Start journaling your heart out today. Have your very own Journaling Kit™ shipped to your doorstep...FREE!

Home
Articles
Columns
E-books
ewritersplace.com Workshops
Free Course
Support Us
Founded April 2000. A Writer's Digest Magazine 101 best Web sites for writers (2001 & 2003)
Book
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
Product
The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED!
Market
FACES
HELP FOR WRITERS

Buy a novel by Lucille Bellucci at Amazon.com and receive these .pdf bonuses:

  • 17 Ways to Make Amazon Your River of Gold
  • Make Money with Radio
  • Success Bound
  • Book Promotion: NOT for Sissies
  • Harvey Mackay Rolodex
  • Top 20 Talk Radio Topics
  • Harrison Bonus
  • Million Dollar Rolodex

    E-mail Lucille at lucil95783 AT aol DOT com to claim your bonuses.
  • Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less!
    Write Any Book in 28 Days... Or Less! New course reveals fresh secrets. Click here to learn more.



    The Secret Behind Creativity REVEALED! It's all in the brainwaves. Find out here!

    EasyEbookPro

    ScatterMall.com Books

    Click here to advertise with us for 2 whole months for only $35!





    Home Columns

    Babies to Olympic Sprinters, Clip by Clip

    Frustrated aspiring writers often ask me how they can get published if they have no clips. To get bylines, you must already have bylines, they contend. To an extent, they are correct. But, one proven system of obtaining clips worked well for me and it can work for anyone. What a wise journalist shared with me more than a decade ago, I will share with you because it works. It is not complicated to grasp, but difficult to fully implement. The advice: Start small?even if you have to work for free?and systematically progress into more prestigious, paying assignments.

    To land paying jobs you must first pay your dues. That doesn't mean you should send a check to every writer's association in the U.S. It means you should parlay all published clips into more prestigious ones. Magazine editors do not consider a story in Uncle Charlie's Hardware Store Newsletter a solid clip. But, a neighborhood newsletter editor might. That hardware piece may lead to a writing gig with a local association newsletter, which may pave the way for a story in a town newspaper. That clip can be the springboard to a long writing career.

    Beginning writers must methodically take small baby steps toward becoming Olympic sprinters. No one, to my knowledge, walked off the stage at graduation without clips and sold a 2,000-word feature to The New Yorker. It doesn't work that way. (If anyone knows about such a gifted writer, please let me know so I can pick his or her brain for pointers). The stepping stones to New York-based magazines are small newsletters, community newspapers and even a letter to the editor of your favorite publications. A clip is a career building block. They don't all weigh the same, but they all lead to the next incremental plateau.

    I learned this valuable lesson from Dan Rodricks, a long-time columnist at The Baltimore Sun. I first met him during a journalism class field trip to The Sun building in downtown Baltimore when I was a high-school senior. Mr. Rodricks stressed the importance of saving every clip, regardless of topic or length. He also stressed writing as much as humanly possible.

    The second time we met, he agreed to sit down with me for a one-on-one discussion about how to become a journalist and professional writer. I was preparing for college where I planned to major in journalism. I felt privileged to have a 30-minute conversation with an award-winning columnist and book author?one of the writing profession's elite. At that meeting I also learned how difficult becoming a journalist and writer would be. He told me to get on the school newspaper and write as much as I could. He rattled off the names of several local weeklies and told me to start there after graduation. The college clips, he said, would help land an entry-level newspaper job in four years. He recommended that I save every word ever published under a Joe Kelly byline.

    I listened and did exactly what he said. The high-school clips helped secure a college assignment. The scores of college clips landed my first professional job. The clips from that weekly newspaper led to a position at a monthly trade magazine. And that job propelled me to the editor's desk. Mr. Rodricks' advice was exactly what I needed. My career has been a lesson in baby stepping and building on each experience, just as he suggested.

    Mr. Rodricks' wisdom holds the same weight in freelance work. I have parlayed earlier work into better projects with more prestigious publications. It has also led to a regular, monthly gig. Now, like Dan Rodricks, I am also a columnist.

    In theory, baby stepping is simple. Implementation, conversely, requires hard work and persistence. I have been fortunate in my evolution from high-school wannabe to magazine editor, freelancer and columnist. In my way of thinking, I'm sprinting now, mostly because of sound advice from a seasoned pro. I listened (and still listen) to the masters, absorbing every word of their counsel. If you listen and remain persistent, you too can be a sprinter. It all starts with a baby step.

    Copyright © 2002 Joseph M. Kelly

    Joseph M. Kelly, who is editor of Electrical Contractor magazine in Bethesda, Md., and a Baltimore, Md.-based freelance writer, has been published in daily and weekly newspapers, national trade magazines, newsletters and online. His work has appeared in The Maryland Coast Dispatch, Hardware Age, Home Improvement Market, LBM Retailer, Garden Supply Retailer, Decorative Products Retailer, Outdoor Power Equipment, Association Publishing, Writing For Money, The Baltimore Press, The Enterprise, Electrical Contractor, AWritersLife.net, Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel, and several other publications.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

    FOR JOURNALERS

    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper

    SEARCH
    Google

    The Web
    This Site

    COURSES FOR WRITERS
    JOYFUL WRITES
    Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    INNER JOURNEY
    Creative Nurturing of the Writer Within

    LIFEWRITES
    6 Approaches to Journaling

    CREATIVITY ALLEY
    21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Muse

    WORDS, SWALLOW ME
    Imagery in Writing

    WRITING CHANNELS

    Children's Writing
    Freelance Writing
    Poetry
    Science Fiction & Fantasy
    Technical Writing

    BOOKS FOR WRITERS

    The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publishers Won't by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ




    Home | Articles | Columns | Workshops | E-books | Free Course | Quotes | E-zines | Top Fives | Support Us
    © Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ & The e-Writer's Place.
    Materials appearing in this Web site are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors and/or writers. Please read our Privacy Policy and TOS. No part of this website may be reproduced without consent from its owner. Original site design by Shery Russ. Hosting & maintenance by Hosting4Writers.com.
    WriteSparks! Lite free software for writers
    Our sister sites: WriteSparks.com | WeeklyWrites.com | WritingBliss.com | JournalSparks.com | CreativeWritingPrompts.com | BooksAboutWriting.com | WritersOnThe.net | Hosting4Writers.com | Writers Web Designs | blog.forwriters.org | Aspiring Authors | ScatterMall.com Books | DailyWrites.com | EbookPizzazz.com | EmailWorkshopsHowTo.com | Writing-Portal.com | iMusePub.com | WritersMEMO.com