A bit unsure of myself, it took an act of boldness to submit my first manuscript three decades ago. But, the article sold to the first magazine I sent it to, and has been reprinted many times.
Since that first sale, there have been other acts of boldness I’ve taken to further my writing career. Applying the “act as if principle,” I acted as if I were confident, and thereby acquired greater confidence.
At a writers’ conference, I boldly struck up a conversation with the editor of a nationally-known children’s magazine. I proposed a few of my ideas, and he gave me the name and email address of the submissions editor. He said I should mention that he told me to submit the manuscripts to her. He also took my name and address, and gifted me with a two-year subscription to the magazine.
When a magazine’s guidelines state to query, I put “Query/Submission” in the subject line of my email. I use the first paragraph to present my query. I go on to say if the editor is interested, I have attached the manuscript for their review. The majority of the editors I have dealt with appreciate this time-saving approach.
Sometimes, an editor will call to discuss a story they’ve purchased from me. That’s the perfect time to pitch new ideas to them. Both the editor and I benefit from this.
Occasionally, I have asked for a higher fee than offered by a magazine due to my qualifications and long list of credits, and I have been granted that request.
Recently, I boldly submitted a religious article to a secular magazine. The editor responded enthusiastically, and purchased the piece.
The greatest act of boldness I ever took was asking to be named as a contributing editor to a magazine that had bought more than a dozen of my stories and articles. I received an overwhelmingly positive response from the publisher stating that she would love to add me to the masthead. Unfortunately, the magazine was in the process of being sold.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to further your writing career because you lack confidence. Start working today on building up your courage. Act boldly!
Sue Carloni is a freelance writer who lives in Wisconsin. She has been published in more than 70 magazines. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Guideposts, Woman’s World, Mature Living, Living for the Whole Family, Writers Weekly, Christian Communicator, Fellowscript, Byline, Funds for Writers, Lutheran Digest, Teaching Tolerance, and Teachers of Vision. She writes for both children’s and adult publications in the religious and secular markets.