The Writer's Journey Blueprint for Your Writing Success - Tip # 3
Tip #3 - Be willing to learn from the best sources of inspiration and information available for would-be writers ...
When you begin your writing journey, you will probably feel that you need to learn a great deal about the ‘new territory’ you find yourself in. Fortunately, information is available to help you on the path to publication. Yet, making sure that you are learning from the best sources is an important initiation for all writers!
So what criteria should you use to judge the quality of the information you discover? Here are some general guidelines:
1. Only take advice from those getting the results you seek! The first time you look for an outside opinion on your writing represents an important threshold. Whether you want feedback on your ideas or comments about your writing style, you may feel drawn to ask the people you already know for their views. Understandable though this may be, I would like to sound a note of caution.
Watch out for well-meaning friends, family members and colleagues who, with the best intentions, can sometimes lead you astray with their comments! Without sufficient knowledge and experience, it is unlikely that their views will reflect those of publishing professionals.
Also, when you do consult anyone who presents themselves as knowledgeable about the writing journey, make sure that they are measurably successful in helping others.
If they are getting the results that you are looking for with other writers then you can be reassured that they probably do have something of value to offer you.
2. Confirm to your satisfaction that the results are genuine. The best way to be confident is to read about real results from real people.
So check out testimonials from clients of those who are offering advice or participants of those who are presenting courses and classes.
Do their words of endorsement read like sales copy or is there a genuine message shining through?
You can be encouraged when you see a photo of the person concerned. And the inclusion of a website address to verify the truth of their existence is always a good sign!
3. Does the overall approach suit you as an individual? The Writer’s Journey emphasizes the value of finding the right way forwards for you personally. Your experience must honour and respect your core values and primary objectives.
So make sure you know what these are. And ask yourself, ‘does this information reflect what I feel is truly important for me and my ideas on writing a book for publication?’
Let’s look at some of the key stages on the journey that you can apply these guidelines to. The journey truly begins with the preparation of what I call the Foundation of Four:
- Access your true writer’s voice …
- Identify your motivation and objectives …
- Nurture your creative spirit …
- Develop and deepen your writing skills …
For these early stages of your journey, in fact you are your own best source of information! You are the only one who can find the true source of your writer’s voice deep within yourself … and name your objectives.
Naturally, outside help which points you in the direction of your inner truth can make all the difference to your success. Ultimately, the best results come from accessing – and trusting - your intuition combined with useful pointers from those who can offer the benefit of their knowledge and experience.
Using the criteria in the guidelines above, you can assess the value of ‘outside help’. Beyond the Foundation of Four, there are two other stages of the journey that I would highly recommend you seeking out the best sources of information on:
1. Developing your ideas for sales, marketing and publicity, building your profile and creating your platform.
Over the last few years, as the market has got tougher, the importance of authors being really proactive as far as sales, marketing and publicity are concerned has increased dramatically.
In their ideal world publishers are looking for authors who already have a platform - or who are in the process of building one - and who are willing to make a real effort in this area to support the sales of their book.
2. Learning how to write a first-class book proposal or synopsis.
The book proposal, or synopsis if you are writing fiction, is the key tool in your writer’s tool kit and learning how to write a proposal that maximises your chances of success is crucial.
This is your chance to communicate ‘directly’ – through the words you write - with each member of the publishing team responsible for making a final decision on your book. So presenting the right information will give your book the best possible chance.
So how do you find the best sources of information on all of these topics? Here are five suggestions to help you get started:
- Personal recommendation – think about who you know with contacts and knowledge in the areas that you need to research. Being personally introduced to a coach, course or class is a good way to be confident that you are learning from the best.
- Reference books – there are many good books available which include helpful articles as well as contact details for verified sources of information. For example, see The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.
- Internet – this is a fabulous resource for writers as long as you apply the guidelines above to ensure that the information you discover comes from a reputable source. For example, see www.writersservices.com
- Magazines – another excellent way to keep up-to-date and in touch with information to support your writing journey. For example, see Writing magazine.
- Organisations – the resources offered by organisations like the Society of Authors can be trusted absolutely. You can subscribe to their quarterly magazine The Author and access information sheets from their website. See www.societyofauthors.org
INVITATION TO TAKE ACTION
- Determine where you are on your writing journey and what information you need most at this stage.
- Choose one topic that you would like to know more about and research all about that topic this month.
- Find at least three different sources of information to offer a variety of perspectives and levels of detail.
- Then apply that information to your current situation and use it to help you make tangible progress on your journey over the next few weeks.
PS If you have enjoyed this article and would like to know more about the coaching, mentoring and masterclasses I offer, send me an email summarising your current situation and let me see how I can help you to move forwards on your Writer's Journey.
Author, Writers' Coach, Publishing Consultant
www.JuliaMcCutchen.com (0) 1380 871331
© Julia McCutchen 2007. All Rights Reserved. If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety: Julia McCutchen is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication and works as a writers’ coach and a professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years' experience of publishing and a track record which includes UK # 1 and international bestsellers. Julia has worked with literally hundreds of authors, many of whom were writing a book for the first time, and is passionate about sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience to open the way for people who want to write a book for publication. To learn more and to accesss free resources for writers, visit www.JuliaMcCutchen.com
© Julia McCutchen 2007. All Rights Reserved.
If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:
Julia McCutchen is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication and works as a writers’ coach and a professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years' experience of publishing and a track record which includes UK # 1 and international bestsellers. Julia has worked with literally hundreds of authors, many of whom were writing a book for the first time, and is passionate about sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience to open the way for people who want to write a book for publication. To learn more and to accesss free resources for writers, visit www.JuliaMcCutchen.com