Hi Everyone, and WELCOME to The Writing Fairy website. I'm Dorothea Helms, freelance writer, poet, book author, fiction dabbler, writing instructor, keynote speaker, humorist, wife, mother and slave to my English Bulldog, Margaret. My website is undergoing a facelift, boob lift, liposuction, weight loss program ... wait a minute - those are things I need personally. Sheesh. But my website IS in transition after being neglected for a LONG time. My goal is to inspire writers; my method humour (or humor in the U.S.). Enjoy!

Coaxing closet writers to emerge and make their magic known!

Archive for 'Newsletters'

How Trend-y are You?

Want to jump-start your creative energies and increase your chances of having queries accepted by newspapers and magazines? Engage in some creative trend-spotting and beat other writers to the punch. I have had several queries accepted by editors who appreciated my proposing topic or topic angles that are new and different. Back in the 1990s, I did a piece about the negative stereotypes about female bodybuilders before it became prevalent in the media. A few years ago, I sold a piece about women in the trades to a national magazine before we were inundated with articles on this very subject.

Here’s how I do it. I pay attention to what’s happening in my own life and in the lives of those around me. If I hear of or experience something that is “new” to me, I figure it’s probably new to other people too. And you know how that weird universe thing happens, where you hear of something for the first time, and then hear about it again within a few days? When that happens, you’re probably on to a topic that bears some research and a query. It’s the trend-spotters who stay ahead of the game, whether it be in writing or marketing any product or service. The message is, PAY ATTENTION!

The past year has been a challenging one for all business owners, including those who write for a living. It’s easy to succumb to the negativity in the media, and of course, with prices rising, layoffs increasing and work dwindling, life can look dismal during economic dips. One thing to keep in mind is that WE create the economy. WE refers to all of us, not just people sitting in government offices and at the board tables of major corporations.

Writers need to know about a psychological phenomenon called the self-fulfilling prophecy.” If you tell people things are bad, they’ll make them bad. Fortunately, the opposite can happen. I’m not naïve enough to suggest that wishing alone can make things happen, and of course life is more complicated than that. But weathering economic downturns sometimes requires plunging ahead with plans rather than putting them on hold out of fear … optimism rather than pessimism.

There’s a fine balance between calculated risk and foolish risk, but for writers, risk is part of everyday life. Sending out query letters involves risk. Having something – anything – published involves risk. Allowing fictional characters to have their own voices can be risky. But we do it because we love the craft.

The best advice I can give is to hang in there. If freelance work seems elusive at the moment, continue marketing your product. Be more creative than ever in coming up with ideas that aren’t same-old, same-old and pitch them to editors. Think about expanding your writing in areas you may not have tried. How about web writing or brochure writing? Ask around, let everyone know that you’re looking for writing work, and keep the faith!