Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Expectations of the Apprentice

Writing Tip of the Day: March 25, 2008
Rarely does anyone skyrocket to the bestseller list.
Most writers persevere, learn the craft of writing and expect to apprentice.

I acknowledged my stubborn perseverance in The Quality and Value of One's Work. So, for this post I'll focus on apprenticeship; on the craft of writing.

Earlier this month I edited a piece down to a specific word count and into what I feel is a final draft. I focused on construction, tense, and unnecessary words. I kept my ‘ing’ and ‘ly’ words to a minimum. I feel it's ready to submit for publication. My first attempt in many years.

I purchased the 2008 Writer's Market. I also found magazines.com, because the Writer's Market is not the be all and end all of listed publications. Mainstays such as, Family Circle, Women's Day, and Martha Steward Living are not listed in the General Index. So, the Public Library and/or local newsstand is next as my research continues, throughout the rest of the week.

As the list of potential magazines grows, so does the requests for submission guidelines. And, while I wait for those to fill up my mailbox [some publications provide them online] I'll draft out a query or cover letter; whichever they require.

I've heard and read the numerous stories of the countless rejections many writers suffer prior to finding the editor that eventually said, "Yes." I met an editor and book doctor at the annual Columbus Writers Conference, a few years back, Patrick LoBrutto, if I'm remembering correctly [I'll have to pull my notes and tapes] , who turned down The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's a key point in his seminar. He uses it as regards the retrospective folly of one's ways; that even editors make mistakes.

I expect to collect my share of rejection letters. And, while I'm not sure whether I'll slip them one by one into a file or use them to proudly decorate my walls, I will persevere and continue to learn. I'll use this blog as part of my apprenticeship. And who knows, one day I may just ride a rocket tail all the way to the top of that best sellers list.

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