Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Making Time For Magazines

Tonight I'd thought I'd tackle my 7th Assignment. I've read three of the modules, I started reading the last and had to give up half way through.  Eyes are just tired, going in one eye and out the other - see what I did there?

I'd also read some more of my friends children's book draft, and read a chunk of Stephen King On Writing.

My RSI has flared up, especially in my right arm, so yes, I shouldn't really be typing this.

I have three pieces I need to do for this next assignment, I've thought of one, a humorous piece about bottling patience.  Haven't the foggiest where to send it, where it would be suitable and obviously will need to edit to suit a house style. Somewhere interested in rambling mothers ideally. 

My problem is I need to make time for magazines. I am currently on February issue of Writing Magazine, March has already arrived! (I never get this one month ahead thing - someone somewhere started that off didn't they, thinking it would make their magazine stand out as more up to date than the others - we'll be reading June next in December).  I want to catch up with this particular magazine because I subscribe to it, and I have found it very useful for writing advice.

Then, I need to do 'research' and read magazines that I want to submit articles for.  This is where I FAIL! I'm trying to read more mags and less books - my 40 books this year may suffer, but so be it.  Even so, things seem to get in the way - particularly housework!  But reading magazines is a slow process, too.

I'm trying to focus on a few, so I'm not swamped - it's bloody expensive for an unpaid writer.  My favourite is Sainsburys Magazine - get some great recipes for half the price of The Good Food or Good Housekeeping.  And I really should start reading Runner's World, because all my running, I must come up with an article for them - right?  (Hubby subscribed to that one, so doesn't cost me anything).  Another one, my tutor recommended, is The Lady.  Apparently easier to get work accepted there.  So maybe that's what I need to do - focus.

I've got other women's mags: Women's Own, My Weekly, Take A Break, People's Friend... but those were mainly purchased for the fiction side of things.

Who decided there should only be 24 hours in a day?  And why do I need eight hours sleep?


  1. Hi Teresa,

    I too have a huge pile of magazines, but as regards Writing Magazine, I treat it like a book and read it from end to end before I start another book.

    Wasn't the article in Feb Writing Mag about 'Back to the Future' useful?

    I can't get on with the Lady. A friend won their M&B and Nat Trust writing comp.

    Good luck with aticles. Mx

  2. Morton, I try to read Writing Magazine like a book - that's the one I really enjoy reading. But January, with Christmas, had a flick through and read what I felt was related. With February, still reading and yes the Back To The Future article was great - but March is already here!

    I've got a few copies of The Lady now... but not sure if I really write the right stuff for them. Should really start reading Runner's World considering I run a bit now. Hey, ho. Didn't get any reading done in my three hours today... but I can't give up running.

    I keep thinking September will be better... but I can't wish my life away, or my baby boy's.

  3. Hi Teresa.

    I'm about to embark on Assignment 4 of the Comprehensive Creative Writing Course with the Writers Bureau so know exactly what you mean about the time/cost involved regarding magazines. I have looked at "The Lady", and had written an article which I wanted to submit to them. I actually rang them to confirm submission criteria only to be told that they don't accept articles from freelance writers - apparently they do everything in-house these days! (I know they've had a major editorial shake up in the last few months - could have been as a result of that). I make a point of ringing magazines now to establish whether or not they will accept freelance material, mainly so I don't spend time on the research and planning of an article which will never see the shiny side of the editors desk for whom I have produced it. I've also considered ringing magazine editors and simply asking them what they would like an article on... not tried it yet though, but I thought it might take some of the guess work out of trying to produce material that would be used.

    Haappy writing chuck!

    Bev :o)

  4. Thanks, Bev, maybe I'll leave The Lady for a bit then. And good luck with assignment 4. I'm a bit stuck on 7.

  5. Yes, it's true - The Lady is a nightmare these days. The new editor, Rachel Johnson, is quite well connected in the publishing world, and is drawing on her friends for articles. I've read her book 'A Diary of the Lady' in which she chronicles her first year as editor. In it, she refers to freelance submissions as "the slush pile" ... so I'm boycotting The Lady now. I'd love all freelancers to do the same. Maybe if submissions dried up, she wouldn't be so derogatory about freelancers!

  6. Well, 'the slush pile' is the term for all stuff really. Even a manuscript will hit the slush pile. It's whether she's bothering to look at it.

    The thing is it is a vicious circle, aren't all writer's technically freelance, unless you're getting a paid salary by a company. Well, I won't worry about The Lady then for a bit if it's a waste of time.


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