Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Setting Quotas

Does anyone else set quotas for how much work they send out every week, month etc or is that just me? I decided a while back that I was probably never going to send anything out if I didn't set a quota and for various reasons I decided that six items a month was right for me.

Like lots of ideas, it is probably good in theory and so far I have managed to keep to my quota. Unfortunately, the theory seems to fall down when I find myself (usually on the last day of the month!) desperately scratching around trying to find somewhere to send something in an effort to meet my quota.

A few weeks ago, while in this predicament, I came across Healthy magazine in a well-known health food store. I noticed that they offered fifty pounds worth of vouchers to spend in store for the writer of the star letter. Desperate to fulfill my quota and hopeful of winning the top prize, I duly sent off a letter. The email was returned by the "postmaster" for some reason, so more effort was required to locate a stamp and send a copy of the email by post with a covering note.

Relieved to have reached my quota for the month, I promptly forgot all about my letter until last week when my neighbour staggered round with a huge parcel which the postman had tried to deliver. It contained a vast array of health and beauty products, none of which I can use, due to the various allergies that I suffer from.

The moral of the story is that yes, I fulfilled my quota and had a "filler" accepted in a magazine (big deal?) but now I have to find a good home for all the products I won. I am seriously beginning to think that sending out work just for the sake of it is not necessarily the way forward and I would be interested to know what other people think about this.


  1. I think setting 'quotas' is a good idea; it is a productive way to set yourself some writing goals. With me I have weeks when I could write a couple of short stories and say an article, but then there will be those weeks when I'm struggling. I do have to write something every day though, even if it is just an entry in my journal. If I'm not particularly creative on a certain day, I read and that inspires me. I enjoyed your post Melissa - thank you.

  2. Thanks Diane. That's a great comment. I think you are right. It's the writing every day that matters. Keep up the good work!

  3. I also set quotas, although I don't always fulfil them. I try to send out at least 4 article pitches a month, write a couple of short stories and post on my France blog a couple of times a week. It keeps your writing muscles in trim and is something to aim at, even if you don't always achieve them. This week has been so hot that I'm having trouble stringing two words together, but hopefully I'll make it up later.

  4. Wow, Vanessa. That's quite an impressive quota. I was going to change my system but you've inspired me to keep going with it!