Nevada SCBWI

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

New Year’s greetings from your faithful Zephyr editor! And one resolution met for me. This is the year I abandon my writing hermitage and get down to being social. Normally, at this early hour of the morning, I would be happily and solitarily formatting a manuscript for editing, my earphones piping a steady stream of horror fiction into my head from the latest e-book I downloaded from the library. (You know you can do that, right? And it’s free.) Alas, yesterday my beloved earphones succumbed to a hapless demise while I was vacuuming the week’s sugar cookie crumbs out of the carpet beneath my computer desk. If there was any doubt that a Dyson is capable of ravenously digesting a pair of slender earphone cords, even while they are still plugged into a hard drive, allow me to put your reservations to rest.

Thus, lacking my preferred procrastination device, which now sits irreparably mangled in the trash can at my feet, I am forced to seek alternative methods of amusing myself while putting off the day’s work that lies ahead. But it only seems fitting that if I am to prey on those of you I meet at SCBWI events, shamelessly imploring you to write something for our quarterly newsletter, I should be equally forthcoming with my own expositions. And so I present a few handy tips I feel we all could use in our quest for prosperity in 2009.

Useful New Year Tip #1: Set aside a mere 10 minutes first thing in the morning, two days a week, to e-mail a friend or colleague and make a connection that could lead to a great opportunity. (I admit that this tip came from Costco Connection while I looked for deals on bulk bathroom cleaner, but it seems endlessly applicable, so I chose to share it here.)

Useful New Year Tip #2: Back up those files. Nothing can suck the life out of a writer like a computer that decides to play roulette with a year’s worth of ingenuity and teeth-gritting revisions. We insure our cars, our homes, and our health (heck, I just paid an extra five bucks for a warranty on a toaster oven), so take the time to insure your livelihood.

Useful New Year Tip #3: Join the B.I.C. (Butt-in-Chair) Club. I spied this catchy little acronym in the newsletter of one of our fellow SCBWI regions and found it to be a helpful addition to my own resolution list. Club membership comes with just one prerequisite—you have to commit to at least two consecutive B.I.C. hours every day with your manuscript open and on screen. No snacks. No phone calls. No e-mail. No naps. No blogging…

And with that, I shall sign off and get back to what I should be doing on this last day of 2008.

My desk is always open for Zephyr queries and submissions, so e-mail me any time.

Jenny MacKay
Editor, The Zephyr
SCBWI Nevada’s newsletter
jopm@sbcglobal.net.

Views: 1

Comment by Ellen Hopkins on January 3, 2009 at 4:12pm
Does this mean you need an RA letter from me???

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