The chapter for today’s discussion in the Writing Group at Kate Motaung’s blog featuring Kroeker and Craig’s Book “On Being A Writer”, was on sending your writing off to get it published and what steps you should go through to get there.
This was a chapter that I felt didn’t apply to me at the moment. For the time being, I am happy and content to simply write this blog. I am fairly new to the blogging world and am looking for new ways to make my blog better, give myself a voice and outlet for my thoughts, and to build my following. So for now, I’m not looking to get published. I know there will come a day in the future, that I will be referring back to this very helpful chapter on how to go about getting yourself published.
A few of the points that I did take away from today’s reading were to fine-tune your own writing before you send it off to anyone else to read. I try to do that for every post I make on this blog, except the 5 minute Friday writes which are intentionally not supposed to be edited. I have always felt that if I call a work my own, then it needs to be the best I can make it. If it is sloppy, full or errors, and hard to read, I don’t want to put my name on it When I was working as a secretary, I was good at proofing my work and frequently would go over things 2 and 3 times to make sure there were no spelling errors or numbers transposed. I was known for “paying attention to detail”.
Misspelled words turn me off to what I’m reading. I assume an editor/publisher would feel the same way. Not to confuse this all with perfection as that is more of a hindrance than a tool. We can’t be perfectionists and still create, we would never be done with it.
Along with proofing your own work, you need to research your audience. They gave the example of writing for a particular magazine but not being familiar enough with the magazine, its contents and it’s readers to know what they would like. This didn’t get the results they wanted. We need to pay attention to who we’re writing for. If I’m going to give tips for young mothers, I don’t want to send that to a men’s magazine, or to a retirement publication. Know your audience.
Expect rejection. This seems like a negative point, but I feel it is a fairly realistic point and for many of us who send our work off with stars in our eyes dreaming of being discovered and making it in the literary world, we need this to keep us grounded. We will be rejected. Just as Baskin Robbins had 31 flavors of ice cream, there are many flavors of writers and not everyone will like your work or even think it’s something that should be published. Maybe it’s just not right for what they’re looking for. Don’t give up when you get those rejections. Take them in stride. If they give you any advice, try to take it objectively, after you’re done calling them names, and see if there is any value in what they said. Do you need to change something about your work? If so, try changing it and re-submitting. Broaden your horizons, look for other places to submit your writing.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about the writing process.