I’ve spent the past two days scouting magazines and journals for submission guidelines. I must say the process is just as overwhelm as I had assumed it would be. However, I’ve currently found sixteen promising leads during my search thus far. Amazing!
Unfortunately this has eaten into my time, so I’ve not gotten much accomplished on my next article/ blog entry for FFOM. I should be sure to do that first tomorrow as I at least need an outline to feel better. Then I can continue my hunt. I should aim for a rough draft by Friday morning so I can get some peer review and submit my entry to the board. I may be setting myself up for disappointment with that time frame, but we shall see.
I absolutely have to start work on a few articles for the fall newsletter, my next article/ blog entry for FFOM, writing here more often, and compiling a list of publications to send queries and/ or submissions. The first two tasks are relatively simple — I have the topics, access to the information to write about send topics, and the (self-imposed) deadlines for the topics. The third task involves a bit more thought and a lot more spontaneity. The fourth task absolutely terrifies me. Have you any idea how many publications exist in this world? For every niche, there is an outlet. For cat lovers, you have Cat Fancy. For parents of babies, you have BabyTalk. For those domestic goddesses out there, you have Better Homes & Gardens. These are only examples of my point. In general, one is expected to have clips geared towards the publication’s overall theme and essentially choose topics pertaining to that genre. The difficulty I have is choosing one genre. I do not feel that I can be boxed into one genre.
For starters, I have never fit into a particular category. I find it degrading to be labeled as something because we are all individual people with differing tastes, beliefs, opinions, values, ideals, dreams, and motivations. For example, my blogs have mostly pertained to the “slice-of-life” genre, yet I’ve written and edited for a materials science and engineering newsletter and written for a midwifery advocate group. Each of these relates to me as a whole in that they make up parts of who I am. I can’t just stop doing one thing or another to fit into some category that will dictate my writing for the future. Perhaps if I was one of the professors in my department, I might have to choose a specialty to write about. However, I’m not a professor specializing in ceramics or polymers, therefore I do feel the need to limit myself.
That being the case, I have several interests that I feel I’d love to write about — which explains why I’ve got to compile a list of publications first. Then I suppose I’ll need to narrow down my options based upon the overall feel of the publication and the copyrights. I simply cannot allow someone to own my writings forever. One time rights? Certainly. Non-exclusive rights? You bet. Exclusive, permanent rights? Not a chance. Once I’ve narrowed it down, I have the even greater task of writing letters. However, I also face the issue of my clips not pertaining to their genre. I suppose I’ll have to cross my fingers.
So I’ve been getting a taste of being on the opposite end of the angry mob — you know, the side where you’re running for your life from people chasing you will torches and pitchforks? This situation made me realize something very deep and personal — the reasons why I’ve taken the stand I have. I choose my sides based on my values and beliefs. I want my children to grow up in a world where they are safe, respected, and given the rights they deserve. I’d like to think my writing and efforts can at least fix some of the atrocities I see everyday. But then you always have the people who don’t always agree with every thing you say — or worse, you say something that comes out completely wrong in front of the wrong people. Of course in writing, everything seems cold and insensitive because it’s merely black text on a white background. Unless you change the color schemes and/ or add emoticons, the connotations and context of your words may be misconstrued to varying extents. This situation has completely pushed me back down a few notches today.
For a while now, I’ve been feeling rather pleased with myself for getting my writing career started. I’ve published four blog entries with the Florida Friends of Midwives to date, and I served as a writer and associate editor for my department’s newsletter. I have my fifth blog entry to the outline stage, and I’m working on a second newsletter for the department. I might even have an article (or maybe more) published in the FFOM newsletter. I’ve been feeling so good about my writing that I’ve taken the time to start searching for publications to send either queries or submissions. Now today, I’m questioning why I’ve decided to be a little “freedom fighter.” I’ve heard it can be a thankless job. In fact, I don’t write for the FFOM for payment — I write for the satisfaction of knowing that my writing is going to a cause I feel personally invested in. I write because it’s really all I can do for this cause. I don’t have the extra money to lobby for change. I don’t have the means to traverse the nation in hopes that I’ll affect change in the system. I do have my Bachelors degree. I do have my thoughts. I do have my fingers, keyboard, and an internet connection. I’m doing my part for what I feel is the right cause. Of course, I also believe that working mothers are getting unfair treatment. I believe children deserve safer toys, safer vaccines, and safer environments. I believe animals deserve love, care, and respect. I believe fathers deserve to play an important role in their childrens lives. I believe children benefit from having their fathers in their lives. I believe in family. I believe in love. I believe in freedom. I believe that certain things mean certain things to certain people. I believe we all have varying opinions that make us unique individuals. I don’t believe we’ll ever achieve world peace, but we should at least strive to be as respectful and caring as possible.
If my opinions make me unpopular, so be it. I’m not trying to win a popularity contest — I’m trying to do what I believe is right. The right way isn’t always the popular way, to paraphase a wise saying.
I would like to share with all of you my first ever newsletter:
I wrote a few pieces and edited everything. I assume publications took care of all the last minute errors. I didn’t argue the Oxford Comma too much — it’s an English major vs. Journalism major thing. I’m listed as an associate editor, and I’m absolutely floating today. Please enjoy!