Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Laugh at Your Rule of Thirteen!

There's a saying that freelance writers should follow the "Rule of Thirteen": Always keep thirteen pitches out in the world. When one gets rejected, send it right back out somewhere else.

Because I am writing not only nonfiction, but poetry and short fiction as well, I've realized that the "Rule of Thirteen" is not adequate for me. When poetry and fiction publishers take as long as a year (sometimes more!) to get back to you about a piece, and magazine editors often don't get back to you at all, you can't simply stop after thirteen and sit around waiting.

This morning, I tallied up the number of publishing outlets I have pitched to for all of my various writings, and I have pitches or manuscripts under consideration at 24 venues.

Now, I could just rest on my laurels, but my laurels are not very comfortable. In fact, they're a bit scratchy. 

While I am waiting to hear back from these outlets, I'm researching more markets, coming up with new ideas to pitch, and writing more. That's just the way it goes.

How many pitches do you have outstanding? What is your optimum number? How can you best reach that number?

One way I have found to generate new ideas is to keep my eyes open on my own life experiences. What have I learned recently that I wish I had known earlier? Can you write that article to teach others what you wish you had known? Is there already an article out there? If not, GO FOR IT!!!

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