I teach college-level courses for both undergraduate and master level classes. I have often written for, and continue to write for several ministries and organizations that I serve. I tell you this because I am always reading others work. What I find as someone consistently reading others work, is sometimes the lack of care in the writer’s work. Today, I want to talk to you about some of my experiences with writers; some things I believe we all need to be mindful of if we want to see our visions fulfilled. Today I will address four mistakes by writers.
Mistake #1 – “I don’t need an editor.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have asked individuals to get others to read their work. I had people get angry at me for this suggestion because they believed their work was perfect. Even the best writers still need someone else editing their work. The human mind is a funny thing. When you write something and miss explaining the point, you may not catch it because you know what you meant to write, so your mind fills in the missing pieces. That’s horrible for the person reading your work. If there are missing pieces in your work, your reader will struggle to understand what you are writing. Eventually, the reader will give up. Get an editor. If you can’t afford an editor, ask someone you know, such as an English teacher to read your work for you. You can also purchase Grammarly or other editing programs. Even with these programs, they do not catch everything, so you will still need to have someone else read your work. Don’t put your work in print without good editing.
Mistake #2 – “My book will organically come about.”
I am the kind of writer where at times God will give me an idea or a thought, and it won’t release me until I write it down. I have written complete plays and other works in one sitting. Even though this happens to me sometimes, I would never tell anyone to just wait until your book creates itself. I love a quote by A. Lee Martinez. The quote stated, “Those who write are writers. Those who wait are waiters.” In other words, you can’t wait for your work to produce itself. You must dedicate yourself to writing. Set a weekly writing schedule and then write. And if you don’t want to dedicate yourself to writing, you may want to reevaluate why you want to write a book in the first place. It will not write itself, so get to work.
Mistake #3 – “I don’t need to do any research.”
I was so excited with a coaching client I started helping in June. She is an expert in her field. She’s been doing it for more than thirty years. What she is writing about, she has proven it works. Yet, she said in our first meeting before I even suggested it, was she was going to do some research. That was music to my ears. See, I am a researcher. I haven’t always been a researcher, but I have developed into one over the years. I remember when working on my master's degree, one instructor said to us, “we don’t care what you think, what can you prove?” That may sound like a harsh statement, but it is a true one. People don’t want to buy your book to read your opinions, they can get that for free on social media. They want to know what can you add to their lives to help them in the areas you are presenting. Yes, share your experiences (not opinions), but also add to your work by doing your research. You should ask yourself some questions. Who else has presented what I am presenting? Is there a need for what I want to write about? What need am I trying to fill with my work? These are some of the questions you must begin to ask yourself so you can make sure you are presenting something that will be needed.
Mistake #4 – “I do not have to organize my work, I can be creative with how I present my work.”
Most people don’t stop and look at the format of books, why is that you think? Well, it is obvious, you buy a book to read it not to detect its’ outline or formatting. However, if you ever purchased a book without a standard format, you would know it immediately. Formatting a book is for the ease of the reader. You want your reader to know what you are presenting to them. You do that by writing an outline of the chapters first. Then you take time to format each chapter to have a standard presentation. For example, if you start your chapter with a story, then a Scripture and end with your point, that must be consistent in every chapter. How confusing it would be to your reader if they read your first chapter and it begins with a story, but in the next chapter you go right to your point. Then in another chapter, you deleted the story altogether. Your reader wouldn’t know what to expect. The next time you look at a book, look at how it is formatted and how each chapter has a consistent arrangement.
If you work on these four mistakes, you will see your work improving. Remember, if your work is important to you, you want to give it the proper care to make sure it is developed properly.
Prayer: God, help us to seek a spirit of excellence in all we do as it relates to our work. Help us partner with others that will challenge us and help us to grow. Give us the wisdom we need to complete what is before us. Help us not to get weary in doing the work needed to produce the best work we can. We give you thanks in advance for what you are bringing out of our lives. Amen.
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I know I said in my last post that I would talk about the publishing process, but I wanted to step back and talk about bringing your words to life. I like a quote I saw from Isaac Asimov. He states, “I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” For some, this may seem a bit much or extreme. For others, it is their reality, because I know it is mine. I find myself writing all the time. I write for my church, developing studies and things to help grow God’s people. I write for school, developing information to help my students gain a better grasp on the topic we are studying at the time. I write for myself and to help me process the many messages I hear from God, the world around me, and how it interacts with those hidden places inside of me. I love to write!
