Friday, March 18, 2011

Are you a HOT writer?

I was part of a panel discussion at Border's representing St. Louis Writer's Guild.
My presentation was on being a hot writer.

Do you consider yourself a HOT writer? Do you have your feet to the fire? Are you writing and submitting everyday? Maybe your writing is just on the back burner simmering. Are you on a roll? Sizzling with success?

Regardless of how prolific you are, you too can be a HOT writer.

HOT is an acronymn.

If you are hard working, honest, and have a sense of humor, you've earned the H.

If you are optimistic and seek every opportunity to find places to get published, you've earned your O.

If you have talent and try your best, then you have earned your T.

That's what it takes to be a HOT writer! Enthusiasm waxes and wanes like the moon, but no matter which phase of your writing you are in, apply yourself, take risks, and don't let a silly old rejection stop you. Rejections are seldom about YOU; they are about editorial needs. Don't shelve your manuscript, article or essay, resend it.

I made, and still make mistakes. One of my most embarrassing was writing the perfect essay for Sasee, a woman's magazine. The editor had previously purchased my work, so I worked hard to please, I used a flippant tone and titled my essay, Rear View in My Full Length Mirror. I even stood before my mirror and posed, trying to capture the angle and right words for this piece. (Disgusting!) It was about dieting. Actually, if I'm honest, and I must be to be a HOT writer, it was about hiding cookie contraband.

The essay was perfect. I blind copied the article back to myself. I opened the email as soon as it popped up, and reread it. I was confident. It had no mistakes, and I just knew I would sell it. Then, my heart raced. I saw a glaring error. It was not a typo. It was right there in the address line. It hit me in the eye like a big pizza pie! I hadn't sent it to Sasee, I had sent it to THE SMITHSONIAN! I screamed. My hubby came running and asked if I had received an acceptance. I shooed him away, because I was at a loss for words and so embarrassed. A week later I received a nice rejection for Smithsonian, and I finally exhaled.

We all make mistakes. You must have a sense of humor, and laugh at yourself. I'm sure the editor at the Smithsonian couldn't put my essay down; unfortunately they couldn't publish it.

Laugh and the world laughs with you!

9 comments:

Dayle said...

Linda, I just had to laugh at that Smithsonian incident. I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time, but you did a great job of making it funny in rewind.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

Who knows, maybe Smithsonian will contact you in the future, if they're ever highlighting middle age spread...lol

Thanks for the laugh!

Karen Lange said...

Oh my. I've had similar things happen. Like the acronym!
Happy weekend,
Karen :)

Cathy C. Hall said...

What a neat acronymn! I'm sort of a hot writer...I mean, I'm mostly honest, and I kinda submit regularly...off and on. And Lord knows, I try. So, yeah, I'm hot.

P.S. That's what I tell the Beneficent Mr. Hall every day. ;-)

(Sounds like a wonderful panel. Know YOU were wonderful!)

Lynn said...

You do have a great sense of humor! Your talk last night was really good and I was hoping to find out the words for HOT as I couldn't keep up since I was snapping some pictures.

Tammy said...

Too funny about the Smithsonian! I bet you made their week!

Linda O'Connell said...

You all make me happy with your comments. June Freaking Cleaver made me snort! Thanks for all of your comments.

Debora said...

Smithsonian's loss, I say!

BECKY said...

I think I remember that Smithsonian/Sasee incident! Too funny! And, hey...I guessed correctly about the H-O-T! I need to work a little harder, though....just as soon as I'm finished with my little hiatus I'm on! :D