Monday, 30 September 2013

What to write about?

I'm always intrigued by writers who claim they have nothing to write about and  non writers who ask, 'Well, what do you write about then?' Ideas for articles are all around us and it's the job of a good write to listen and look for those potential ideas wherever they go: An overheard conversation, a local event, an advert in the local newspaper, an article in a national newspaper that can be tweaked to have a local angle, a radio interview, something on TV or a magazine, every day people, hobbies, occupations, etc., can all provide inspiration and leads for potential articles.

It's important for a writer to think like a detective and for them to have their nose into everything and anything. You never know where your next idea might pop up so always take a note book and pen with you wherever you go. You will forget by the time you get home (I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me!).

So next time you're out and about or think you have nothing to write about - remember to keep your eyes and ears open for that next flash of inspiration.

happy writing
Julie xx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Going for a double

When I started out writing articles they actually began life as blog posts. I wasn't very confident back then and didn't have the slightest idea of how to write articles and pitch them - not that I thought that any of my ramblings would be of any interest to editors anyway.  I did send small articles to The Link - NAWG's (National Association of Writers' Groups) publication. There was no money in it, but a brilliant opportunity to hone my writing skills and get published.

It was a comment by one of my writing friends that set me on the path to making money from my writing (the cheque is in the post to this person, honest......) He said that my blog postings were the right style for writing Magazine. So I took courage, sat down and edited the blogs and came up with some pitches and subbed them. It took a while, but eventually I had my first article accepted and published in there, followed by many others and in other magazines too.

Then I had a series of articles accepted by Writing Magazine on writing groups. Now I've had a two part article accepted by Writers' Forum. I don't think I ever thought I'd get one article accepted let alone a series or a two parter! But I did and it took patience and a lot of hard work.

When the idea for an article comes into your head do you ever think you could expand it into more than one article. It's well worth exploring this before you pitch a single article idea to the editor. They like ideas they can expand - it encourages readers to buy the next magazine if they read an article in one issue that has part 2 coming next issue!

Make sure your pitch outlines why it would make a good two or three, or more series and show your plan for each instalment and how each article progresses and moves on smoothly to the next article in the series. Each article should be able to stand alone yet, link in effortlessly with all articles within the series. Also it pays to get quotes from different people for each article to enable readers to see the theme from different points of view.

It takes a lot of planning to get an article series accepted but with some thought and time it's not an impossible task.

Happy writing
Julie xx