Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Market: Weavings, a Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life

I was going to write a Thanksgiving blog post, right up there with the thousands of others detailing what they're thankful for. That's not meant to be snide; I was right there, ready to write about how thankful I am to be a full-time writer now -- what a shock it still is when I realize this IS my day job -- when I got distracted by a hot glue gun.

Yeah, that's right... a hot glue gun edged out gratitude as the topic of this post... just by a hair. But I'm not sure there's much of a difference. That glue gun, you see, having been dug out of the cupboard in which it usually resides, unmolested for weeks or months at a time, is going to finally get my project board off the floor and onto the wall of my home office. I'm hoping that if I can hang it at eye and writing level, as opposed to having to squat down on the floor to read it, I'll make better use of it and my own potential, turning the huge spreadsheet of brilliant ideas I've had -- and neglected to act upon -- into another batch of published clips.

So I am very thankful you are here to help me on my way, hot glue gun. But before I finish that project, I have to start another; it's tradition. So as I wait for the glue gun to heat up (I'm hot-gluing a a hanger to the back of the project board, NOT the board to the wall... put down that telephone!) I'm sorting through old market listings and throwing out the ones that I'm never in a million years going to sub to.

What's that you say? Throwing out perfectly good market listings? Don't I have any idea how wasteful that is... can't I at least recycle?

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I can. So here's the submissions page for Weavings, "A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life." Pretty self-explanatory.

Look for more markets coming up over the holiday weekend.

P.S. I really am thankful to be writing, and this is a big part of why.

Monday, November 24, 2008, and why we need weekends.

Up until now I haven't bothered to join writer's websites that charge a premium. After all, I've been so busy chasing down leads and pitching queries to markets gleaned from free newsletters and websites that I don't have time to mess around with pay sites as well.

Then I discovered the incredible charge of motivation I can get from being in the same room with other writers... more on that later. If attending one meeting of the local writer's guild was such a charge, could I duplicate the experience -- or at least find a pale shadow of it -- online?

Enter FanStory. It was an unlikely target at first; after all, I'd long considered "social writing sites" to be a waste of my time. Must... pitch... to... paying... markets! But once I reasoned the $6.95/month membership away as an entry fee to the numerous paying contests FanStory features, once I decided that inspiration and having a chance to play with writing again instead of just working at it -- as I've done every single stinkin' day since I quit my day job back in June -- were well worth the cost, I took my first step into a brave new world.

Yes, that's right. Not only did I start playing with my writing, entering contests in subjects and forms that I normally wouldn't have bothered with, I also started reading other peoples' writing and reviewing it. And you know what? It's fun.

Contaminated by this "fun bug", I then did something unthinkable. I took a day off. I purposefully neglected e-mails and edits that were awaiting my response. I put every single client on hold for 24 hours. I curled up in the rocker and watched one DVD after another. I completed craft projects I'd been hoping to give as Christmas gifts.

That day was yesterday. Truth be told I was a little bit worried that, when exposed to the concept of leisure, my discipline would crumble and I'd never work another hour ago. Welcome to the self-employed poorhouse, lady. But today I had to hold myself back from entering the home office. "No, not yet!" I told myself. "Take another day off!"

I lost the battle an hour ago and have been frenziedly pecking at the keyboard ever since. So this is what inspiration feels like! This is why I wanted so badly, for so very long, to be a writer! I had honestly forgotten. But now I remember...

...this is what weekends are for!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Learning Through History

If you're one of those folks who's not doomed to repeat history, maybe you'd like to make a little money by writing about it.

Learning Through History Magazine is looking for submissions on the Austrian Empire. Click the link for more details. You can also sign up for their guidelines update, published every two months, so that you'll be notified about every new call for submissions.

Peter Shankman's HARO

Nabbed this one from a LinkedIn writing group. What the heck as a "HARO", you ask? HARO stands for "Help a Report Out" and is a networking site to help journalists find sources on a wide variety of topics. If you're an expert source you can also sign up to receive queries from journalists about your area of expertise.

First off: What a splendid idea!

Second, while I like the idea of using this to find expert sources for articles, the little relays in my brain -- always struggling to learn more about the power of marketing -- are going off, telling me that there may be some advantages to being on the other side of the coin, too. Not necessarily for me, but for my clients. I'm going to refer one of my clients to this group as a source and see if he likes the potential for extra exposure.

It's baaaaack!

WRIB is back after a long hiatus. Thank you for your patience!