Sunday, May 09, 2010

Take Action for Your Dreams

Over the last few days, I've been pulling together my handouts and teaching notes for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. If you check the dates on these two events you will see they are back to back or I will be nine days on the road. I'll be teaching six hours in Colorado and three hours in North Carolina plus meeting with many writers one-on-one and enjoying the conference experience.

At each of these conferences, I meet new people and also can catch up with long-term publishing friends. Every conference is an event with many conversations and benefits which happen from these exchanges.

Are you planning on going to a conference this year? I highly recommend that every writer or would-be writer make the effort to get to a conference. If you want to see my schedule for the year, here's where I keep it. I've added a couple of events over the last few weeks.

These events seem to start and end quickly. In between there are many interactions and dozens of ideas which are discussed. Resources are offered and sold. Many people leave these conferences enthused and energized about the opportunties for them in the publishing world. Yet there is one key distinction of the people who would like to be published and the ones who eventually get published: the ones who get published take action on the ideas and teaching.

If you could come along with me to these events, you'd be surprised at the number of times I offer to help someone--and I never hear from them again. They do not take an active follow-up role after the conference. The participants who take action will eventually succeed. That perserverance will pay off.

Over the last few weeks, I've been listening a second time to Arielle Ford's Everything You Should Know series. In some cases, I'm listening to the teaching for the third time. Why? It is a great deal of information to absorb and recall and especially to apply to your writing life.

I heard Arielle Ford affirm something that I've found true as well: there is no such thing as an overnight success. Every author who ultimately becomes a bestselling author or well-known has been in the trenches for years. They've been interviewed on the small radio stations and they've been telling people about their books for years and faithfully working on learning the writing craft.

Arielle told about an author she was promoting years ago who was a PhD and was riding the train over from Connecticut to a small cable TV station for an interview about his book. As this author rode the train, he felt regretted making the effort and time for this interview. He wondered if anyone would be watching the interview. That day, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal was home sick and caught this interview. The journalist was fascinated with the author and eventually wrote a front page story for the Wall Street Journal. That article propelled the author into the media eye and ultimately on the New York Times bestseller list.

You can't always tell the value of an interview or a review from what you see on the surface. Instead, you need to continue to take action and work toward achieving your dreams.

In each chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, I have a dig deeper section with additional resources and a section for the reader called Awaken the Dream. I'm pushing the reader to take action and apply the material to their writing life. It's what I will be doing in Colorado and North Carolina--encouraging writers to take action. It's the only way to achieve their dreams.

What steps are you taking today to move forward and achieve your own plans in the publishing world? For some people that will involve learning the craft of writing. For others, it will mean reaching out and forming new relationships with editors or writing some magazine articles. For others, it will mean looking for new ways to reach their audience and tell them about their book.

From my years in the publishing world, every editor and agent that I know are actively looking for the best projects to bring into print. My encouragement is that you make a plan then take action on your plan--today and tomorrow and the next day. It will pay off for you.

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4 Comment:

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Debbie Left a note...

I love that you are always willing to help others. But you make a key distinction. Hoping and dreaming are one thing. But making it happen does take work.

When I worked as a cardiovascular nurse years ago, I used to listen to 30 minute tapes on my way to work. I'd listen to Zig Ziglar. Frankly, I listened so many times I could have filled in for him at one of his seminars. I also listened to Tony Robbins.

In turn, I would use the material to motivate my heart patients to make healthy changes in their lives to prevent future heart problems. Many of the patients were scared when they were in the hospital and had the best intentions to change. But over time, they lapsed back into their old habits of behavior. However, there were the exceptions and I loved them for their persistence.

Writing a book is quite an accomplishment. For now, I love to write on Heart Choices to encourage others. It started as a heart health blog but God had other plans. It has evolved into much more...

It's been too long since I visited you. I'm so glad to see you continue to teach and encourage others. It might only be a handful that follow your advice but they are blessed by that.


At 5:42 AM, Blogger Heather Ivester Left a note...

Hi Terry,

I received a postcard for your new book this week, and I love the cover! I've posted it on the wall of my office to remind me to be like that little goldfish, trying to jump into the bigger bowl. :)

I have a lot of friends going to Blue Ridge this year -- wish I could go. I hope everyone has a great conference! I wonder if the bagpipe player will still be marching alongside the mountains to open the conference. *sigh*

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Carol Left a note...

Have fun Terry! Wish I was going to Blue Ridge. I live close enough to drive to that one. Not like trekking across the nation to Glorieta! I've got a new baby at home. I'm hoping to get to a conference soon, though. I'm missing the contacts and the excitement other writers bring. :) Hope you are well.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Carla Gade Left a note...

I'll be attending my second local conference this year in Maine. Cec Murphey will be our keynote and I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to get to ACFW next year. I really want to capitalize on the opportunities that conferences bring. I'm hungry to learn as much as I can and am working on my first proposal with two pubbed authors. Exciting times as I move closer to my dreams.

As always, I appreciate your great advice!


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