1 Do, 1 Don’t and 1 Why Not? for Writers

by Beth K. Vogt, @bethvogt

Oh, how we writers love to give each other advice, don’t we?

Why, yes, yes, we do.

Between all of our mistakes and all of our successes – and please, no one ask the ratio between the two – we have a wealth of advice to share.

Keeping it simple today, here’s a Do, a Don’t and a Why Not?:

Do something new.

Most writers want to improve their craft. They join professional organizations. They attend conferences or local writers groups. They read blogs – like this one – and magazines. If a conference speaker offers practical ways to improve your writing or if an article suggests steps to strengthen your social media presence – do it. Simple, right? But how often do we hear good advice and then never implement it? Last May, my agent spoke at the local ACFW Colorado Springs meeting on how to use Facebook to build your platform. One of her suggestions was to do FB Live. To be honest, I didn’t want to go live on my Author FB page. But I forced myself to do this one new thing because she said readers respond to FB Live. Since my first hesitant attempt, I’ve done FB Live two more times. And you know what? My agent was right! These posts have gotten great interactions. Next time you attend a conference or workshop or read a blog post or article ask: Based on this advice, what one new thing can I do? Hint: Accountability is a great motivator. Tell someone what you’re going try and ask them to check back for an update.

 Don’t believe everything you think.We all struggle with doubt and face fears. But we can’t buy into to those doubts and fears so that they stop us from pursuing our dreams. As I was writing my second novel I thought, “Who am I to think I can write a book?”What a ridiculous thought since I’d already published a novel.Learn to monitor your thoughts. Evaluate if the doubt undermining your efforts is realistic or if you’re listening to a lie. When you are afraid, remember what author Mark Twain said: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

 Why not celebrate someone else’s success?

Progress. Accomplishment. Win. There are all types of success along the writing road:

  • Finishing a rough draft
  • Surviving that first editor’s appointment at a conference
  • Landing an agent
  • Signing a contract
  • Holding your “real” book in your hands
  • Earning out an advance
  • Winning an award

It’s fantastic when success is yours – worthy of a HaPpYdAnCe in your living room or dinner out with family or an online celebration with friends.

But when someone else writes that first book … signs a contract … or is handed an award, sometimes we don’t want to celebrate. We wrestle with the blues … and the green-eyed monster. The best way to beat the blues and to conquer envy? Be the first one to celebrate someone else’s success!Shout it out on Facebook. Send them an email or a handwritten note or text. Before you know it, celebrating will be your first response, not a forced response.

TWEETABLES

1 Do, 1 Don’t and 1 Why Not? for Writers @bethvogt @NovelRocket #writing http://bit.ly/2x4McwX

Based on this advice, what one new thing can I do?  @bethvogt @NovelRocket #writing http://bit.ly/2x4McwX

Progress. Accomplishment. Win. There are all types of success along the writing road:  @bethvogt @NovelRocket #writing http://bit.ly/2x4McwX

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Almost Like Being in Love
She’s won a luxurious dream wedding—now all she needs is the groom!

Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him that she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? And while everyone says they’re perfect for each other, how strong is a relationship when it’s built around protecting secrets?

Realtor Kade Webster’s business savvy just secured his company’s participation in the Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into Caron Hollister—the woman who broke his heart—right when Webster Select Realty is taking off. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should avoid Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business—Realtor to Realtor.

Spending time with Kade again has Caron questioning who she is and what she wants. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she walked away from. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? How can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding Series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.