Writer Ashley C. Ford (The Guardian, Slate) on Sharing Your Work – Class Excerpt


Congratulations, you
finished your essay. What do you do with it now? It depends, is it something that you wanna put out
in the world or isn’t it? That’s the very first question
you have to ask yourself. We’ve just gone through this whole process and you’ve hopefully written something that you really like. Or at the very least you think
you can do something with. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that what you wanna do with it
is put it out into the world and have it be a public
piece of your career. Or of your legacy. That’s totally fine if that’s the case. If you decide you don’t
wanna share it, fine, that’s totally, totally okay. Writing doesn’t have to be for the world, sometimes it’s just for you. But if you’re like me and you
definitely wanna write things that go out into the world and connect with people that way, you have to decide again
how you wanna do that. Do you wanna write something for a blog? Do you want to write something for a literary site that’s small, but publishes the kind of thing
that you write really well? Or do you wanna play with it? Do you wanna be edited heavily? What do you want? Once you know what you
want to do with the essay you can start doing your
research about which publications do those things well. Some publications are gonna have editors that edit you hard. Other publications are gonna have editors that want something to come to them pretty well done that they
can do some light edits on. Figure out who does what
at which publications and then think about the right place for whatever you’ve just written. Not every place is going
to want a long form essay. Not every place is gonna want
something that’s really short. Once you know where you
want this essay to go do a little more research. Don’t ever send it to
the first place that asks and don’t ever send it to
the first place you think of. Do a little research. And once you think you’ve found
the best match for your work and a publisher, send it on, and send it with courage.

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