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How to Keep Getting Published: 10 Unpublished Rules

"Don't be that guy" moments are the best kind to learn from. When editing and writing, I have been "that guy" in the "Don't be that guy” moments, and seen "that guy" in action. As a result, I have 10 unpublished rules for how to keep getting published—in slide show form. If you are out there publishing, or thinking about publishing, please consider these 10 unpublished rules. Also check out my “How to Get Published” slides for 10 more unpublished rules.

(We will be returning to our discussion of "The Infinite in Everything" next week.)

Comments

Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks like both links are to the "How to Get Published" slides. Also, the ideas in your slides are really interesting, but could you elaborate on them? For example, I have only a faint idea of what it means to "Write for New York." Do you mean in tone, content, worldview, all of the above? And what do you mean that "it's actually not all about the pitch"? Thanks!

CJK,

I fixed the slides—thanks for pointing that out. The links work now.

The slides are based on presentations I delivered, hence the ambiguity. By "Write for New York," I mean that writing for a New-York based publication brings prestige to a resume -- it puts a writer in a different class. (I know this point is based on appearances, but lots of editors think that if a writer has written for a New-York based publication that they know what they’re doing.)

When I said, "It's actually not all about the pitch" I was alluding to the fact that many people immediately try and pitch an editor a story, when what an editor really wants to hear is how you can meet their current needs. Thus, I think writers (myself included) should inquire based on their skill set. It is a better idea than trying to convince an editor to hire you for a specific article.

I hope that helps.

--John

These are interesting points! I'd add that "it's not all about the pitch" can be expanded to mean "it's not all about the idea" as well. Anyone can have an idea; a reasonable number of people can describe the idea in an interesting way; a significantly smaller subset will actually be disciplined enough to write the article or book or blog post based on that idea; and an even smaller subset will keep doing that series of steps often enough to develop real facility with drafting, revising, and editing.

A good collection of tips. Also, amen to Holly's point here. Studies consistently show that 85% or so of the general population believes they have a book inside of them, waiting to be written. Are you kidding me? Ideas are totally separate from the craftsmanship and discipline necessary to bring them to publication. Plus, so many of our great ideas are not really designed for other people; they are conceived for our own pleasure, curiosity, and personal growth. Why do we always need to validate those wonderful gifts with a public readership? As an analogy, I love fiddling with my guitar (and in that way I am a musician), but that does not make me a candidate for giving a concert--or even more absurd, charging someone to listen to me.

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I am hoping that you gonna publish it the soonest possible time. - Lindsay Rosenwald

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The Infinite God is everywhere, are you looking? I am dedicated to finding God in all aspects of life – the Bible, the news, and the arts. Because I find that the most fulfilling journey of all is searching for heaven here on earth.