Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Take on Pursuing Writing: Part 1

I remember when I thought that getting a book published would be a matter of A) writing a book, and B) submitting it to a publisher, who would gladly accept.

Sadly (or not so sadly), that’s not how it goes.

I’ve learned quite a bit about the traditional publishing world since then. Today I’m going to give you the first of four “stepping stones” that I’ve taken in my pursuit of writing.

A few things to mention before we get too deep into this conversation. First off, the steps I give you are in an order I think will be helpful, but they may or may not actually be in the order I did them. :-)

Now that that confession is out of the way, one more thing. Don’t take anything I say as law. I’m still trying to figure all this out myself, but I’m hoping here to give you the benefit of what I’ve learned. 

Part One: Read

Before you sit down and devote hours of your life to writing, know what you’re getting into.

Read: Books about Writing

There are plenty of books that will teach you about writing, but some I’ve found particularly helpful are Plot Versus Character; The First 50 Pages; and Write Your Novel in a Month, all of which are by Jeff Gerke. He gives easy-to-understand, practical advice about how to actually write a book.

Read: Blogs about Writing and the Publishing Industry

This is an area in which discernment is necessary. Please don’t waste your time reading just anyone’s opinions on writing (though, in fact, that may be what you are doing right now :-) ). The best resource I’ve found for learning about the publishing world is blogs by Christian literary agents. Wondering what an agent is? Read these blogs!
When I found out that agents would freely give out information and guidance, I was thrilled. Here are a few links to get you started:

Some Final Thoughts

For someone truly interested in writing, tapping into resources like this could feel like drowning in gold. It’s amazing, but there’s … so much. It’s a lot to take in.
Don’t overwhelm yourself, especially before you’ve seriously begun writing! Pick one or two things to start reading. Interested in Jeff Gerke’s books? Buy one and read it a bit at a time. Pick one agent’s blog and check in on it once or twice a week. See what the writing world is like.
Once you know a little about what you’re getting into and feeling like you have at least a foggy idea about how to begin writing then you’ll be ready to move on.
Check in next week for Step Two: Writing!

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