STEP IN THE WRITE DIRECTION
January 28, 2013
It’s mostly been a good week. We had a revival at our church last Sunday through Wednesday and, for the first time in years, I was able to attend every service. The speaker was unusually good, very unique. I told him he should be a writer as he shared anecdotes from his life, and then gave them spiritual applications. . . . Saturday we celebrated our youngest daughter’s birthday and for the next three weeks, our three children will be 48, 49, and 50. (I know that’s hard to believe from my picture that I have kids that old!) . . . The one sad happening was hearing of the death of my dear friend Eleanore Forder, who her husband Reg called “The First Lady of Christian Writers’ Conferences.” The
be the same this November without her smiling face at the registration desk.
Pray for Reg as he goes through this year without her help. Phoenix
Thought for Today:
“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow” (Fulton Oursler).
Laugh for Today:
(from Sheila Heil’s newsletter): I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"
The Freedom of Letting Go is the perfect book to read to begin the new year. It covers the following topics:
Letting Go of Grief;
Letting Go of Failures—Your Own and Other People’s;
Letting Go of Your Successes;
Letting Go of Possessions;
Letting Go of the Hurts in Your Life;
Letting Go of Your Children;
Letting Go of Health Issues;
Letting Go of Your Youth;
Letting Go of Guilt;
Letting Go of Control;
Letting Go of Worry;
Letting Go of Doubt;
Letting Go of Fear; and
The Land Beyond Letting Go.
Book may be purchased on Amazon or send a check (or PayPal) to me at:
701 South Dobson Rd.,
#350, Mesa, AZ 85202. I’m also available to give this talk in
the area. Maricopa
(The words below are part of the Foreword written by Sally E. Stuart, former editor of the Christian Writers Market Guide, for my book A Step in the Write Direction. I think this Foreword by itself gives a lot of good advice for writers!)
So you want to be a writer! I understand that feeling. Although I’m not one of those people who grew up always wanting to write, from the time I wrote my first article in the late 1960s I’ve wanted to do nothing else. Writing consumes my time and my passion.
I hear from would-be writers like you all the time. People who started with a great more passion than I did, but who have no idea how to move from the manuscript phase to publication. Although the Christian Writers’ Market Guide will lead you to appropriate markets for your writing projects—and tell you how to submit to them—there is so much more you need to know to prepare for that giant step toward publication.
Writing is like any other new business you might want to get into. It has its own rules, guidelines, and even language. If you want to enter the arena of publishing, you first need to be in the know about what preliminary steps you need to take—and what is expected of you as a writer. …
Many of those writers I hear from who want to know how to get published have been working sometimes for years on their writing project. They may hold in their hands a finished or nearly finished project that they want to see published as quickly as possible.
They often assume that it’s just a matter of writing what they want to say, sending it off to an editor, and it gets published. What they don’t understand—as I didn’t at the beginning—is that each editor has a list of guidelines that have been prepared to help the writer come to them with a manuscript that fits their criteria—such as the right length and the right slant to fit their specific needs. And ultimately it needs to be on a topic their readers want to read about.
What this means for you as a writer is that your manuscript can be too long or too short or does not target the appropriate market for that publisher. It is critical that you see and follow those guidelines from the beginning of your writing project so you don’t have to go back to square one and do a lot of rewriting.
Another problem I run into quite often is expressed by writers who have written something, but they don’t know what category it falls into when identifying potential markets in the market guide….This is a critical step in both writing with a specific audience in mind and finding those publications or book publishers open to what you have to offer.
Unfortunately I find a lot of writers who may have a great premise for their writing project, but it is written to too broad an audience—or to no identifiable audience at all.
For example, writing a book or story for children probably won’t sell unless you target
it to children of a particular age. Or, writing an article on money management for adults may not sell unless you target it to adults in a certain stage in life. Each publication or publisher targets a specific audience, so you need to know who that audience is and write your material to reflect their specific needs.
* * *
Thanks, Sally, for the good words, and I pray all of you have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"