If I posted photos of cats in mittens, I’d be rich.

Posted on 26 January 2011

Something strange and bewildering happened to me recently. It involved a short story, a literary magazine, an acceptance, and then an odd and unexpected twist. When it all went down, I wanted to blog about it — I think it offers some good lessons for new writers just starting to get published.

But I’m not going to write about it just yet. Instead of discussing it here, I’m doing some research and conducting interviews so I can take this one experience and turn it into a more in-depth piece that can hopefully help even more writers.

In the comments in my Lit Mag Submission Tips entry, AmyG brought up some good questions about turning blog entries into magazine articles. While every publication out there is different, I generally adhere to the “don’t blog about it if you want to publish it elsewhere” rule. So while there may be exceptions, I suggest playing it safe and not blogging something you would hope to sell as an article. (Of course, if you have an insanely popular blog about cats wearing mittens or something, you just might get a book deal out of it.)

Other options include coming at the issue from a different angle or completely repurposing the blog entry. Or maybe you get lucky and a publication finds your stellar blog entries and wants to work something out. But in general, if it goes up on your website, then I’d say don’t expect to be able to turn around and sell it to a magazine.

As for my own bizarre experience, I’ll keep you posted when I can provide more details at a later time. Also, searching for “cats in mittens” on Flickr doesn’t yield a lot, hence the photo I selected for today. Looks like that market might still be wide open.

Photo: emeryc

5 responses to If I posted photos of cats in mittens, I’d be rich.

  • amyg says:

    hmmm…i’ve got a similar but not really related thing going on right now. i keep thinking of ways i’ll write about it, but can’t at all just yet because i’m still in the middle of it. it’s driving me a little mad not writing about it out loud (in public) because that’s been such a natural part of writing and working through things for me.

    oh the struggles of a writer (says me as i shake my fist at the ceiling)

  • lisahgolden says:

    I am dying of curiosity about your experience. And about that photo. I wonder if she volunteered or was coerced. Maybe it was part of her contract?

  • Downith says:

    Intriguing! Keep us posted.

  • Lyn Hawks says:

    Hi, Laura,

    I’m having a good, educational experience with the querying process for my novel. Sometimes I blog about it, calling it a hero’s journey, but I’m very reluctant to cite specific interactions with agents, etc. In other words, like you, there’s news to share, but could it be useful later and should I share it now? Probably not, but hard to keep it in.

    And yes, once up, it’s out there–published.


  • Yes, it can be hard know what to share and when. I tend to pay attention to any doubt, no matter how vague, about whether I should post something. Once it’s online, it’s there and will never entirely disappear.

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