My favorite quote is to “do something today your future self will thank you for”. It’s not just a favorite saying, it’s a favorite mantra, and a favorite way of life. To continually feed the machine of forward momentum, one needs to play the long game. Creating a book, an article, a short story is absolutely an accomplishment. But then what? The image I see in my mind when I’m at this day in and day out is an old-fashion engine car in a big coal train. I know I have miles to go but I also know I’ve successfully covered some. If I stop shoveling the fuel into the fire, I may coast for a while, but inevitably the weight of the train will drag me to a stop. Getting started again will take much more energy from a full stop. Better to just to keep going, leaning on the momentum I’ve already gained.
Much like the train, today’s rewards are hinged on the opportunities put into play by our past efforts. In the last ninety days I’ve had a Feature Article article published in Story Monsters Ink Magazine (available in Barnes & Noble nationally), I won an honorable mention in the Purple Dragonfly Awards (Five Star Publications) for one of my children’s books, and had press on my projects come out in magazines, blogs and newspapers based in California, Massachusetts and Florida. I had two illustrations published in the 2016 ComicCon International’s Souvenir Guide and a two page spread of my fine art work appear in the October issue of Women in Art 278 Magazine. These things didn’t just happen, they were put into motion long ago.
Taking time everyday to send in queries, apply for grants, enter contest, and research publications is exhausting but completely necessary. Submit, submit, submit. Do it today so you can see it tomorrow. Always keep in mind that contest and query submissions can take weeks to hear back from, many times months. If the process seems slow and arduous, that is quite simply because it is. But don’t give up – the more opportunities you jump on, the more things you have to look forward to. Apply for short and long term events because we all know the time will pass anyway!
In the month of November, I’ll be participating in NanoWriMo, I have a book signing scheduled as well as a solo art show at the Maturango Museum. Those events didn’t just pop magically onto the horizon, they have been in the making for months – the Museum show was green lit over a year ago. I’m also awaiting responses from several article query submissions and dozens of competition entries that will continue to unfold results and create press well into 2017. Keep going. Feed that fire. Do something this very minute your future self will thank you for.
There are many great websites devoted to competitions, submissions and press opportunities. Here are few that might be helpful:
And for artists / Illustrators, check out: