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 few years, I’ve been putting together the Right Writing News. Now the back issues have built up to over 700 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 write about the publishing business at The Writing Life. To date, I’ve written almost 1,200 entries which amount to a large volume of searchable information. If you scroll down in the right-hand column, you will find the search tool and you can find older articles using a key word. This body of work didn’t appear instantly but was built through consistent action.
This week 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.
Recently I was interviewed during a teleseminar about Book Proposals That Sell and 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 now in particular for Morgan James. 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. The proactive author understands the value and merit of consistent action.
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Irvine, California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.
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