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Monday, January 08, 2007


Keep Your Big Picture in Focus

As you write, are you keeping your overall goal in focus? Do you even know your overall goal? Maybe your goal is to get a magazine article into a printed magazine during the next few months. Or maybe your goal is to write a full-length book. Or maybe your goal is to craft a book proposal along with several sample chapters to get a book contract from a publisher or capture a literary agent's attention. How are your actions throughout the day moving you ahead toward that goal?

BlogschmogFor my last entry, I wrote about Robert W. Bly's new book, Blog Schmog. There are many different types of blogs. Because anyone can start a blog about anything, many of these blogs lack a purpose and overarching goal. In the chapter Blogging For Your Business, Bly writes about the explosion of blogs in the business community and the merits of blogging. Anyone can easily start to blog. He writes, "Business growth is a common result of blogging since they are a flexible, pliable form of communication that generates information in a timely manner. Keeping to the true "blogging form" is the key to gaining so much information. Blogs are successful because of their basic format that produces a free exchanges of information between the posting parties and the commenting parties. The exchange can seem overwhelming at first, but many find a blog much more organized than e-mail and less rigid than a newsletter or a Web site." 

Throughout his book, Bly includes a series of 14 different Rules for the Blogosphere. I particularly liked Rule 10: "The key to getting results from a business blog is to define the results you want to get before you start. Do you want to increase online sales by generating more traffic on your Web site? Create a favorable image for your company or product? Get your side of the story out in an honest manner to combat bad PR? Keep your employees, vendors, customers, investors, and other stake holders up to date on company activities and plans?"

Notice the focus and the planning involved to execute Rule 10? Too many writers have no plan or focus to their writing life. One day they are focused on children's books and the next day they are writing greeting cards.  Don't get me wrong because it's one of the great aspects of the writing life that we can write different types of things--but it is a matter of focus. You have to have a big picture goal and keep to that goal. It might just be the missing ingredient in your plans for the days ahead.

4 Comment:

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Gina Holmes Left a note...

Excellent advice, Terry. I started out being all over the map like lots of other folks. Now, I match anything I think of doing against my purpose and am even working on a mission statement for my life, my writing and for my blog. Being focused is so important. I encourage my friends now when they ask my advice on whether they should jump in another boat, I ask, "how will this get you to your goal of ______." Often they don't know.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

Great advice as usual Terry. I've been considering a total revamp of one of my blogs. It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea at time, but . . .

Well, anyway, as I'm approaching a time when I'm going to begin to find an agent for my novels I need to establish some kind of platform and a do over of my blog or closing that one and starting a new one more focused on a platform seems in order.

Now I just have to figure out what that platform is. :-)

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun Left a note...

Gina's right...this is excellent advice. It just prayerfully defining those goals that sometimes takes a little patience...LOL...God doesn't always give instant answers. And He certainly doesn't always choose what I want!

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes Left a note...

Great advice, Terry. My writing goal is to finish my "epic novel."

As far as blogs, I think I've hit on something that is beneficial to the promotion of my fiction. Randy Ingermanson (I think) says to pick a nonfiction topic that relates to your fiction/novel and use it in promotion of your fiction/novel. My blog is Christian Love Stories, and it has a dual purpose: to promote my fiction but also (and maybe even MORE SO) to encourage people in their marriages. It's a natural fit since most of my novels have love/romance aspects AND since I teach on marriage and have a heart for couples.

Again, thanks for a great post.

 

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