Just as train tracks cross so can your interests intersect with those of many other “lines” in the publishing world. You must make the connection! I have done so and have had five articles published in a couple of gay publications in the past nine months. This shows you do not have to be gay to write for them, nor perhaps Chinese or African-American to write for their publications. You look for the point at where your interests coincide.
Thus – one morning I woke up and was thinking of how women love to display their beauty. I wondered, “What do men do along those lines?” and I remembered the codpiece, an item of male attire that was certainly an attention-getter for the centuries in which it figured (from the Middle Ages up to the invention of the zipper during the Industrial Revolution).
Before you know it, people all over the country were reading my “Birth, Life and Death of the Codpiece,” handsomely published in the Harvard Gay&Lesbian Review, a magazine that has published Gore Vidal and other luminaries. I am even featured on the March/April cover.
Similarly, one day while standing by my bookcases, next to the Irish section that contains books by and about my fellow-Dubliner, Oscar Wilde, I felt as if Oscar had reached out and touched me with the realization that he is a very nice man. Since them I have become a budding expert on Oscar Wilde, discovering a whole Internet of people who devote their lives to him, and I have published several articles about him in San Francisco’s gay “Bay Area Reporter,” which gives me a nice paycheck each time. Irish-America Magazine in New York has asked me for an article, “Is Oscar Irish?” and even an environmentalist magazine, Earth Island, which was born out of the Sierra Club, has asked for an article on Wilde as the absolute environmentalist – for their October issue to coincide with the playwright’s birthday.
A great dividend of writing for various publications is that you meet and establish relationships with other writers – people whose work you would never have read if your work had not appeared in the same publication, people whose interests coincide with yours. Thus you can become part of networks of publishing that open up many new doors to you. The world is a rich place; why should you not fill your pockets?
The first article I ever had published nationally was about the repair of liquid oxygen containers at a Naval plant where I was working. My initial interest was in the word LOX, which is both a Jewish food and liquid oxygen (used by the Navy for work that requires very low temperatures.) I am probably the last person to write about machinery but my interest in words led to publication in a highly technical journal.
So, fellow writers, see if you cannot write for everyone – with some exceptions….’cause there’s a lot of gold in it and fun. For instance, I am not a woman but there is a huge market for women’s magazines. However, I am very interested in women, just as women are! I am not a bodybuilder but I sold an article about a local muscle man to a magazine in Canada. When I see a well-muscled man exercising by our lake I think, “My brain looks like that,” and that could lead to a funny article…
As you drive your high-speed writing train all over this continent and around the world, you will meet people of such diverse interests that at some point bond with yours and they’re waiting to see what you have to say! Time to write and roll!
Peter was born in Ireland, came to the U.S. with his big family and had careers as both a Navy analyst and a public high school teacher. His third adventure is wonderful – writing – and publishing! He likes to explore the world of creating and research – to sail into every creek, port, and island of the world of communication. You may reach him at garland1945-at-yahoo.com.