Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Merit of Consistency

While it's not often recognized, there is great merit to consistently working at the craft of your writing. Which part of that craft you select to work on will vary for each of us. For some people, they need to develop the basic skill of writing a magazine article. It's a good place to start whether you are writing for a large magazine or a small newsletter. You need to learn how to craft a single story with an engaging opening paragraph, a solid section in the middle, then wrap it up with a take-away or single point for the reader. If you learn this skill, then you can apply it to other area of storytelling and writing--whether you are putting together a newsletter or a single letter or a chapter of a forthcoming book.

For the last couple of years, I've been putting together the Right Writing News. Now the back issues have built up to over 400 pages of how-to-write information. It is free but to access this information, you have to subscribe to the publication. I'm constantly looking for additional material that I can use in future issues of this publication. There is a wealth of material in these back issues. It didn't suddenly appear but came one issue at a time.

I continue to regularly work at these entries on The Writing Life. This piece marks the 700th entry which means another wealth of material and resources for anyone who will take the time to search and examine them. I've tried to simplify this process of locating older material with a search tool in the right-hand column.

Today another issue of The Foster Letter, Religious Market Update arrived in my mailbox. Gary Foster compiles a rich publication every two weeks and it comes like clockwork. If you want to know more, I'd encourage you to look at some of the excerpts from his archived issues. You can find a lot of valuable information here.

Yesterday I was interviewed during a teleseminar about Book Proposals That Sell and I was asked about when my first book was published. The common misconception is that it was many decades ago. It was 1992 and now over 60 books later they wonder how such a body of work was created. It's not difficult to understand when you consider the merits of consistency. I'm constantly working to develop new projects and knock on doors for new books--not just for myself but also for my clients at the literary agency. I write my work like everyone else--one page at a time then one chapter at a time and one book at a time. Over a period of time, it ends up being something substantial. It’s not magic but consistency counts.

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