I’m still slogging my way through Stephen King’s memoir On Writing (a great read, by the way), and I’m learning quite a bit about the craft. Much of this is information I already know, but I find it useful to see it in different words, particularly words of someone who’s already establish a great deal of success in the field.
Anyway, something I re-realized is that the only way I’ll ever publish a successful novel is by first establishing myself with short story submissions to literary magazines. There are plenty of literary magazines that publish online, including those that will pay authors for their submissions. However, it’s rather overwhelming for someone like me, just starting out. My first step is to act on the advice of my screenwriting professor and start by sending work to contests, which offer winners both cash prizes and publication (two things every writer needs).
Today, I sent in my first contest entry, a narrative nonfiction piece from my honors thesis about video gaming experiences. Here’s to hoping it goes well. But even if it doesn’t, I at least know that I’ve taken the first step to becoming a real writer.