Everyone knows the real magic of writing comes from time spent in the chair, those sessions in which your fingertips flitting across the keyboard can barely keep pace with the electric current sparking through your brain.
Those in-between periods, full of administrative tasks—the querying, the tracking of payments, the day-to-day doldrums that occupy the interstitial moments of a writer’s life—become an afterthought. But when such responsibilities are given short shrift, the inevitable result is disorganization—which at best can impede creativity and at worst can have dire consequences. Missed payments, embarrassing gaffes (querying the same magazine or agent twice, or realizing you have no record of where your previous agent submitted your last novel), and incomplete records come tax time are entirely avoidable headaches.
Still, organized record-keeping takes work. Which is why in my feature in the February 2017 Writer’s Digest, “Rebuild Your Desktop,” I decided to do it for you.
This does not have to mean you’re about to start spending more time on these tasks—in fact, quite the opposite: Once you invest in a standard process upfront, each future action will require little more than filling out a few cells in a spreadsheet. (Learn to love them as I have for their clean, quadrilateral beauty.)
From tracking your freelance finances to tracing the trajectory of your submissions, you can download the following free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet organizers at writersdigest.com/online-exclusives/feb-17/free-writing-trackers:
• Freelance Pitch Tracker
• Literary Journal Submission Tracker
• Freelance Payment Tracker
• Agent Query Tracker
• Direct-to-Publisher Query Tracker
• Agent Submissions to Publishers Tracker
So prepare to submit smarter, follow up faster and make tax time a breeze with these six simple spreadsheets you can download for free to revolutionize your record-keeping—starting now.
For more details on how to make the most of these trackers, read the full article in the February 2017 Writer’s Digest, on sale now.