Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Got an itch

I have this itch that I'm just going to have to scratch and it's all Writers' Forum's fault. If I hadn't have seen my article about NaNo in there in their October issue I would still be procrastinating and being indecisive about what to write next. As you know I have been concentrating on writing my short stories but now I really feel the need to get back to articles. So Writers' Forum have given me he kick I needed to get going again.

I had a successful year last year with my articles when my short stories didn't do as well as I hoped they would. But because I wanted to give the short stories another bash I stopped pitching and writing so many articles. I didn't have the time or the inclination to do them both justice. Now I've subbed some short stories, I'm once again scouring the magazines in the name of research to see any likely victims  -  I mean candidates and thinking about the kinds of articles I could pitch to them.

It's an essential activity for article writers to get out to the newsagents/ look on the Internet and look for new potential outlets for their articles,  even moreso in the current economic climate. A couple of magazines I've had my articles in before are full to the rafters with articles and so I've had some pitches rejected. But instead of deterring me, this has made me even more determined to widen my search and find mgazines that are open to submissions.

It's important for writers to reinvent themselves on occasions and write something they wouldn't ordinarily write. But needs must and writers need to be flexible in their approach to their work and write for the market that's out there not the market they would like to be out there. And that's where thorough research comes in.

It's not easy but neither is it impossible to get your articles published in this financial crisis. You just have to think a bit harder and wider about what editors want and become more inventive and creative with your article ideas. Yes, there are thousands of other writers trying to do the same thing as you which means it's highly competitive, but you musn't let that put you off. Up your game and act like the professional writer even if you don't feel like one! It's all in the mind is a good motto to use here. Think positive, think professional and be productive - you won't succeed every time but every article you get accepted is an article further toward your writing goals.

I was thinking of having regular question and answer sessions on here. What do you think? I thought we might find it helpful as there are things I wish I'd known before I started writing articles and even now I don't know everything and I never will! So if you have a question about article writing, put it in a comment and we'll see what happens!

Best of luck and keep going!

Julie xx


  1. I think 'finding magazines that are open to submissions' is practically the same as 'finding magazines'. In other words, all - well, almost all - magazines are, potentially, willing to look at outside ideas. I think it's important to cultivate the idea that any outlet is a potential market, and even one which seems closed or mostly written in-house can, I think, be persuaded to buy in a story if (and this is the important bit) it's strong enough. It's about the selling. You need to be able to sell an eskimo snow...

    All the best,

  2. That's one of my main problems with my writing, Alex, attitude! I'm not brave enough to approach an editor or submit something to an editor/magazine that doesn't seem to take freelance subs or states they don't. It's something I'm working on and I know it holds me back. I should be pitching ideas left right and center!I used to send out a lot more pitches/subs than I have recently - I need to get back into it.


  3. I think you have a great attitude, Julie - in that you recognise areas you feel you need to work on, and are happy to speak about them!

    It'll come together. Go for it. Good luck,


  4. Hi, Alex

    Yes, I think you have to be willing to listen to other writers and appraise your own practice - there is no shame in acknowledging what you need to work on as long as you take action to improve! Which is what I intend to do.

    It's the same old story of not having enough hours in the day to do everything I want to. But I'm sure it's the same for most other writers too. The difference between successful writers and not-so-successful writers is the successful ones have learned to overcome any obstacles in their way and just get on with the job of writing when they have the time and opportunity to do so.