I’ve been feeling burnt out on the same old same old, lusting after lit mag credits, and wondering how to find a balance between the two.
As a result, I just slowly… stopped… trying. I maintained the work I already had, but stopped looking for something new. This has led to terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bank account balances.
Then, like flicking a switch, the ASJA conference sparked something in me.
Suddenly, I felt inspired. I felt motivated. And, almost like magic, things started picking up again.
A couple years ago, I asked all y’all: What’s on your magazine bucket list?
As I look through my own bucket list from that time, I’m amazed by how much my goals have changed. And maybe that’s a huge part of why I’ve felt so stuck lately. As I cling to the market I cornered for myself over the course of 11ish years, I haven’t reevaluated my bucket list. I haven’t asked myself: Which publications would you like to break into? I haven’t drawn up that list and started systematically chipping away at it.
Instead, I’ve stuck with the same old, same old.
And I wonder why I’m bored.
Just last week, I finally drew up a new list. It includes Poets & Writers and Creative Nonfiction. It includes Yoga Journal, because I’d like to start writing less about sex and more about yoga and wellness. It includes sites like The Rumpus, Book Riot, Flavorwire, and the Ploughshares blog, because I’d like to more fully indulge my bookish love. It includes Slate and Salon and the Hairpin. It includes Seal Press, which is my dream publisher in the event I ever publish a book.
Drawing up this list has helped me move forward. I’ve had queries and submissions out to a number of these publications. I’ve been revising my book proposal, and am even working on my very first piece of erotica, so I can send a submission in for a forthcoming Seal Press anthology. I’ve published yoga-related pieces on YourTango and Elephant Journal, so as to build up my clips in that particular niche. Just last week, I got my very first lit mag clip, on Virginia Quarterly Review’s website.
And this week, I even checked off one of my bucket list items, with a post over at Book Riot on how I grew up as a horror junkie.
And all it took was clarifying what I wanted, and then taking the steps to get there.
So what’s on your bucket list? Have you gotten a little too comfortable with the same old clients and editors? Is it time to make a change?