I am again picking up Philip Nel's blog post.
There are lots of blogs written by authors, established and aspiring, on how to get published. But as Philip points out, in academic life we often forget that publishing your work does not come naturally. If you are lucky, you may have a mentor who can help you in many ways. Unlike Philip, I had tons of publications before I got my degree. In fact, my first serious academic article, published in 1977, was the very beginning of my PhD, published as The Magic Code. My mentor told me that it was easier to write a longish article and cut it down. This is what I have done ever since, so it was good advice: write without thinking about word count.
Most of my early article publications fed into the thesis. Just before I was leaving Russia I was invited to contribute to a special issue of a very obscure British journal, Labrys. Since I knew I would be leaving Russia soon, I did write a piece, otherwise it would not have been possible. To publish in a foreign journal was high treason. But when I came to Sweden I already had an international publication. I haven't re-read it for a long time; I guess it was pretty horrid. But I was proud then.
My dilemma was whether I should publish in Swedish or in English. Both markets were important. I still publish in Swedish occasionally, but whatever we think about it, English is the international scholarly language, and if you want to be known, English-language publications are imperative. Sometimes I have published related papers in the two languages.
I was rejected repeatedly by Nancy Chambers at Signal which made me upset but I see now why: I sent her my thesis chapters, and these are typically unpublishable. It takes a lot of work to turn a thesis chapter into an article. But an article can be developed into a thesis chapter. I was rejected a lot, and this is just a fact you need to accept. Our successful submissions are visible in our CVs, but the rejected ones aren't. There are two ways of dealing with a rejection: submit to another journal or sit down and think what was wrong with it. With luck, you have received good feedback from reviewers.
I have frequently been invited to contribute to a special issue of a journal or a collected volume, and that comes after you have become established. But often you see calls for papers, and if you can even remotedly fit your work into the topic - submit! If you are rejected, you can send it elsewhere.
It even happens that you have been asked to write a piece, and then the reviews are negative. That really hurts, but it's also part of the game.
The best message to young colleagues is: you must start somewhere; everybody has been rejected over and over again, just go on. Ask your mentor to read your stuff - their mentors have done it for them. Ask your friends to read you stuff and read theirs. Read a lot of published stuff. Make sure you have something interesting to say.