As an author, maintaining your muscle for writing is important. The more you write, the more your writing capabilities will develop and strengthen. A great way to maintain and stretch your writerly muscles is to write and submit different kinds of pieces to literary publications.
While many print journals are still going strong, a whole new realm of online publication has opened up, making it much easier and more likely for you to get published. While many people still feel biased in the print versus online debate, to be published in either is an equally great honor – and not to mention, marketing tool. Getting published – online or in print – allows more readers to see your work than you could ever hope to reach on your own. Getting published means expanding and diversifying your readership and ultimately your fan base.
Literary publications, both print and digital, offer a large audience of readers – including agents, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals. If you’ve already published a book, having new content published acts as a promotional tool for both you and your other books. If you haven’t been published yet, you are not only getting your name and voice out there, but also developing your credentials. Many authors boast their literary journal credentials with as much pride as their full-length books. Dedicated readers will follow you from journal to journal, and eventually from book to book.
Additionally, the submission process is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding for you, the author. As you educate yourself with the process and the do’s and don’ts of cover letters, queries, and submission forms, you will be working toward either a refreshing acceptance or a stretching rejection.
If you’re feeling the urge to keep writing and want to build your portfolio and presence as an author, pursue publication in literary journals and magazines. Dig up and revise old or abandoned works. Start creating entirely new pieces. Spend time polishing pieces of fiction that you’ve yet to finish, nonfiction you’ve been meaning to pen, memoirs you’ve promised to write, and poetry you’ve been too scared to share. Try your hand at interviews and profiles of people and places.