Writing in Public

The Prolific Writer Submission Requirements and Terms of Service

What Are We Looking For?

The Prolific Writer is all about writing fast, often, and well. Our community is dedicated to helping writers create work at prolific speeds. Prolific-ness can be defined by a variety of metrics. But at the heart of the prolific writer is a desire to produce consistent and quality writing for readers to enjoy. Words that impact others and make the world a better place.

We’re constantly in search of articles that focus on writing, productivity, publishing, and anything that inspires/helps writers get unstuck, and get more words on the page.

>Every article must fit our mission: Helping motivated writers get unstuck.

>Submissions must be nonfiction. Unless you’re participating in the 52 Short Story Challenge.

>We prefer unpublished stories. Not a deal breaker, but if you submit unpublished stories we can ensure they’re of the highest quality, and edited properly.

House Rules

By submitting stories to The Prolific Writer, you agree to play by the House Rules. Don’t be a jerk, play nice, and we’ll keep you around. If you continue to break the rules, we’ll send you packing. That’s fair, right?

A couple more things:

  1. Articles must adhere to the policies of Medium. Partner Program stories have their own rules to abide by. Please read them carefully.

  2. Articles must be appropriate. If The Prolific Writer deems your material crass, offensive, or not a right fit for our community, no-go.

  3. Articles must have a point. Please don’t ramble and tap into your inner-artist that’s a bunch of free-flowing nonsense. Action steps and practical application for your stories are much appreciated. Don’t be scared to experiment in style and tone, but, always shoot for inspiration and a focused point.

  4. Articles with an abundance of self-promotion, no thanks! Please keep your promotion limited. Linking to other stories are fine, shout out to your books okay, but don’t go crazy. A sea of links in your stories will not get published.

  5. Articles need to be well-written. Please use spell check and if grammar is not your strong suit, ask for help. If English is not your primary language, please have someone proofread. Poorly written articles will be booted to the curb.

  6. Articles must be formatted correctly. Please use titles, images, and formatting in proper ways. Your images must be for public consumption and royalty free. Pixabay and Unsplash are good sites for images. See Medium guidelines.

  7. Articles must be owned by YOU! If you’re submitting stolen material or not properly cited work, bye-bye!

  8. Articles are to stay with The Prolific Writer. Once your stories are submitted and accepted by The Prolific Writer. Please don’t remove them from our publication. You still own all copyright son your work, but if you remove stories often, you will be asked to leave.

How Do I Write for The Prolific Writer?

  1. Fill out a request form. Be patient, and it might take a few days before getting a response. Not everyone is accepted.

  2. You must have a Medium profile before requesting to write for our publication. No exceptions.

Ten Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago I experienced a highlight of my short life. Not all that unusual and something most people experience. If you’re reading this… it happened to you. I witnessed the birth of our first daughter, Samantha.

Every year on March 13th, we celebrate the birth of our sweet-Sammy-girl. The seared images in the hospital room haunt my mind. Samantha’s chubby cheeks, wide-Pelton-nose, much like her brother Owen and great-grandpa, and lots of hair, thick locks of red hair. Watch out for those redheads they’re not messing around.

But while most people prepared to drink green beer and inhale Shamrock Shakes in 2009, we celebrated with heavy hearts. Those images of hospital rooms, beeping machines, visiting family members, and tears, lots of tears, had a different edge.

The entire pregnancy was one of uncertainty. Would Christy make it to full term? Would there be complications with Samantha? We had prepared ourselves for the worst. Most families are preparing a room with decorations and color schemes matching a boy or girl.

We were preparing our hearts for burial.

Samantha was born March 13th and met her Creator four days later, on March 17th.

Today is the day we met our baby girl, and four days from now, we’ll remember her death.

But we’re not without hope. Years and distance between the pain helps in healing wounds. Counselors and friends are helpful too.

Everyone is born and everyone dies. An inescapable truth. Like sin and taxes, always crouching at our doors. The passage of time heals wounds on an emotional level. But wounds are real and confusing. Memories don’t seem to die.

These memories heightened every year when spring bursts with new colors and new life. While many will drink oddly colored beers and tell themselves it’s okay to get hammered, it’s a holiday. I reflect on death and the dustiness and shadowiness of life. Life under the sun.

Maybe in the kindness of God he allowed Samantha to live and die in spring, and around Lent (of the Christian Church calendar). A time of reflection on things dying, rising, a time of reflection on our mortality and considering cross and resurrection. Not sure.

But without fail, as we celebrate the life and death of our sweet baby girl, new thoughts and revelations come to flood my mind. Not anything profound, really, just stuff I already know to be true.

One central idea these days is the line that represents our lives. What line, you ask? That dash between our birthday and death-day. A simple white line on our tombstones.

What will our lives say between these two lines? How will we live and love? Where will we invest our presence and time and money and energy?

As I creep toward forty, I’m finding myself more aware of people and life. The things that used to drive me nuts now rolling off my back. I’m more aware that everything is a gift and don’t miss the things right in front of you. You get older and you take stock of your life. Probably normal stuff. If you’re lucky to have years.

