The short stuff is a dead end

It occurs to me, in a moment of reflection, that the many times I submitted to various publications over the last few years–the faith-based ones and the literary/fiction ones—came up fruitless.

Except a few publications would see my work, but I don’t have the resources for it. Nobody came to my aid this time.

Frankly I’m tired of trying. That means I won’t need to write about my movements in regards to writing anymore. This means this post is my last. But it does mean there are several other blogs I have started last month, where I will be writing.

So long but hello again. I am joining a monastery that has access to the internet and a laptop. There I will be a writer/blogster-writer and chant away.

The short stuff

I don’t like promoting my own work. That’s the way I am. I like doing the writing and would leave the marketing to others. So, I’ve been published in magazines, websites and newspapers that don’t require me to promote my work.

Back in the day when I was doing writing jobs, someone said to me that I should write a book. I was friendly towards such suggestions because in my mind that was what I was going to do. So I explored my fiction writing first before seeking out publishers and found out my ability at that stage.

When I got a grasp of the big picture of what is entailed in publishing I realized that I don’t like doing self-promotion. As I said, that’s how I am. If I was a professional sports player in another life, I would play the game, not promote myself.

This leaves me where a blog of mine a few years back started off. That blog was following my movements on writing short stuff, the articles, the items, the one paragraph devotions, and the short stories. In this pursuit, I may aim in vein, but writing the short stuff is who I am as a writer.

Choices

What one needs to remember, and that includes myself, is that film producers usually require “spec scripts” or scripts written with the intent of soliciting work.

That may come as a shock.

I’d sooner have my original story made for the big screen, but it does not work that way I come to find out.

What this means for the independent-minded writer is that he or she has to work for a producer if their spec script is approved of.

This means a writer writes what the producer needs as the producer has certain products they will produce. Not everyone does horror and science fiction. Not everyone is your thing, but some may be more up your ally.

This may leave any writer asking the same question: should one go ahead and write film and television scripts for that producer? These are choices one has to make.

 

Observational

Observation for me can be a discipline to concentrate on the world around me and write from that.

Observation is useful in writing, though.

I may relate my observations to my writing foundations and build a story out of it, that’s part me, part other.

At the extreme is complete detachment on behalf of the writer and it is interesting where this may lead. Does one see it from someone else’s perspective completely?

Observing someone or something else or observing some other “world” invariably requires research to understand that someone or something other.

 

Imagination

In terms of my writing projects, like fiction, I love writing from my imagination the most. It may a purely imaginative work without anything observational (apart from the basic structure perhaps), experiential, or from one’s home truths. It’s purely from the mind. Maybe I would look to see how I could include my home truths as well, if it fits.

Foundations

In terms of my writing projects, in contrast to writing jobs, they are pretty much in limbo, but are finding their way into the light slowly.

I can come up with a zillion ideas, but being confident with my foundations is what my fiction and writing should be about.

Foundations is what I call my truths. My personal truth, spiritual truth, emotional truth and human truth and my writing can be based on these. These truths are for the purposes of writing. They are not universal truths, but what makes this writer tick.

Not always usable, though, because good inspiration can strike and become an article or blog post, irrespective of personal truths.  But in terms of writing projects, writing from the foundation up is where I’m at.  Foundations can even go deeper–to the deep core material of a writer.

Week in

This week: The beginning of the week started with a rejection slip. Enough said, but it started the week with a bang. Then, it got quiet because I’m in a phase of writing that is quietly pondering. So while I blog a film review, a poem here or there, other things are on my radar that I’m silently working on slowly but surely. The quiet voice of the “muse” as they call inspiration stirs in the sounds of silence.

The last word on it

Yesterday I wanted to try something different. I mean, in terms of submitting to a publisher who has accepted two but also rejected quite a few other submissions of mine. Trying something different was my Plan B.

This Plan B, which I will not explain in detail, may work—if I don’t base my submissions on harder passages to understand in the Bible. But I recalled today that the publisher wanted submissions based on the harder passages. Only those passages. So Plan B goes out the window.

Don’t mind, because there is more to life, but last rejection would be the last from them. This means I write nothing more for this publisher.

Quite simply, the negative outcome seems likely if submitting more, going by past record. Why go on the merry go round of rejection slips with the same publisher? There is a time to stop what one is doing once it is pointless.

This is the end of submitting to this publisher. Sad, but inevitable. I hate break-ups, but they did give thirty-odd reasons to (read: rejection slips).

The final one

Today I received a form rejection letter by email. It was about the thirtieth rejection from the same publisher, but three years ago they published two devotions of mine. Naturally, one thinks, that they will publish more of yours again, and again. So I kept on submitting. The pieces were short and sweet, but to no avail. The lesson is simple: it’s not easy to get your foot in the door and once your in, it may be hard to keep on repeating that initial success.

The initial success was really luster. It was inspired writing. I tried a bit harder next time to repeat the acceptances of my work. Didn’t work. Lesson: don’t try so hard. But if I didn’t put grist to the mill I wouldn’t have material.

After all these rejections, would the initial acceptances be enough for me? If not, is there a different way of doing it?

There is a different way of doing something. I was going to say that today’s rejection from this publisher would be the final one. Whatever their reasons for rejecting my work, my first two acceptances was all I was supposed to do, thirty rejections later. But plan B is to try it another way.

The print media

Fine Print (1)

The printing press is struggling so it seems. This affects every freelancer who ever was and every will be. It’s harder to get your work in print now than it used to be. Your work has to be tailored made, specific, and top notch. It is all geared towards what the newspaper requires, for their audience, but even more tailored made then before, because there is more competition. So a freelancer had better be on top of it if they are to get into print.

I was reminded of what seems to be a smaller media now–this being the print media, as they are competing with digital–when a postcard arrived in the post.

The postcard in my letter box, “To the householder”, had a promotional code. I could get a free four week trial of the newspaper if I entered the code on their website. Then they would discuss with me whether I wanted a subscription–which I would have to pay for.

It sounds desperate, but I kind of got it. The printing press is finding ways to hook people into their print products, in a digital age. They must find ways to compete or be obsolete in the foreseeable future. I understand.

It all starts with something free. Then you’ll have to pay at a discount. And later on you’ll pay the full price and they hope you will stay with them through the long haul.

People so often get their news from the internet, but if you are one of the ones who would take up their offer, what would persuade you?

The free trial may. But that’s only for four weeks, then it’s over. Not much of an incentive over the long haul. But if the newspaper is free for twelve months then that would be different, a real deal. Someone may take up that offer. However, what newspaper can afford it? They are trying to compete in the digital marketplace, not drown themselves.

If you seriously considered taking up their offer, then you would take up the free trial to assess the product. Is it good? Is it worthwhile? More importantly, do you need it? This last question is pivotal, because there are so many competitors out there. What are your media needs?

You have to decide if this product fills your media news needs. This is the risk the newspaper takes. They already have an internet presence, but they want you to buy their newspaper which has been around longer. If they lose sales, they will have to think about another model–using the internet and go completely website based.

Then they are competing with other media outlets on the internet while the survivors in the print media battle it out between themselves. It’s a vicious cycle.

In today’s print media world, some will die, and a few will survive. The product that the newspaper is offering had better be bigger and better in order to stay afloat, but there are ways of delivering a media product for cheaper overheads. But that may not be bigger and better. It’s a dog eat dog newspaper world out there.

I’m not going to take up the free trial. Then, I’ll be in their system. They don’t let go easily. But if a writer would research the market by taking up the trial, to submit their work, they’d be competing with writers already there and they are competing with each other. Why die striving?

Onto the next thing…