So here I am – armed with all the knowledge I need to get started. It has been a long road just to get to this point. But I discovered a long time ago that the way to accomplish something is to stick with it and work through the difficult parts until you are in control and you can move forward. I also learned that as soon as you give up, you have lost. It seems like an easy concept, but many people just throw in the towel when things get tough and try something else. Knowing when to quit (for the right reasons) is everything. Sometimes success is just over the next ridge.
I must admit that I tend to get “paralyzed” at certain stages of any process. When I get to the next step, I have a bad habit of analyzing all the alternatives to the point of complete inaction. “Analysis paralysis” some call it. A way of putting off what might be a ‘failure’ or ‘rejection’ if you were to proceed. I get past this most times by finally taking the steps that seem right. It’s always a hard decision, but at least my instincts are usually right. I don’t give myself enough credit sometimes.
I have to choose a subject for my first letter of query to a magazine. This is going to be tough, because Gordon Burgett’s book doesn’t tell you what to write about. That’s your decision to make. I’m sitting here wondering what I should choose to write about. It’s not obvious, that’s for sure. The doubts are also creeping in:
- I won’t be able to choose an interesting subject.
- The editor won’t respond favorably to my query letter.
- I won’t be able to find the right magazine to query.
- My writing won’t be up to the necessary standards.
- I can’t take pictures good enough for publication.
- I won’t be able to conduct a good interview.
And so on…
So getting started is a matter of overcoming those fears, and a few others that tend to hold me back. At my age, I wonder why I still suffer from these insecurities? I’m sure it’s because I haven’t done this before and I’m just experiencing some self-doubt. Everyone has similar feelings at some time in their life, so it’s time to gather my thoughts and move forward. Like Yogi Berra said – “When you come to a fork in the road,….Take it”. I like that.
I had a conversation this morning with a colleague. I told her that I was ready to start the process, but hesitant to make a choice. We agreed that once you get past the initial uncertainty, preparing and sending queries would become second nature. But starting is the hardest part. It’s like a new job; at first it can be exhausting having to learn all the ins and outs. But it soon becomes routine and then you get really good at it. So I’ve decided I want to plunge in head-first and get this party started!
I’m considering an article on a winery in Northern California. This particular winery has an amazing history. I’ve got to give credit to my brother for bringing it to my attention. I’ll reveal the location and name later on. For now though, I have to do a little reading and then I should be ready for the query letter. I need to find the right magazines to pitch the article to, also. That shouldn’t be too hard. Wish me luck!?
Note: I’m now offering Gordon Burgett’s travel writing books, ebooks and other products as an affiliate. You can peruse his wares here. I heartily recommend The Travel Writer’s Guide. Thanks for reading!