I believe as Christian writers we must first allow what we write to be planted and digested within us before we can share the finished product with others. I have watched writers see writing as a way of churning out one product after another. Now, I am not saying a person can’t produce a book quickly. What I am saying is don’t produce a book for the sake of having a book, do it because you need to breathe life on the pages.
I have some steps I believe can help the Christian author align their writing to what God desires. The first step is Fasting. Yes, you read correctly, fasting. Fasting happens to be a lost form among Christians other than for our traditional Easter or New Years fast. I believe God is calling all His children to live what I call a “fasting life.” This means you do it when God directs you as well as do it when you desire to get closer and understand God’s purpose for your life, even your life as the author. Fast and ask God what does He want you to share with others? What is the unique message He has for you?
After you have fasted and God has shown you what His plan is for you, then write it and continue to pray for it. If God tells you He wants you to write a book for children for example, then you begin to write the instructions He gives you about that book. Pray about it and continue to trust God throughout the process. It is from this place that you would begin writing your outline and work on creating a title, sections, and what pieces you want in the book.
The next step is to dedicate yourself to God’s plan. The best way to accomplish this project is to hold it as not your own but God’s. Therefore, you seek to write with a spirit of excellence and with a heart to be trustworthy to God’s plan. Think of it this way, God is saying He trust you with His vision, the question is what will you do with it?
Finally, be dedicated to the time needed to invest in the project. If while writing things don’t go the way you want, scrap it and start again. If God has given you what He desires you to write, be assured that the final project will be what He desires as long as you continue to seek Him for the answer. I want to pray for you. I hope to begin to open up the eyes of writers to see you are doing more than trying to publish a book, you are offering people an avenue into meeting Jesus for the answer they need in life.
Prayer: Lord, as writers, give us a passion for writing the words you place within us. Help us to pray for those seeds that when released they will bring forth good fruit. Lord touch your writers and allow us to sell our books. Open doors, avenues, and opportunities to be our best and present our best. These are your words, so we ask that You breathe on us and the work we do. Continue to encourage us and help us do what you require of us. We thank you in advance. Amen.
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We are excited to offer some great specials this month. If you are interested in purchasing our coaching package or using our publishing services, we have some news for you. Maybe you are interested but not sure what to expect. Watch our videos below to learn more about what you can expect from us. There is one video for our coaching services and one for our publishing services.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” (Ernest Hemingway).
Last week, I began talking about the steps and the process of writing. As a recap, last week I shared you need to set a schedule. This week, let’s focus on what to do during that time you have set aside to write. I love the quote above by Ernest Hemingway. He reminds us that writing really is about releasing a part of yourself, you “bleed” out a part of your heart. Maybe it is your experiences, maybe it is your understanding around the things you have researched, but whatever it is you write, it has to come from your heart. The next step we will cover today is:
Prepare to do something with your writing. As I stated last week, I have years of work ready, but I can’t do anything with it until I edit it, and prepare it for publishing. That publishing can be either through a book or even as an ebook to giveaway (I’ll share more in another blog on why you want to create ebooks). Too often people write and believe once they finish the book or project that means it is all done. That’s not true. It is actually the beginning of the process. When you finish, you need to begin to edit, self-edit and refine your work. Many do not realize that the first thing you wrote is not going to look the same when you come to the end of the project. Oh, the main premises and ideas should be the same, but you need to allow yourself to go through a refining process.
There are some steps you can do even before you prepare to publish:
When you do these steps, you prepare your work to accomplish what you desire. Next week, we will discuss what’s next, preparing for publishing.
Prayer: Lord help your people to step into the writing anointing you have upon their lives. Help them not to fear the process, but to learn to embrace it. Give clarity on what to write, how to write it, and the season it is written for. We need your help and we thank you in advance. Amen.
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“Anyone who tells you how to write bestsellers is a sham and a liar. I can tell you how I write books. I write them with fear, excitement, discipline, and a lot of hard work.” – Danielle Steel
It sounds exciting to think you can sit down like Jessica Fletcher from “Murder She Wrote” and write a bestseller in 60 minutes. The truth is writing your best work requires you to do the hard work.
