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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Professionalism and Persistence Pay Off
by Guy Belleranti

Every aspiring writer has dreams about making that first sale. Or, as in my case, nightmares of never getting it. For several years, I floundered around in the world of the short story. I received many encouraging responses from editors, but no sales.  Then, when I moved across the country, married, and started a family, I decided I no longer had time for writing.

Thank goodness decisions can be changed! Nearly nine years after my previous (and rejected) submission, it hit me. Something was missing from my life. That "something" was writing. I needed to write as much as I needed air to breathe, food to eat and water to drink.
But I don't have the time, I told myself. Nonsense, another part of me argued back. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. You have to make the time. You have to quit making excuses. You have to go for it.
I continued beating back the negative, can't-do-it thoughts, determined to make positive things happen. I decided to write at night after my children, and sometimes even my wife, had gone to bed. So what if I'd never been a night owl. I'd never been a writer either. At least not a published one. But now, I told myself grimly, things were going to change.
The first change was in myself. I discovered I'd become a different person than in my initial writing days. I'd grown older, yes, but also wiser. I now knew that to succeed, to sell, I had to treat my writing like the job it was. It couldn't just be a hobby. No, I had to adopt a professional and business-like approach. Since night was to be my writing time I had to write every night, be it for one or two or three hours. 
I set up a small, well-defined workplace in a corner of the living room as my "writing room."  I purchased the latest Writers Market, and decided to branch out beyond the short story into other forms of writing. This way, I reasoned, not only could I become a better writer, but I could also increase my chance of sales. Magazine articles, poetry, light verse, humor, jokes, fillers -- I read books on them all. I began researching markets at the local library and at numerous magazine stands. Writer's guidelines and sample copies soon filled half of one drawer in my newly purchased filing cabinet.
Most important, I wrote, developing a habit, making it so I couldn't wait for this evening escape, this time when I could be creative. Of course, there continued to be occasions when the only thing on my mind was sleep. But I still sat myself down at my work station and plugged away. Even sleepy-eyed gibberish was better than nothing. After all, a writer has to start somewhere. Doing several different types of writing helped -- if I felt blocked or drained on one I'd tackle another. The writing world became an even more exciting place, because now I was writing things I'd never dreamed of trying. And since fillers, poetry, light verse, etc. can usually be written more quickly than a short story, I was able to see more pieces reach that satisfying point - completion. 
Then one Saturday I opened the mailbox and found my name on an envelope from Arizona Highways.  Enclosed was a contract. They wanted to purchase a humorous filler. Within three weeks I received a check for $75.00.            
I've made over 900 sales since that big first, including over 100 short story sales. And now I have my own home office as well, a place where I can write and write and write. Indeed, professionalism and persistence have paid off.   

Mr. Belleranti began writing more seriously and professionally 10 years ago, and has sold over 900 pieces in that time.  He writes short stories, puzzles, poetry, articles and humor for both adults and children.  A few of the places his work has appeared include Woman's World, Jack and Jill, Boys' Quest, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Cappers and Wee Ones. He is now a stay-at-home Dad. When he's not writing he is home-schooling his 13-year-old daughter and working as a docent at the local zoo.









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