'm writing this editorial in early 2004. Yes this is the March/April issue but I see January out my window. Like many people, I made a new resolution for the New Year. I decided to clean my office.
While cleaning I came across a notebook that contains a bunch of articles, papers, and ideas that I wrote between high school and my early college days and into my software development career. One paper that stood out was called, "Tales of a Freelance Writer." Here's an excerpt from that paper:
The frequent click-clack of the typewriter began to overwhelm him. For months he worked on this project, "the article." The thought of being published pushed him onward. "Will I ever get published?" "Is this really worth the time?" Such negative questions ran through his mind.
"Rodney, would you put that darn typewriter away and come to dinner?" his mother yelled.
I wrote this paper about my adventures in writing as a high school student. I began my writing career attempting to write for TSR (the company that published Dungeons and Dragons). I don't know how many articles or article ideas I submitted to them, but I know it was quite a few. After receiving numerous rejection letters I finally got published as the following excerpt recalls:
His hands shook nervously as he opened the letter. Dear Mr. Paddock. Congratulations! We have chosen to print your article in a future edition of our magazine. "Finally, I am a published writer," he thought.
I received just such a letter as a high school senior. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. I still have a copy of the published article. After high school I went to college and wrote a little for the college newspaper. I also got hooked on computers. My goal was to be a writer but I liked computers a lot more at the time.
Eventually I got the "bug" to write again and came up with an idea for a computer-related article. At DBExpo in 1992 I met Dian Schaffhauser from Data Based Advisor. I talked with her about my idea, got a set of writer's guidelines, and in a few short months I had my article published in that magazine. I had come full circle.
Since then I have published a number of articles, books, and papers on various development subjects. I am also editor of this magazine, which is a dream come true.
Now I am in the position of being an editor with the power to accept or reject article ideas. I truly empathize with authors. It's difficult to write original material and have it accepted for publication. One thing that I can say, however, is that I am pretty easy to work for. Here's how my process works
- An author contacts me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or meets me at a conference.
- The author says, "I want to write about X."
- I say, "Cool, send me an abstract and rough outline."
- Once they do, we work together to refine the outline.
- Eventually I send a contract and template with writer's guidelines.
- The author writes the article.
- CoDe Magazine editors clean up the article.
- The author answers final questions posed by myself or the editors.
- We run the article.
I like articles from new authors as well as seasoned veterans. If you would like to write for this magazine, I invite you to send me an e-mail.
To close, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up on your goals. If people try to put you down, use that as fuel to get you to your goal. If you get rejected, keep trying. If you pursue your goals with passion, you will succeed in whatever endeavor you take on. Take it from that 17-year-old kid with the typewriter.