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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Writerly Wednesday ~~ Recipe for Breaking Out

Great linkage on tap today for what it takes to really make it in the writing world, boys and girls. 

The four main characteristics I think it takes to break out from the pack are listed below. I'd love to hear your opinions, whether you agree or disagree with my "secret ingredient" list, or have some items of your own to add.

Read, enjoy, sound off!

1. Sticktoitiveness (Endurability): Ingredient #1 is explained nicely in this new article from the LA Times. Author Dani Schapiro writes, "Call it stubbornness, stamina, a take-no-prisoners determination, but a writer at work reminds me of nothing so much as a terrier with a bone: gnawing, biting, chewing, until finally there is nothing left to do but fall away...I tell [my students] they are embarking on a life in which apprenticeship doesn't mean a cushy summer internship in an air-conditioned office but rather a solitary, poverty-inducing, soul-scorching voyage whose destination is unknown and unknowable." (Longish, but well worth the time invested in reading.)

2. Knowledge Truly is Power: Writers never reach the end of their studies, so best to put noses in books and get busy. You poets will especially enjoy this new post at Rose & Thorn Journal's blog by Managing Editor and Senior Poetry Editor Cynthia Toups on why form matters. (Most of her points are applicable to prose.) The question of rule-breaking is answered well in her post.

3. Craft Mastery: How do you master your craft? By emersing yourself in what's going on in your genre(s) of preference and building on your base knowledge. Blogaritaville is rich with awesome connections and teachers. Get to know them. Pick their brains for the riches they unselfishly share. Keep abreast, then put what you've learned to the test by practicing! Read fellow blogger and primo writing instructor Roni Griffin's tutorial on Author Intrusion. You'll be glad you did. (And there are plenty of wonderfully helpful posts at her blog.) Another blogger you should follow if you don't already is Harvey Stanbrough. He covers all things poetry, prose & editing.

4. Aim Carefully Before Shooting: Research your market and know who/what/why you're submitting to a particular journal, magazine, agent, publisher. If you don't, you'll be wasting time and setting yourself up for unnecessary rejection. Read guidelines closely. Follow instructions. Be pleasant and professional. Taking care with your submissions is one way to set yourself apart from those who scatter-shoot their work wildly, hoping something (anything) will stick.

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Ready to submit?

Rose & Thorn Journal is reading for the spring issue through 2/28. Got some bangin' poetry or prose to send us? Please consider yourself cordially invited.

If you've got a completed manuscript with at least a small element of romance in it, check out agent Nephele Tempest's current "submission fest." 

18 comments:

Suldog said...

Well, damn, "Quirky creativity, along with a tendency to curse a blue streak and/or divulge too much information" didn't make the list? I'm doomed!

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL Dawg. That was my #5. Just ran out of posting room.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Thanks for the linkage Angie!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing at Suldog!

great links and advice and all around hoo-doggies as usual, Ang!

Melissa Marsh said...

I have to add one more item - prayer. :-)

WendyCinNYC said...

Nice post! I really need to start submitting short stories again. It's my true love.

Debbie said...

Don't you hate it when the first comments steals the scene! That Suldog. He's a funny one:)

Jill Kemerer said...

Great list, Angie. Number One can be tough!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Great advice and thanks for the linkage and nice words! :) Primo writing instructor? I like the sound of that, lol.

Jessica said...

Those sound pretty good to me! I love the quote you cited in #1.

Karen said...

I agree, totally. And don't foregit to do spelchek. :P

Stacy Post said...

Good tips, Angie! Thank you for sharing!

L.T. Elliot said...

#4 I think is so important. Research and knowing when you're ready is HUGE.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Thanks for this great post! I needed to be reminded of all these ingredients! And thanks for the links for more!

Vodka Mom said...

excellent advice!


you totally rock.

Marguerite said...

Thanks for the great tips and linkage! Top notch, as always!
Happy Mardi Gras, sha!

Deb Shucka said...

It's so nice to have another teaching post to read and some new links to check out!

Scobberlotcher said...

Very encouraging info. there. I feel like you are my Burgess Meredith this morning. I needed that!

Hope you're staying warm!

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