I have been asked how I managed to sell my first story to the People's Friend having been rejected by them for TEN YEARS.
The point was I didn't really believe I could write for them. I am not a 'typical' PF reader. I have no family so have no experience of grandchildren, family Christmases etc etc.
I used to target them for a while, then give up for months then have another go. I might have given up completely but at the time I was giving talks to various groups about writing stories for magazines.The audiences were mainly older people, and the magazine that most of them had read was the People's Friend. I felt like a fraud as I had never been published by them. Basically I made up my mind to crack the market.
Over a month or so, I bought the weeklies and specials and saved them up. Then I spent a weekend doing nothing but readi8ng and studying the stories.
As I read, I thought about the emotions the stories evoked and how they made me feel. Then I pictured a typical reader in my head. Warning! This amounts to stereotyping which can be dangerous. The fact is that the readers of PF are very varied in age, interests, outlook; everything really but that wasn't helping me to target them. What I had to do was make up a pretend reader so that I could write my stories for her. Once I got to know this imaginary person, and what she wanted from stories, I was able to write fiction SHE would want to read, rather than stories I might like to read. .
It must have worked because they bought the next story I sent to them.
If you're finding it hard to break into this market, why not give this a go? Don't wrote for you. Write fo your ideal, made up, imaginary reader and see if that works for you. If it does, do let me know.
The picture shows me dressed as a man for the opening scene of the Barnbow Canaries, the play I was delighted to be a part of in the summer..
Now for a bit abut me and where I am at the moment.
I am in a muddle. Still waiting for definite news about my move, although things DO appear to be happening at last.
As some of you may know, I have issues. Depression, low self esteem, lack of slef belief being just a few of them. I am now trying a new therapy using a book I just happened to find in the recycling centre. It's called SELF PARENTING and it's by John Pollard. I started working through it four days ago and it's already having an affect. The basic idea is a simple one. That we 'parent' ourselves in the same way that our parents parented us. It's helped me to see that although I can love more or less everybody and have enormous patience with people, I don't treat myself that way. I spent my life not even liking myself and being harsh and critical when I failed to get things right. Using the book, I am learning how to treat myself with kindness and love.
I won't kid you that it's easy. It isn't. I am all over the place right now thanks to the emotional shaking up I am giving msyelf but I really do think it's working. I will keep you posted.
Oen side effect is that I am not even trying to write stories at the moment. I am giving msyelf tiem and sapce to heal because if I can acheive that, I can achieve so much more too.
Watch this space.