I received e-mails from Kay and Jen this week, asking about writing careers. Since I get several similar questions each month, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this with all of you.
Kay wrote: “I am at a crossroads in my life and have finished writing a book, a humorous Christian mom book and am looking to be published and become a speaker. I have NO idea where to go and who to trust, could you point me in the right direction.”
Jen saw an article I wrote in Today’s Christian Woman and wrote, “After I read it, I really felt led to come to your website and to find out more about you and what you do. I know that God has given me the ability to write, and I want to write in a way that inspires and provokes people to do something good – like what you have done with that article. I need advice. I’m not sure how to go about doing this, but I do know that I want to make the most of the gift that God has given me.”
Getting published depends on so many factors, but there is a lot you can do to educate yourself about the process.
A great place to start is with a blog written by Mary DeMuth, a great Christian writer and a dear friend of mine.
has all kinds of info. You can also post questions.
Also, there are several links on my website to some writing sites, including Terry Whalin’s site, The Writing Life, which offers a ton of very helpful information. Also, agent Chip MacGregor’s blog has answers to lots of questions about the publishing industry. (both links are over to the right on this blog)
I’d also recommend two books: Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott,
The very best first step that Kay, Jen, and any of you who think you might want to be a writer can take is to attend a writer’s conference. There are a number of good ones out there. Writers’ conferences include seminars on various topics related to publishing, such as how to write a proposal, how to market your writing, writing for magazines, and so on. You will learn so much if you go to one.
Writers’ conferences also give you an opportunity to sit down with publishers and agents to pitch your book idea to them. Having an agent is pretty much a necessity in today’s publishing climate, so that might be a good place to start.
But in order to find an agent or a publisher, you’ll need a proposal. So learning how to put one together (even if you’ve already written the book) is a first step.
Beyond that, continue to hone your craft. Take classes on writing, and write every day.
So first steps are: Educate yourself about the publishing industry, put together an excellent proposal (the Writing Life site has info on this) and attend a writer’s conference where you can pitch your idea to agents.