Monday, 31 December 2012

So many magazines, so little time!

As you say goodbye to 2012 and welcome the New Year in tonight, spare a thought for your writing and which magazines you will target your articles at in 2013. Smart thinking and structured targeting and reading of potential markets for your work are important as it helps you to maximise the time you have available to pitch and write your articles and prevents you from wasting the editors' and your own time.

Pitching an article can sometimes feel like you are shouting into a howling gale - your voice lost to the rushing winds around you. Will your message get through? Will you get a positive response? Will you get any response at all? You never can tell! It can be frustrating and scary if you are trying to pitch to several magazines at the same time that you've never tried before. My advice would be to limit your choices and pitch to one or two new ones a week - especially if you are just starting out. Sometimes it can take many pitches before the editor will accept one and it will be your tenacity and determination that will have got you through. Sending good quality, well angled and appropriate pitches to the same editor shows them that you are professional and a serious contender - so keep at it and don't be despondent at the first refusal.

So, have a think about which magazine you are going to target tomorrow - yes tomorrow. It doesn't matter if you have a hangover or indigestion from to much turkey and sprouts - strike while the iron is hot and as you mean to go on!

Happy smart targeting!

Oh, and happy New Writing Year!
Julie xx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Where will you go in 2013?

We had a wonderful workshop at my local writing group a couple of weeks back by Simon Whaley. It was about how to spice up our travel writing. I wasn't sure about attending this workshop as I don't travel very far and certainly not abroad. I had mistakenly thought that travel writing was just for those writers who went on exotic holidays to exciting shores on far flung places - how wrong was I! Everyone is a traveller and everyone lives in, or near, a place other people will be interested in. You don't have to travel far to find a good angle or a place people from other areas will want to hear about. Your back yard is a tourist place!

He also advised that we add all of our senses to the writing experience that will allow the reader to experience the place through your words: sights, aromas, sounds, tastes and touch all add texture to the piece and allow the reader a sense of being there with you.

This is my last post of 2012 - have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for your writing in 2013!


Don't forget to spice up your writing and take notes and photos of any place you visit while out on your travels!

Julie xx

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Where Next?

When was the last time you went to a newsagents, randomly picked up a magazine you've never read before, taken it home and read it, noting down ideas for articles you could write for that magazine? I must admit that I don't do this half as much as I should do. But, as a freelance writer, I need this spontaneity to kick start my creativity and write about something new. And if you want to continue being published, it would be a good idea for you to do it more often too.

I've challenged myself to pick up at least one new magazine a week and to come up with article ideas for that magazine - I will check if they take subs from freelancers first as I don't want to waste my time on magazines that don't. I also intend to send out at least one article pitch a day -  I know, it sounds a tall order, but I have lots of article ideas every day and so it will just be a case of me honing them and channelling them towards the appropriate magazine. It's not impossible and it will be interesting for me to see how I get on and what my success rate will be!

What is your writing challenge going to be for you in 2013?

Happy writing

Julie xx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Be careful what you wish for!

If you could have just one wish granted for your writing career, what would it be? Come on - don't let your grown-up nay- sayer and all round party pooper put you off. Think like a child and believe in the magic of Christmas before you had to run around like a disorientated demented reindeer, desperately trying to get all the shopping done, presents wrapped and mulled wine drank.

Trying to hone it down to just one thing you want for your writing career can be difficult - especially when you have as many writing projects on the go as I have. But by thinking about what you would wish for if there really was magic in the air can get you to make the right decision. What is really important to you will leap out.

If you lost the ability to write tomorrow, what would be your biggest regret. Which project would you most grieve for that you didn't get off the ground? That's the one you need to get done.

Make that decision and get it done - it's the best Christmas present you could ever give to yourself and your writing career. The real magic out there is when inspiration kisses you from nowhere. It's up to you where you take that next.

Julie xx