Today I read this in C. Hope Clark’s December 13th, 2009 FFW Small Markets newsletter:
EVEN THE SMALL CAN SHINE BIG . . . AT FIRST
Everyone starts small. We have to begin somewhere. In our writing, we struggle with whether to write for free or not, whether to pitch to teeny websites or not, whether to write for a dollar per 500-word article for some writer mill. Regardless, we have to start small and work up.
Start small, but be the best darn person there and give it your impressive all. Make people read you and wonder why you are writing here instead of in a larger publication. Be a wonder, even if it’s on a no-name blog.
Be good enough to make people marvel at the work.
All professionals took on small roles in the outset, just for the chance to put on a show. They had a passion and would rather start small than not start at all.
However . . . these successful professionals moved on once they left an impression. They made a splash and graduated to a larger pool.
With Craigslist and writing forums stuffed full of nickle and dime writing offers, insecure writers have all the opportunity in the world to get stuck writing for trickle-pay venues. It takes guts and a desire to earn a living at this crazy craft to keep climbing, climbing out of the rut of small-time jobs.
Start small and shine big. Wow and amaze. But once you’ve become a known quantity in that teeny arena, step out and up, stretching your writing muscles and pulling those new-found fans with you.
Start with a tea light. You can keep replacing it with other teeny tea light candles as each burns out. However,you could replace it with a larger candle, then a bigger
one until you have a bonfire going that stays lit for many more folks to see.
I love the analogy at the end. Now I’m ready to go write some more of the first draft of my essay for the Procrastinating Writers Blog essay contest. You still have time to enter if you’re so inclined.
Speaking of first drafts, I loathe them. (Although I do write them.) I’m always curious about the approaches other writers use to write first drafts. Readers who write out there, do you have any tips or techniques you’d like to share?