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In the book On Being a Writer, I recently read a chapter on getting published. Seeing as it was a goal of mine at the end of last year to get published SOMEHOW by the end of the year, it got me thinking. I got to thinking about how life gets in the way sometimes of dreams, and that sometimes you have to be reminded of dreams. I think I needed that reminder.
I found this to be an interesting chapter….showing two (well okay I don’t know if it’s two) It just kinda seemed like two. The question is Should one work toward getting published or not? The two halves:
The first being … don’t worry so much about being published, work at improving your skills.
The second being… if you want to be published, suss out opportunities and work toward them.
It’s like writing is a two-edged sword right? You want to be published, but if you write only with the end goal of being published you are not doing yourself any favours, you need to focus on improving your skill set. On the other-hand if you only write without having the end goal of being published, then you aren’t pushing yourself to be the best you can be.
Improving your Skill Set
The deal if you wait to be published is this:
You get to focus on what you need to focus on. Could be a career you are building, raising your littles, getting a degree or whatever. AND as you have time, and a chance to work on building your skills, you build your skills, and test the waters, without the pressure being there that you MUST GET PUBLISHED. Who needs that pressure when you have other things you need to focus on.
This gives you the time you need to form a writing community, hone your skills, test out different waters, see what passions mesh with your writing skills and styles, Learn and grow and live out your passions and research your loves as you work through what you also need to focus on.
Wanting to get Published.
If you want to get published, you need to take steps to that end.
- Research opportunities for paid work.. magazines, papers, websites and more.
- Finding your passions: what do you like to write about? What do people like learning from you?
- Honing your skills, ask yourself “Would I publish me?” Get friends or a group of readers to help you fine tune your work, to see your blind spots to make your work better.
- Write for where you want to be published, consider what the publication is like and what style they use. Do you have a favourite magazine? Why not consider submitting a piece to it?
- Learning how to make a pitch, or how to submit an article, or a book proposal. It’s all research and work eh?
- Be prepared, rejection will happen, acceptance will come. Roll with it as it comes.