>Networking helps; so does the dog

>A few weeks ago, I attended the monthly Nye Beach Writers series here in Newport, Oregon. Among the attendees was the editor of a local entertainment newspaper. I wrote one story for her 11 years ago when she was editor of another paper. A lot of things have changed since then for both of us. During intermission, she sought me out to tell me she had been reading and enjoying my Unleashed in Oregon blog. She recognized me from the picture on my blog. Nice, I thought. A few days later, I met her at the post office. She lives way up the coast, but she was on her way through my area, and there she was chasing me down in the parking lot. Why? To tell me she would love it if I wanted to write something for her. Her usual pay rate is low, but she’d increase it for me, she said. If I’m interested, all I need to do is pitch her some ideas. No formal query, just an e-mail or phone call.

I may or may not do it because the pay is still quite low, but that just goes to show you how doing things like attending writers’ events and putting out a blog can draw attention to your skills. In fact, many of my better freelance assignments have come through networking rather than the old query method. But don’t stop querying, especially if you aren’t likely to meet an editor at your small-town post office.
A few readers have signed on for my bi-weekly submission challenge. I sent one thing out last week and pledge to do another this week.

Ooh, maybe two. My dog just walked in and gave me another article idea. No, he doesn’t speak English, but he has learned how to jump the fence, and I’m spending far too much time wandering the neighborhood calling, “Here Chico, come on, dude, I’ve got cookies, come on, boy,” etc. I just realized other dog owners probably have the same problem. Query time. Once you open the flood gates, they come pouring in.

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