Funny how these publishing things turn out. Nearly five years ago, 27 January 2006 according to my records I received the good news that The Writer has accepted by article “How to Overcome the Fear of Writing through Pre-Writing.” Originally they weren’t sure if they’ll be using the piece in their magazine or on their website. Then they decided in the magazine and even paid $350 for the article on 26 May 2006, bless their hearts.
I told my writing friends to look out for it, but it never came out. Maybe they decided to use it on their website, but I got caught up in more important things, like this massive move from Penang (Peninsular Malaysia) to Kuching (Borneo) in October, a new teaching job at Unimas in December, and a new baby in January 2007 and never checked, after cashing the check. If I wasn’t paid, I would have been checking it constantly!
Month after month, year after year, I did check each issue of The Writer. During that time they also changed editors, and I’ve experienced being lost in the shuffle before when a new editor takes over. It happens. Sometimes I’ve even benefited when a new editor takes over and they discover me! Eventually, I just gave up on it – after all, I did get paid!
Two days before Christmas I got an email from one of their editors informing me that they’ll be using my article in their May 2010 issue! Nearly four and a half years after they first accepted it! Of course I’m bowled over. Great news! The original article, adapted from my creative writing units, was about 2500 words, which I had cut down from about 4000 words) and then they’ll be cutting that down to 1695 words to make it fit on two pages, which is fine since it serves their needs.
Two days ago I got my first look at how they edited it, now titled, “How to Use Pre-Writing Techniques to Get Started”. I didn’t compare it the original because that's always a painful process. So I read it as it’ll appear in The Writer. Naturally I recognized my own writing (but had forgotten what I had written!). I know of at least one section that got lopped off at the end, an essay sample on how to overcome the fear of writing written within the article. I did recommend a couple of changes because of repetition, which may have been in the original version, and they suggested another change, too. Later I’ll get to see the galleys before it goes into print, glad for this second chance, glad to have another look at it.
In the brief bio at the need of the article they’ll be naming my two MPH books and my website, and no doubt I’ll attract something good out of that. Already I’ve mentioned three other articles that I’m planning to send them, two of which began in this blog and a third, from The Quill, linked here, too.
So now I’m telling my writing friends all over again to check out their May 2010 issue! I definitely will! It feels like a whole new article sale. What are the chances that they'll pay me again? Hey, you never know. It's a New Year!
***Here's the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.