Monday, July 16, 2012

On the Move

In the last couple of weeks for the first time in eight years, I moved physical locations. I've had several job transitions during my years in Arizona but not a physical change. Our family moved to Irvine, California to be near family and also to downsize. The experience has thrown off my regular writing.

While I've heard (and followed) the various writing maxims for many years such as write every day and take action every day. Over the last few weeks my efforts have been focused in some other area than my writing. It has meant I've done very limited writing and most of that writing has been limited to emails and nothing which shows up on these entries about The Writing Life.

From my moving experience, I rediscovered the cleansing nature of downsizing. For example, I had three bookcases in my office but in my new place, I only had room for two bookcases. Also in the moving process, I sorted through boxes of books which I was stacking in my garage. I hauled 30 boxes of books to my public library where I donated them. In the process of sorting, I made snap decisions about hundreds of books—whether to give away or keep them.

To be honest, I have looked for a couple of books on my shelf and not found them (which means I gave them away). Yet overall the elimination process has been valuable because I eliminated the “stuff” clogging my bookshelf. What action can you take today to sort through some books on your shelf and donate them to a good place like the public library?

To compound all of the change in my life from the physical move, I also changed jobs right in the middle of it. Each day I've been actively calling and emailing authors about their projects with Morgan James Publishing. As a publisher, we're excited to have another book on the New York Times bestseller list (the week of July 15th). Congratulations to Gordon D'Angelo and his book, Vision: Pathway to Victory. Getting on this list points out one important fact: Morgan James is selling books through the bookstores. 

On the writing front, what are you actively doing to be on the move? Many writers dream but never take action. They read about writing but never write. Or they try a couple of times and get rejected—and every writer gets rejected—and put their writing away. To succeed with your writing you have to be on the move and taking daily action.

Here's some active steps you can take:

—get connected. As a writer, you need to know others who are writing in your area of the market. Reach out to them via email or on the telephone or face to face. Don't see them as competition but instead view them as colleagues. Reach out and help them and they will help you. I've learned a tremendous amount from other writers—in forums, in face to face interaction, in books, in blogs and much more. If you and I are not connected on some place like LinkedIn, then take the initiative and send me an invitation. LinkedIn goes to my personal email address and while my public profile says I have 500+ connections, I actually have close to 2300 connections. Here's the key—just like everyone else, I started with one connection. You can build it as well but need to be taking action on a consistent basis.

—get published. I've written a great deal about how to get published in these pages. I'm talking about print magazines, online publications, newsletters and yes even books. Print magazines in general have a higher standard and are more respected than online publications. Take some time and study the details in my article on the basics of writing for magazines—then take action and write some query letters and get published. It does not get published sitting in your computer. You have to take action to get published.

—get educated. I repeatedly learn from others and a writer's conference is a great place to increase your learning about the marketplace and be on the move. This coming Saturday and Sunday I will be at the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference. In a couple of weeks, I will be at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in Houston. I have a number of live events where I will be speaking this fall (use this link to keep up on my schedule).

In recent weeks, my focus has not been on these entries—to my regret. I've recommitted to writing here on a regular basis. I'm back on the move and hope you will be as well.
Years ago I heard author Paul E. Little speak about how to find direction for our life. He said something that has stuck with me, “God can't steer a parked car.” Are you on the move?

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1 Comment:

At 9:40 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Hi, Terry,

I can relate to the "joys" of moving. :) My husband and I moved two years ago after living over thirty years in the same house. I gave away twelve cartons of books to my local library as well as several cartons to a prison ministry. It was a very freeing experience. Except for a couple of books which, like you, I looked for after I gave them away, I have not missed a single one of them. My soul also feels lighter. :) My husband jokes that he wished I'd had my iPad thirty years ago. It would have spared him a lot of box-lifting. :) Now I have a whole library that I can carry around with little effort. :)


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