I’m not sure what Samantha learned in four days of life. Most of them spent in a hospital room with tubes and wires keeping her alive. Samantha pumped full of meds easing the pain of her broken body. If suffering creates faith, hope, and endurance, Samantha had a ton.

And yet Samantha’s story does not differ from ours. Her death forces me to ask questions: How will I manage my pain? Run to a bottle or fantasies on a computer screen? Throw myself into work?

Or, I can acknowledge pain comes for all. And in the midst of the pain, I will choose to live. Say: I Love You, more often, hold loved ones closer than the day before, and give people the benefit of the doubt because everyone has a story, and they’re not pretty.

The death of Samantha revealed a lot of stuff clogging up my heart and soul. A man who believed God owed him something. Like a healthy daughter and long life. Why didn’t Samantha get that? Why didn’t I get to walk her down the aisle? Hold her when she wasn’t feeling well in the middle of the night, and one day kiss her own children?

I don’t know.

But I’m a trophy of God’s grace. Forty years proves it. If the tape of my life rolled in full view, I’d be lucky to have two.

The wounds aren’t as raw as they once were. I can control my emotions most days despite the tears running down my face as I write these words. But they’re good tears, Spirit-wrought tears.

A reminder of the fragility of life with all its pain and suffering and joys. A reminder I’m dust, and dust I’ll return.

Samantha was a gift for more reasons I can count. She reminds me we’re alive, and still have a lot of living to do, and the whole thing is grace, so rejoice in it.

Don’t miss the little moments. Miracles are happening everywhere if we have eyes to see. Hold the ones you love and tell them they matter. Don’t hold grudges and forgive as much as it’s possible.

Your kid’s aren’t owed long lives. None of us are.

The whole thing’s a gift.

And when you have a gift, you share it with others.

Tonight we’ll gather at the cemetery, let off balloons, and eat a nice meal to remember Sammy. Cemeteries are no longer scary for me. Only settings for horror movies.

The cemetery has become a welcome companion. Where I sit with Sammy and walk along the other tombstones and think about lives cut short. Where I reflect on my dash.

My mind can’t help wander to a unique death. A death that was followed by resurrection. A tomb empty after three days.

A tomb where the woman said: he’s not here.

I believe in God and I believe in resurrection and I believe in life after life.

That’s my hope for Sammy, me, you, my family, and all humanity.

Death doesn’t have the last say and an empty tomb proves it.

I might be a mess, but I can look to something outside myself, and find hope.

And remember, the whole thing is grace.

*Originally published on Medium.

The Joy of Missing Out

The fear of missing out, FOMO, is killing us. That all we have is now, the next opportunity for growth or experience is guaranteed to fix our boring and joyless lives.

Ask the attendees to the Fyre Festival how that worked out.

Svend Brinkmann, a Danish psychologist, has written a new book warning about FOMO, and her cousin, the personal growth movement. He says the movement is a:

“… rampant development culture that knows no boundaries.”

Brinkmann argues that FOMO goes against the nature of our humanity. People can’t be plugged in all the time. Humans have boundaries and limitations. Sorry Tony Robbins, there’s a limit to human potential. We’re not God.

Instead, Brinkmann argues for disengagement, and what Aristotle suggested moderation in all things. A culture with overwhelming amounts of choice is psychologically damaging, and what he calls the hedonic treadmill.

Missing out is an ethical necessity Brinkmann suggests:

“We are only able to live up to our obligations as human beings if we are willing to miss out on something in order to be there for other, specific, people.”

Missing out requires sacrifice for the greater good. The good of the people and responsibilities right in our midst. That somewhere else is where we find gold and hidden treasure is just a narrative we build in our heads to deal with our ordinary lives.

But in the ordinary and mundane and routine we find much joy and grace. I think it’s time we get off the treadmill and unplug a bit.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/06/the-joy-of-missing-out-svend-brinkmann-review

10 Confessions for the Prolific Writer

What will it take to make it as a writer? Well crafted sentences? Maybe. How about marketing savvy? Sure.

With all the noise on the internet, social media, and the plethora of publishing platforms. How will the average writer get noticed?

My core belief is the prolific writer wins in the end.

What’s that you say?

It’s a new tribe of people who aren’t content with your One… Next Great American Novel. They are writing a novel a month.

The tribe of prolific writers aren’t satisfied with one genre, one stream of writing income, or making excuses for having a consistent writing habit.

These crazy people will not allow their blog to languish in the sea of dead ones. They will produce, work, and make art consistently.

Maybe even daily.

In the last year I’ve interviewed some of the most prolific writers on the planet. Some who’ve written twenty, thirty, forty, and even two hundred books. People who live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, US, and in small and big cities.

Some of these prolific cowboys are young and some are grandparents, some men and some women. My guests have included people who make six figures… wait for it… a month, off their writing. Yep, that’s right.

These writing bandits make a great living and provide for their families…others are just getting started and will be there soon.

The point is just this… Yes, it’s noisy in the blogosphere… yes, it’s loud on the inter-webs. But the ones who will rise to the top are The Prolific Writers of the world. The grinders, producers, hustlers, and hard hat creatives who put on the work gloves, safety glasses, and don’t wait for the Muse to show up.