I love to shop. But I don’t shop for just anything—I love to shop for the best deal I can find—that perfect article of clothing that when I put it on and step in front of the mirror—I say, “Yes, this works!”
When I write a story, I shop in much the same way for the perfect market. I pull out my Writer’s Market guide and study the list of publications. I check the required word count, the method of submitting, the publisher’s current needs and when I find the one that I think is the perfect fit—I submit.
But sometimes my clothing, after I bring it home and wash it and put it on, doesn’t suit me as well as I thought it did in the store. The length is a little long and the color washes me out in my bedroom lighting. So I toss it to the back of my closet hoping maybe I’ll use it someday. And usually I do, when I have another occasion or I find an accessory that matches it.
Quite often, I want to toss my stories away when they aren’t accepted by what I thought was the perfect publication. I read the polite form letter thanking me for my time and telling me unfortunately my story doesn’t meet their current needs. So I dump it to the back of my files like I did my clothes in my closet.
What I’m not taking into consideration is maybe I only need to add another accessory to enhance my story to make it a perfect fit. Maybe a stronger opening would make the difference. Perhaps a better ending or a grammar check to polish it. Or it just might need to be sent to an entirely different place—but tossing it away or hiding it on my computer won’t get it published.
Do you have a good story that needs a little more accessorizing today? Can you tweak it a little more—have a writing partner take a quick look? Can you revamp a few paragraphs and give it another twist? You might just end up with another clip under your belt and the chance to say, “Yes, that worked!”
Have fun recycling today!