My Life on a Cork Board

What would I do without my 46 X 22 cork board that hangs on my office wall? I’d be probably be pulling out my hair trying to keep track of every query, proposal, or manuscript that I’ve sent. Yes, I keep a notebook with those famous manuscript tracking charts. But I get tired of flipping through that thing, trying to make out my messy printing on those short lines and small spaces. I have a system that allows me to see instantly, when I walk into my office, ALL manuscripts or queries I’ve sent. I can see when I sent them, who I sent them to, who responded and how they responded. I need to see the BIG picture, and in this case a picture IS worth a thousand words.

I like being able to look up from my computer at that giant flat piece of cork on the wall. There it is, the story of me…the writer who never gives up. My life on a cork board. It’s certainly not ingenious but it works for me.

Here’s how I do it:

I have manuscript titles tacked all the way across the top of the cork board. At the present time I have ten titles written on neon-colored 3 x 5 cards, each card cut in half horizontally.

Beneath each title I have tacked a copy of every query or proposal letter that I’ve sent. For instance, as I write this post, I’m looking at the manuscript title The Magnificent Secret, written on one-half of a fluorescent pink card. Can’t miss it. Beneath that manuscript title I’ve got a line of all my query and proposal letters tacked nearly to the bottom of the board.

When I receive a response from an editor about The Magnificent Secret, that letter is tacked on top of my original query or proposal. Now, I can see at a glance who wants to see it or who rejected it )o; Then, I transfer that information onto my messy tracking chart in my notebook. You know…the one I don’t need to open every 10 minutes.

I’m waiting for just the right editor to love The Magnificent Secret as much as Thacher Hurd does. Yes! Author, Thacher Hurd LOVES this story and has encouraged me to never give up on pursuing a publisher! So, with that kind of motivation, I press onward.

I’ve begun to notice that my 42 X 22 isn’t as big as it used to be. It’s almost filled to capacity. Now, I’m sizing up another wall for my next cork board. Soon my office will be wall-to-wall cork.

I guess you could say my cork board is nothing more than a GIANT post-it note. What writer can manage without post-it notes? I can. My life as a writer is written on a cork board.

Sherri Crawford


3 responses to “My Life on a Cork Board

  1. marilyn donahue

    Sherri, I just love your idea! Imagine having everything tacked up where you can see it — a perfect reminder of what you’ve submitted — and a reminder to keep working on new projects. My submissions are hidden in files that I have to search for. Now I’m going to “let it all hang out” where I can find it. Marilyn

  2. Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    Sherri, I love your idea, too! I’m going to steal your idea and use it in my office ( if I can find an empty wall)!!


  3. Shirley Shibley

    What a unique idea! I’m thinking of all my rejections and do I really want to look at them all the time? Hmmmm.

    Anyway, glad it works for you.


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