Ahhhh. Take an indulgent, feline stretch. It’s a new year today. A fresh, unblemished, anything-can-happen new year.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see my name in all kinds of publications I’ve never been in before it’s done.
2018 is the year you and I break into something BIG. Can you feel it? There are a few things I’d like to share from the path to my first publication to help get us there.
But first, if you’re on my Writer Insider list, you got a sneak peek into the publication strategy guide I’ve been working on behind the scenes, Landing Your First Publication. Today the guide and all its interactive content is finally live. Subscribers get the guide for 20% off. Tell me where to send the discount code at the end of this post.
Now, this New Year fever got me thinking about what we can do to increase our chances of getting published before it’s over. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your thirty-first publication. Writing and pitching our work can be intimidating.
So here are a few tools and ways of thinking to get us through.
Stop trying to write the perfect story.
I get it. You want your work to be great. So do I. But if you want it to get there, that means writing a shitty first draft. It means letting the story out into the world even if you don’t always feel it’s perfectly ready. Remember that the goal is publication, not perfection. Because sometimes good enough really is.
Get Evernote or any app you can type stories into your phone with.
My little guy is almost four months old already. I’ve spent a lot of time with him cradled to my chest with one hand while typing articles or stories into my phone with the other. It’s frustratingly slow to work this way. But it also let me keep up with work while in the trenches with a colicky infant (thank god for modern technology). Evernote is my favorite, but it isn’t the only option. There are a few dozen easy ways to capture your ideas no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Use one.
Ignore anyone who isn’t one hundred percent enthusiastic about your publishing and writing goals.
I learned InDesign just so Landing Your First Publication would be beautiful to look at and work in. I remade each one of its 241 pages from scratch when it turned out I created the original version too small for the souped-up, high-res tablets on the market right now. That’s not counting the marketing plans, writing and editing, the feedback rounds with beta readers, or the revisions that made its steps toward publication easy to understand and implement.
So when someone close to me shit on the idea that anyone would buy it or find it useful, I was crushed. It took me longer than I’m proud of to remember that this person’s negative outlook had less to do with me and more to do with their outdated aversion to online shopping. It was still a reminder that the people close to us can crush our enthusiasm, and our dreams, if we let them. Be careful who you share yours with.
Reach more readers with the Hemingway Editor.
Clear writing means more readers will understand what you say and stick around long enough for you to say it. Hemingway Editor can help with that. It cuts the bloat—like passive voice and flabby adverbs—that weakens prose. Just copy and paste your writing in, follow the highlighted steps, and watch your work transform into that simple, direct, forceful style the app’s namesake author was famous for. Just don’t use it as a word processor to compose your writing. Without a save button, it’s just too easy to lose work that way. And you won’t have Hadley to blame 😉
Try the Pomodoro Technique already.
Oh, the Pomodoro Technique. I could sing an ode to it, but it’s too busy cracking the whip on writers and productivity experts the world over to stop for a shenanigan like romance. Pomodoro. That ticking technique will keep you writing and submitting until you’re published.
Grab a copy of Landing Your First Publication.
You’ll find no shortage of information on how to get published scattered through uncounted blogs and websites the world over. Sure, you can spend 1,027 hours sifting through all that information and compiling it into logistical steps. Or you can get everything you need all in one place.
Landing Your First Publication is packed with more than a year’s worth of writing prompts to surprise or amuse stories out of you, where to find over a 1000 publications to submit those stories to, cover letter worksheets and templates so you know exactly what to say to the editor when you pitch your work, and sumbission trackers to keep your submission mission on track. With the strategy in this book’s pages, landing your first (or next) publication this year approaches the inevitable. Get a copy here
It’s a new year, gorgeous. Let’s get published.