Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busy Work

I spent the morning creating and updating databases with the submission info for my last three finished books.  It was just busy work, but it felt good to do something productive.  (And yes, it was necessary, but anything that's not writing these days is 'busy work'.)

As an aside, you gotta love Access.  Really.  Sure, it's a pain to actually create a new database, but once you have the thing laid out, you can use it for every book you want.  I now have most of the data entered that I lost when I shifted computers last year.  Data entry... funfunfun.

(And there are aspects of Access I'm not using that could make my life even easier, but right now, setting those things up would take more time than I have.)

On the upside, I now can access exactly who I queried for Manhunter and Blink so I don't re-query anyone when as I send those puppies out again.   Yay me.  (I still have to power up the old computer and thumb through data on there, but at least I won't step on my own tongue again - like I did with my lost queries from Spectacle*.) 

Unfortunately now that I've spent 4 hours reading blogs, updating Access and reading the forums at Querytracker, I have computer brain.  It actually feels like it's flat on one side and my eyes are going all squonky.  Time to crochet, I guess.

What kind of busy work do you do when you're avoiding writing?  Is there anything you let slide while you're writing only to find yourself totally behind when you really need that stuff? 

*Due to the Great Computer Crash of 2006, I lost all my query data from both Spectacle and Caldera - my first two books.  As a result, I ended up querying agents who already rejected me.  D'oh.  Here's hoping being more organized - and keeping redundant backup copies - will save me in the future.

ETA:  Microsoft Access is the program I use to keep track of all my submission data.  Here's a snapshot of it (click to make it larger):

It ain't pretty and it doesn't do all the nifty stuff my old pre-made contact management software did (like keep a running history for each contact), but it's a pretty good method for keeping track of submissions.


  1. Access is definitely powerful! I haven't used it since my last "day" job (when I worked in the scholarships dept. of a university) but I definitely remember how awesome a program it was.

    Too bad I can't remember a damn thing about it now!

    I used Excel when tracking my queries/submissions. Not as amazing as Access, I'm sure.

  2. I started to learn about Access at a previous job, but left before I knew how to really use it properly.

    Good for you for being so organized.

  3. I use Excel to track, but it annoys me at times. Especially when I cannot get it to print out correctly! Grrr.

  4. Good for you! Organized is good.

    I say don't sweat it if you requery an agent, as long as it's been at least six months. Just change the title :)