Friday, October 19, 2012

A Resourceful (but Renegade) Writer

I have a secret to confess. I collect books about writing -- particularly freelance writing. Some of them I won through contests and giveaways, others I purchased on my own. I mine them for information on how to be a more productive, prolific and profitable writer.
Yes, I understand if I spent less time reading and more time just writing and submitting, I'd probably make more money. I've been trying to do a lot more of that lately. Still, it's good to peruse the old favorites every now and then. You never know when inspiration for a good story idea will strike, and luckily I've been filled with ideas lately!
I was scanning The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell today and noticed some ways I've let my inner renegade shine through this week. One, I didn't send one query out via snail mail, although most writer's guidelines still advise that as the best way to reach editors. Instead, I became an "e-mail detective" and tried to pinpoint which editors at the publications would be most interested in my queries. By the way, do you know how difficult it is to find the aforementioned e-mail addresses? Those things aren't published to the general public for a reason. It takes a lot of persistence and research to actually find the right editor and the right e-mail address and still get the query out before the story idea becomes outdated. I hope that my "Renegade" self is proud of the formerly nervous, apprehensive, "play by the rules" writer that used to live here.
Querying national magazines does take a lot of research, but it can get costly to get your hands on six back issues of a magazine before sending out a query. I'm fortunate that my husband has access to several national magazines at his job, and I have not one but three great libraries within a 10-mile radius of me. One day last week, I actually sat in the children's section of the library taking notes on all the stories a children's magazine recently published so I could get a better idea of their needs. Being a resourceful renegade is my success story for the week. I'd love to hear about your adventures in freelance writing this week!

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