Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help Me, Fellow Writers!

Fair warning: This is not a post with pretty pictures!

For the past two Wednesdays, and several days before that, I've been working on submitting some of my stories. I had no idea how complicated it would be when I made this sweet little notebook:



Inside, I put together a neat chart that showed Date, Title of Story, Publication. I was ready to get my work published.

First I took this wonderful 4 1/2 page list of publications that my writing teacher, Angela Davis-Gardner, gave me. She was kind enough to narrow the list down to some of the more promising of them.



Then I went on the internet, visited each publication's website and printed out their submission guidelines. Easy breezin', right? WRONG! It has taken me another two days to go through a small number of them, highlighting what they require. Some allow online submissions; some don't. Some want cover letters, your name, address and serial number (!) on every page, the editor's name in the address. Some don't want any of that. Reading periods vary drastically. Out of the twenty or so I got through, I didn't find two publications with the same guidelines. So I put sticky notes on them with the key requirements like specific reading periods, online or snail mail, and if they particularly like flash fiction. I write a lot of flash fiction.



On some of them, I noted on another sticky note if I had a story that I thought would especially fit the magazine. And every time I did that, all I could think of was the manuscript sitting in my writing room, looking like this:



Yep, needing revision before I could send it out anywhere.

Finally, the revisions were calling me loudly, saying, "I can't go out looking like this!" So I went and printed out a few of them and started in with the blue pen.

And now the day is done and my brain is mush.

If any of my writer friends are reading this, please give me hope and/or advice. I'm feeling like the mother of an unruly teenage daughter with a list of demands. I need to know that this is temporary, and that at the end of it, just as with my daughters, I'll have something that is smart, beautiful, and income-producing.

4 comments:

Liza said...

I'm not much of a writer, but if you made it through three unruly teenage daughters, you can make it through this. Love you Ma!

mamie said...

Thanks, Liza! Love you too!

Ginny Wood said...

Since I'm before even the beginning of this process, I can't give you advice from experience. I would say, pick one that you think your work fits, and go for that one first. If you are just juggling one pub with one set of requirements and submitting one piece, then it should be manageable, right? That's my theory, anyway.

mamie said...

Yes, Ginny, breaking it down to digestible pieces is the only way to take it in!