Hello everyone. Every writer has those moments in their career, or on the path to publication, that serves as a breakthrough moment. I’m happy to announce that yesterday was my breakthrough moment.
But like any good writer, I must set the atmosphere of the events that led up to it.
Last Monday as I was leaving from work, a coworker (who writes as well and is a dear friend) told me I should consider joining a writers group. She discussed that it would be a great benefit towards improving my craft and re-fueling my passion. Even though we all enjoy to write, we must be honest enough to admit there are times when our creative well runs dry.
She recommended I join the Facebook fan page for the Southern Writers Magazine. SWM is a bi-monthly publication packed with inspiration and advice from popular, published authors sharing their secrets of success, as well as articles by experts on book marketing, promotion, branding, blogging, screenwriting, songwriting, conferences and much more. They have over 900 fans on Facebook so it’s a great deal of exposure.
Once I arrived home I clicked the “like” button on their page and began to do a bit of research. I saw they had a special promotion on their weekday blog,“Suite T”, for the month of February. You could submit a 500 word or less article about one of the four topics of love they had listed. I chose to do mine on the topic “When I Fell in Love with Writing.” Every week, they select an entry to be the featured guest blog on the site.
On that evening, I quickly wrote the first few things that pooped into my mind about my love of writing. I polished it up a few times before finally submitting it. I knew it was a decent piece, but I didn’t really think I’d hear back from them about it.
Yesterday afternoon, I was stunned to check to my e-mail and discover I had a message from the social media director of SWM. They informed me that my entry was selected for this week and will be featured on their blog and on their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can read it at http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/02/committed-relationshipwith-writing.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook.
This has been the best writing-realted news of the year for me and like I’ve said numerous times, I will make my writing dreams come true in 2012!!!!!! I’d like to encourage every writer to stick to your dreams and continue to stay true to your craft. If so, then nothing but success will come from it. And last but not least, I’d like to send a special thanks to Lisa Flint and D’toya Colson for always reminding me that my writing dreams are firmly in my grasp.
Hello bloggers. Anyone that has read my blog for any sustainable amount of time knows that writing is one of my deepest passions. My particular goal this year is to start work on my first book and to jumpstart my freelance writing career. I completed the first big step of the latter goal on Feb. 8 when I submitted my first creative nonfiction essay to Literal Latte, a New York based literary journal. This is a huge deal for me as this is the first piece of work I’ve submitted to any literary publication. I learned about the publication from an article I read in the October 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest and figured it would be the perfect outlet to showcase my work. The following is their mission statement:
“Our goal has always been to promote new writers and encourage a love of literature in new audiences. For over 10 years we offered 30,000 copies six times per year, free of charge, in coffeehouses, bookstores and arts organizations in New York City. Now we are free online, caffeinating minds and stimulating careers.”
I went to their website and read their submission guidelines and then went to work on my essay. I actually began work on the essay in early January and spent weeks revising it until I felt like I had made all the necessary corrections. Literal Latte usually takes about three months to respond to submissions, but I’m hoping it will be a much shorter period than that.
The most important goal of any writer is to get their work out to the general public. You can write the greatest story in the world, but it’s pointless if you never submit it for publication. Even if my essay is rejected, I’ll just polish it up and submit it somewhere else. This is just the beginning as I plan on writing and submitting many more freelance pieces this year. At least I can take solace in the fact I’ve taken another step in making my writing goals for 2012 come true.
First, I would like to give a special thanks to each of my subscribers. I truly appreciate you taking the time out to read and comment on my blog. Even though blogging is a personal outlet for me, it’s great to know that there are people who actually care about what I write. Ever since I began getting serious about this a couple of weeks ago, I have come to discover that blogging on a consistent basis has helped to sharpen my writing skills in numerous ways. Here are some of the lessons that blogging has taught me thus far:
Discipline- As a writer for my college newspaper and alumni magazine, I’m used to writing on deadline. When you’re writing your own stuff and not getting paid for it then it can tend to not be too high on the list of priorities. My first two attempts at blogging ended after I produced so much content while not receiving any feedback or even feeling that anyone was reading my work. My mindset is much more disciplined this time around. As any writer of any degree of experience will attest to, it takes discipline to sit down and write anything. Sometimes the ideas come to me in an instant and putting them onto paper (or the computer screen) is as easy as ABC. Other times it can seem as if everything in the world will try to distract me once I’m ready to write.
Yesterday, I had originally written an article on a wrestling-related topic. I had worked on it for two days and just didn’t feel right about it. Instead, I trashed it and wrote something on an entirely different subject matter. In my opinion, the second piece I wrote (which ended up being yesterday‘s post) was much better and I felt it appealed to a broader audience since we all, at one time or another, have thought about what our future holds. For me to write nearly three pages about one thing and then completely switch my thought process to another shows a real sign of how far my discipline as a writer has grown.
To Analyze Events in my Life More Clearly- This is especially true for any blogger. I tend to pay much more attention to what happens during the grind of everyday life. The more clearly I see things then the more clearly they will be to put into words. My blog about the Simple Pleasures of Life came directly from things I and thousands of others have experienced. None were earth-shattering events, but each meant something and when you combined them all together it came out to create a very interesting read. A lady from my church told me she thought it was very funny.
The same thing happened with my story about Ron Clark. I was inspired by the movie and then all of these thoughts began running through my mind. I was able to produce a review/commentary piece about it, while using my own personal experiences to add more substance to it. Whenever I do something as average as going to work or watching a television show, I’m always trying to figure out which angle I can look at the situation from in order to write about it in a way that others will understand.
Writing at Times When I Don’t Feel Like It- Despite the fact I love writing, it can be tiring at times. I keep a notebook where I jot down all of my ideas and random thoughts. There are moments when the ideas come so frequently that I find myself writing multiple ideas during the course of an hour. I could be out running an errand and see something that gives me a story idea. I’ll drive back home trying to remember it until I can get to a pen and paper. My handwriting is not the best and sometimes I have trouble even reading what I wrote. Sounds fun, doesn‘t it???
Writing is something I know I can do well. I’ve written for several publications and wrote a weekly wrestling column for a well-known wrestling news website for about two years. Each week, I would get feedback from fans around the world and from people involved in the industry. Blogging is an entirely new chapter of my writing life. I’m starting from scratch and really feel as though I’m using some real grassroots methods to promote my blog.
At times, writing feels like a habit I can’t kick (not anything illegal. Lol). When I’m doing it I experience a rush like none other. At times I may have to take a break just to regain my composure and sanity. But while I’m away from it something begins to tug at my heart. It’s calling me in and like a fish attracted to a line of bait, and eventually it reels me in. Well, that’s a weird example!
What I mean is that the times in my life where I’m not consistently writing are the times when my heart tells me I should be doing it the most. Every time I finish writing something, it’s as if this calming force comes over me and I feel as if I’ve accomplished something for that day. That is the unique power that writing has over me and it’s that reason why I will always strive to produce the best content even at times when I may not feel like it. When the day is over and I lay my head to sleep I truly believe that all of this writing is part of a journey that will get me to where I want to be in life.