It’s never enough.
It’s not enough to just write what you know or to read other works. It’s not enough to just practice and keep going. It’s not enough to edit your own work.
I can’t say it enough:
Anyone who wants success in the writing world (hell in most fields) must be willing to keep learning, accept changes, work with trusted professionals, and check their egos at the send button. It is also highly necessary to get to know your readers─as many of them as possible─and learn as much about the magazines, agents, publishers, and booksellers you wish to work with.
Since I was a kid I have loved nature and read Missouri Conservationist Magazine. I never even considered it as a prospect for my own writing because it was too much of a staple, so very popular and… damn good. It wasn’t modesty; it was merely me not even realizing the possibility because I was distracted by other markets.
About a year or so ago I decided I would give it a go. The idea finally hit me when one of my outdoorsy blog posts went nuts, I spotted a few submission calls for nature stories, and I looked into other prospects. I have tons of field knowledge. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t have pursued it sooner, but for whatever reason the time finally came.
I got my information together, made it as fitting to the publication as possible, worked up my proposal, and…
I tried again.
Persistence IS a huge part of breaking through but it has to be accompanied by talent, skill, and tailor crafted work that suits the market.
This last attempt, I dusted off an older idea and finally got my acceptance! It is not a small feat. It’s a great opportunity. But with this opportunity comes a great amount of work. I have to finish the piece according to their criteria, fill in all the blanks, and then WAIT.
The acceptance came this month but the article will not be featured for almost 2 years. It won’t be out until 2022.
Years ago this may have frustrated me, but now that I’ve been at it for almost a decade I understand and enjoy the in-between times. My columns and other works have their place in the timeline of my writing life and hopefully on your reading lists.
Good things truly are worth waiting for. May of 2022 holds a huge victory for me, but this month delivered it and that’s worth celebrating as well.