I absolutely have to start work on a few articles for the fall newsletter, my next article/ blog entry for FFOM, writing here more often, and compiling a list of publications to send queries and/ or submissions. The first two tasks are relatively simple -- I have the topics, access to the information to write about send topics, and the (self-imposed) deadlines for the topics. The third task involves a bit more thought and a lot more spontaneity. The fourth task absolutely terrifies me. Have you any idea how many publications exist in this world? For every niche, there is an outlet. For cat lovers, you have Cat Fancy. For parents of babies, you have BabyTalk. For those domestic goddesses out there, you have Better Homes & Gardens. These are only examples of my point. In general, one is expected to have clips geared towards the publication's overall theme and essentially choose topics pertaining to that genre. The difficulty I have is choosing one genre. I do not feel that I can be boxed into one genre.
For starters, I have never fit into a particular category. I find it degrading to be labeled as something because we are all individual people with differing tastes, beliefs, opinions, values, ideals, dreams, and motivations. For example, my blogs have mostly pertained to the "slice-of-life" genre, yet I've written and edited for a materials science and engineering newsletter and written for a midwifery advocate group. Each of these relates to me as a whole in that they make up parts of who I am. I can't just stop doing one thing or another to fit into some category that will dictate my writing for the future. Perhaps if I was one of the professors in my department, I might have to choose a specialty to write about. However, I'm not a professor specializing in ceramics or polymers, therefore I do feel the need to limit myself.
That being the case, I have several interests that I feel I'd love to write about -- which explains why I've got to compile a list of publications first. Then I suppose I'll need to narrow down my options based upon the overall feel of the publication and the copyrights. I simply cannot allow someone to own my writings forever. One time rights? Certainly. Non-exclusive rights? You bet. Exclusive, permanent rights? Not a chance. Once I've narrowed it down, I have the even greater task of writing letters. However, I also face the issue of my clips not pertaining to their genre. I suppose I'll have to cross my fingers.