30 Queries in 30 Days

September 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm , by Alyce Wilson

While I can be the most determined person when I have a specific goal in mind, my failing as a freelance writer is not putting my writing out there as much as I should. This is a long-time issue for me, something I’ve been dealing with for as long as I can remember. Simply put: It’s more fun writing than it is doing the work of trying to get that writing published.

However, our family has been making due with approximately one-and-a-half salaries since I gave birth to our son three years ago, and that just simply isn’t enough when we’ve got three people now instead of two to feed, clothe, and provide for basic needs. The solution seems simple enough: I’m more likely to be successful the more I actually try.

That is the purpose behind the “30 Queries in 30 Days” project. I am challenging myself throughout the month of September to take action that will potentially lead to more revenue and more opportunities. Here’s how it’s going to work:

I’m using a loose definition of “query,” defining it as a specific effort to earn money through my writing. For that reason, I’ll include not only query letters, which are sent to publishers to propose a story idea, but will also include submissions of poetry, stories and articles to literary magazines; applications for grants; proposals submitted on online freelancing sites (such as Elance and Odesk) for advertised writing jobs; and submissions to paying writing contests (preferably those without submission fees). I will track both my efforts and my results on this blog, so stick around. If you haven’t already, this might be a good time to subscribe to my blog, which means you’ll receive an e-mail notification whenever I post.

Hopefully, this experiment will push me past my sticking point. If I can do this for a month, I’m hoping it will become second nature to me. After all, it’s only a short amount of work every day. And like I keep reminding myself: You can’t win if you don’t play.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

1) Submitted a proposal for a job proofreading a memoir at ODesk.com.

2) Mailed a poetry submission to The Georgia Review.

3) Entered a poem in the 2014 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (winners announced August 2014).

4) Submitted a proposal via Elance.com for a job writing humorous commentary for a “caught on tape” Web site.

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