In addition to writing my books, I decided I would begin my journey into freelance writing. Prior to the publishing of my books, and even after publication, I had written and published a few articles in electronic newsletters. Just last month I decided to publish more articles and submit to print magazines as well. I wanted to add to my earnings and take my writing career a fulltime.
I knew that freelance writing wasn’t going to be easy at first, and the process would be tedious at times. Would all my faith and prayers pay off? I had an idea for an article already outlined on paper (yes, I went back to the good ole’ days here). My target markets for this article were going to be parenting magazines, and so I wanted to check out all the parenting magazines I could find, so I could study the magazine before pitching my idea.
While sat in the doctor’s office waiting for my mom to finish with the doctor, I shuffled through the magazines. Well, what do you know, a local parenting magazine, I thought to myself. I picked up an issue of the Paducah Parenting & Family magazine. Skimming through the pages I came to the conclusion that my article just may work for the editor at that magazine. It was then when I reached into my purse, pulled out a pen and a small notepad, and I proceeded to write down the editor’s name and website address.
Later that evening, I visited the Paducah Parenting & Family magazine’s website to see if they had any writer guidelines posted. Nope, no guidelines, and no information at all for writers. I wondered if maybe they didn’t accept submissions from freelance writers. Being as I was local, I made a decision to go ahead and email the editor. I wasn’t quite sure if this was going to work, but I had nothing to lose. I figured at worst she would she say no, and I’d move on.
When I emailed the editor, I basically stated I was a local writer and asked for the magazine’s submission guidelines. After hitting send, I immediately became so nervous that my hands shook uncontrollably. I had to get a grip on myself and just wait to see what would happen.
A few hours later I checked my email. Low and behold, there it was, the reply from the editor of Paducah Parenting & Family magazine! Her response to me said, ” Thank you for your email and interest in writing for the magazine. At this time we have many articles submitted on a monthly basis, so we do not have a need for freelance writers very often. However, I have paid for articles and will occasionally do so as the need arises. Please let me know what your writing experience has been and send me a resume. You can do this by email or snail mail, whichever suits you best.”
Promptly, I sent the information she asked for, crossed my fingers and toes, and the waiting process began.
Later on I received a list of topics that the editor was working on for the magazine. She asked me to choose some topics that I thought I could do. I emailed her my choice of topics and was later assigned to work on one — she wanted to see a sample of my writing before having me cover more than one topic. I went to work on my first assignment, and delivered it to her a few days before the deadline.
The date of the issue my article was written for was approaching quickly. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to send a follow-up email, and so I did. My hopes weren’t high as I waited for the response. Like many others, I was going to get my first rejection to start off my freelance writing career. The whole time I waited for a response I wondered what I did wrong with the article.
The next afternoon I sat down at my computer to check my email again. There it was, I just knew it, my rejection letter. As I opened the email to see what she had to say, I got a big surprise. She sent me her apologies, and she explained how things had been busy at the office. But what made my day brighter was when she told me my article had been accepted and would be published in the October 2005 issue of the magazine. Not only did she publish my article, but she assigned me another. She told me how impressed she was with the article that she had just accepted. I felt so lucky, and my faith and prayers were paying off!
I am working on the second article assignment now. It has a deadline of one week for the draft (yikes). With such little time, I have been working on the article, and that is why I haven’t blogged in a while. Because I thrive on meeting deadlines on time, I am determined to get the article on the editor’s desk before the deadline. Besides, I want to make a good second impression, because it may lead to better things. I will keep you updated.