My Future

6 Things You Need Know If You Want To Get Published One Day

We asked some writers for their best advice on how to make it happen.

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Are you an aspiring writer? Want to get your thoughts and musings out there but don’t know where to start?

We spoke to some published writers about how they got their start, and their tips and tricks for success so you can do the same.

Accept That You Might Not Get A Response

It can be nerve-wracking when you send a piece to an editor that’s got a bit of your heart and soul in it. But waiting anxiously by your laptop will just drive your nerves through the roof, and the editor might not get back to you for many days (sometimes never).

Jessica O’Reilly, who has been published on VICE, The Huffington Post and many other publications, says, “Having anxiety or worrying about a response is a wasted emotion. You’re not a mind reader, you might not be getting an email back because the editor is too busy to respond or just simply hasn’t seen it yet.”

Be patient and don’t stress – editors are busy people, give them time.

Learn To Handle Rejection Like A Pro

Like it or not, rejection is a part of getting published – it’s going to happen to you at least once. The trick is to try not to take it personally. Your article might not be right for the publication’s theme, or the angle is too broad. Jessica says, “If the editor doesn’t like it or you don’t even get a response, that’s their opinion. As a writer, our work is subjective and not everyone is going to love our work. Just because one person doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean you’re rubbish.”

So keep trying and don’t let your thoughts defeat you! It can be hard after many rejections (or no replies) but just keep submitting to different places and don’t let them forget about you.

You Never Know What Will Come From An Email

Initiating a conversation can be intimidating, especially when you feel like this person has a higher social status than you or simply wouldn’t want to hear your ideas. Ailish Parr, who has been published on Global Hobo, Junkee and Twenty Something Humans suggests, “Network, send out random emails – you never know what will come of it!”

Trust us, people are not as mean as you think. If you want to get published, meeting new people and having the guts to put yourself out there – even when you think you might get rejected – is something employers admire. So go get ‘em!

Think Outside The Box

It’s easy to write about generic or popular topics that have 50 other spins on it, but if you really want to stand out then Kyra Sykes, a regular contributor on Border Watch, tell us you need to be original. “Editors love fresh new ideas,” she says. “What haven’t you seen out there? Is there a controversial topic you’d like to discuss?”

You’re more likely to get a response when you’re a little more daring in your pitches.

Provide Bulk Story Ideas

If you think you have a really great idea and want to pitch it to a publication, it’s always better to accompany it with five or six other ideas as well. Kyra says, “Editors love choice. And if they know you can bring multiple ideas to the table they may want more down the track.” Your editor will see you as a bright employee with lots of ideas to spare so when you’re submitting pitches, the more the merrier!

Write What You Know

When it comes to writing an opinion piece, you need to research your facts and make sure you know enough about the topic before putting it into the world. Kyra also suggests writing what you have a fire for.

“What really pisses you off? What’s happening in the world that you don’t agree with?” she says. “When writing a piece that you feel strongly about, add some heat and passion behind it to get people talking about the issue.”

Readers want to read fiery articles with a controversial spin. If you are passionate, well informed and open-minded, you’ll be published in no time.

Sophie Nicolas is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and is an aspiring writer, dog enthusiast and thrift shop fashion icon.

(Lead image: Jane The Virgin/The CW)