There is great merit to consistently working at your writing craft. Yet, in my study of publishing over the last 25+ years, I’ve rarely found consistency discussed as a critical characteristic for successful writers.
No matter what type of writing you choose to do—magazine articles, blog posts, newsletters, or books—consistency can catapult your success and, in the process help you improve your craft. Not only that, over time, you’ll discover you’ve created an enormous amount of published work.
Build a Body of Work Over Time
You may choose to work on a newsletter of your own or published by someone else. For the last few years, I’ve put together my newsletter, the Right Writing News. The back issues now comprise over 700 pages of how-to-write information. This archive of content didn’t suddenly appear but was written consistently one issue at a time.
Maybe you decide to create a blog. I publish a post on a different aspect of publishing every week consistently The Writing Life. To date, I’ve written almost 1,400 entries. This body of work didn’t appear instantly but was built through consistent action.
I have written for over 50 print publications. It happened one publication at a time.
Are you building a body of work—online or in print? If not, the lack of consistency may be the issue.
One at a Time
During a teleseminar interview about Book Proposals That Sell, I was asked when my first book was published. The common misconception is that my first book was published many decades ago. My first book, a little children’s picture book, actually was published in 1992. At this time, I have written over 60 books, and people wonder how such a body of work was created. It’s not difficult to understand when you consider the merits of consistency.
I’m continually working to develop new projects, in particular for Morgan James. I write like everyone else—one page at a time, one chapter at a time, and one book at a time. Over a period of time, the list of my titles ends up being substantial.
It’s not magic, but consistency counts.
Consistency is Not Rocket Science
I meet editors and listen when they speak about their needs for their publication or publishing house. I pitch my ideas like every other writer, but when an editor expresses interest and asks me to send them something. I make a note, then follow up and submit after the event.
I consistently pitch my ideas, and then, if accepted, produce a manuscript.
It is not rocket science, and not all of my submissions are accepted. Yes, I get rejected, too. But the simple act of follow-through and consistency provides one of the keys to consistent publication, which means successful authorship.
About the Author
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.