Monday, January 20, 2014

Starting The Year Off Right


I have started my year off by taking some chances.  I have submitted some articles that might not be quite what the magazines are looking for, but I am hoping they might take a chance on me anyways.  One of the most difficult things about my effort to write and submit articles to magazines has been trying to find the right place for them.  I tend to write like I create my art---by inspiration.  So whatever I am inspired to write I write, rather than writing what I think a particular magazine might be interested in.  This means I then have to think about where it might be the best fit with the publications that I am familiar with. 

The problem is that much of what I write is from an artist or art quilter point of view rather than a quilter's point of view which means that many traditional quilters may not relate to what I have to say.  Even as an art quilter there may be part of that audience that wouldn't be interested in the more business related aspects of my creative efforts.  I am always working on my business whether it is maintaining contacts, marketing my work and myself, communicating with potential customers and fellow artists/quilters, or keeping up with show entries and paperwork.  Not to mention trying to create art! 

I have many friends and acquaintances in the quilting world and in the art quilting world.  There are a lot of art quilters in my area as there has been a local effort to nurture them and keep an active community.  Unfortunately, very few are pursuing their art as business as I am.  The people who I feel closest to in what I am doing are the longarm quilters who are also busy marketing and nurturing clientele.  I have one friend who has written a book and is writing another about quilting, mostly traditional, and she has been a good source of encouragement as we try to reach outside our active but limited local community of quilters/art quilters. 

So, wishing that I had the support of others working towards the same goals and wishing there were more options for publication of the types of articles I am inspired to write (and pay me for them!), I am struggling with my efforts and just hoping that the magazines that do exist will like what I write enough to give it some space in one of their issues--but I'm not holding my breath!  And I'm hoping that maybe I will soon find some like-minded individuals in a new effort I am hoping to undertake this spring.  I have applied for participation in a local artists group that sponsors a studio tour which has become popular and quite successful for the participant artists.  I admire many of these artists and look forward to interacting with them more about what we are trying to do to market and promote our creative endeavors.

So, wish me luck in whatever I decide to tackle next and let's hope that one of the magazines agrees to give me a shot and publish my writing.  The waiting is always difficult and the rejections even more so, but I keep trying and I've had enough success to have a positive outlook and hopeful attitude.  I have had 3 articles published already so I know that they like my writing style.  It is just the trick of finding the right topic for them to fit into one of their issues.  I'll keep writing and I'll keep submitting and who knows.....!


Arja said...

Heidi, I really like your work and also understand your feelings on submitting to magazines. I too have been trying to submit my work to magazines with out much success and find it frustrating because you really don't get a lot of feedback as to why you were rejected. I wish you success in your endeavours.

Heidi Zielinski said...

They are a bit secretive about their process, decision-making, and of course how they pay. I'm sure they just want to keep their options open and have flexibility in how they handle each different submission so they don't etch anything in stone---even after they accept a piece! There are certainly some things lined out in the contract, but there is always editting, and possibility of the piece being moved to a different issue or dropped altogether. Not knowing why you were rejected is not very helpful, though, is it? Sure would like to know if it isn't their cup of tea, isn't well written, or just it is too similar to something they already have. It would always be nice to know what they think of the writing whether they accept it or not, but I would guess they never want to hurt feelings or burn bridges with anyone so they try to be kind. I can only hope for more insight as I continue to submit and get whatever feedback I can! Thanks for the comment!

alison schwabe said...

There's a lot of homework the submitting author can do to assess whether their submission is likely to fit with a magazine or a book - just as with gallery or call for entries for an exhibition. Your focus seems to be very educational and technique oriented - so perhaps that is the path to follow. You've already realized that just because you follow it, doesn't mean everyone else is interested! If you shift focus and concentrate just on your art and hang the business side of things, who knows - perhaps your sales and the whole interest level will go up and you'll be bombarded with calls for articles, interviews, teaching...

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...