Finding places to publish is not a difficult task, but it may require research and time.
|What Do You Mean You Can’t?
Written for the People's Choice Newsletter.
"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed." - Lloyd Jones
I think the one thing that bothers me about people of all shapes and sizes, of all races and creeds, of all types of occupations or lack thereof, is when they give up or don’t try.
When I was a kid the words, “I can’t” were banned from our household. Any time someone in our household forgot and uttered those words, the rest of us sang, "I’ll never, ever say I can’t; I’ll always say I’ll try.” That, my friends, is the key to succeeding at writing or at anything in life. You just have to try.
Over the years, I’ve heard many new writers lament about not being able to get published. Becoming a published writer is much like finding that first good job. Many jobs require experience, but how does one get experience if one cannot get a job? The answer to that is often to take lessor jobs and prove that you can handle them before applying for better jobs.
The same can be said about becoming a published author. Yes, there are many publications that only seek the work of already published writers. If those
publications are your ultimate goal, you will have to find ways to prove that you have been published elsewhere.
Finding places to be published is not a difficult task, although it may require
research and your time.
Are you an “expert” at something – video games, bowling, crafts? If so, find an online publication that seeks writings of those who are adept at these activities. Online publications may or not pay, and if they do reward writers, it might be just $5 to $20. There are some writers who will tell you to never write for free. Sometimes, though, writing for free is the only way you can prove to larger and better paying publications that you have been published somewhere. The decision about whether or not to write for free is ultimately yours and yours alone. Just remember that having your work appear online – even after it is archived – gives you a URL that you can place in your writer’s credits.
Purchase the latest Writer’s Market book, or borrow it from your library to discover more outlets for your work. Focus on lower paying markets first, since it is easier for new writers to break into those markets.
Subscribe to writer’s magazines or find out if your library subscribes to them and plan on spending some time in the reading room. Often times you will find newer markets there.
Enter contests – found online or in writer’s magazines. Most often, the winners of those contests are rewarded with publication as well as cash prizes. (Just be wary of those contests requiring hefty entry fees!)
Do join a writer’s group in your locale or find a group at Writing.com where you can receive in-depth critiques of your work. Sometimes just changing a word or two in one’s writing makes all the difference in the world about whether or not it is fit for print or publication.
If the only thing you want to do is to publish a book, that may be a more daunting task. Do search for just the right publisher(s) – in Writer’s Market and writer’s magazines. Do not get discouraged, though. Even some of today’s best-selling authors had to begin by self-publishing.
There is still almost a full year ahead of you. Will this be the year that you collect writer’s credits? Will this be the year that you see your work published? It can be, but only if you decide to put the work into getting published.
Remember, the words, "I can't" are not allowed.