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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Writers write . . . period! by Terry Burns



What does it take to be a writer? Apply the lower portion of our anatomy to a chair and start producing words. That's it. A writer is someone that is committed to writing, and actively doing it.

What does it take to be a published writer? Get our words out into the marketplace where they are readily available to the reading public. The "readily available" is the key, the more places it is available the better.

What does it take to be a significantly published author? Our words in the hands of the reading public in quantities that would be considered credible by publishing industry professionals. How is this measured? In sales, or in shorter work in publications that have circulation that would be considered credible by publishing industry professionals.

There's nothing subjective about this, it's quantifiable. It's quantifiable not by how the book was published or by who, not by how we think it is being received, but how we realistically answer these questions. Hard, solid numbers.

I'm lucky to be working with a terrific group of writers. I sent out an update today of what everybody is doing, and no surprise here, they're all working on new project, cranking out new words, or actively revising work that is out making the rounds taking advantage of feedback we're getting back. They're reading and when they find something that is a comparable for their work, they share that info with me. We're a team, not just one on one, but as a group.

What does it take to move from just being a writer and becoming a significantly published writer? Talent, for sure, but a lot of talented people don't make the cut. Patience and persistence is what makes it happen, learning and growing in our craft, understanding that at any point in time there may be only one 'right' place for our work and doing what is necessary to make that connection.

So bottom line, what do writers do? They write.

3 comments:

Pam Halter said...

"Patience and persistence is what makes it happen, learning and growing in our craft, understanding that at any point in time there may be only one 'right' place for our work and doing what is necessary to make that connection."

Amen, Terry! So many writers are not willing to wait and they self-publish, which can effectively put the brakes on a career.

I've read many stories of writers who kept going, rejection after rejection and when the time was right, they got accepted and are doing great! That's what I want. So, I work while I wait.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Terry: These are wise words of encouragement for those of us who are working and waiting to be published.

I know you're a writer yourself. I'd like to hear some of your own waiting stories. Will you please share these in a future post?

Thanks,
Jen

Meredith said...

Terry, I couldn't agree more. I never thought I could write for a living and I have now been a journalist for a small daily newspaper for three years. At first, the daily "business" of writing hampered my personal writing passion. Now, I am getting back to the heart of writing -- beyond the news stories and into my own world. I've never thought I was very good, but am pleased at the feedback I have received. I know, however, that if I don't keep at it EVERY DAY, I may lose a part of the talent God has instilled in me. Someday, someday... I too hope to be a published author.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's always great to hear writing advice.

Meredith