If at first you don’t succeed…
My blog entries this month have been a bit thin on the ground. And that’s not because of laziness or lack of interest, I hasten to point out. I’ve been focussing on writing for the mainstream press.
It’s been something of a rollercoaster. I pitched at national broadsheets, printed magazines, an online magazine and I’ve started mulling over a piece for a regional broadsheet. Every piece goes through the same cycle of pondering, maybe dithering, agonising, excitement followed by dread and of course, on more than a few occasions, disappointment.
But keeping at it has paid off, even if not in the way I’d been expecting.
First, I’ve learnt some patience and have honed my pitching technique. My earlier covering emails were probably too long and less ‘to the point’ emotionally. I’ve also got sharper at deciding whether a piece would work better as a feature or an opinion article. And of course, to identify the hook – something which has never been a strong point, even though I work as an editor for a living.
More excitingly, two national broadsheets have now picked up my writing. More about this early next week, when the second one has been published. Interestingly, in both cases, I started by pitching an idea tangentially related to ‘Twinned’, only mentioning Jenny along the way. Both editors instead focussed on Jenny’s story. If anything, this is a welcome confirmation of the emotional resonance of Jenny’s life and death.