Advice

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Getting Started

Now that you have decided to “go for it,” how do you get there? Glad you asked! Let me share my first experience.

That fateful day began with a half-hearted attempt to find out more about a Saturday morning children’s television show…. In the middle of the research, I decided to take that final step, to write an article.

The long-and-the-short-of-it is…. I sent in a query letter on my topic (badly written) only to discover that my topic was the cover story on the current issue of the magazine! I crossed my fingers and sure enough the query was rejected but with a note from the editor. This magazine was always looking for new freelancers and could I send in examples of my work. I was sunk…. I had nothing to give him except some fannish genre stuff that I wrote way-back-when. I figured, what-the-hay, I’ll send that in and finish my research and send in the article that I queried about. I got the fan stuff back but no article. Then, I got another letter saying that they would publish the article! A submittal had turned from rejection to publication!

And it’s just that easy! No you say? It can’t be? Well, you’re right. You have to work at your craft. A good way to do that is to start small and keep at it. Certainly, I’m glad to hear that you’re halfway finished with that novel. But I ask you, wouldn’t you like to see something finished now and in print?

Here is a little secret. You’re local newpaper is always looking for some local talent. Pitch a feature article to the editor! Something you have an interest in. Whether it’s something about the best gardens in the neighborhood or the local Church is planning on a Farmer’s Market. Find out something interesting in your community. Editors will say, “yes!” Maybe not the first time or the second, but keep at it. You will get the assignment (which you might have already written) and voila! You’re name in print!

You say that you’re not ready for something like that? How about doing a review of your favorite books? Amazon Books encourages people to post reviews on their site. Check it out! Everyone has an opinion about the books they read. Post yours for all the world wide web to see!

Now, I ask you…. Tell me the truth. You do want to see your name in print, right? Everyone does. There is no shame in admitting it. I certainly remember the glow that I felt that first time. But, the key thing to getting started is to write! And, finish what you write. You can ask just about anyone and they will tell you that they are a writer. But, when you ask them what they have finished…. Silence. I want you to answer that question with…. “Why yes, didn’t you see my feature in the local paper? I took a break from my 400 page novel — needed to get a new perspective….” Get my drift?

Until next time! Happy writing!