I came upon an article about freelance writing recently that I really enjoyed, but unfortunately I have been reading so many things that I’ve lost track of exactly where I saw this article, and who wrote it. But I do remember that the writer worked as a freelancer himself, and he discussed steps he had taken to launch and expand his career.
One of his suggestions was to read Writer’s Market from cover to cover, and go through each and every market listed. He had done this instead of just looking for specific markets he thought might be a good fit for him, and it had significantly increased his opportunities.
This seemed like a daunting proposition to say the least, and akin to reading the phone book from front to back. But the writer was so convincing in his arguments that I decided to find out for myself, and sat down with my copy of the book. It took me quite a while to get all the way through it, but it’s turned out to be some of the best advice I’ve ever read.
I wrote down every market that seemed potentially interesting to me, and ended up with nine pages of new possibilities. I also discovered several more fiction contests that I am excited to learn more about, and possibly enter. Reading the Market book was not only interesting, but also motivating, and it was not the tedious chore I expected it to be at all.
When I was a kid I used to love paging through the JCPenney Christmas catalog and marveling at the toys and games. It's funny to me now to remember how excited I would get when this catalog came in the mail. I loved marking the pages of all the things I wanted for Christmas, whether I had any chance of actually getting them or not. The Writer’s Market turned out to be another kind of Christmas catalog, and it was fun to mark down all the shiny new toys!