Essays, repost, writing tips

Repost: The Truth About Slushpiles

I came across this article published on the Write For Kids website. It’s written by Mary Kole, a literary agent of a children’s book agency, but the information is pretty universal. So, if you want an insider’s perspective on querying so you can write the letter that could land you an agent, read on. 

 

 

Essays, writing tips

Achieve your 2019 Goals with an Action Plan

2019 is right around the corner, and that means ringing in the New Year with resolutions!

Now, don’t go off running for the hills. Everyone knows that to achieve goals, especially big ones, we need a plan. So, I thought it’d be fun…okay, maybe not fun…important to get us looking at our writing and editing goals for the upcoming months. To do that, I’m going to post my mini-action plan for 2019 as a means of motivating you to get going on achieving your goals. And, I’d love to see your plan. So, if you are feeling bold (and want some friendly accountability), post yours in the comments section below.

Alright, let’s dive in…

What are my 2019 goals?

  • Continue to build my freelance writing and editing business
  • Produce and distribute my digital magazine, the Lost Pen Magazine
  • Continue to outreach to and coach writers and other creatives
  • Improve the influence and reach of my other website, the Christian Creative Nexus

What challenges am I facing right now?

  • Not enough time to get everything done
  • Feels like I have way too much to do: overwhelm
  • Working on achieving my dreams while working full-time

How can I resolve those issues?

  • Set goals (weekly, monthly) and regularly reassess them
  • Create a list of resources and people to consult/collaborate with when I need help
  • Find time to rest and disconnect when needed

Where do I want to be three-six months from now? 1 year from now?

  • 3-6 months: have a steady stream of writing and editing jobs
  • 1 year: freelancing full-time

Final steps:

  • Evaluate the results at 3-6 months and then again at 1 year.
  • Determine how close I came to my goals and evaluate my successes and failures.
  • Create a new plan to build on my momentum while tweaking the areas I struggled in to better ensure success in the future.

 

winner

 

There you have it. Of course the plan will change and be adapted as I progress over the year, but at least I have a tool to get me moving in the right direction. Also note that I identified my weaknesses/problem areas and then built into the plan simple strategies to address them (sections 2 and 3). I’m fully aware that I don’t know everything—just reading the marketing articles on LinkedIn for 10 minutes is enough to make my confidence shrivel and die!—so I’d rather be prepared to meet any obstacles by having solutions on hand.

I hope you’ll join me and meet 2019 firing on all cylinders by creating your own action plan. Remember, every day spent is a day we can’t retrieve. Don’t waste time. Instead, get moving!

Essays

In Praise of My Editor

Wow! Editing can be a great experience, especially when you work with great people. Thanks to Lela Markham for the chance to work on her book and for her glowing review.

aurorawatcherak

An editor fulfills an important role for an independent author, providing an objective second pair of eyes on a manuscript that the writer cannot help getting too close to. And there are all sorts of editors available through a variety of sources. Some focus on content, some on copy-editing while others will take you all the way through the formatting process. Editors can be expensive, but consider them a business investment that will bring your book to the next level. An editor provides clarity and a new reader’s perspective on reading your book.

Manuscript EditingFor my latest book, I hired Dyane Forde of Christian Creative Nexus primarily as that objective second pair of eyes. Dyane and I had a previous relationship as writers under the Breakwater Harbor Books cooperative imprint. I knew she would be professional, caring and not avoid dealing with my weaknesses.

Her turnaround time was quick – less…

View original post 202 more words

Essays

3 Questions on Motivation That Can Move Your Story Forward

Looking for a way to get ‘unstuck’? These writing tips might help.

Lost Pen Magazine

A few weeks ago, I met a Christian Creative friend at a local coffee shop. As we settled into the conversation and polished off our Tim Horton’s coffees, she said the words that inspired this post: “I’ve gone back to a story I’ve been writing for years, but I’m stuck! I don’t know what to do.”

I like to coach writers whenever I can, so I was immediately interested in learning more about her problem. Usually, the solution is hidden in the information they share about why they’re stuck or how they got stuck. So, I listened a while and then asked: “What’s your story’s main conflict?”

When she couldn’t give a clear answer, I knew we’d found the answer to her problem. Of course, there are many reasons writers get stuck. But, for her, struggling to define the story’s conflict and, consequently, its impact on her character was a…

View original post 759 more words