Anonymous said: Dude. I think you're great, I'm totally in awe of what you're doing and you're so young and I wanna be you. I know you've answered this probably a million times before -- but how do I start getting my work out there more? I really want to contribute as much as I can but I find that there all these road blocks to actually contributing. Like, how did you start writing for the New York Times? That's fucking amazing. PLEASE GIVE ME ADVICE! It's hard not to feel low when nothing works out. X
First: Thank you! That’s very kind.
Second: I get this question a lot and my short advice is to get rejected. Get rejected a whole lot. And don’t let that stop you. Getting rejected does not mean you are a bad writer. It does not mean you suck. It’s progress. I would also say that most sites get tons of submissions so it might be helpful to try and get to know editors before you submit — go to readings to meet them/other writers for the site or send emails like, “Hey! I like your work and would like to take you for coffee and pick your brain!” Then, if they’re open to it, be like, “I love your site. I have some great ideas for it!”
Mostly! Do NOT feel low about things not working out. See my advice post below about rejection. I get rejected A LOT.
As for the Times, they came to me after I finished 100 Interviews (100interviews.com) so I only got their attention by spending an entire year writing my own website for free. It was a long, tiring process.
Here’s helpful advice from my writer friend Meghan O’Keefe: here.