline for Before I broke for lunch, I sent off 30 activities, 13 photos and 4 supplemental files.

I didn’t have any more deadlines on my calendar.  The post-lunch plan was to finish my blog posts for this week, plan the next chapter in my latest nonfiction project, and pick my topics for educational nonfiction for the University of Kansas Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation.  They are currently taking submissions of nonfiction and fiction for two different projects and you can submit up to five pieces.

That was my plan when I want to lunch.

By the time I came back to my desk, I had an e-mail from my contact at Red Line.  Would I be willing to write a book for a new series?

As quick as that, my priorities shifted because my answer was “You bet!”  As of Friday, midafternoon, I’m writing a book on Pearl Harbor.

Do you set weekly writing goals?  If I don’t, I don’t get much done.

That said, I try to be flexible. If I’m working on something that doesnt’ have a deadline and an editor offers me money to write something else, I generally say YES.  After all, writing is how I make a living.  That means that writing that comes with a paycheck attached generally takes priority.

Generally.  Every once in a while I’m offered a job that simply doesn’t interest me or will be far more work than is warrented by the paycheck.

There are always “personal” pieces that I am writing not because I have a contract but because I simply have to write them. I  try to make it a priorty to make at least some progress on my current “personal project” every week.  On weeks that I’m on deadline, I may not finish much on this project but I try to do a little.

How do you prioritize your writing?


June 12, 2014

Priorities: What to Write Next

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:20 am
Tags: ,

PrioritiesAre you one of those writers who completes one project and then contemplates what to do next?  Or are you constantly surrounded by a swarm of ideas?  I have to admit, what to focus on is such an issue for me that it was a long time before I realized that some writers actually have to come up with a new idea.

Right now, I’m attempting to prioritize a list that includes:

  • Finishing a fiction picture book that is almost done.
  • Finishing a nonfiction picture book that is almost done.
  • Writing a new article for CBI — the editor is waiting.
  • Rewriting a play for Schoolwide because this editor is also waiting.
  • Working on a highly marketable nonfiction book idea – must be submitted by 9/1.  And I’m still researching.
  • Developing an alphabet book for a market that is currently buying.
  • Taking a closer look at two new-to-me agents.

I’d love to say that I have a firm grasp on which I’m going to do RIGHT NOW.  I’d like to say that, but it isn’t true.  How do you set your priorities?

Part of my problem is that summer has started.  My son is a high school student but still too young to drive.  And he’s on the swim team.  Last week, practice started which means frequent trips to this pool and that pool.  My writing time has been temporarilly reduced.

To find out what questions I ask myself to set my priorities, check out my blog post today at The Muffin.


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: