Double click on the graphics to see actual size versions of my submissions log.
I mentioned before that I don’t think writers keeping secrets is particularly useful (in fact, I think it’s bad for your karma account, but more on that in a future musing).
I’m committed to a radical transparency not only with respect to what I write, but also how I go about it… or, as we like to say in our high-falutin’ moments of erudition: our “process.”
So that’s why I’ve decided to share a completely unedited version of my current submission log, a document most writers protect with the quiet but unmistakable and unmatchable fierceness of a guard dog.
The purpose of doing this is straightforward: to show just how much work goes into selling a single story about a single experience.
Last summer, while working on the Fodor’s guide to Puerto Rico, I traveled the full length of the Ruta Panoramica (Panoramic Route), a rather undertouristed part of an island that’s become, regrettably, transfixed with chains and resorts. There’s a lot to write about the Ruta, and I could easily write five different articles about it.
Until I finished my work with Fodor’s I was under contract not to write about it elsewhere, and so I’ve been saving up the story, as it were, until this month.
So here I am, almost eight months after my on the ground research, pitching articles about the Ruta to publications I believe would be a good fit. As you can see from my log, I’ve pitched several different publications. (The angle would be different depending on the publication).
It’s not uncommon for a year or longer to pass between a writer’s travels and a published piece based on pitches sent to editors about a particular trip or place. Who knows how long it will take to sell a piece?
Stay tuned for the answer to that question.
What else can you learn from my submission log? What questions do you have about it? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments.
*I hope it goes without saying that you should not simply email these editors without performing your own due diligence about the publication and current contact information for the editor. I know for a fact that at least two of these editorial contacts are no longer valid.