Saturday, August 2, 2008

WORD: Bagel Markets and De-Rutting Yourself

by Gabrielle Linnell

How can you tell if you're in a rut? It might seem that we WriTeens are too young for ruts, but if you've been writing for six months it's possible. There are several warning signs for ruttiness.

Same pay. Have you been getting paid the same for more than three months? Have you not been getting paid for more than three months?

Same style. Have you been writing the same kind of article or short story? I write a lot of educational articles, and I have to watch it because I can easily get bored and then the writing quality decreases.

Same zine. Look: good relationships with editors (and multiple publications with the same zine) are very good things. But when you query The Big Glossy Magazine, you can't say you've been published in Beautiful, Beautiful and Beautiful. You must break out and write for other places, especially if the pay isn't great.

The best way to write yourself out of a rut is to find a new market. Have you been working only on fantasy short stories? Try an educational article on the Civil War. You can't un-rut yourself by writing the same kinds of articles.

I was in a bagel shop (buying bagels, of all things) when I noticed our little community newsletter. There was a new market beneath my fingertips! Look for freebie magazines in your grocery store, or neat websites that your friends visit. Markets are findable, if you're searchably inclined.

Gabrielle Linnell has written for Cobblestone, FACES, New Moon, Byline and other magazines. She is proud to say she's working on four articles, three of which are for brand new markets. She is not proud to say she is 4 days behind on the Novel.

1 comment:

Pema said...

Sending you lots of luck on the Novel!

I've been working on my own Novel at the moment, which is why I've been behind on new market submissions. I'm hoping to finish this novel, submit it (or let it lay for a bit), and then work on new markets.

Right now I'm still in revisions - one of the easiest parts and the hardest. You've got everything down, but you're so afraid you missed something - "Is my character strong enough? Did I show character development in their actions as well as voice? Is my main character likable?" - so many bothersome questions all floating up there, all waiting to be answered.