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.
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.