Irons in the fire

You know, writing fiction is something I love to do.

There have been times in my life, however, when the creative freedom involved in the craft of storytelling has proved massively intimidating. During those times, I retreated to non-fiction writing – mostly for magazines. It felt safer.

Now that I’m a little, ahem, older and a little more confident, the challenge of fiction writing – that process of creative puzzle-piecing – is something I find quite thrilling. Bring it on, I say.

I’ve read many times that writers should write for the love of the craft. Okay, check. I’ve also read that writers shouldn’t write because they want to get published. Huh? I refuse to feel guilty for wanting to be published. For wanting to sell books J.K. Rowling-style – however unlikely the odds. The sad fact is that I, like many millions of others in this world, need to earn a living. And I’d prefer to earn that living doing something that I love to do. Call me crazy, right?

My time as a freelance magazine writer taught me many useful lessons about making a living as a writer. I think one of those lessons will be particularly useful in relation to achieving my fiction publication goals. It’s about achieving a critical mass of “irons in the fire”. I’m talking about creating a variety of high quality products: platform items (blog entries, tweets), short stories and full length manuscripts – and then getting them out there in a variety of ways. For me, “out there” means contest entries, social media and other networking opportunities, queries, short story publications and more.

Something’s gotta hit, right?


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