To help me re-focus on getting out there and seeing my words published (and paid for!) elsewhere, I’ve been following along with Nicole Dieker’s article A 7-Day Plan for Starting Your Freelance Writing Gig.

The hardest part for me was during Day 1: coming up with five publications I’d love to have bylines in. I’m not sure if it’s modesty, insecurity, or simple ignorance, but it took me the longest time to think up, and write down, five different publications where I would be proud to see my work.

I say “simple ignorance” because I’m just not aware of a lot of different journals, magazines, or publications. Especially so in the last few years, where I tend to read articles online that I gather from Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and I rarely connect those individual articles with their overall publisher or publication. Which means I need to start doing that, again, with an eye towards “places I might want to pitch”.

But there’s also the underlying fear of “am I good enough?” and “they wouldn’t like me or my work” to deal with.

To combat that fear, here’s the list I finally – finally! – put down on paper. I would be happy to see my name on a story in any of these five, whether in print or online:

  1. The Portland Mercury – Portland’s best independent newspaper. Covers politics and local topics with a liberal, irreverent edge.
  2. Mother Jones – Also a liberal bastion of politics and current events. My anti-corporate skepticism and empathetic view of people would fit in very well here, I think.
  3. Wired – I’ve been reading Wired since the first month it came out. It’s where I honed my views on technology and the culture that surrounds it.
  4. Atlantic Monthly – In my mind, it’s the classiest place for narrative non-fiction.
  5. The New Yorker – Pretty much the pinnacle of prestige for writers of all stripes. They don’t normally accept unsolicited work, though, so I need to work my way up to this one.

I can think of a few other places but those five are a good target for my aspirations. Perhaps as I work on this, and do more research and reading, I can find more. There’s a whole world of paying publications for writers these days.