Sunday, July 31, 2011

Find the Right Path for Your Writing

Last Saturday I spoke at the Fifth Annual Roaring Lambs Writers Conference in the Dallas, Texas area. There were over 200 people attending this sold-out event. As a publisher at Roaring Lambs Publishing, I met one-on-one with many of the participants to help them with their writing. The relationship building and interaction is one of the key benefits of making the effort to attend a writers' conference. I'm going to be attending several more conference this year. Follow this link to keep up on my speaking schedule. I'd love to meet with you and cross paths at a future conference.

From meeting many writers at these conferences, I've learned one of the keys is to see where they are in the writing process and then help them however I can from my experience. Today I want to focus on one of those meetings with some specific advice yet I will also broaden the advice to work for every writer.

This particular writer was typical of many writers that I meet. Jim was passionate about writing devotions. He had launched a blog and started to send these devotions to friends and gain readers. He clearly had passion because he had written over 300 devotions. At the conference, Jim was trying to determine his next steps for his writing.

My first suggestion is to try to publish some of his devotions in printed magazines. Print magazines has a lot greater credibility than posting on a blog since it has a higher standard. There are many devotional publications. I suggested Jim try The Upper Room which reaches millions of people each day. This magazine has great guidelines and details for any writer on their website.

If Jim wants to publish more than a single devotion in a magazine,then I suggested he explore working with the book packagers. I've written several entries about packagers over the years but here's some for you to explore for more detail:

Barking Up the Wrong Tree Sept. 13, 2005

Just Teach Me The Rules Sept. 14, 2005

Knocking on the Wrong Door Sept. 6, 2006

Work with the Middleman Sept. 12, 2006

Start at the Beginning Feb. 6, 2007

In Jim's case, he had written a series of devotions. What is it that you have written? Maybe you love writing personal experience stories or fiction. Maybe you like to write how-to information. Find the print magazines that take your type of material. Study these magazines and begin to pitch story ideas to these publications. Yes, you be writing a novel and that writing can continue. But editors and agents are looking for writers with publishing experience. One of the fastest ways to get that publishing experience is in shorter writing (magazines). If you write fiction, you will learn a great deal writing short stories and publishing those as you continue to polish your novel.

Finally I want to return to Jim's blogging. I believe in the merits of blogging. It's one of the reasons I have over 1,000 searchable entries in The Writing Life.

As a resource for everyone who blogs, I'd like to tell you about The 31–Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks. This 65–page Ebook will give you the step-by-step guidance to doing more than creating content with your blog. You will be able to generate income from that effort.

Each of us as writers have to find the right path for our writing. It may take a bit of searching to locate the right path but I believe it is out there for you. Are you engaged in the search?

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