Love and advice for new writers from the H2 Square Crew


I encourage you to stand back and look at your situation.  What are you writing?  What are you thinking about writing?  A Play?  A Novel?  A series of some kind?  YA?  Sunday School Curriculum?  Bible Study guides?  Poetry/ Devotionals?  A blog?  What issues are you facing?  What are your hopes and dreams?  For yourself?  Your children?  Your family?  Your community?  Have you written those thoughts down?  ON PAPER?  Or are they still floating around in your head with a "someday" timeline on them? 

These are a few tips for writers, I encourage you as a writer to get them out of your head and put them on paper or at least put them in a computer/ tablet, etc.  Just stop walking around w/ them in your "mental file cabinet"!  Things can and do get lost up there!!  AND when you do get around to writing them down?  DON'T try to write them down perfectly -- just record them, get them out of your head and on paper.  Edits/ re-writes and perfecting comes later.  And if you choose to write them down?  Purchase some files ($ store?) and whenever you feel the need to write something, place it in the file.  Every now and then, pull the file out and review what you've written.  Are you seeing any patterns?  Is something beginning to develop into a shape?  A form?  Are you seeing anything? 


preparation for publication:


1. Do your homework!

 Do you know who YOUR market is?  Who will purchase your book?  Can you create a PROFILE (age, gender, education, financial status, where they shop for books, etc.) of the person that you want to reach w/ your book?  IF you are writing for a Christian audience, what is your purchaser's religious affiliation?  Your desire may be for EVERYONE to want your book but EVERYONE is NOT a market!  What's yours?

2. Learn about the publishing industry.

Make sure that what you are working on is a BOOK and not an essay unless the book is a collection of essays.  I've been approached by any number of people who have convinced themselves that they have the next best seller when all they have is about 50 pages (sometimes handwritten!) of ideas for something.  And it's not the outline!

But I digress.  Who is writing what you're writing?  Visit bookstores (the few that still exist) and go online (Amazon) to read what is out there!  How does what you're saying differ or is similar to what is already out there?  Has YOUR book already been done?  What are you bringing that's new/ different/ challenging?  

Second, learn about the laws of the industry: copyright, plagiarism, libel, etc. When in doubt? Google them!

That memoir/ "tell all" about your family that you're working on to "set the record straight" once and for all?  Before you rush off to print?  My best advice for new writers is again, check the laws, even if you've tried really hard not to use certain "names" or "descriptions".  The other part of that is to ask yourself a few questions: What will be the long term impact of this book on my family?  Will it heal or will it hurt? Should I be looking for a therapist instead of writing a book?

3.) And since I've mentioned outline, is there an outline?

  Those pieces of paper with ideas scribbled on them that you've placed in a file?  Could those ideas become the basis of your Outline?

4.) Self-Publish doesn't necessarily mean self-edit!

My best advice for new writers is that too often, to save money, when faced w/ the option of self- publishing, many will choose it and opt out of the cost of editing. MAJOR MISTAKE!  More eyes than yours are needed on a manuscript before it goes into print.  And yes, even editors make mistakes however, read your contract to correct that issue and no, it still doesn't change the fact that more objective eyes are needed.  IF you don't want to pay the company for editing, then reconnect w/ your old high school English teacher or a friend that majored in English or History and have them look at it (give them something for looking as well!).  Don't miss the point: EDITING MUST BE A PRIORITY!  LACK OF EDITING CAN KILL A BOOK!

5.) For the budding Poets among us, be careful!

 PLEASE, PLEASE go beyond the A-B, A-B style of rhyme!  It can be limiting in audience appeal.  However, if that's your "skill-set", consider taking it to another level.  Could the poems be placed on scenes for calendars?  Devotionals or Journals?  For children's books?  Just be open to thinking "out of the box" when going the poetry route of publishing.

 How's that as a beginning assignment to get you started?  Again, stand back and review what you have.   And if you don't have very much, get started with what you do have.

 KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING and keep lifting it up to God for guidance and direction!!

                               The H2 Square Crew will be praying for you!