Friday, April 4, 2008

Sports Writer

My article submission for SA50s+ has been accepted. With only slight alterations required, the editor has decided to accept my article and I am now the imcumbent sports writer/columnist for the brand new publication.

I have also been informed that the new issue has been brought forward so my next article is due in about four weeks.

My lecturer from my Advanced Diploma course is now emailing me directly to find out if this would be a viable market for other students.

I am now a published short story author, an associate editor for HorrorScope and the sports writer for SA50s+.

If I could only get some dark fiction published, all would be right in the world......

We all want to get our fiction published and make a side income, or get our novel published and retire from our day job. Reality is that very few people achieve the second and less people than you think achieve the first. The lesson I've found is embodied by my favourite Stephen King quote:

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."

I had a large amount of personal upheaval over the last six months or so of last year. Over the Christmas - New year period, I stopped writing altogether. Regular visitors to this blog will have noticed I stopped blogging. Things were dark.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually I (we) emerged and my writing began to increase again.

I don't write as much as I used to. When I do write I try to make that time fruitful. I don't write as much fiction anymore, because I'm still learning, and the time I have set aside to continue that learning, leaves me much less time to write creatively. I am working through all my older dark fiction stories. Fixing the multitude of mistakes that proliferate through them.

I'm learning about punctuation and grammar. A member of my crit group is excellent in this area and is providing me with a very thorough education.

But when an opportunity to write comes up, don't dismiss it. A month or so ago, I had one essay, one self help piece and one drabble published. I was struggling with my course work and felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew.

During a particularly long procrastination session of surfing the web, I stumbled across HorrorScope. I read through a few back posts and found the call for a new bunch of associate editors. On a whim, with no previous experience at all, I sent off an email. What was the worst that could happen? I'd be told thanks but no thanks.

The editor took a chance on me and asked me to submit an example review. He liked what I submitted and suddenly I'm an associate editor. People who read that on my writers bio, look favourably on me. Somehow they think I know more than I do.

A lead from an unexpected source put me onto this latest gig. The email was no more than three lines in length and only provided a name, the company and a mobile phone number. I took a chance. I asked the editor what she needed after she asked me what my strengths were. She asked if I liked sport. The rest is history now.

The worst they can say to a polite enquiry is sorry, no. You've lost out on nothing and can't regret not having tried.

It's like sending out your submissions. I've said it before but it's true - an editor is not not going to bash down your door, rummage through your writing space and triumphantly seize your dust covered manuscript from the bottom draw. Take a chance, polish your baby until it shines - and send it to market. Someone, somewhere will love what you've written - and they may even pay you for it.

Good luck!

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