Natasha Beningfield wrote the song, Unwritten. Some of the lyrics say, “No one can speak the words on your lips.” “No one can feel it for you.” “Today is where your book begins; the rest is still unwritten.” Meditate on those words. The message that a writer has is uniquely their own. No one can share the message a writer shares like the writer of those words. No one–no matter how inspired–can feel what a writer feels when writing words of inspiration. Then, there is the big one. Are you ready? Every brand spankin new day is the beginning of the rest of one’s life. Resonate with that. Every day is the chance to start that article. Pitch that idea. Finish that book. Whatever the project is: today is the day to change lives…even one’s own. What are you going to write on the first page of this new book?
One of the hardest labors of love I undertook was creating my tribe. With less than one week before my writing group will launch, I am swamped in last minute additions. There was so much I wanted. There was so much I wanted to share. There was so much I wanted to achieve, then I noticed I was making the epic fail. All of my goals had “I” in it. I had forgot that it is my tribe I want to serve. What should already be a buzz had nothing but crickets, and it was my fault. After evaluating the problem, I began to reach out to members individually, asking them what I can do for them. This was not about me. Sure I wanted my group to be a success, but even more, I wanted my members to be a success. That is what building a tribe is about: serving others.
Writers to Writers
Illustrations provided by http://www.ncte.org
There are seemingly more literary magazines than one can count. They all seem to be looking for readers and writers to make small publishing worthwhile. If finding authors is not a problem, getting their name out is a huge battle. Recognition. With so many little magazines in press, how does a new lit mag gain readers? What help are these small zines to authors if not compensated? Why would anyone start one in the first place?
As editor-in-chief of The Exceptional Writer Literary Magazine, I asked these questions. I am still asking some of these questions now that I am approaching the Fall edition. A small fish in a big pond, I decided there is room for a small press. The Exceptional Writer Literary Magazine gives emerging authors the chance to flourish without “no simultaneous submissions” and the almighty slush pile. While the magazine sells for less than a cup of coffee, it is a labor of love. The Exceptional Writer Literary Magazine stepped out paying homage to legendary African American authors. The-little-magazine-that-could is offering the upcoming edition in print and digital press. The business plan? Right now: subscriptions, advertising, and contributions. Although start-up costs are out of pocket and barely cover publishing costs, the mission to give voice to emerging authors is so worth it. The second issue set to roll out in October will continue its home on Joomag.
Hopes are that The Exceptional Writer Literary Magazine will gain footing by way of grants, contributions, and subscriptions and readership by word of mouth. The steam and creativity put into the literary magazine is anything but small for this small press.
With big names like The American Reader, One Story, and Glimmertrain as competition, is there room for this new literary magazine? Is there room for emerging authors? There is one born everyday.
The Exceptional Writer is open to submissions. Guidelines are listed on the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theexceptionalwriter/
Image credit http://cargocollective.com