Sunday, March 19, 2023

Do The Silent Work

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

As writers, we sit in our chair, put our fingers on the keyboard and create words. Some people when they do this creative process, love to have noise around them and sit in a nearby coffee shop. Others prefer a silent office. Other writers put on ear phones and listen to background music while they write. Whatever process you use, in this article, I want to write about the importance of doing this silent work.

No one pushes you to do this creative work. You have to draw from some internal motivation where you get to your keyboard, plan your writing, capture ideas and then put your fingers on the keyboard and consistently create. 

Years ago I interviewed bestselling author Bodie Thoene who has won multiple ECPA Gold Medallion Awards in the Christian fiction category. Each day she has the goal of writing five finished pages a day. She told me, No little elves come out of my closet to write 650 manuscript pages, Bodie says. Some mornings I dont feel like writing, but I do it out of obedience to God. 

Throughout each day, as writers, we have many tasks such as continuing to write on our work in progress. It could be a few pages or a chapter but keep moving forward. A 50,000 word nonfiction book or a 100,000 word novel is not made overnight but the writing happens in consistent effort. Or maybe you are working on a book proposal. Whether you are self-publishing or some other method of publishing, I encourage you to write a book proposal because you will create a business plan for your book. Get a free copy of Book Proposals That Sell and use this link.  

In these articles, I have encouraged you to create a routine and a system for various aspects of your writing life such as blog posts for yourself or others, your posting on social media, writing a query for a magazine article or writing a magazine article. Each of these writing tasks involve learning the system, then doing the silent work to execute it consistently. 

As an acquisitions editor, I have additional silent work. I get submissions, have to enter those submissions into the system so they get acknowledge. I schedule a detailed phone call with the author where I ask questions, give feedback and information about why Morgan James Publishing from my many years in publishing. Record the call, send them the recording, send the follow-up material. Then I have to fill out my internal documents to get them a contract. These are a few of the steps I do over and over in silence--yet are critical to the process. Then when I get a contract for an author, I follow-up to see if they have questions. No one is pushing me to do this work other than my own drive and work in the silence.

As writers, each of us have dreams and goals for our work but a lot of it is grounded in this silent work. This silent work has to be done and no one is calling for us to do it. We have to sit at our keyboard and get it done. Your persistence and consistency as a writer will get attention. This payoff may not be immediate but keep at it and it will happen.

What steps are you taking to do the silent work of writing? Let me know in the comments below. 

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