I’ve written before about the power of persistence. Too often I speak to aspiring writers who tried something, got a knock-back, and gave up. I even ran across someone on a forum who wanted to get published but who objected to paying out for stamps and envelopes – my mind imploded at that. What about investment in your career?
Not just monetary investment, but time investment too. Researching, thinking, networking, marketing, pitching – all are necessary if you want this to be your income.
The internet’s deceiving a lot of people though. It is not enough to have a shiny website with some great examples of your work there. You still need to find a market and sell yourself to it! Editors are busy and they do not want to spend all day googling “really good writer” to find you. You need to find them.
Way back last October, I pitched to a gardening magazine. I wanted to write about a local initiative. It was people-focused and human-interest. Magazines love that. The editor got back in touch eventually, and we had some email correspondence, and sorted out the details. Then she asked me to get back in touch after Christmas, due to staffing issues. Fair enough.
So I did – no reply. I left it a month, and tried again. Still nothing.
I had a mooch around the newsagents. Which other publications might be interested in this story? Perhaps a glossy regional magazine. I found one which carried similar features, and emailed the pitch. I then stood up from the laptop, turned around to stretch, and the phone rang… “yes please!”
If you have a good story, keep at it. Find a market for it. If you believe in it, and you know there’s an audience somewhere, keep going. No one will come and ask you for it – you must offer it out. And not randomly, either – the more time you spend analysing the market and potential publications, the more likely you are to hit gold.
This month, Cycling Active are running my “big feature” on the Pendle Witches Vintage Velo ride. Again, this took some persistence – I had pitched to them about steel bikes and riding secondhand. Eventually, after some email tennis, the article became about the ride itself, featuring lots of interviews with riders on steel machines.
I subscribe to the Renegade Writer blog, and this recent post reflects exactly what I’m trying to say here – spend time marketing yourself, and you will reap the benefits.