Friday, November 18, 2011

Maplemusketeer on writing

Today I was asked about what it takes to be a writer for a magazine. Ostensibly it's because I've been published in a magazine. So I guess when you're at a place where people are asking you for writing advice it must mean that you've got something to say. And some know a lot more than me. And some have said a whole lot more than me.

I never intended to write this post. It just happened. As a response to a question.

And for me.. that's a lot how writing can be. Just like a good photo. Waiting to be unearthed, waiting to be born and brought forth, waiting to be noticed and delivered.

yeah.. got a little deep there. It happens. ;)

So I was asked how one becomes a writer for a magazine. Lets now join my answer, already in progress.....
(the only thing I changed was a few parts the reference the town my friend and his daughter are in)

... Crazy! LOL All through connections I made sharing my photos on Google Plus, backed up by my body of work, through my blog, etc.

Which brings me to advice for your daughter who wants to write for a magazine. How often does she write? The more the better. Stephen King's book "On Writing" was one of the best writing books I've ever read. I think that makes sense. LOL Basically he shares the story of his journey.. and how it all lead him to be the writer that he is. It's worth reading. He doesn't get all freaky, but he speaks deeply. So write! Write write write. Read online stuff about it.. delve into it. But write. A huge part of the battle is grappling with the fears. What if I'm not good? What if people don't like it? What do I need to do to be a writer? If you write, you're a writer. And the more you do it, the better you get. Yeah yeah the question was about writing FOR a magazine. lol I haven't forgotten ;) In this day and age I'm going to go with... write write write. There are so many different ways that people are discovered. I think a blog is a great idea. And honestly I partly got the original magazine writing offer because she'd seen my blog a number of times. Of course she'd also met me, we almost went on a date, and I'm a good fit for the magazine they were developing. So.. I guess that boils down to who you know and being in the right place at the right time. Which may seem like luck... but really it's more statistics ;) It's odds. The more you write, the more you share, the more you meet and engage with people, the closer you get to that position you're looking for.

Has she approached the LOCAL NEWSPAPER? What other magazines are based out of YOUR TOWN? TOWN NEARBY? Etc? Some people write articles they're passionate about, or think are interesting etc, and then shop them around. They'll keep them on file and send them out to places they think would be interested. That's probably a way to get in the door. As well as asking magazine editors etc if you can interview them for a project ;) Is she still in High School? Cause if so I think that'd be a pretty smart plan ;) hehe. She might not directly get a job but she'll get more networking, advice, etc. And if she has a twitter account etc she can make those connections, interact, etc. These are all just suggestions. Date an editor? Some suggestions are better than others ;)

I'd like to say "here are 5 steps to writing for a Magazine" but really life only shows you the steps when you look backwards. Looking ahead it's basically picking what looks like the best way through the woods and striking forwards. Hopefully with wise counsel, and some more honed skills. Of course the great thing about being a writer? All of those mistakes are more material ;) Like my awesome story about being ill for 2 weeks in Guatemala culminating in my realization that it can always get worse as I'm squatting in the bushes behind the houses we're constructing and fire ants are biting my legs as I hop across the path trying to find a safe spot to be ill. Yes. Fun times? Not so much. But an awesome story!!! :D And a valuable lesson! It can always get worse, no one caught it on camera and it didn't therefore go viral on Youtube. ;)

So another example of being a writer? Write! This started out as an FB response to your question but now it's something more. Something that I'm going to cut, and paste, and share as a post. I so didn't see that coming.

The internet is so much more smarter than me ;) It's like a giant jungle of teachings and zany and collections of mistakes and learnings. And I'm willing to point out a few options/directions, just like others did a bit for me.

If she really wants it. She'll keep chasing it, and writing, and dreaming, and learning, and grinding it out, and all of a sudden she'll find herself standing in a place with a cheque in her hand and she'll say.. I'm where I thought I wanted to be. There'll be a moment of 'OH HECK YES" followed by the feeling that.. one mountain has been surmounted and found to be a hill, and there's a bigger mountain next on the path. It's an awesome goodness that many have felt and I look forward to her getting there. I did a bit ago.. and it was awesome. And then I raised my gaze and saw a bigger mountain. Also awesome. ;)

Tell you what.. I'm going to go post this part that pertains to her on my blog right now. And then I'll drop the link here for you to share with her. And she's free to contact me, ask questions, comment, follow me on twitter, or whatever. :D Follow dreams and pursue passion. You will change the world. And that goes for you too buddy ;) I hope you're exercising your dreams when you can ;)

Love you broski! I'll hopefully see you when I'm next up that way in what looks to be January.


PS You're an awesome Dad! ;)


Anonymous said...

What a great post, Jordan, I've come away completely inspired!!

Jordan said...

Thank you Toad! :D I believe that together we can all help inspire each other towards better living :D Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging of me! :D

wandering educators said...

you're right - JUST WRITE!! it should make you happy, challenge you, and get you thinking. and, it should do all the same for your readers (well, maybe not the happy part, if it is something not happy, but i digress). bravo!