Editors are there to present your work, but I wasn’t expecting life lessons as well. However, I’ve finally grasped what they were on about. And it’s all true. There were two lessons, both points resonating now.
Tag Archives: writing notes
Grist to the mill
I have seven devotional ideas to write into devotions, with probably more inspired by my readings each day. I don’t like to have devotional ideas on the back burner, because I like to have nothing devotional pending on any given day. Ideally, I like to write a devotion a day based on being inspired by my Bible reading that day! But I have seven devotions pending…Is there such a thing as being over-inspired? It’s nice to start on a blank page. With nothing to call a “workload” or “catch up”. But I’m not complaining about that. Grist to the mill!
On the agenda, on a busy day
Writing while doing other things in life as you would normally do can be hectic. Keeping up to date with the stuff a writer does–that is, the writing–sometimes near impossible. If one is going well and the good days outnumber the bad ones, then keeping up to date is a reality. Getting through the writing agenda is not impossible. It is simply writing the ideas up that get turned into short meditations or devotions or what’s also knows as reflections. Short and sweet.
Does one have to sell their writing to get published?
Writing my own stories may be best left with a free online platform like WordPress, because I wonder if the traditional publishers will ever take my own stories on board? Of course, traditional publishers do take stories, but they tend to be the ones that suit the publisher, not any old story, not the ones that I may want to write. My own stories may have to be written a certain way before they are even considered by traditional publishers. I can’t be myself or else face a rejection because it wasn’t written the way the publisher wants it written.
Competition is fierce
I don’t know how many times I’ve come across the statement “competition is fierce” in writers guidelines. But it’s really true. If one goes the traditional road to getting published and not the self-publishing route, the competition to get one’s work out there, published in other words, is extremely fierce. This may be the reason why one’s work doesn’t get published. You have gone as far as doing your homework in every aspect, but the work is still rejected. As long as you know you’ve fitted the requirements and then some more, I think the reason for one’s rejection is simply, once again, that competition is fierce.
Lack of genre knowledge may not be a barrier
If freelancers do not have the precise knowledge of a genre of writing, how would freelancers get their work published in that genre? This would be because some publishers are not exacting. It’s possible to get through on one’s own merits rather than what’s usually required by the more exacting publishers. At least, that’s my experience. The editors liked my ideas, my work, and I wrote it well enough for them. I was never employed as a journalist, but I was an external contributor and I had an affinity with the type of publisher they were.
Writing rejection is not the end
Getting rejected by a publisher hurts, like it did for me today. In my case this time it was a rejection in the devotional genre. But after the “throwing writing in” thoughts subside, it occurred to me to try another publisher or use it in some other genre or reuse it into something else completely. It’s not over yet…
When ideas are too many to handle
The opposite of the problem of writers block is too much writing. There are lots of ideas and written passages on my notebook and computer and I think I am under an obligation to use them all, which feels oppressive. Then comes liberating the notebook/s, by eliminating useless ideas. But, who knows, in years to come, they be viewed better. So, it’s probably a good idea to keep them and not worry about the clutter for a while.
Focusing on one point eliminates waffle
On last count, a few minutes ago, one-third of my shelved devotions that I have looked at again have been recoverable. The key to recovering them is to focus them on one point. It eliminates waffle.
Filing away the ‘reusable’ ones
I wrote just over a dozen devotions recently, but only two I decided to submit, the salient ones. I realized that the rest were flawed in some way. So, I have refiled them in another kind of folder. Perhaps 10 percent of what writers write is really suitable for publication. Wouldn’t it be great of all of it was suitable for publication?
Does writing have to be a career?
Writing does not have to be a career thing, but one can spend one hour on it a day or two or three hours.
My first draft looked at a little tatty, what’s new? I was going to flag it. Never to submit the piece. So, I said to myself, leave that genre of writing alone. A day leaving it alone did wonders. Then, I thought, try harder. And I think the piece looks better than before. In a few days, I can send it. A key to not surrendering, a key to not chucking in a piece, is to try harder, when one can’t be bothered. That’s in my experience.
Movies titles require some form of action
Budding screenwriters take note.
Impressive body of work
I came across an encouraging obituary.
Stories that go on forever
Creators don’t like people saying that only 1 episode matters. The creator says, it all matters (They also tell the picky fans to get a life). Scope. Some like their series to never end.
One part after the other that continues the story on and on.
To revise or not to revise
Writing is a catch-22, but I’m not talking ’bout the film or novel on which a film is based. Catch-22 is a novel and a film, but let me use that title’s meaning for the purposes of this post. Saying catch-22 is synonymous with making a choice between two equal values and one or the other won’t really do considering that you’re in a predicament between the two. So, writing is a catch-22 in that sense or something like it. I mean that one may write a piece. The writer thinks he should revise it out of the normal process, and also thinks it’s probably good as it is and doesn’t need revising. What does the writer do? This is my predicament at the moment. I would say to myself, just wait. Let the piece smolder under the surface for a while until it’s ready to resurface and face the writer once again. Then, all becomes clear.
