Sunday, 10 July 2011

You Don't Know Til You Try

When I first started writing in 2007 I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted to write but I didn't know what or how. I did a writing course which set me on the right track but it wasn't enough for me. So I joined a writing group which did the trick. I gained support and valuable advice from the other members of the group which gave me the confidence as well as the know-how on how to write, pitch and get my work published. I will be eternally grateful to them as well as to my blogging friends.

But it doesn't matter how many times someone tells you that you should send your work off, if you don't have the confidence to do it, they will have been wasting their breath. At some point, though, you have to just grab the bull by the horns and send your work off. If you don't, you'll never know if your work is good enough to be published.

It's not easy getting published, especially with the market as it is now with magazines disappearing. I didn't think that I'd ever do it. But there must have been something inside me that made me persevere, regardless of how many rejections I got - and I've had more than a few! You can't think too much about the diminishing market as magazines will always need content and why shouldn't it be you who supplies it? You just have to:

1. Research the market.
2. Don't give up
3. Follow the house style of the magazine you want to pitch/submit to.
4. Find out the submission guidelines and stick to them.
5. Don't give up.
6. Find different angles for your pitch that will catch the editor's eye.
7. Don't make promises/claims that you might not be able to keep - it marks you out as unprofessional and if you can't deliver what you promised you might not get a second chance.
8. Don't give up.
9.Be professional.
10.Don't give up.

There's a lot of don't give up in there as I feel that that is the most important piece of advice! If you give up because you keep getting rejections, you will never know if the next piece you would have written would have been the one to get published. And if you're reluctant to try new markets because you think they won't be interested in what you have to write - do it anyway - you won't know until you try. Let the editor be the judge of whether they'll be interested or not. And if you've done your research properly you shouldn't be too far off the mark.

Happy writing
Julie xx

4 comments:

  1. Great advice Julie, yes in my opinion rejection means try again ... and again... and again!
    I certainly will not give up. It's horrible when we get a rejection but the only way to suceed is to keep on trying.
    Di x

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  2. Hi Julie. I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon - and I'm really glad I did! I'm very much at the 'just needing a bit of confidence' stage, and I've found your posts inspiring! I haven't been rejected yet - because I haven't submitted anything yet, time to get off my butt and just go for it I think! Thanks for such an interesting read.

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  3. Hi, Di

    Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say! Got to keep trying and building those steps to publication, brick by brick.

    Julie xx

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  4. Hi, Jane, and welcome aboard!

    Oh you must submit something - anything! It's like diving off the high board, though - so I know how you're feeling. You want to jump but it seems so high up - a very long way down! All the best writers get rejected (many, many times!) It's nothing to be afraid of - it happens. Just accept it for what it is - a part of your writing life. Once you get your first one, the rest won't seem so bad. They all hurt, in their own way, but I see them not as a negative thing but a positive sign - at least you sent your work out and you got a reply! They are to be learned from!

    Good luck

    Julie P xx

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