Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All That Other Stuff Writers Do

A writer's most important job is to write. That's a given. But there's a lot more to this writing business than the writing itself. There are other things to be considered and time made for them, as well. There will be writers who say they want to write, not to do all that other stuff. I like to have a clean house but there are lots of thngs I have to do to make that possible. It's all that other stuff that helps me reach my goal.

Here are some of the other things a writer should make time for:

1. Reading a variety of published material that fits your writing. It's important to know what publications there are and to familiarlize yourself with them.

2. Learning the submission process. There are general rules here and ones specific to individual publications. Earlier today, I happened across an excellent article on submitting. It would be to your benefit to take a look at it here. It addresses submitting to literary magazines in particular but is good general advice, as well.

3. Keeping up with trends in publishing. It's one good reason to read magazines like Writer's Digest and The Writer. When I first started writing children's stories, the trend was mood books for younger children. They were all the rage until they suddenly evaporated for whatever came along next. It's much the same with all types of writing.

4. Continue educating yourself about the craft of writing. Subscribe to writers newsletters, read magazines like mentioned in #3 and watch for new books about writing. We don't reach a point and say we know it all. Not ever! Learning about writing is a never-ending process.

5. Record-keeping helps you be an organized writer. It's important that you know what you sent to whom and when. You need to note whether the submission ended up published, rejected or nothing heard. You also need to keep records of your earnings, if any, for tax purposes.

6. Attending conferences related to your writing field. Once again, you need to keep learning and these conferences also allow you to interact with others who write. This is a major benefit to conferences.

7. Critique groups, whether two people or a passle, are so worthwhile that making time for them is critical in my estimation. I've said it many times but here it is again--if you participate in a group like this with the right attitude, you'll learn a great deal and will grow as a writer.

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