So, I'm getting a pretty good rhythm going here in the new year. My work weeks are a mix of paid work at home, paid work at the shop, and unpaid (but important!) writing-related activities.
"Writing-related activity" can mean any number of things. It could be writing a blog post. Or working on some fiction. It might be studying a writing-related book (right now I have Joan Sibley's The Art of Time In Fiction right here next to the computer with me). Some days it's mostly corresponding with writing friends and/or working on expanding my circle of same. But it's all helping me get into the habit of making writing--in some form or another--a part of my day, every day. Forty-fourward! and all that.
One thing I need to add to my mix of writing activities is submitting work to literary magazines. It's been a long time since I did that, and the lit mag scene has changed a lot. When last I was making an effort to get pieces published--this was ten years or so ago--paper was still the norm. By this I mean the mags were mostly actual, solid, hold-them-in-your-hand things. They had printing expenses, and to recoup those expenses, charging writers a reading fee was pretty standard. You printed out a hard copy of your work, mailed it off with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and waited forever for a reply (usually rejection).
God, the SASEs were the worst. Getting mail addressed to yourself, in your own handwriting, telling you that you suck? And you had to pay for that? Awesome (NOT).
What a time-consuming, expensive, frustrating process that was. Which is why I stopped doing it. But things are different and more writer-friendly now. There are tons of great online lit mags. Electronic submissions are the norm. Reading fees are largely a thing of the past.
So, I'm ready to start putting my toe back into the submitting game. I need to look through my files and see what I already have that might be ready to go out, as well as research which mags are looking for what, and when. It's all part of the process. A writer's life.