>In December the streetwise jobbing freelance should be thinking June, querying May, writing April, and submitting March. As I start my new regime in January, I’m quickly scanning stuff for April and May in case I can do something on the hop or on spec. In the next week or so I hope to have moved on to June, or at least ideas-wise, then by the time January arrives, I’ll have caught up a bit and be thinking July, querying June, writing May and submitting April.
As is often the case, I have too many ideas. Some may be too big anyway or not of any interest to me, others may not suit any markets I can target easily or quickly. A few of them I’ll do, others I just won’t have time for. So here’s a selection I found for April 2010 that I won’t even be touching. Do your own research too – these are just from my dates diary, I’ve not pursued them yet to check, but my dates diary has been wrong before.
- 1 April – All Fools’ Day
- 2 April – All Fools’ Day, Orkney (apparently)
- 4 April – National Day of Hungary
- 5 April – Old Lady Day
- 23 April – St George’s Day/National Day of England (har, har)
- 23 April – Shakespeare’s birthday/Shakespeare’s deathday
- 25 April – St Mark’s Day
- 26 April – Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat … or was it the old calendar?
(Remember to double check the dates before going too far)
- 1 April 1810 (200 years ago) – Napoleon married Marie Louise
- 1 April 1960 (50 years ago) – America launched the first meteorological satellite, Tiros I
- 2 April 1940 (70 years ago) – Bank of England introduced metal strips to the 10 shilling note
- 3 April 1860 (150 years ago) – The Pony Express began (if I were a prolific short story writer I’d already be onto a story entitled The Pony Express … I still may, if I get the urge)
- 8 April 1950 (60 years ago) – legendary Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky died in London
- 11 April 1970 (40 years ago) – Apollo 13 launched
- 17 April 1860 (150 years ago) – the last ever Great Prize Fight took place in Farnborough, Greater London
- 17 April 1980 (30 years ago) – Rhodesia became Zimbabwe
- 21 April 1910 (100 years ago) – Mark Twain died
- 26 April 1970 (40 years ago) – Gypsy Rose Lee died
- 29 April 1980 (30 years ago) – Sir Alfred Hitchcock died
- 30 April 1980 (30 years ago) – armed terrorists seized the Iranian Embassy in London
And don’t forget to check when things like Easter fall next year, the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, and the Grand National. I may be doing lots with cuckoos and ancient festivals … but I’m keeping those dates to myself. :o) I also have a book to finish, 4 bi-lingual magazines to produce, a new website to launch, numerous departmental brochures to get started, plus my other exisiting projects. All this before 2010 even begins. Sheesh.
Let me know if you pick any up – these can be for articles, short stories, poems, TV or radio features, or readers’ letters. Choose something with a short lead time, or somewhere you already have a foothold in. Or for those that like exercises, do it as an exercise. (I don’t, everything has to have a purpose. But that’s just me.)
So that’s what much of yesterday was spent doing. I’ll have May ideas to give away as well to those that want them, and if you can hook your work on any of these dates, remember to refer to it in your cover letter to give the market a clue as to when they might use it by (method in madness, if it’s date related they have less excuse to hold onto it forever).
I bought a couple of packs of Christmas cards in the end, to save me having to go in the loft if I really don’t feel like it, and I got my overseas cards written and posted. I caught up with an old Writers’ Forum – I’m thinking of subscribing to this magazine next year. I already had news stories for Devon’s 5 in 10 and Writers’ Bureau in the end, and I had a nosy through those – a lot of writing work is “thinking” or “percolating”, the actual writing bit is the tip of the iceberg. But I did some of that too.
Today I’m at the office, and today’s picture came from here, photographer: Ian Britton.
Have a great weekend – I’m spoiled for choice.