I do have the best intentions (sure there is a proverb about this and the way to Hell) but I do. I get my copy of The Victorian Writer .I browse through the articles and then I begin to read the opportunities and competitions page.

I ponder, circle a few that I feel are relevant, put a star against ones that I know I have a suitable piece just waiting. If needed, I go to the necessary website, check out submission details or entry forms, find out more requirements.

In an ideal world this is then placed on my list. Yes I'm a list seems the only way to make any sense of what I hope to get done in a day/week/month. And I do love that feeling when something is crossed off my list. A sense of achievement, accomplishment. Knowledge that I have not wasted my day.

Yet this year in particular I have missed so many deadlines. Firstly - because my list cleverly avoided many of these deadlines. Freudian perhaps? Secondly - I became very good this year at heading off on tangents.

Oh yes I can finish my YA novel, only needs another 30,000 words. Sure I can put together a series of poems for an event, no problem. Nothing much happening in November, I can do NANOWRIMO....

Did I mention I'm also pretty good at excuses?

I did make one of my 2011 goals to send work out each month, either a short story or a group of poems, and I managed that about 90% of the time. A few months escaped without work being sent out.

I've discovered the easy part is finding the information, printing out entry forms, checking submission details. The hard work is finding that story/poem I'm wanting to send, then editing, checking to see if it meets all criteria, editing yet again (and I have missed deadlines due to this editing and re-editing and re-re-editing). Making sure it is in the correct format and font, that I've filled out the form correctly, that I've sent the one/two or even three copies.etc etc etc.

Time consuming but necessary work.

So often I'm not organised enough, and I never make it to the finish line.

There has to be a way to be more organised. I know writers that have submission forms printed and ready to go in a folder, writers that have deadlines written in their diary, some circle calendars, place reminders on their phones.

I'll just have to find the system that is right for me. So on saying that there is this piece I'm working on, the deadline is not till February.....let's see if I make it.


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