I wrote stories as a kid… none of them brilliant….and I was an avid reader. I loved words. The nuances, the shades of meanings, the coloring of a topic by the way it was addressed. I loved how you could influence people’s thoughts and decisions and feelings by the kinds of words and the phrases. People could create worlds… and escape to those worlds… and even invite others to come along. I discovered amazing facts—coral reef fish, how to make cardboard boats, mysteries of the Aztecs, or what courses to take to become a radiologist—by the connection of words in nonfiction.
And I thought I want to DO THAT!
So I studied what it took to be a writer. First I subscribed to Writer’s Digest Magazine. I have to tell you, it was a good step. I felt like I’d joined a community of like minded people. Instead of people saying, “You can’t make money doing that.” I saw evidence of people who did! And those people were kind enough to take me by the hand and say, “If you do this, you can become successful, too.”
What I liked about Writer’s Digest, was its blend of topics. I found how-to articles and articles about successful writers. They exposed me to different genre. I’d try on each genre. Did I want to write mystery? Romance? SciFi? Biographies? Did I want to write books? Magazine stories or articles? What age did I want to write for? Ohhh. The possibilities were so exciting! And the articles encouraged. Try it. Take a risk. Rewrite. Polish again. You can do it.
At my solitary desk, I had friends whispering from the pages of Writer’s Digest. And because of the confidence and skills I got from them, I did submit. And I sold my first piece under their tutelage. I continued to subscribe as I began to publish more. And to this day, I have faded, yellowed pages ripped from the magazine that hold treasured bits of information I refer back to.
There are a variety of writing magazines out there. But if you’re starting out, I’d recommend Writer’s Digest Magazine as your first go-to magazine.
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