January 4, 2017
I’m trying to clean up and go through my office a bit, to get the new year off to a more organized start. So, when I first started out, when I sold my first few stories, I put the contracts in a file folder. One simple manila folder labeled “short story contracts.” I mean, there weren’t very many of them. They all fit. About five or six years into this I got my first reprint request, which was pretty exciting, and I dug out the contract for that story and paper clipped the reprint contract to the first one, to keep them together.
At some point, I don’t remember exactly when, this got cumbersome. I was getting more reprint requests and it was getting hard to find things. “Amaryllis” alone has been reprinted half a dozen or so times. So I dumped out that folder and gave each short story its own folder, labeled with the title.
I think I have close to a hundred of those folders now. It’s kind of a great system, because each story’s publication history is all right there, and when I’m putting a collection together I can pull the folders and group them together. It’s easy to sort. When I started, I filed all my work related papers in a little plastic file box. Now, it’s all spread across a couple of big file drawers.
And that’s yet another way to measure progress.