Monday, August 27, 2007

Thinking ahead....

This is a photo of my Mom's old-fashioned gingersnap cookies and parfaits. She loves making them in the fall. She's big on parfaits (which are healthy desserts), but she only made the gingersnap cookies for a baking contest :'( (she won 2nd place!) last year.

The point I'm trying to make is that even though we'll just soon be going into fall this year, we writers need to be thinking of next fall...

For most people (the ones that don't luck out--like REALLY luck out--the first time they query a magazine), it can take quite a while to get your writing published.

Acquiring publishing credits, aka "clips" (which are just articles you've had published), can be like trying to get a job without a car, yet needing the job to be able to pay for the car and you're stuck in limbo.

Ok, Rewind... So you don't get lost and confused, I'll stop here. You're probably asking, "Ok, so how do I get "clips"? Well, good question. You could get clips a variety of ways. Perhaps you could write free (a couple of times) for a publication that has merit.

Maybe you could donate an article or two to a website like The Dabbling Mum, or you could simply write a couple of articles that are similar to something the magazine might publish and just send that as "samples."

To better understand words and phrases associated with freelance writing, stop by Amy Derby, Owner/Editor, posted a brief glossary of freelance writing terms here that is very helpful.

To be a successful writer, you need to think ahead. Think, plot, dream, create, write....

So you might guess with summer coming to an end and the school year starting, it's time to think ahead. If you start planning now for this time next year, you're sure to get a head start on "getting into" a Summer/Fall/2008 magazine issue.

Some things to start thinking about are:

  • Writing articles with tips to help parents get their family back into the routine of school and after-school activities.
  • Writing articles with fresh ideas for fall decorations for the home.
  • Writing articles including gardening tips for fall.
  • Writing articles with fall-themed recipes or crafts.
The list goes on....

Anything like holiday articles/stories/recipes/crafts, needs to be queried about/submitted about 6 months to a year in advance.

If you think ahead, query the magazines now about issues planned for next summer/fall, you might just get ahead writing the cyber highway ;)