Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Are you willing to get published?

"You are always a writer," Author Denise Vezey said whether you are published or not. She spoke at the Springs Writers workshop at Woodmen Valley Chapel on Monday. This is the second time I've attended the group and I'm hooked.

She talked about her own experience as an author of children's picture books and nonfiction. She shared the ups and downs of being in a writer's group and finding a mentor. She provided key tips on book proposals.

She listed 10 things writers must be willing to do to become a published author.
  1. Willing to do the work to create a great proposal?
  2. Willing to be disciplined and work alone (with God of course).
  3. Willing to embrace the writing process.
  4. Willing to attend seminars and conferences to become a professional.
  5. Willing to have your work critiqued.
  6. Willing to be different, find your unique, God given writing "voice."
  7. Willing to be humble and realize if you aren't able to get a specific message out, God will find someone who can. 
  8. Willing to take your life experiences and broaden them so others can learn and relate. 
  9. Willing to do public speaking.
  10. Willing to accept it is God who ultimately opens and closes our writing doors.
I could write a blog post on each point. Number 8 resonates with me as I continue to rework finished sections of my Memoir in Progress and develop a new outline.

Vezey began her writing career as a speaker. It began small with a bible study. Later, she spoke to larger church groups and other organizations. Before she knew it, she had an audience for her work.

Her experience is unusual for authors — she doesn't have an agent and every proposal she has pitched landed her a book contract. She worked hard to harness her voice onto paper and improve her craft.

Her professional writing adapted in recent years to changes in her personal life. She smiled and focused on the positive.

Her presentation gave me a lot to think about for my own work. Everything on the list is doable. Now, I need to do it.

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