Isaac Asimov said, “You must keep sending your work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.:
I believe that to be the most valuable advice a writer could ever receive. And besides you never know where it might lead.
Last fall I decided to dust off a piece that ran several months before in The Christian Science Monitor. It was a personal essay that I thought might sell in RPPs (regional parenting publications). A quick search on the Internet pointed me to an organization with dozens of parenting magazines across the country complete with contact names and e-mail addresses. Score!
I crafted separate e-mails tailored to each editor based on their writers guidelines and started hitting send. Within a few minutes I was receiving responses. One editor showed interest in running my essay on their website, two others wanted to discuss reprint fees. Another responded a week later that she loved the piece and would run it in the next couple of months.
One website’s writers guidelines were not clear if they purchased reprints, but the editor mentioned that she was receptive to calls to discuss ideas. Wow, that was novel. So I picked up the phone and she and I had a fantastic conversation. One thing led to another and I landed not one but two monthly online columns with her publication. I retain reprint rights for all my columns and the editor is encouraging me to syndicate them.
So keep sending out your work. You never know where it might lead.
Martha Miller is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Writers Weekly, the Christian Science Monitor, Catholic Digest, Transitions Abroad, Bead & Button and many other publications. Her website is www.MarthaMillerWrites.com and she blogs about living in Rome.