Thursday, December 27, 2012

On Writing and Sending Out Chapters or Stories

This morning I woke up thinking I've never been good at sending out my writing, unless for pay
Labeled pages with "calls"
Not that I lack knowledge about where to send material. I've been a subscriber to writers' trade magazines since 1989, with exception of the years I lived in Amsterdam, and relied on The American Book Store for my fix on writers' craft publications. As such, a subscriber to Poets & Writers, Writer's Digest and The Writer Magazine, I've spelled out the "wanted" ads in the back, noted deadlines for contests and such. But with the exception of 1989-1990 the year I decided to become a writer for real, sending out poems to literary magazines such as Trivia, I have hardly ever put my creative writing pieces in the mail with the intention to get them published.

What's up with that?

It's not that I haven't been published, I have, by paying publications. Yet, the work created when I'm not working on assignment mostly just remains filed on my computer. Telling, no? Writing for pay, means your work is accepted already. While sending out unrequested material, may mean a possible rejection.

Little Stevie King pinned rejections slips to his wall.

These early morning musings were no doubt influenced by reading "On Writing: a memoir of the craft" by Stephen King last night. His mom really encouraged him to write, not just copy stories he'd read, and paid him a quarter for each of his first four. He started sending out his work when he was a teen, pinning rejection slips on his wall, meanwhile he kept on writing and kept on sending out. The rest is history. 

I wish I was better at sending out work, but the moment I've written something short, I forget about it. Easy, since on my computer, anything out of sight is out of mind, lost in the black hole. The pieces that are part of a book length manuscript thank goodness are tied together by a red line, the plot line if you will. But why wait until the book is finished? Why not send out a chapter that can stand on its own? 

Send out a chapter that can stand on its own. 
For “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans” ~ John Lennon.

This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.