When I was a young girl, I took archery lessons. My Christmas present for that year was my very own archery set. It came in a long, cardboard box, and it contained an unstrung bow, the bowstring, a quiver, a paper target, and three different sets of arrows.
I was thrilled with the arrows because they had different points or tips. There was the target point used for regular target practice. There was also field point used for outdoor shooting of three-dimensional targets. Finally, there was the broadhead, whose thick metal point was used for hunting. Each arrow had a distinct purpose and it was to be used for a specific target.
When we write, the genre we choose is like our arrow. We need to determine what we are going to write before we can settle on the exact publisher we need to target. Do you want to write short children’s stories? Do you want to write about arts and crafts? Do you want to tackle non-fiction? Do you have a knack for writing mysteries?
Sometimes we know immediately what arrow we will be sending. Other times it is a process of growth and opportunities that shows us the right arrow to use. The point is (excuse the pun) that we need to start with a genre in order to begin targeting. Don’t be surprised with it changing over time. I started writing inspirational articles for women about five years ago. My first non-fiction picture book for children will be out in 2010.
The process to target doesn’t change much, but the arrows we use might. Keep writing and see what arrows you come up with.
Contributed by Catherine L. Osornio