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Maintaining Your Integrity as a Writer

March 7th, 2012

Thanks to Simon for last week’s blog. I hadn’t really thought about keeping a creative diary – but I’ll certainly give it a try. Personally, though, I think the bottle of wine with friends that he suggests might be more likely to dampen my creativity rather than inspiring it. I suppose it all depends on how many bottles you drink!

Effective Time Management

Simon is full of good ideas about making your time more productive and he really does know his stuff. He has written a course on Effective Time Management for one of the colleges in our group. It looks at the subject from both a personal and a work perspective, and for any writer that is struggling to find time for themselves, it’s worth its weight in gold.

One of the main grumbles we get from students is that they just never seem to be able to settle down and write uninterrupted. I sometimes suspect that this might just be an excuse, or a form of procrastination – but for many it is a very real problem. So if you’re suffering, give the course a go. I promise that by the time you’ve finished it you’ll have picked up at least one invaluable tip – if not considerably more.

Multiple Submissions

I was reading an article this week by an American writer – Roy Stevenson. He advocates multiple submissions when you are sending out articles to magazines. At Writers Bureau – and in most writing courses that I’ve looked at – it has always been stressed that you should only send your article to one magazine at a time. Then send it to the next magazine on your list (after any necessary tweaking) if it’s rejected. But times are tough and editors seem to be getting ever slower at responding.

So, I think the time has come to admit that multiple submissions are acceptable. But, and this is a big but, you must never double-deal. Don’t sell the same piece to more than one magazine. If you get a couple of publications interested in an article, go with the one that accepts your piece first. Don’t try to play them off against each other – you’ll just get a bad name. Then explain to the second editor what has happened and offer to write them another piece; perhaps a different version of your original article – or something completely different. And, if the magazines are not in competition, or not in the same geographical location, then the second magazine might be willing to take the piece without alteration. Above all, as Roy says, it should work for you if you do it ‘…with professionalism and integrity’. Let me know what you think!

The Write Place

My guest next week is prolific writer and Writers Bureau tutor Lorraine Mace. But until then, why not check out our latest quarterly newsletter for students – The Write Place. If you’re not already a student it might just tempt you to join us.

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