Sunday, January 20, 2008

Inspiring other writers...hopefully

I realized recently that my blogging endeavors have, thus far, been fairly self-centered. I write a lot about me, me, me. Which is okay, I guess, because this is meant to be primarily a journal of my writing life. And I hope that my ramblings have somehow inspired other writers along their own writing journeys.

But it is time for me to reach out and be more intentional in helping other writers. Not that I'm gonna start writing a bunch of "how-to" articles or anything like that. Instead I will share some of the priceless gems I have picked up along the way.

I'll start by sharing about one of my first big (to me) successes.

A few years ago, when I was still a new-born writer in diapers, I began writing children's poetry. I was a member of an online critique group full of members who were, I thought, much better at writing than me. But I loved writing poetry and my writing was improving, so I began submitting my poems to children's magazines, including Highlights.

One member of my group cautioned me not to get my hopes up. She said that Highlights accepts very few poems and the chances were slim that mine would be accepted (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist of it). I knew this. After all, I had read their submissions guidelines which stated about verse: "It is purchased sparingly." Talk about the odds being stacked against me!

I was determined, however, and so I kept submitting. Usually three poems at once. After submitting over twenty poems, one of them was held for consideration! That poem was ultimately rejected, but that rejection inspired me to write a poem titled "Grand Slam," which was published in the August 2007 issue of Highlights for Children. It was a dream come true.

I've said all that to tell you not to be discouraged. Every writer has the odds stacked against them in the beginning. And for most, that doesn't change. But the odds won't change in your favor if you let them scare you. For me, having that goal of being published in Highlights pushed me to become a better poet and writer.

So go ahead. Be crazy. Pursue those publications that seem ridiculously beyond your reach. It's the only way you'll get anywhere.

Happy Writing!

5 comments:

  1. So well said. I love it! So many people get discouraged by rejection, and let's face it. It's no fun. But I truly believe having a goal and being persistent has to succeed in the end.

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  2. This is a great post. Have you ever read any wrtiting books? I ould love to hear our recomendations. :-)

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  3. oops - I left out the w on would and the m on recommendations. Gotta do better on my proofing... (grin)

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  4. Ok - I am not like a cyber stalker or anything - I just saw that I left out the y on your too. Geesh! I wonder if this is any indication as to how my day is going to go... (another pink cheeked grin)

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  5. Angie, you crack me up!

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