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Lara Rosales

May 12, 2020

Are you trying to get your work published but struggling with where to start? Do you need to figure out your submissions? Here are a few tips.

As writers, we are always looking for new magazines to submit our work. We –or at least most of us– have a calendar with different deadlines we would like to meet. We select magazines or blogs that talk about our passions and those that have guidelines we can follow. But sometimes, it is hard to sit down and write under pressure. Maybe we do not know how to exactly follow the guidelines. Maybe we do not know how to adjust our point of view so it fits a certain magazine. It can be hard but here are a few ideas to make your writing process a little bit easier:

Choosing the Right Magazine

The first step in your writing process should be to choose the right magazine for your work. If you already have something written, you should aim to have it published somewhere your topic has been previously discussed. You want to find your work the perfect place for it to reach its potential. If you are looking into different magazines, always choose those that you can relate to. Talk about your interests and your passions; everything is easier when you talk about what you love. There are magazines for everything, and you will find the right one for your words.

Brainstorming Different Ideas

Depending on which magazine you choose, they will all have different guidelines you need to follow. Some of them always publish articles talking about one topic –movies, musicals, politics, et cetera– and they encourage you to pitch them your idea. Usually, they discuss the idea with you and ask for a draft so they can go over it with you to make it work in the magazine. Other magazines, set a topic for each round of submissions and your work should relate to that. In this case, it is always easier to go through different ideas you may have, and select the one you think is best. Follow the guidelines but write what you love.

Stay True to Your Voice

When working with certain guidelines or towards a submission, it can be hard to know exactly where to start or how to say what you want. You need to remember that the guidelines are just there to help you. They are just a few steps you need to follow to reach your goal: to have your work published. Nevertheless, you cannot forget to stay true to your voice. Talk about what you love. Say things in the tone you always have. Let your voice shine through the words. Do not be afraid to let your work have its own personality.

Re-write, Re-edit

The writing process is truly never ending. There is always something we can change, and a way to try and make it better. But there are deadlines to meet so we need to know when to say “enough re-writing." Once you sorted out your ideas and your words found its shape, it is time to edit your work. Do the edits and re-writes that you believe are necessary for this particular submission. Once you have done that, let it go and submit it. Trust me, you will probably never think it is perfect but working towards being published means letting your work be read when it is necessary.

For me, writing is a constant process. Every day I am working on something new or re-writing something old, and trying to publish my work. I discovered very recently that these few steps make it easier for me to achieve my goals. Working towards a deadline for a submission in a magazine of my liking makes my writing experience more enjoyable and, I believe, it makes the end result better.

It is your turn now. Do you think it is time to become a published writer?

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