Thursday, April 23, 2009
The Business of Writing
Most of us write for the love of writing. Yet, for many, in order to continue doing what we love, we must get compensation for our work. The business of writing is just that–a business. As in most business enterprises, record keeping is a vital part of the procedure of maintaining our profession and measuring progress.
For me, the most efficient method of keeping track of article submissions is to have a table listing all my submissions and subsequent activities. I list the name of the article, the publisher, the status (submitted, published, paid, follow-up, rejected) and dates of activities. I place an asterisk beside the article name until all activity is concluded.
At the first of each month I do a search for the asterisk to learn the status of article activity and take the appropriate action. I haven't had many problems with delinquent payment, but occasionally I've sent a payment reminder letter, or perhaps an invoice listing the article, when it was published, and the amount due. I wait for at least two months after publication before sending a payment reminder. Using a simple spreadsheet or table shows me where I need to take action.
Of course, the best scenario is when I’m paid in advance for my work. But the above steps keep me ahead of the game and help me to keep track.
Persistence and good record keeping–for me these practices contribute to my success rate in getting articles published and getting paid to write them.