Friday, December 7, 2007

Living Ahead - Freelance Writer's Idea Journal

As a freelance writer, I have to be thinking about ideas four to six months ahead, to keep articles and/or essays timely to publication months. I have a hell of a time with this. When the muse strikes with an idea for a Christmas story, it's usually in December - too late to submit a query for this year.

So, in order to stay on top of thinking ahead, I've begun a three-ring binder that starts with May, which is four months from now. Every time something pops into my head that is a seasonal idea, I will write it down in the section that corresponds to when I should query the idea. I guess you could call it a freelance writer's idea journal.

I'm also thinking of starting a photo album with four sections - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I'll fill it with inspiring pictures of each season, so that I can get myself into how I feel during the seasons, to remind me of story ideas.

Aren't people going to think I'm strange when my office is decorated with tinsel and holly, Christmas carols playing in the background, in August?

9 comments:

Thursday said...

I know the feeling. I've had to pull out the Christmas music around July to get in the right mood, and boy, did people think I was a bit off.

plaidearthworm said...

Wow, GMTA! I just posted today about one of my fave freebies, Rainlendar. I use it because it gives me a three-month calendar on the desktop, since my brain is never in the same month as my body. I'm thinking spring right now, but also taking a few notes for next holiday season too.

DementedM said...

That's a great idea and tip. I'm just now thinking about freelancing.

Thanks!
M
http://twistedfantasy.typepad.com/my_weblog/

VirtualWordsmith said...

I might just have to download Rainlender. It would be nice to have it all in front of me on my desktop. Thanks!

VirtualWordsmith said...

You know, Thursday, I was thinking the other day that I needed to come up with the money for a couple of Stargazer Lilies to put in a vase so that my office would smell like Spring. I went grocery shopping yesterday and imagine my surprise when I saw Stargazer bouquets for sale. I didn't buy any, but I thought it was an interesting message from my muse. :b

Thursday said...

I'm waiting until poinsettias go on sale after Christmas. I love just having that splash of color to remind me of the holidays... I just have to think of somewhere that the cats won't eat it.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

I find when the inspiration hits for a particular season because the season is upon me I just go with it. Write what comes or track the ideas. There is always next year to submit them.

Laurie (quidscribis) said...

You know how there are perpetual calendars for birthdays and anniversaries? I know they're not that common, but they do exit... Basically, no year on the calendar, nor days (ie, Thursday) of the week - just the months and dates. You then slot in the appropriate anniversary/birthday once, and you rotate the calendar throughout the next several or more decades, adding more as necessary.

Similarly, I think a perpetual writer's calendar is a great idea. Write it down once, and over the years, you develop a richer, more detailed resource reminding you of things you might otherwise forget. :)

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