10 Tips for Writers
- Start your career writing articles. Don’t think that writing a book is the best way to reach people with your message. An article in Decision magazine can reach 850,000 people, Today’s Christian Woman, 250,000. The average nonfiction book sells 8,000 copies.
- Know where you plan to send your manuscript before you begin to write. Finding a place afterwards is like buying a pair of shoes then going home and trying to find someone in the family who likes them and who can wear them.
- Follow the magazine’s guidelines carefully. Lin Johnson, editor of the Christian Communicator, says she wants subheads. If she takes an article out of the envelope and sees no subheads, she puts it back in and sends it back.
- Submit. I know lots of writers who are gifted but have never published because they never submit their material.
- Help other writers. I became involved with writing groups to hone my skills, but in the process have learned that I grow the most when I’m helping someone else. I critique manuscripts because seeing problems in others writers’ manuscripts improves my ability to self edit.
- Read, read, read. I read in my genre, outside my genre, and books on the craft of writing. I don’t think I will ever know it all. I study writers who move me, make me think, or surprise me.
- Surround yourself with positive people. They will help you through the hard times and won’t let your head get too big during the good times.
- Don’t ever give up. Persistence pays off. Most great writers were rejected over and over. And understand that God hasn’t called us to be best-selling authors, but to be faithful.
- Don’t compare yourself to other writers. The envy bug creeps into our minds and eats away at our confidence. That monster comes direct from the evil one.
- “Delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). That scripture ends by saying that God will give you the desires of your heart, but I have found that as I delight in God, then he gives me things that are bigger and better than I could ever imagine—and most of them have nothing to do with material goods.
©Judy Bodmer 2007 All Rights Reserved