Thursday, September 25, 2014
Scheduling by Terry Burns
It takes me a full day to work up, format, study the market for the proper people that I can see evidence might be interested, and make submissions on a single client. It takes me a full day to do a full manuscript read. I can read them much quicker but I format and do light editing as I go as it causes me to do a closer read and if I find I am interested in it that work is already done. If it doesn't draw me in or I don't connect with it I quit reading and respond at that point. I have 60 clients so you can see how that schedules out.
I can work in quick things that require immediate attention, of course, and would never ignore correspondence from an editor or an urgent need from a client.
I block out half days to work incoming submissions which I evaluate and respond to, set it aside for a closer look, or if I have preliminary interest request a full manuscript. I do keep an eye on what is being discussed in the various groups I connect with just to know what they are talking about but seldom contribute nor invest significant time there. I put time in communicating with my clients on our private client group and I contribute to the Hartline and my personal blog once a week.
It is common for me to do outside chores, lawn and garden, in the first couple of hours of the day while it is cool before I start doing the above work. I seldom work at all on the Lord's day at all unless it is something really urgent. My Sundays are pretty much tied up at church and I don't even carry my phone with me when I go.
When you add in the honey-do's and knocking down my to-do list, time in the morning and evening with my wife, and the myriad of small ways that life demands attention the schedule can be pretty full. But I try to respond as quickly as possible to the constant stream of submissions and correspondence that comes in each day. I know some people only respond if interested, and I get that, but it isn't how my momma raised me. As I recently commented on our blog, I remove my hat when meeting or talking to a lady, I open doors, and I adhere to the Southern courtesy she taught me. That includes responding to everyone who writes me.
Occasionally I get notes addressed "to whom it may concern" or maybe "Dear Sir or Madam" and most of us read that as "Dear Occupant." Those aren't addressed to me. I know what you do with your occupant mail and I may do the same with mine in spite of the fact that momma always would think it rude not to someone who takes the time to write you.
You can see that it sometimes takes a little time for me to get something done. But I try to keep up.