This is Our Era
The following are imaginary chapters in a 19th century book trying to educate striving women learn more about the steps to having the profession of a published writer.
The chapters give insight to the few opportunities that were available in a time where there were certainly no creative writing or publishing classes.This Is Our EraChapter One: How to BeginLadies, I want to start off by saying you have come to the right place, if you want to be an author and well if you do not; then keep reading and you will soon want to. We are in an era of opportunity. There are controversies everywhere about us. Whether we should have the right to own property, have the right to vote, have custody of our children, and so much more we can fight for. Some may have lost hope or some of you do not know a way to express yourselves. Our opinions matter, it is our life.
We are witnessing the upcoming of woman’s suffrage. We need to be a part of this movement, and the easiest way to do that is to write. Yes that is correct, we must write. We must demand a place alongside men and we must demand to be heard. Becoming professional writers enables us to put our opinions and trials out there so everyone can see.How exactly do you start writing? Well simple, look for a topic that interests you. I encourage you to start off with a simple topic, one such as the basic duties of a mother.
Of course you would most likely start off by discussing chores a mother must fulfil and things a mother should teach to her children. This could qualify as a rough draft, not your best work. A rough draft will be similar to a sketch. You can write and feel free to make grammatical errors, things of that nature because it is not what you will be sending out. I repeat, NOT what you will be sending out. In your rough draft, your ideas could go anywhere. You can go off topic and you can express yourself without a care.
After you feel like you have written enough to get you started on a real article, then you may begin. In order to begin, edit your rough writing. Take out what you believe readers would not want to hear and add things you believe a reader should hear. Look at the punctuation you have used and words you could replace. Also think about adding a title. To add a title, brainstorm. Think of everything you have written and try to summarize it all into one description.
This one descriptive phrase could be a potential title. Make sure your writing is eligible and neat before you take it as a final draft. In order to captivate more readers try and add emotions, take Emily Bronte as an example (1). She is best known for her one novel wuthering heights, in which is usually described as very dark and filled with tons of emotions. The Novel is extremely popular for readers who like fantasy, horror, and melodrama. She wrote so bravely and unique that everyone was itching to read the novel. Work on being like her, add emotions and scenery.
Be as descriptive as you can. Try to add things such as what being a mother means to you and what things you admire from your children, they are in fact your creations just like your writing. Be sincere, make the readers and the editor like you. Ladies, if we are all being honest, men don’t want to see us not following the roles we were given. Everyone believes that if we become writers, we lose our abilities to be mothers and to take care of a home (2). We must try and show the non-believers that we can be intelligent and be published and still know how to be a so-called “lady.” I for one am still a lady and I write an abundance every day of my life.
Make them like your ideas, and your background. You cannot persuade a person who isn’t fond of you. Or maybe you can, but it would be much more difficult. So in this case, write to appeal. Now you have a decent concept of what good writing is. Look back and reread what you have wrote. Do you, yourself, think your work is good? Confidence is key when it comes to being a writer.
Especially a woman writer. The next thing to do is summarize things that you think would be accepted socially and published into the magazines. Do not forget , we woman are not supposed to be so obvious with our opinions so in order to get them out you must hint at them but not entirely state them. If you would like to talk about the limited amount of schools available for us to gain more education, do it subtly. For example, tweak your view and make it seem like you are grateful for the universities we can attend and wish we would be gifted an abundance of schools to expand our knowledge to better teach our kids. This implies that you would like more higher education for woman, but you gave them a reason, they could agree to. Another topic you could write about is owning property, but again; use a more reserved strategy.
You can write about how much you admire men and their ability to own land. You can somehow tie it up to yourself by writing about how much you admire and wish to be as successful and independent as them someday and somehow throw in a possibility of you owning land. This would make men readers happy you idolize their abilities, but would also make woman think about their restraints. It is all about how you use your words ladies.Once you have written a piece, you feel is good enough for submission to a magazine or even good enough to be turned into a book, you must know how to get it published. I would say look for the magazine company that gets the most recognition. You do not want to be published by a magazine no one reads.
A popular magazine out now is The Godey’s Magazine. This magazine is always looking for new stories to feature and what is even better, there’s a female editor. Do not be fooled though, Sarah Josepha Hale is not one to favor woman trying to go against what society feels is our role. She is however, in favor of equal education between men and woman (3). She writes a lot about woman having more opportunities to gain more skills, but instead of wanting us to use our education to do more jobs and be more independent, she wants us to gain more knowledge to become better teachers. Like every man in our society, she isn’t in favor of the bigger picture for us but we can use her to get our opinions out easier. Aside from being an editor Hale, also writes stories that are all over The Godey’s magazine.
