Archive for March, 2007

Getting Noticed by Publishers

Most writers want to be published.

That is a given. Of course, not all writing is for general publication; my personal journal may only ever be read by me (and possibly my children after I’ve departed this world). But the fact remains that most writers have a deep desire to be published, to have their words read and appreciated, to make some difference in this crazy world through their words and even make a little money from their writing.

The path to publication is a rocky, winding road strewn with pitfalls, deep valleys of despair and hidden disasters lurking around every corner. How can one get published then? And not go crazy?

Here are some suggestions which may work for you:

  1. Start a blog like this one and share your writing with the world.
  2. Read books or magazines about how to improve your writing.
  3. Read books or magazines about how to get published.
  4. Attend seminars, workshops and conferences for writers that will help your progress.
  5. Read web sites or blogs about writing – there is a wealth of information in the archives section of this blog – just go to the sidebar.

There is another way that I must admit that I haven’t tried. There are a few web sites being developed where you can submit your writing online for publishers to read. If they like what they see they will contact you and then publish your work.

One such site, based here in Australia, is called Writers Now Online. It is well worth checking it out; it may well be your path to getting published.

Writers now Online is a space for people who love writing in all categories: short stories, novels, scripts, poetry, love, politics, culture, religion, animals, travel, science. We are looking for passionate people, who want to express through their writing, feelings, dreams, ideas and visions.

Publish with us NOW and share your work with others!

Writers Now Online is a space also for publishers, who are looking for interesting stories everyday. Your story could be one of them. In that case: you get paid!

Writers now Online promotes your stories with publishing companies in Australia, United States of America and Europe through monthly newsletters.

Related articles:

Resolution #5: Nothing ventured

How are you going with your writing New Year’s Resolutions? Have you forgotten all about them? Or are they deeply etched in your memory?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained should be the mantra of every writer on the planet. Those four little words speak volumes about the writing life.

Dawn Arkin

Write down those words in big letters and paste them above your computer, or on the front of your writing notebook. Memorise them, put them on a poster and stick them to the back of the toilet door, or on the fridge or anywhere you will be forced to see them often.

Why should you memorise these words from a well known proverbial saying and immortalised by Gilbert and Sullivan in one of their songs?

The risky business of being a writer

Being a writer is a risky business. You have no guarantee of your writing ever being accepted for publication. Then, if it is accepted, you have no assurance it will be read. As for getting paid for your words of wisdom – hah! It might be more profitable sticking your head in a bucket of water; at least you will cool down.

The truth is: many writers DO get published, many DO get read and many DO get paid and some even make a living from their words. Even for well established, well known and professional writers this is still a risky business. Even the really popular writers do not always get their writing published. As I said, it’s a risky business.

If you do not send your writing out to publishers there is no way you will get published or read. If you do not make that “venture” out into the publishing world there is no “gain”.

Remember: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Go for it!

Take the risk.

And keep writing.

Resolution #4: I want to be published

This is the fourth article in a series about the New Year’s Resolutions that many writers desire.

Some writers think being published is the only way to be a true writer. That without their work, and byline, printed in a magazine or book they are just a wannabe hack.

The reality is being published is a wonderful feeling. The first time you receive an acceptance letter you feel you can fly. But being published isn’t what makes a true writer. Honing your craft and continuing to improve your writing is what is going to get you published.

Dawn Arkin

How are you going in the publishing stakes? Not so good? Perhaps you are spending too much time trying to make that story or poem just perfect. Do the best you can, edit it carefully and check your spelling. Then send it off to a publisher. If you do not submit your work there is no way you can get published.

Write, edit, rewrite, edit some more, check and submit.

Then repeat this process with another story, poem, article or novel. And keep repeating it until you literally have a forest of paper out there knocking on the doors of publishers.

Disclosure: I need to stop writing on this blog and take some of my own advice. I need to submit some writing to publishers. Words without action will get me nowhere. Talk to you soon – after I’ve been to the Post Office.

Resolution #3: I want a special writing space

Over the last two days I have looked at some New Year’s Resolutions that writers often make. One that features on many lists is the desire to find a special writing place.

Some writers think having their own writing space will make them true writers. Because only with a dedicated area can they find the inspiration to write.

The reality is a true writer can write almost anywhere. Right now, I am sitting in a room filled with bouncy houses and screaming children. There is loud music and an A/C unit on high. But I am still writing. The only thing stopping some writers from actually sitting down and writing is their own outlook toward their craft.

Dawn Arkin

Is this one of your desires, a resolution that you made at the beginning of the year? While it is nice to have a dedicated place for writing, this is not essential. Let me list some of the places I have done some writing:

  • I have written in bed, while sitting in church and during a staff meeting when I was a teacher.
  • I have written while waiting for a plane – and while in a plane.
  • I have done some writing while driving in a car – actually, my wife was driving at the time.
  • I have composed poems on the beach, in the shower, in bed, by the campfire and in a classroom full of children (modelling is so powerful) .
  • I have written stories on a park bench.
  • I sometimes write with the television blaring.
  • I am able to write in a comfortable hotel room, on an uncomfortable bench in a chilly lodge in the shadow of Everest and in front of a roaring fire at home on a winter’s day.
  • I have written with sweat pouring down my face and with the wind nearly blowing me off this planet.

You DO NOT necessarily need a special place to write. If you have a writing studio or special writing place – fantastic. But it is not essential. A writer writes, no matter what the location, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how he or she feels. A writer writes. Period.

Resolution #2: I want to write more words

Yesterday I looked at the resolution of many writers “to be a better writer.” Many writers also desire to write more words, thinking this is the path to success.

Some writers want to increase the number of words they write per day, week or month. They dream of reaching that magical word count. They feel that if they reach it they will then become a true writer and not just a wannabe.

The reality of it is there isn’t a magic word count that will make you a true writer. The only way to be a writer is to write, as much as you can whenever you can.

Dawn Arkin

I would agree with this author. There isn’t a magic number. For someone with limited time available, or someone just starting out, writing a hundred words a day on a consistent basis will help to improve their writing. For a professional writer such a small goal will just not cut it. So you need to set a goal that is realistic for you – and relentlessly pursue that goal.

The more you practise writing the more skills you will develop. The longer you keep at it, the more fluent you will become. Then one day you will realise that you don’t have to wait for inspiration to come knocking on the door; you will find that you can write on demand. That’s what writers do; they write even when they don’t feel like it.

Good writing.