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Writing...Entry 2 - Day 1

click to enlargeInterview With John E. Phillips

John Phillips is a freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama, who writes for several outdoor magazines, including "Alabama Whitetail and Bass," "Southern Sporting Journal," "Louisiana Sportsman," and "Saltwater Sportsman."

QUESTION: How did you get started writing?

ANSWER: I started writing when I was in college. I had a friend who sold an article to "Outdoor Life," which came out in the mid 60's. Even though I knew he hunted a lot, I felt that if he could sell an article to a major outdoor magazine with the circulation of 1 million or more, I could do the same thing, sooner or later, if I tried hard enough.

QUESTION: How old were you at the time?

ANSWER: I was 20 or 21.

QUESTION: How many rejection slips did you get in the early days?

ANSWER: I think that I held the record for receiving rejection slips from editors. When I first started sending out article ideas, I didn't know enough about how to query or how to compose ideas to send them to magazines. So, I wrote full magazine articles, sent them into magazines and hoped and prayed that someone would buy them. I got 49 rejection slips before I ever sold my first article. And because I knew I didn't know how to write, I wasn't surprised when I got those rejection slips. But I also was convinced that if I kept on writing long enough, I would learn the techniques of this craft.

Check back each day this week for more from John Phillips...