On Being A Writer by Marcella S. Meeks

Back in the early eighties I decided on becoming a writer. Looking back now, there is no clear answer as to why. I had a house full of kids at the time, and it just seemed like the thing to do. It was satisfying and served a purpose in my life, and something I enjoyed doing in my spare time. Being a fulltime stay-at-home mother without any formal education left little room for any outside work that required a college degree so I had time on my hands. When I signed up for a correspondence writing course, writing for children and teens, my world took on a new meaning. I was no longer just a stay-at-home mother and housewife, I was a writer for children and teens.

That was just the beginning. Over the years I have written front page news and feature stories for several local newspapers as well as hundreds of newsletters and small press publications. Most of these publications are no longer in existence, and were so small that most writers today have never heard of them nor have editors.

But nevertheless it was the start of my writing career. I made a name for myself and continued writing in my spare time throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, my writing took a slow turn and writing became more of a part-time hobby than a real career. I conquered the small presses and had lots of stuff published in a lot of different places. I never made it into the big time publications like Woman’s World or Better Homes and Gardens or any of these. Not that I didn’t want to; it was more or less they didn’t want me.

Since then, a lot of troubled water flowed under the bridge of life and my writing career plummeted to the ground several times – on and off light a light switch. Life and all its glory and troubles came and went, as with writing projects. I finished two
romantic/suspense novels but never revised, edited or rewrote either of these. They still sit dormant in a folder on my computer. Many times, I wrote and blogged and scribbled several types of poems, stories and articles and submitted once in a while but to no avail. Nothing was accepted.

A few months ago, I submitted a short story entitled ‘The Photograph’. Yes, I did revise and rewrite it and submitted it to a magazine I stumbled across in Poets and Writers Magazine. Within a month, it was accepted and published in the September 2018 issue. I received this nice little note when the story debuted. So with joy and gratitude, I invite each of you to read my story here. Here is the letter from the editor:

Dear Marcella,

This is to inform you that your story has been published in the Adelaide Literary Magazine No.16, September 2018, and you can view it here:

We encourage you to share this link on your Facebook, Twitter page and/or blog and website.
For the better online visibility, your work is listed on the Home Page, Current issue page, September 2018 Issue page, and Fiction page, and in coming days your biography will be added to our Contributors page.

The printed edition (paperback) and digital edition (eBook) are also released and will be available on Amazon.com in a couple of days.

Unfortunately, we do not supply contributor’s copies, but our contributing authors can purchase copies of the magazine at discount of up to 50% depending on the number of copies purchased, at our “store” page http://adelaidemagazine.org/store.html

I would like to thank you for your contribution and to invite you to continue publishing in the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Your writing is expressive, mature, and multi-layered, and it was my particular pleasure to bring it to readers. Also, I would like to apologize for the delay in the release of the September Issue caused by the change of printer and distributor.

Our imprint Adelaide Books (http://adelaidebooks.org ) is now accepting new submissions for 2019. If you have a manuscript ready for publishing, we would be happy to look at it. Let me know.
Thank you for your support.
With Kind Regards,
Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor

Adelaide Literary Magazine
Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor
Adelaide Books / Adelaide Literary Magazine

After receiving the good news, it boosted my ego and helped enable me to get back into writing once again. That’s always been my problem: staying motivated. Writing is one of the loneliest professions that I can think of. Somehow, some way, there has to be a better system for me. Someone once told me that I was my own worst enemy, and believe me, that is true in so many instances.

I am the worst procrastinator in the world. If it can be put off, then I can do that too. So today – this day – I am trying to turn over a new leaf and be a better, more proficient writer. My goal for the remainder of 2018 is to get at least one of those books revised, edited and rewritten and in the hands of a publisher, possibly the one above. My goal for 2019 is to get both published, and finish up the other book projects I started a long ago, as well as revise and resubmit some of the stories and poems that are stored in my computer.

Writers face problems that will steer them from their main goal. It happens tot he best of us. But the thing is, you’ve got to be resilient (bounce back into shape) and keep on writing. When the time is right, start submitting again. That is the best advice I can give you at this moment. Start writing and submitting – find an outlet that will boost your ego and get you back into shape! Search every writing market you can find until you find somebody that will publish your work. The good news is, there is somebody out there just waiting to grab your manuscript. But it’s up to you to find it.

Don’t be like me – wait to be motivated or inspired. That’s the worst thing any writer can do. Find an outlet or venue that works for you and start writing – after all, that’s what we all want to do anyway. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be here today reading this article.

So, take my advice. Find a market that you think you can write for. Study it, find out all you can about what they publish, what they want and need and cater to those needs. When you finally submit something to that publication and it is accepted, the rest is easy. Don’t stop there. Each month send something appropriate for them. Then start checking out other magazines you enjoy reading. Learn everything you can and cater to their needs as well. You can start right now with the one I used: Adelaide Books / Adelaide Literary Magazine at http://adelaidemagazine.org/.

I can’t tell you exactly what will happen because I don’t know what kind of writer you are, or how well you write. It doesn’t hurt to try.


1 thought on “On Being A Writer by Marcella S. Meeks

  1. A lot of truth in what you’ve written here. I connected with many of your feelings – at times we do wonder what is the point but if we enjoy the process of writing then at least it enriches our own lives.

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