I’ve been a busy girl for the past two weeks. I joined three national writers’ associations and submitted five humor essays to contests I found on the websites of these associations. I completed a rewrite of the first half of my novel-in-progress. This rewrite is a direct result of the outline I mentioned in my previous post. The outline really worked! I deleted and added without hesitation because I know where the story is headed and what needs to happen to get me to the end. I had most of the story written, but after I completed the outline, I realized I made the story more complicated than necessary, so cutting (but saving the deleted sections) was a good way to begin the rewrite process.
After reading the book Get Known before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform by Christina Katz, I followed her instructions for developing a platform, networking, and getting my name out there—somewhere in cyberspace. I found I was on the right track with my blog. According to Katz, blogs should entertain, inform, encourage, and/or inspire readers.
So here is a word of encouragement for beginning writers: In addition to these accomplishments of studying the craft of writing, writing, and submitting work—and I do consider studying, writing, and submitting accomplishments even if the submission is rejected or the contest lost—I received good news about the humor essay I submitted two weeks ago to Sasee. You can read “Solitude” this September at www.sasee.com.
I broke into this small, local women’s publication in the summer of 2007. I publish several humor essays each year. So don’t be afraid to start small. Seeing my name in print encourages me to keep submitting, but my real reward comes from readers who contact me with “Thank you! Your words helped me,” or “I saw myself in your story.” I write to connect with readers; I write to understand myself.
Catch my new post each Monday! For all you serious writers, take this challenge: If you have something to say, sit down; Write Now!