Figuring Out this Writing Business

Today we were supposed to pack ourselves up with our two cats and head back to Florida for the foreseeable future. As it is, some work on my house got delayed, and we’ve been set back another week. I have decided to make lemonade and be happy that I would get the chance to work on my writing projects. I sent off my book review, which is supposed to run in October. I also wrote another piece that is a stretch for me personally and technically. It’s a piece that had been on my mind since last year. I sent it off to The Atlantic and, big surprise, I have not heard back from them.

A few weeks ago, I had blogged about book reviews and said that it’s best not to attempt to pitch your first review with a major publication. I specifically even said, The Atlantic. So now, maybe I’ll take my advice and find a more niche place for my piece. I’m not disappointed about it, so much as I am somewhat frustrated. While there is a lot of excellent writing advice on the internet, some things are tough to teach yourself. It’s a ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ situation. And since I don’t personally know anyone who writes for a living, well, it’s a lot of trial and error.

Fortunately, I reached out to U.S. Air Force Academy grad and romance/science fiction author Susan Grant, and she has very kindly made herself available to share what she knows about writing and selling fiction. I’m very thankful for my women service academy group; otherwise, I would not have found her. I regret to say that we women, as a group, don’t appear to be as attuned to networking as a professional philosophy, as men. But I think this is changing. As more women move up in the world and remember to share what they do and what they know, and other women think to reach out to them and leverage their experience, this will improve. It’s funny how much of an afterthought it is, at least for me, but I don’t think I’m the only one. But I’m hopeful this will change and that maybe someday I’ll be in the position to pay it forward.