One thing that stood out in the quote about was “a lot of hard work.” Being a writer is hard work. Yes, I see how glamorous it looks to see an author holding her book and the caption telling you she is on the bestseller list. Just an FYI for you, there are programs available that allow you to make an ad that says you are a bestseller, so if that’s all you want you can have that right now. But I know that’s not all you want.
The way to become the best writer possible is to do the hard work, there is no way around it. Where do you start? You start by setting steps in motion to accomplish what you desire. Let me give you an idea.
Set weekly schedules. Just like we make goals for everything else, we need to set goals around what we want to accomplish with our writing. Every Sunday, I create my schedule for the week. I put on my schedule what I will do for work, for the church, and for my writing. I write at least 3 days a week. Recently, I went over my writing, I did not realize I had written as much as I had. I have years of work that I have written. While that’s good, it only benefits me until I do something with it.
Next week, I’ll share the next step.
Prayer: Lord help us not to get weary in doing well. Teach us how to schedule our time so that we can accomplish the task before us. help us to find encouragement. Give us ideas and thoughts to write as we sit down to work. Holy Spirit help us to put on the pages the words that would be edifying and useful. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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How are you spending your writing time?
Let me introduce myself. I’m Jewel and a believer in Jesus Christ. I have several titles, and I do many jobs, but the most important aspect of all I do is I love to help people. I got my doctoral degree in Servant Leadership because I wanted to learn how to serve people from a more altruistic, love-focused mindset. I pastor because I want to help people see how they can change and live a life full of purpose. Even starting my publishing company was based on how I could help others accomplish their goal of being an author. I noticed things I desired to do often were things I had to learn on my own. This wasn’t always easy. However, what I recognized was it allowed me to gain vital information not only for me but for others, which shows up in everything I do from writing to pastoring.
What’s the purpose of this blog? The purpose of this blog is to share what I have learned on my journey as an author and now as a publisher; the wisdom God has given to me. Let me also state this, so we are clear. Yes, I would love to help you publish your book, and see you become part of the Tri-Production Publishing, Inc. family. But that’s not the only reason why I am sharing. I am sharing because I strongly believe based on my faith in Jesus Christ that we can only receive when we are willing to give to others, even if they don’t give back to you. I hope that something on this blog will help you better your skills as a writer, and eventually help you become the author you desire.
What will you find on this blog? One of the skills I developed during the pursuit of my doctoral degree was that of a researcher. One of the greatest attributes you need as a writer is the willingness to do the research to find out how to do things you desire to accomplish. What I want to do is share the tools, ideas, and success that I have discovered, and continue to discover to help us become better as authors. Additionally, I will from time to time ask you what I can do to help you. The only way I can give you better information is if you are willing to answer my surveys, comment on my blog, and freely share what you have found that works.
What can you expect from me? One of the things you can expect from me is a regularly posted blog entry. I plan to write something bi-weekly and to distribute it at the same time. One way to ensure you don’t miss my updates, I suggest you sign up so I can send you a brief email with the updated information. Also, as our authors publish their books, I want to introduce them to you and allow you an opportunity to meet other fellow writers. And finally, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I end everything I do with a prayer. One of the things I do is I teach college courses for undergraduate and graduate level students. At the end of each of my weekly assignment post, I share a prayer. I want to pray for your success because no matter what I share or anyone else shares, I believe we need the power of God equipping us to accomplish the work. So, welcome to my world! WIN in Publishing!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for my new friends. Help us to help one another as we seek to write the visions you have placed in our hearts. Help us to write them clearly so others that buy our books can run and find success because of the things we shared on the pages of our books. We thank you in advance because you are taking us past fear, doubt, and all other hindrances that keep us from moving forward. We thank you, in Jesus name. Amen.
Hi! I'm Dr. Jewel D. Williams. I am a wife, mother of 3 beautiful girls, lead pastor of Vision & Education at Abundant Life Worship Center. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses at a Christian college. Additionally, I am an author and CEO of Tri-Production Publishing, Inc. What is important about it all is I love to serve. I was "Saved to Serve."