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Writing for the Media

Apart from writing copy as an advertising medium, you can actually consider applying your writing skills for writing articles and stories for newspapers and magazines. Of course, there are other avenues where you can submit your writing once you get to be recognised and desired by these media, such as writing for the T.V., the radio and the Internet.

In my opinion, the first priority for a candidate for this profession is discipline to practice as well as to approach the media regularly, with offers including samples of your work.

A secondary priority is researching the media and their needs for content, the genres they require, i.e. the type of articles, stories and other pieces they are keen to publish. Whenever you make a contact with the relevant people in the organisations you are targeting, keep copious notes of their comments in terms of their needs, schedules, suggestions and requirements.

Once you have an idea about what they need, and assuming they are in line with your interests, then you need to start researching previous articles they have published during the past decade or two. Check for what they have published in the past, who were the authors – were they professional writers or mere contributors. Check for the length of the articles and the preferred style. Make notes of what you find and start building a library of index cards based on these notes, including publication dates. This is important, as you can save time by not writing about something that has just been published, but work on something else instead.

When you know enough about what happened in the past within the covers of a particular publication you are targeting, you can form a better idea on what they might welcome from new collaborators. At this point you can brainstorm for ideas for new articles and you may plan for a researching campaign, in search for supporting evidence for your subject(s).

The next stage is to formulate your ideas in a presentable format and find the right person (usually the editor of a periodical) you need to send your proposal to and finalise your sample to enclose in a letter if you’re sending it by snail mail or otherwise attach it to an email. It would be a good idea to have a number of relevant publications to send your work to, even if they are not all in the same country. Do not expect your work to be accepted straight away, and be prepared to persevere by appreciating and taking into account the suggestions offered by the publication’s editor, if you are so lucky to receive any from them. Treat this as a two-way collaboration and take it as their helping hand in trying to integrate you in their collaborators team.

This is a great avenue not only for an alternative source of income, but also for a pleasurable and quantifiable platform for your talent for writing. You must be as patient with your creative writing skills as you would be with your own baby – be prepared to work at it and nurture it every day and enjoy the fruit of your work all the way, from A to Z.

We shall look into further details on how to develop your hobby of writing into a lucrative activity in some of our future lessons, if you are interested. For now, suffice to introduce this idea to you as a possible avenue for your creative skills. I wish you would write in with examples of your attempts should any of you be able to share these with our readers. Please do – I’m eager to hear from you.

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