Libby Grandy

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Writing Articles

Ignore the Odds

(Published: Fresh Ink)


The world of publishing has changed radically since the time of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and editors like Maxwell Perkins.  In today’s commercial world, editors and agents are forced to focus on the bottom line. 


As writers, we must market our work with self-confidence, however, the statistics are daunting.  Magazine publishers, book publishers and agents receive an average of 300 to 400 queries a week—over 1000 a month.  Yet my writing friends are published on a fairly regular basis.  Why?  Because they ignore the odds. 


For example, Writers' Journal has published several of my articles.  I had to be patient, because, each time, they explained they had a six-month backlog and had just gotten to my query letter.  Writers' Journal is published only six times a year.  This means they publish half the number of articles as other writing magazines.  Now think about it—over 1000 queries a month, a backlog of six months, six rather than twelve issues.   However, my articles were published.  Trust me, this is not because I'm better than any other writer.  It had to do with timing and subject matter, and because I took a leap of faith.  I sent them my articles.


One year, a member of our critique group published an article in their January/February issue, my article appeared in the March/April issue and another member of our group published in the May/June issue.  How unlikely is that to happen?


I'm presently marketing my latest book.  The odds of publishing a book are even worse.  I don’t intend to discuss them here, however, because I intend to ignore them. 


So, do what you love to do.  Write your article, short story, poem or book.   Be aware of the statistics so that you don’t take rejection letters personally. 


Then take in a fresh breath of hope—and ignore the odds.