Category Archives: The Journey

Buying some tools

I’ve been unsure of what kind of resources I would need to get started as a writer, but I decided to grab the Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published, as well as the 2014 Writer’s Handbook Magazine from Writer’s Digest. I nearly bought a guidebook on writing a stellar first 50 pages to sell a novel, but thought it might be handy to have a guidebook that encompasses the big picture of publishing. The magazine just seemed like something neat and up-to-date that discusses recent literary news, contests, helpful new websites for writers, as well as a listing of a few markets to submit work (as well as how to submit to them).

The magazine has been pretty helpful, but I haven’t cracked open the guidebook. However, while checking out at the front counter the woman at the register looked at what I was purchasing and asked if I knew about duotrope.com

“Umm… no, I never heard of it.” I said, bending my mind around the name to figure out what it could possibly be.

“Oh, well it’s great. I totally recommend it.” She gleefully started to write down the web address on a scrap piece of paper behind the counter. Then she paused and slowly peered up through her bangs at me, looking like a kid that had bad news to deliver to her mother. “Well… it used to be free but… now there’s this subscription fee. It’s not a lot but… I still think it’s useful.”

“I see.” I acknowledged, still not understanding what the heck she was talking about. I took the bag with my newly purchased loot and the woman handed me the scrap of paper with the web address. “Thanks a bunch.”

“Good luck!” She called out as I stepped towards the door. I smiled. I was genuinely thrilled to not only gain new resources for my budding writing career but also to receive help from someone who apparently found a little success as a writer while still maintaining a day-job. That’s good news for me and my students!

After returning home I immediately looked into duotrope.com. For those who don’t know, it’s a website that helps you track your submissions and assists you with finding someone to submit your work to with a sizable database of known markets. From what I understand, the database is very extensive and even provides estimated wait times for responses to submitted work. It’s $5 a month, or a discounted $50 a year to subscribe.

I think once I actually have work to submit I’ll look into investing into duotrope. For now, I’m going to write.

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And the journey begins…

Hi.  I’m a middle school history teacher in the state of New Jersey.  I love what I do but ever since I was young I’ve loved creative writing.  I never pursued that passion.  I was very ignorant of the world of publishing and didn’t see much opportunity.  Now that I am older and wiser (though I am only 27 years old) I think there are many opportunities to flex my literary muscles.

My whole family inherited some form of artistic ability.  My mother was in fashion, my father does ads for pharmaceutical companies, my brother does CG art for a company that makes casino games, and my sister can make intricate culinary masterpieces.  Me?  Well, I love to doodle but I would never make it as a graphic artist.  I don’t have the patience or the passion to make food any more complex than I would need to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Creating and writing stories is where I think I fit into this family.

So here I am.  I’m determined to somehow find a way to break into professional writing.  I’m overflowing with ideas for short stories and novels, I even have outlines for a trilogy of young adult novels.  But every journey has that first step into the scary unknown.

I know what I want to accomplish, but only a general sense of how to get there.  This blog is designed to fill you in on every step and misstep along the way.

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