Writers tend to fall into two camps; the organized and the not-so-organized. Those who are organized may use outlines, index cards, and a complicated system of charting characters, progress, and everything writing related. The not-so-organized may be pantsers who just sit down and write the first thing that comes to mind, seemingly without any rhyme or reason.
Regardless, every writer who submits a work should keep track of where and when the work was submitted. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but as more submissions are sent out, a messy system will become even messier.
If you’re among the writers who don’t keep up with submissions, consider using a spreadsheet program. These programs aren’t as complicated as you may think, but they are capable of being as complicated as you need them to be.
Begin by making headings for your columns. You’ll probably want to keep track of the title of submissions, date submitted, which publishing house or magazine the work was submitted to, the expected reply date, whether the work was accepted/published, and fees paid (if any). Perhaps you’d also like a column for the company’s contact information. Add any columns you need.
Save the spreadsheet, and once you begin submitting, all you’ll have to do is fill in the columns with the submission information. Having it all in front of you makes it much easier to keep track of where your work is and, if you use the expected reply column, you can rest easy until the reply date rolls around.
There are plenty of methods of organization out there. Use what works best for you. Just keep track of it. It makes the chaos of the writing life just a little bit easier, and we all like easy, right?
Live. Love. Write.