Friday, December 26, 2008

A Writer Without Readers...

A writer without readers is like a musician without listeners, a teacher without students, a garbage collector without trash. Knowing that someone will be reading what I write motivates me to write more. Too many beginning writers keep journals in which they're both the writer and reader--the only reader. To be successful as a writer, it's important to write for the reader, not for yourself.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

In real estate, the motto is "location, location, location." Since it doesn't matter where I'm located as a writer, my motto is "promotion, promotion, promotion." It doesn't do me any good to write if I don't have readers. Speaking of which, isn't it about time someone reads this blog?

Sure I can rely on published works to get readers, but today, I have so many more opportunities via the Internet. And while the older generation struggles to use computers and occasionally get online, the younger generation has made this as much a part of their life as texting to friends.

Today, I've been working on updating my Web site. Take a look at Every year I thank my readers by posting a holiday message--I send the same one in print to friends who may not be Internet savvy. I started this practice in 1996. Back then, my message was a crude text message with even cruder text illustrations. Boy, have I come a long way. Now I use the latest in HTML coding to produce an electronic holiday message, complete with music.

Since I'm a non-fiction writer, what better way to promote myself than with a short article about some facet of Christmas. I love researching little known facts about holiday traditions. These little articles are a great way to show my readers that I'm thinking about them at holiday time.

But my Web site--actually sites, since I have four of them--are how I promote myself to the world. And they've brought in a lot of business over the years. So if you haven't created a site for yourself already, get started. In fact, make it your New Year's resolution. Need some help? I design Web sites, too.

And remember, "promotion, promotion, promotion."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Winding Down Time

It's the first of December and time to start thinking about what I've accomplished this past year as well as to plan for next. Yes, that's right, I said plan--something a lot of writers don't do. In this game, you have to stay ahead. If you don't, you'll surely fall behind.

To get things started, I renewed a relationship with one of my regular editors. I've worked with this particular publication for 15 years, but this year didn't do much for them. One of my specialties is writing about antiques and this publication is one of my regulars in that market.

I also began formulating an outline for my newest book on the American Southwest. This can take a while. The more thought I put into the structure of the book at this stage, the fewer problems I'll have along the way. And while too much detail can bog me down, too little will leave me with a vague idea of particular sections later on.