Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Writers!

As I sit here dreading the cold I must brave to do my dinner shopping for tonight's feast of apricot pork tenderloin with cranberry peppersauce, mashed potatoes with butternut squash, green beans and something store bought for desert, I am still a published writer, still a rejected writer, still a writer.

My mother, an intelligent attorney from Southern California, was here for 5 days for Christmas, I miss her!

Ok, tangent.

Writers do that. Our thoughts go from A-Z sometimes, but sometimes C to P to M plus 12. It's just the life of an artist. Speaking of, my friend HW Dugeon has the most amazing blog, I will post it one of these days - very inspirational.

Demandstudios.com and I are still getting to know one another. At least they are still publishing my pieces, but I can't seem to find them on line - and this is a great missing link as writers love to see their final work as a reader would. It's like losing your great lost love to a competitor if you can not hold it in your hands yourself.

Good news, via demandstudios.com I have found a posting for travel writers needed. I do not have many travel pieces archived, so I have to get to work digging and clipping.

Alrighty - off to the shower, the store, my kitchen - hooray!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hello fellow writers! Well, I started out great, then took the lazy way out, which given that today is Sunday seemed fitting. I was up with the sun at 6 am, with coffee, and an hour and a half into researching my next piece and drafts, I bailed.

There are two pieces I have in to my publisher, DemandStudios.com, and they seem to be in limbo, which is probably due to the holiday week-end. I'm guessing they'll be approved and I can look forward to payment on Tuesday in time for New Year's, but until then, I'm not going to kill myself to produce new material.

I had a newspaper that was really slow to pay, and thanks to a few of my mentors, some of them established writers I knew personally, others I just read about said "First rule of writing, of course after writing every day, is to insist on timely payment." Or just to insist on payment in the first place. Which brings me to a new feature on this blog:

For new writers - TIP OF THE DAY:Do not write for a publication unless payment is agreed upon first. Do NOT write for free "just to get published". It makes it tougher for the rest of us writers, and is also disrespectful to your craft.

So as the morning dragged on I realized that I could only get so much done, as the kids were waking and the day beginning, plus the last editorial comments I received instructed me to "re-read all editorial guidelines before submitting anymore articles,". Ouch! I needed a day to rest.

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family - I'm Catholic, and I figured getting frustrated over how my kids were "interupting" was not in the spirit of things.

It turned out to be great inspiration for other passions. I'm learning to cook, found a great new food website - www.delish.com and got all excited about a yummy mashed potato and butternut squash recipe. Even dashed off to Wal-Mart to get the needed food processor. Like writing, I can get obsessive with new loves.

Alrighty - tomorrow is skiing with the family, so I will be up at dawn hopefully to write, research, and earn, earn, earn.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

First Rejection of the Week

Oh man, maybe I spoke to soon, braggin about the cha-ching of my PayPal account. Today, I got up before dawn as planned, coffee automatically greeted me, the house was deliciously quiet, snow laid out nicely outside, but all cozy inside-perfect writing weather. I planned on tackling "Wheelchair Accessible Hotels in Vilamoura", and low and behold - an easy, 30 word filler I had submitted to DemandStudios.com was rejected as my source didn't have enough weight.

I completely understood their point of view, but ouch, getting a bounce over 30 words really stuck. I then suddenly felt afraid as I looked at my draft of "Wheelchair" and thought "am I crazy? I had never even heard of Vilamoura!"

Two hours later, I was still editing, it was 8 am and the house was stirring. A panic swept over me as I was worried that now this one semi-decent piece would be shelved for the next several hours. Somehow, I pulled it off, in between kisses from my youngest son, 6 and questions from my other son 10. Still seething from my rejection, I read then re-read the piece and figured "ok - here we go."

The first reply from an editor I got back a few hours later read "good article- just a few queries." Hooray. Tomorrow - I'll see if the corrections got me an "accepted" post or my second rejection. Either way, the article, about this drop dead gorgeous resort area of southern Portugual, has re-ignited my interest in travel. Currently it's 18 degrees in Cedar Rapids, so writing about a warm sunny place did my heart good. Tomorrow, goal is to be up at 5:30. Coffee machine has been reprogrammed to greet me. The article : The best all includsive resorts in Jamaica. Yummm....

Friday, December 25, 2009

Going out (with your pen) on a limb

Well here it is Christmas Day and I am stuffed from food and fun with the family. But the real source of my joy is seeing my PayPal account fill up for the very first time, thanks to some new on-line publishing I've fallen into. The funny part is how out of my comfort zone the topics are. That I think is the mistake I made as a new writer, I didn't want to take on projects unless I was an expert in the subject. Didn't leave much.

So with a more open mind, I've been on demandstudios.com, a website where you chose your assignments which offer a fixed fee, and away I went into "how much does it cost to build a three stall garage" to "Bird control devices". By being willing to take on topics I'm not familiar with, I'm broadening my knowledge, experience and pay scale.

Now the research is needed, but the word counts - some as small as 50 words, some 400 mean I'm not writing a novel on the topic. So I can brave a topic I know little about, and find something that suits the publisher.

I want to encourage you to try the same thing. If your niche is "sailboat launching for teens" and it's not selling, maybe it's time to change your audience. It's good to write about sailboats to hone your craft, but perhaps you're being called to write about skydiving, even if you've never done it.

Tomorrow after the holiday, I want to get up before the children and continue researching another assignment "Wheelchair accessible hotels in Vilamera" (as in Portugal). If I can find just two more sources I can finish the article and submit it for review, which almost always means payment is just a day or two away. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome all would-be published writers!

Welcome to the first blog of The Published Writer! Are you an aspiring writer who wants to be published but can't seem to get anything but rejections? Are you a published writer in a rut and looking for a new audience? This is where writers can come together and create goals, share tips, and maneuver the world of publishing.

I have been writing, receiving rejections, and getting published in various markets since 1996 and I've learned a thing or two along the way. During this time I had a literary agent shop around a non-fiction book proposal (it was rejected and I've shelved the project for now), written for newspapers and magazines, and hosted a once weekly radio show. I love media and am currently trying out new internet publishing sites with great beginner's success.

So write in, post your dilemnas, and remember -keep writing! Best, Jenny Bioche