I’ve got into a bad habit lately, where story submissions are concerned.
I log my submissions on Duotrope. This isn’t the bad habit. In fact, it’s very useful. Duotrope helps me to identify suitable markets, track my submissions and get an overview of how I’m doing. If you write, I really recommend it.
The bad habit comes from how much I check it. Every day for the past week, I’ve looked at my submissions tracker, the list of stories I’ve got out and how long they’ve been waiting for a response. It’s like watching the clock at work, but instead of counting away the minutes to five o’clock I’m counting away the days until I can expect a response. Much like checking the clock, it doesn’t make the time pass any quicker. In fact, it’s wasting time when I could be writing, or researching, or preparing submissions. It only takes two minutes, but it’s two minutes every day. And worse than that, it’s the illusion of productivity. I’m looking at something writing related, I say to myself, so that counts towards writing, right?
Wrong. If I’m not writing I’m not writing, and I need to make less excuses. So tomorrow, unless I’ve got a response to log, I won’t be looking at Duotrope. The same the day after, and the day after that, and on until I’ve got a good reason to use the site. No more clock watching.
And now the real clock’s telling me to stop typing and go get some sleep. Back to work tomorrow, and to watching a real clock.