Monday, May 9, 2016

Is This Opportunity Right For Me?

Recently, I saw a headline, "Trillions of Frequent Flyer Miles Unredeemed." I asked myself the question, "Why?"

1.  People sometimes get miles but don't travel often enough to earn rewards.
2.  Like me, I join Reward Programs and then forget about them.
3.  I've heard others complain about restrictions on travel dates.

As writers, why wouldn't we jump at an opportunity for publication or to enter a contest?

1.  Perhaps the publisher isn't a good fit. Their business approach might not be compatible with our goals. Think Mary Poppins meets Godzilla.

2.  Personal responsibilities with job/family/ministry might leave little or no time to devote to a writing career. It can be done if you're organized and focused, but some people aren't wired for the fast lane.

3.  Maybe the contest requires an entry fee or has some stringent rules.

With so many paths available, choosing the right one involves:

1.  Prayer - If uneasy (not fearful, but not at peace), either reject it or put it on the back burner.

2.  Consult family. Will they be supportive or resentful of this project? Is there a way to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement?

3.  Research the company/contest. Talk to others who have first-hand knowledge and get recommendations. Look them up on the Internet, see what kind of books/materials they produce. Is the contest sponsored by a reputable organization? Who are the judges? Go over any contracts, and ask a family member/agent/lawyer for advice.

Writers:  When it comes to publishing, what are some deal breakers for you?

Readers:  Everyone signs contracts for something. How do you decide whether or not to sign on the dotted line?

Have a blessed week, and read the fine print!

Photo Credit: Odan Jaeger


Karen Lange said...

Good advice, Susan! I'm not always cut out for that life in the "fast lane" as you mentioned. I'll often see contests and just don't have the time to enter. Would like to carve out more time in the future. Somehow. :) Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

These are good questions to ask ourselves of the 'why' we don't enter contests, or even use the resources we already have. And sometimes were in a season where decisions seem to just not come easily maybe due to feeling overwhelmed or just wanting our foot on the brake for a bit. So true that prayer has to be number one, letting go of the sense of urgency by sitting with Him.

Linda O'Connell said...

Great thought provoking questions, Susan. I have signed all rights contracts a few times, but I always stipulate that I retain the rights to publish in my own memoir.

annie keys said...

Great article! I know the most frequent reason l don't respond to a contest or an opportunity is "it" doesn't fit my genre' of writing. The "ask a baker to write an article on how to catch fish" obstacle.

Good word, food for thought. Thanks.