She writes about simple topics such as health, beauty, and gardening with occasional topics of education.We can also use these topics as starting points. It is all about what we do with what we are given. Besides the Godey magazine, there are plenty of others that you can send your work to. There are magazines like The American Magazine, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Casells Magazine and many more that accept women entries.(4)Francis Hodgson Burnett, started off by writing for American Magazine in order to support herself when her family went bankrupt. She is a great example.
Although not many people agreed with her publishing and having kids, she did it anyway. Just like that, we must keep writing as well.Chapter Two: Things you must consider and things you must knowOnce you have chosen what magazine you would like to send your writing to its time to actually send it. But wait, make sure you have used black ink and white paper. Anything else would simply be absurd. Also, it would be best if along with your work you send something similar to what is called a cover letter. In this letter briefly state things you think they should know about you and why you write.
The cover letter gives you chance to allure them and make them want to read your work to see what you are about. If they like everything about you and your work catches their attention then you are in! Congratulations my darling! Once you are in, however, there are things to expect. You WILL be looked at differently everywhere you go. Even family will look at you like you have broken some major law. You might think “no my family loves me and holds me dear to their hearts, you are wrong.” But no, love, I am right. You have done something most ladies would not have the courage to do.
You did something you loved and made sure your voice was heard regardless of what people thought. But not everything is flowers and rainbows.The wrinkly, old ladies sitting at the park bench will gossip about your life and goals. The man at the grocery store will not blush while telling you how much your house hold items totaled up too and that woman that you called your closest friend, will probably ignore you. It is nothing new. People will feel like you are inferior to them and react the only way they know how, distance and separation. It is a horrible thing, really but you must now show them you are no different than you were yesterday.
You can still do motherly things and you still love singing while cooking a meal. You are still a lady and do not let any foolish person tell you otherwise. Take an article in The Godey’s magazine for example, published not too long ago in 1863. It is called “A slight sketch of Miss Jumble’s career” by Hersly (5). The article is about a woman who has become a writer and is experiencing different treatment everywhere. She talks about how much her life had changed after becoming a literary star. She says that her husband would not have approached her if he had known that she was a woman writer in the first place because he would not have been able to approach her.
But see, this is where that gets me. We do not need a man in our lives, it would be lovely to have a male companion but it is not a necessity. In a world where that is every women’s mission, we are smarter than that. Focus on ourselves first, men second. If a man won’t approach you in fear you’ll be too smart for him, then let it be and let a real man approach you. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Find an intelligent, brave man not one that can’t pick up his dignity to simply have a conversation with you.
These are things we must aim to change. The mentality of people here is honestly so naive. She is telling her story to convince a young woman, who also wants to be a writer, why she should not lust after it. We must take into consideration everything she is saying but not so literal. Writing is great. There might be a few downfalls to being published but it is worth it the end.You have a chance to make yourself heard.
Do not let the negativity bring you down. Miss jumbles was right about the drama that comes along with writing but she had her reason for writing, as do we. Aside from all of the bad things we have one major positive thing that comes with being a writer, the earnings! I must say, we do not get paid much, but we do get paid some and that is enough. You start off little by little until you are great and wealthy. I have a dream about going far in this world as woman, we all should dream big. It is what makes us human. It is what makes us equal.
Being able to hope and strive for better things.FOOTNOTES:1.) The source I used to get my information was “Wolf, Abby . “19th century woman publishers .” PBS. PBS, n.d.
Web. 29 Oct. 2014.2.) The source I used to get my information was the Godey’s articles that we viewed in class. One of the articles we viewed in class. One of the articles named “literary woman as housekeepers.
” This article is about a woman who writes about the practical art of housekeeping. I incorporated that info in my chapter by talking about the conditions to being a woman and a woman writer.3.) The source I used for my information was one from google books: “Our Sister Editors.” Google Books. N.p.
, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. .” I read a couple pages to get facts regarding Sarah Josepha Hale and topics she wrote about.
4.) I used the source “http://modjourn.org//periodicals.html to get a listing of different magazines popular in the 19th century. The source helped me get dates the magazine came about and also ideas on when they stopped all together.5.) For things about Miss Jumble’s career, I used the Godey’s book source you gave as an assignment.
I used the article “A slight sketch of miss jumbles career.”Sources#1: http://library.duke.edu/exhibits/britishwriters/#2: Peterson, Linda H.. Becoming a woman of letters: myths of authorship and facts of the Victorian market. Princeton, N.
J.: Princeton University Press, 2009. Print.#3: “Our Sister Editors.” Google Books. N.p.
, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. .#4: Wolf, Abby .
“19th century woman publishers .” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
#5:http://modjourn.org//periodicals.html#6: “Women Writers-19th Century.” Women Writers-19th Century. N.p., n.
d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.#7: “The New Dominion Monthly.” Google Books. N.
p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.