Like most people, I love making New Year’s resolutions. Each December, I take stock of the year gone by and plan ahead, meticulously making lists for each area of my life. At the end of the 2007, my career as a fledgling freelance writer was starting to take shape. The queries were flying out fast and thick and the acceptances were coming in slowly. 2008, I decided, was going to be my first big year for writing.
My goals, therefore, had to be more specific. By the time I finished planning, I had eight. Each was highly defined – right down to the publication or the country. For example, one of my goals was ëWrite for a national UK magazine’. I also wanted to break into a certain newspaper in India and increase my writing related income by a set amount by the end of the year.
In January, it all sounded very promising, as most resolutions do. I signed up for Kristen King’s Query Challenge to help motivate me to get 120 queries out by year end. I kept coming up with ideas for my targeted publications.
That was the easy part.
With the dozens of queries I sent out, the rejections also arrived. Sometimes, there was complete silence. Other editors were kind enough to reply encouragingly saying that the idea was not right at this time but to send more.
Magic words indeed.
By May 2008, after a couple of rejections, I broke into the Indian newspaper with a full page feature. The same month, I had a cover story in a national bridal magazine. And this October, my first feature in a UK national magazine will appear on the stands.
2008 isn’t over yet I’m well on my way to crossing out most of my eight goals. Lessons to take home: Have specific goals, a dream market (or two) and a stubborn determination to keep querying.
2009, watch out!
Chryselle D’Silva Dias is a freelance writer currently based in India . She has written for various publications including the Christian Science Monitor, Writing World, Writers Weekly, the Mint newspaper and others. Visit her website for more information on her work: www.chryselle.net.