When you're a writer, your goal is to get published.
I know ... that's not exactly "mindblowing news," is it? That's like saying basketball players have a goal of putting the ball in the net, or a lawyer's goal is to win their first case.
Of course, we want to get published. As I said in my book, Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word, "to write like you mean it also means to write like you mean it to be read." And that's true for any writer – regardless of whether you just wrote what you think is the next great American novel or you're trying to start a career as a blogger, journalist, or feature writer.
Here's a quick book excerpt in which I recall getting published for the first time.
It was my sophomore year in college, and I was assigned an investigative piece for the NT Daily on the football program's declining fan attendance at home games. I recall the first moment I saw my byline and feeling my heart swell with pride. That was my name on that article. I worked hard on it and even held my own in a boardroom interview with several bigwigs from the athletics department. The main image on the story was a caricature of a fan sitting by himself in an empty section of the stands. He had a foam finger in one hand and a blank expression on his face. It was perfect, just like the story that followed. In the grand scheme of things, it was the student newspaper and not the New York Times. But it was a publication nonetheless – and something I could add to my portfolio. People would read that article. Hopefully, they'd enjoy it. More importantly, it marked the start of my career as a writer. That following summer, I was offered a job at a small newspaper, and I've had the good fortune of having my writing published thousands of times since – in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online, and now in a book. I've unapologetically celebrated all of those opportunities as if I had just buried an off-balance jumper with no time left on the clock in game seven of the NBA Finals. It never gets old seeing my stuff in print, and you deserve to experience the same excitement for yours.
But how do you get published when you're just starting out and no one knows who you are?
I wrote about this very topic and a few concrete publishing options in WLYMI, including:
Newspapers and magazines
And other cool thoughts ...
I did wait all the way until Chapter 14 to do this, and those who read the book were probably thinking, "Shouldn't this topic have been covered much earlier in the book?" Well ... NO! Being the best writer you can be is all about the journey. My book takes you on that journey with the previous 13 chapters, which ultimately leads to getting published!
But, yes, how else was I supposed to get you to read the entire book? :)
Those who read my book will hopefully agree that even though Chapter 14 is the last chapter, it's actually meant to symbolize the start of your writing career. You've overcome your fear of putting your stuff out there, pored over the various ways to materially strengthen your writing, learned how to be a better storyteller, and put every other tip, trick, and life hack I mentioned into practice. Now it's time to get published!
How can you get your hands on Write Like You Mean It?
This book is for writers of all experience levels, genres, and professional pursuits. Whether you’re a journalist, college writer, aspiring freelancer, or future novelist, this book is for you, so you too can Write Like You Mean It!
Get your copy:
Thank you for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX, and the author of Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.