In this edition of the Wednesday Writer, we will look at some places you can actually start publishing your work. Before you tackle a 75,000 word novel, exercise your skills and improve your craft with some of these ideas. Some writers say you should never give away your work to a market that doesn’t pay. But, I’m a big fan of internships. Plus, you are sure to pick up a few loyal readers along the way.
Letter to the Editor – Your local newspaper is a great place to break in. Find a neighborhood treasure and give a shout out in a short letter to the editor. Write, revise, edit and apply all the rules from The Elements of Style. Make it your best work before you debut.
In-House Newsletter – Do you get a regular newsletter from your company, your church, your library, your sons’ PTO, or any other group? Check to see if they accept freelance articles. Keep it positive and polish before you send.
Social Media – Twitter is a great place to practice the art of making every word matter. Facebook posts can become short essays. (250 words or less are best). Even the short captions on Instagram can be exercises in creative writing. Start thinking beyond what you had for dinner, and use your social media accounts to brand yourself as a writer.
Blog – Pick a niche that interests you and start blogging about it. Your herb garden. Antique cars. Raising children in the city. Growing up on a farm. Faith, hobbies, sports, or even politics if you are feeling brave. Google the subject of blogging and learn as you go. Or, hire an expert (like your twelve year old nephew) to help you get started. Remember to edit and revise every post to make it your best.
Letters to Your Mom – Or your grandchildren. Or your former teachers. The most important words you ever write may be the personal lines you send to someone you love. Never stop writing those, whether you send them in a text or mail them on lovely paper.
Keep dreaming. Keep writing. Keep looking up in faith. And drop me a line or leave a comment to let me know when you get published!