One purpose of this blog is sharing my writing journey. Today I’m pulling back the curtain regarding my experience writing smaller pieces between 200-250 words, often called shorts. Many of these are devotions, poems, shorter stories, and even greeting cards. They can also be fillers, bios, or short columns.
These are submitted as completed manuscripts rather than through inquiry or assignment. This is only one aspect of things I’ve done. The hidden value in doing these has been an improvement in all areas of my writing. You learn to make each word count. It was great preparation for blogging. My goal is to keep my blog posts to 500 words while still having value.
I’m looking back at the last fourteen months primarily, but I’ve included August, September, and October of this year because at the end of this month I made one more sale. I hope this will encourage you, but also emphasize that it takes determination. Hint: “It’s not for wimps.”
The numbers in parentheses is how many submissions were sent each month.
May – 2011 (4) June – 2011 (3) July – 2011 (2)
Aug. – 2011 (8) (1 sale) Sept. – 2011 (3) Oct. – 2011 (3)
Nov. – 2011 (3) Dec. – 2011(4) Jan. – 2012 (0)
Feb. – 2012 (2) (2 sales) March – 2012 (3) April – 2012 (3)
May – 2012 (0) (1 sale) June – 2012 (7) July – 2012 (10)
Aug. / Sept. /2012 (0) (blog/start) Oct. (0) (1 sale)
Total: 51= 5 sales, or about 1 in 10.
Here are some interesting dates regarding the sales:
The first sale on 8/9/11 went out on 7/7/11 (1 month). The second and third sales on 2/8/12 went out on 6/15/11 and 7/28/11 (7-8 months). The fourth sale on 5/11/12 was out on 6/10/11, and was returned on 9/9/11 and then sent to a different place on 9/15/11. This piece sold 5/11/12 – almost a year after it was first sent out. The fifth sale on 10/25/12 went out on 3/26/12 (5 months).
A mathematician would likely draw all kinds of conclusions from these numbers, but here are a few points I draw from these as a writer.
1. I’ve done more than the people who see each year pass with the same idea they will do “some day”. They’re afraid to act on the one idea for fear they won’t have another. The truth is actively completing ideas breeds more creativity.
2. As a friend of mine often repeats, “Writing equals butt in chair” (and submitting and inquiring, and keeping track of everything).
4. Nothing beats a big pot of chili during a hurricane (I know that had nothing to do with writing. It was a result of Hurricane Sandy barreling through our area).
I hope you and yours are safe, and I encourage you to keep writing.