Success Is Built On Habits

Success Is Built On Habits

As writers, it’s important that we come up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis. However, we’re wasting our time if we don’t do anything with them. Much better to have a habit of developing ideas and then either writing them up (if it’s fiction) or pitching them (if they’re non-fiction).

I often use the latest issue of a magazine as a prompt, to encourage me to come up with an idea to pitch to that particular publication.

I subscribe to Outdoor Photography magazine and, like most photographic publications, they require a regular stream of photographic submissions to fill their pages. One such slot is their Viewpoint section, where an image and a short 250-word piece is used to whet the reader’s appetite as a potential photographic destination.

Outdoor Photography – May 2019 Issue

Each issue, the editor makes a specific request for ideas for this slot. And without fail, I always pitch a photographic idea. Sometimes this is easier than others. But I always submit.

Thanks to a pitch I made in September 2018, I have a piece in the May 2019 issue of the magazine.

And the pitch I made in October 2018 will be in the June 2019 issue of the magazine too.

See what I mean? Regular pitching can have its regular rewards.

There are some magazines that put a call out to their regular freelance suppliers for ideas on a specific theme. Again, when I get these I always pitch something. If nothing else, it reminds the editor you’re still alive!

And there are times when I can’t think of an idea that I believe will be exciting enough for the editor. And it’s tempting to think, Nah, I won’t bother this time. But I don’t. I always pitch something. And quite frequently, I’m right. My ideas wasn’t exciting enough, and as a result, it wasn’t commissioned. But, surprisingly, there are times when an idea that I felt wouldn’t excite an editor is commissioned.

Which tells me two things:

  1. It just proves you can’t pre-judge what an editor will think of an idea.
  2. If you don’t pitch at every opportunity, you lose that opportunity for a commission.

We’re always being advised to write everyday. To make it a habit. The same goes for idea developing and pitching. Make it a regular habit. Do it when you don’t even want to do it. You might be surprised by the results.

Good luck.

2 thoughts on “Success Is Built On Habits

  1. I like the idea of letting the editor know you’re alive, that you exist. This is important. He or she may not like your idea, but might realise you’re right for something else. Pitching regularly lets them know you’re presently in the market for work.

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