Monday, April 25, 2016

The Next Step: Build the CV with Publications

There is no steadfast rule for a writer of short stories. I mean, write one, ten, or a hundred of them and then take stock in what you have. In a way, I think it's probably easier to have one short story and make it a really good one and then try your luck at publication. There are many magazines that do not mind a simultaneous submission. So, take that one story and submit it to 20 different publications and see what happens. This is one tactic. The best outcome with this, of course, is that each and everyone of the magazines except the last one reject the story; this way you do not have to write each magazine to tell them that your story was accepted by the first magazine.

Having ten short stories in your arsenal, while a seemingly daunting task, may be easier to balance. You can submit one story to one magazine (or two) at a time, and get as much work out there as possible. After all, this discussion has been about building a CV. Send out all of the stories, and hope for the best. If you send out ten stories to twenty magazines, you're sure to get one publication.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Building the CV part II: Specific CV building points

This discuss of the CV continues with the some specifics today. As I've said, too often with a CV, it's something that a writer develops as an after-the-fact situation. I mean, generally, someone will create their CV only after they've done something. I was no different. My initial CV, I put together after I finished grad school, created Umbrella Factory Magazine, and had done some work with Rocket House Pictures. I doubt I could have created a better CV if I had decided to “play it forward” and done things to specifically create the CV.

Of course, I'm changing my course of action now. I am suggesting to do things specifically for the CV.

I think for the writer, there are very few things you can do to make your CV more attractive outside of publication. Publication is the only real reason to be a writer. And publication should be the bulk of a writer's CV.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Building the CV, some Preliminaries

When building a CV, I think it's prudent first to figure out where you stand. Here's the list: 1) What do you want to achieve? 2) What have you done already? 3) What are your assets? 4) Are there current project that are CV worthy? And 5) Do you have a plan for building your CV that is focused, achievable and work worthy?

In my situation, I see these five steps as a general mode of working rather than a big mountain to climb. And really, when it comes down to the general mode of work, like just about everything else that you might do, it's probably best to make something a general way of working rather than just a long list of unrelated tasks.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Importance of a Curriculum Vitae

I've had some new ideas on the writer's curriculum vitae in recent weeks. I say new ideas, but let's face it, there is nothing I can think of that is new. I'm sure there are others that better ideas on the ol' CV and notions of how to display a CV, or how to make one look really good. Who knows? Perhaps it's better to just fabricate one.

Years ago, during a job search, I was talking with a coach who asked me point blank: “What do you want out of a job?” Well, there was the obvious, I wanted a paycheck, I wanted something that didn't take up many hours and I wanted something that wasn't going to tax my patience. I just couldn't tell the job coach these things. “I don't really know how to answer that,” I said. He said, “Think about it.” So, I thought about it. This is what I told him: “I want a job that will build my resume, enhance my CV or make a great barroom story. Ideally, I want a job that will do all three, but it must do at least two.” He laughed. “That's the best answer I've ever heard.”

Then, just as now, I have more great barroom stories than anyone should have. I don't even hang around in barrooms anymore. Stories are stories. Who cares? And as far as the resume goes, those are all completely fabricated. I feel like a resume is just about the most insincere portrait on 8.5 x 11 paper ever conceived. Sure, I have one. I have several, actually. I have a whole file full of resumes. Again, who cares?