I subscribe to a couple of writer’s magazines. One is “Poets & Writers”. I consider myself a poet, as I’ve written many poems and have seen several of them published. My poems are not flowery or obscure. They tell little stories to the reader. When I read the magazine, “Poets and Writers”, I am looking at ways to market my writing and also studying the markets and what other poets/writers are saying. One such “study” led to a short letter to the editors that they published on page 11 of their Nov/Dec 2016 issue. That was a boost for my morale and also enabled me to add “published in Poets & Writers Magazine” to my resume’. I was very moved by an article in one of their previous magazines where they asked writers their feelings about the Presidential candidates. When I saw my favorite candidate was not even mentioned, I got “fired up” and wrote about it. I also had been disappointed in some of the comments by the interviewed writers. I’m glad I sent that letter to the magazine and flattered and pleased that they printed it.
One of the articles in the Mar/April issue of Poets & Writers is “The Necessity of Failure”. As a former school teacher, I realize that in order to teach well, I must first see my students fail. It does no good to teach them what they already know. I was very observant as a teacher and while I made sure they never felt shamed, I also made sure they were comfortable enough to fail and let me see where their weaknesses were so I could correct their conceptions.
I imagine this article (The Necessity of Failure) will be about how failures similarly teach writers how to correct their writing conceptions and begin to succeed. I haven’t read it yet, but I will. The magazines I subscribe to are read cover to cover with the kind of reading intensity that garners new knowledge and new encouragement.
I also subscribe to “Writer’s Digest” and have gotten leads on markets from reading their articles. I also get tips on how to perfect my craft, and I enjoy reading about how others have succeeded and what it took to get to their level of success.
What all this writing today is about is whether or not to count the studying I do when I go through my writer’s magazines as “writing time” on my two hour daily writing requirement that I have recently imposed on myself. I think I will. Just as I stopped after reading the article about the Presidential election to write that letter/feedback to that magazine, I will also stop from time to time to pull out a dusty old manuscript and see if some of the ideas I just read will revive it.
Yes, studying counts for me. If I don’t include it, I may find myself studying less and writing more, but not writing as well.
Writing is a dance and we must learn and appreciate all the steps . . . from the ideas we think to the research and the writing and then the editing . . . it all matters. It all should be counted in the time we spend on our writing careers.