Back To Basics
About once a month, I have been editing and producing Right Writing News. It goes out to the subscribers as a free how-to write publication. Throughout the month, I keep an eye out for new material, email some of my writing friends and prod them for new articles and material. When I get it, I throw the material into a file (electronic and paper) then work on it in a solid block of time. Yesterday was the required block of time and it brought me back to some editorial basics.
For many years, I've been reading how-to write magazines and books. I'm always learning something from these publications so I constantly read them. For a number of years, I worked as a magazine editor. It honed my editorial skills as well as my writing skills. With Right Writing News, in one sense, I've returned to those habits. While the newsletter has no slick graphics (thankfully so I'm spared all those hours of photo meetings), I still have a goal of producing a quality publication for my how-to-write audience. As I pull together the various articles, I'm constantly thinking about my reader and focused on that person. It's one of the skills that writers need to think about as well when they put together a short magazine piece or a longer book. Who is going to be reading it? If you expect someone else to purchase your work, you need to be focused on the reader--because I guarantee the editor is focused on the reader. Through that focus, the magazine editors produce a magazine their readers want and book editors produce books that people will purchase.
I love what Kelly James-Enger has to say about Writing Resolutions. Check out this article as it has some good reminders. I'll be back soon with some more basics I learned putting together this newsletter.