Seven Tips for New Writers (if pitching an editor, don't write a boring headline like this :-)
New writers often ask me for advice. So, I've compiled some helpful "How To's" that have worked for me.
- •How do you avoid writer's block?In my experience, writer's block happens when we are too perfectionist about our words. Write the words, edit later. Free yourself up to express your thoughts on 📝 and you can restructure the sentences and graphs later.
- •What's the best way to get published in....The best way to land a byline in any publication is to read it. Every outlet has a different voice and they're looking for writers to match this voice. For example, if you write a sassy personal essay, it might not work for a news outlet like the Times or the Post, but it may work for a magazine or a publication that runs a lot of essays.
- •How do you find an editor's info?Most editor contact info isn't difficult to find. Many list their emails on Twitter or LinkedIn. Mastheads of publications list editor's names, too. If you have writer friends, reach out to them, but return the favor.
- •What's an elevator pitch?Most editors receive hundreds of emails each day. When pitching, you have a few seconds to catch the editor's attention. Make your headline stand out. For example, I pitched a story about infertility last year and my headline read, "What to Do About the Maybe Babies." Your headline should peak an editor's interest. A pitch shouldn't be more than 250-words and the "hook" of your thesis should be in the first graph.
- •Tips for getting a pitch accepted.Make it timely. Peg it onto something happening in the news cycle. If your pitch is rejected, it's not personal. Send it elsewhere, this happens all of the time. I had a piece rejected by two outlets last year but it found the right home.
- •How can I become a better writer?Invest in writing workshops and writing conferences. And, hire a coach or editor to help you polish your prose.
- •My friend knows the editor at....would it help if I asked her to introduce me?I don't mean to be a downer, but probably not. If you're a stellar writer with a solid idea, you can break into the pub on your own.
- •Pitch a story not an idea.When pitching an editor, pitch a story, not an idea. For example, "Depression is a problem in America" is an idea but "Are Probiotics the new Prozac?" is a story.