Saturday, April 19, 2008

Make it Brilliant!

Build a portfolio before you start hitting the major
newspapers/magazines/publishers. Mind you, I'm not even
remotely suggesting that you work for free. I'm really not. In fact, I
insist on writers ALWAYS getting paid at least something for their
hard work. What I am saying is this: You can't expect to be
published in the New York Times or sell a book for a $400,000
advance or get a major assignment from Sports Illustrated or
People Magazine with little or no experience. You must pay your
dues, like any other profession. You won't go from singing in the
shower to headlining in Vegas. That's not realistic and you'll be
hitting your head against a brick wall if you try. Instead, moving
up the publishing ladder a step at a time, for more and more
money, you should get at least 5-8 clips together, sizeable ones
that show off your writing ability, before considering the "big
boys." Begin with local papers or small magazines or trade
publications. Make your "bones" there, where the competition
isn't too stiff and where you'll have the freedom—and
opportunities—to develop your own voice. And consider each
story you write an audition for something better and higher
paying. In other words, write the heck out of it. Make it brilliant

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