D for Database

spreadsheetmorguefileDatabases are not what immediately spring to mind when you’re a creative author. They’re okay for IT and business solutions, but for a writer?

Useful Database tips

  • create timesheets: log hours (minutes?)worked, progress on the WIP
  • track submissions: name of work, where sent, date, and result
  • track review sites :url, what is required, free or costs
  • track writing opportunities and free lance work.

Some helpful databases online may be of help if you’re not into planning your own.

Author Resources

Freelance Writing has a page for Writer’s Guidelines

The Writer’s Database is a free web-based system where you can track submissions, find markets by sharing listings and even get charts of your writing habits to show how much you are writing and when. You can even browse the markets without logging in. Find fun widgets there too.

Authors’ Database is a promotional site where you can add your book to the database for free. If you go on the theory that the greater web presence you have, the more likely you are to sell your book, then this is another place to use for a listing.

What sort of database info would you want to log, if any?

spreadsheet and D pendant images courtesy of the Morgue File

and a glittery D to brighten the databases  🙂


10 thoughts on “D for Database”

  1. I use databases all the time. I don’t log hours worked, but I do log submissions, ongoing and new projects and so on. It’s a handy, quick guide to what’s going on.

    I also log character descriptions etc for longer pieces because I have a terrible memory. Name, age, gender etc but also motivations, relationships etc. It’s really useful.

  2. The last time I did a spreadsheet was 1999 at the office. We had an internal computer system which would now seem horribly outdated, and I haven’t the faintest idea how to go about creating one now. I just keep lists – lots of lists!

    1. Lists are great–and index cards–and sticky notes. Lots of free downloads let you keep sticky notes with lists on your desktop. But perhaps the paper and pen system is acting as an additional spur to creativity? Thanks for visiting, Liz. Hope you’re having a wonderful Easter in Tenerife.

  3. Good points!

    I could certainly do with some sort of a system… i’m hopeless. i write, then rewrite poems, and then put them in all different places – I make new files to put them in as the ‘final, done file and then add things to it that aren’t ‘done’.

    When I need to search for the last, definitive poem, sometimes it’s impossible to find. Well, not impossible, but tricky. I have a mac and do a search and all the versions appear, and I have to read them all…

    It does have advantages though – sometimes I realise an earlier version was better!

    1. Perhaps the file proliferation is just another aspect of creativity? Love the positivity in finding an advantage, though. Shall have to remember that when I’m tearing my hair out 🙂

  4. Interesting post. I’ve never thought about a database. Would it help me stay organized because I’m very unorganized? I’ll check your links. Thanks for the information.

    1. You accomplish so much, Beverly, that it’s hard to believe you feel unorganised. Let me know if you find any help from the links. I certainly find my work database helpful for keeping track of editing submissions, edit versions and publishing dates. I can track everyone and see at a glance what I should be doing.Means keeping up with making changes in the db though 🙂

  5. I created an Access database years ago for submissions. I hate to think how many hours I’ve spent on each individual story/novel – I tend to edit and revise compulsively!

    BTW, when you visit blogs, you’re signing your website as .com when it’s actually .net.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    1. Thanks Annalisa–suddenly had the horrid feeling I’d been mis-signing duh! Shall be very careful in future. I prefer Access to a spreadsheet too but takes me a bit of thinking time to set up 🙂
      Totally sympathise with the compulsive editing and revision. I can’t move on till I think something’s right.
      Doing a post on that later…

      Anne at Author Support


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