To continue or not to continue writing after New Year’s
New Year can mean there is a spike in divorces, according to one lawyer. Does it also mean a spike in giving up vocations, jobs, employment or gigs as well? One may feel like giving the job away after a nice relaxing holiday.
Submit everything or only the best?
Rejection seldom takes a writer well, but taking it on the chin can be enlightening. Personally, I would like to see all of my articles etc. published. But this is unrealistic. One, my article may be inappropriate for the readers although on its own merits stands. Two, not everything of mine should be published. Why? Simply because some of my pieces may be better than the others. So, when something is rejected, it’s not as good as the other pieces.
A writer with strong motivation is a storm force
Motivation can be an issue for a writer if not on assignment. It’s possible for a writer not on assignment to be extremely motivated, but it’s also possible that a writer not on assignment is unmotivated to produce their own material. But the writer with a strong level of entitlement is a storm force.
Getting the assignment done on time
One of the pressures of being on “assignment” is getting the job done on time. It requires a little foresight and maybe planning. If one is very busy it takes astute time management around other activities, work and social life. If one has the time, being on assignment should be a breeze, but then again who has that kind of time these days? For most, writing on assignment requires time management to get the job done. One thing the publisher does is penalize writers if they don’t hand the work in on time. It may be a loss of some of the fee or you forfeit the whole fee if the work is too late. The publisher has assigned the work and needs it, so brings some sort of “incentive” to get it done, like losing some of your fee which is a good way for them to see the work on time. For busy writers sacrificing one assignment for a better one may be the way if one can’t fit it in. It may mean the writer loses with one publisher, but hopes to make up for it with a better one, or thinks it’s a better one.
Ideas notebook for all those invasive thoughts
There’s an easy way to file away ideas and thoughts. It’s not by filing ideas and thoughts for different genres into different notebooks, but simply keeping a notebook for everything that comes to mind. I’d been doing that way, but realized the put everything in one place approach is better. I’ve been keeping my Bible reading notes in one exercise book. This was for the purpose of jotting the ideas I get from reading the Bible which could become devotions, meditations and reflections. When other ideas came to mind, say a story idea that jumped into my head, I had to find a different notebook, or piece of paper, to jot the idea down. But it would be quicker just writing the idea in my devotional notebook because that was handy. I don’t like mixing various ideas around in a notebook intended for one thing, though. It makes much better sense to include everything in one notebook, doesn’t it? So, all one has to do is headline each notebook entry for what kind of idea it is: be it devotional, story, article, poem, etc.
And if one is the run, one may keep a recorder, or something like it, for easy recording when ideas come to mind. Keep the ideas in one place on the recorder and indicate what each idea is, whether story, article, poem, etc. Much better. All in one place and headlined for easy reference. All one needs now is a good notebook and/or a digital recorder. Digital recorders hold more information so spending on one is probably cheaper in the long run than buying notebook after notebook. May be just invest in a simple digital recorder for note-taking, if one likes, if that’s easier when on the run. Or write it down, if that’s preferable.
Tiny bits of encouragement woven in
Bad days are gone, grey days instead. In the grey days it’s not so bad. The day may be grey. A rejection letter that sounded like a gentle let down. A letter from the editor that while the piece hasn’t been accepted, it’s on the short list. Tiny bits of encouragement woven in. With that little bit of encouragement, one is encouraged to do more.
It is not an easy road getting published, but I had some good news about a month ago that a meditation I submitted to a journal is being seriously considered. It has passed the “first round” or phase one and is on the short list as it was. The outcome, I’ve been told, will take quite a while, which goes to show how rigorous getting selected for publication can be. Not easy.
The response was reasonably positive from the editor, as he speculated on using the article sent him, at some stage in the future. The article’s now waiting.
Projects on delivery
Takes time. Two projects in effect, taking time on them both. Rejections, had a couple, but their mist dissipates soon after. Successes, too, lifts one up. It’s not everything. Frank Sinatra sings. The sun still shines. Life can be fine.
A few years ago I had the urge to pursue Christian publications overseas, after realizing that the other genres I was pursuing wasn’t working. I prayed that if this is what God wanted me to do, it would come about, and it did, in terms of Christian-based articles and pieces like that. The last five years has been encouraging in that there has been work for me in the Christian genre. Now, a few doors are always open to me to submit work.
One-off submission this time
Wrote a short devotion of about 200 words that I’ve sent off to a devotional publisher, hoping it will do well. The same publisher is going to publish an older devotion of mine that was submitted over two years ago.