Since becoming managing editor of PAL’s Mabuhay magazine in early 2010, I learned what it meant to be on the other side of the fence. The writers may get the bylines, but the editor has to do the dirty work of fixing up articles and making sure they are written properly before going into print. Even the best writers in the world still depend on editors for their final product.
You know, I used to hate editors; they seemed to take out all the “personality” out of my piece. But now, I appreciate a good one because I know my writing needs it, too! Here are some things to keep in mind if you are sending an editor your copy and hope to get it published.
1. Stick to the word count.
One of the worst things an editor can receive is a 3,000 word article from someone whom they specifically asked to write a 600 word story. I’ve been guilty of this, too. We always have so much to say, and so many words to say it with. Reality: IF your piece is published, it WILL be cut down to 600 words (or less) for layout space, and you will most likely be unhappy.
2. Sleep on it before sending the editor your draft. The next day, edit like hell.
You always see things with new eyes the next day. So many times, I have written words that I wish I edited again and again and again before hitting “Send”.
3. Send a few good photographs to go with your article.
They may or may not end up getting published, but you’ll get more gigs (especially as a travel-writer) if you can do both writing and photography. Or maybe you have a friend who is a good photographer, and can provide the photo. It’s a plus point for the both of you.
Lastly, remember in this industry, expect rejection, but don’t give up. A big mistake writers make is taking rejection personally. Many times, your story may just not fit in with the theme of the magazine, the page count, or the overall concept the editor has in mind. But it might jive next week, or next month. Keep trying!
Happy weekend. 😉