Sunday, September 30, 2007

Building a Writing Career

What I’m listening to: Blessed Be Your Name by Tree63

What I’m reading: Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell and River God by Wilbur Smith

Do you want to succeed?

What a silly question. There are few people I know who would answer that question with a “NO”.

But what does it take to succeed?

I’m reading “Failing Forward” and in the beginning of the book [page 13 in fact] Maxwell makes a very interesting observation. He said “One of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to judge isolated situations in their lives and label them as failures.”

This made me pause and reflect on the writer’s life. Anyone in writing/publishing worth their salt will tell you that this industry is full of rejection. You’ll get it from editors, agents, fellow writers, and readers. So does that mean publishing is full of failures? Of course not.

Are rejection and failure synonymous?

I have to tell you, many days it DOES feel like it is. When that skinny envelope with the form rejection letter lands in your mailbox the last thing you feel like doing is declaring “I'm such a successful author”. No, it stings-and stings bad. But it is a part of the process. I’ve learned in this writer’s life that the more rejection letters I get, the more requested full Manuscripts I get, and the more freelance writing opportunities I get.

There was a time when I thought everything I wrote was PURE GENIUS. There was also a period of time when I thought everything I wrote was PURE JUNK. Neither extreme was correct. The truth was somewhere in the middle.

I’m sure the same is true for you. It's cliche, but still applicable-Success isn't determined by the number of times you fall down, but the number of times you get up. Each stumble along the path to publication you will learn something. And once you are published the lessons continue. I really think the key to building a Writing Career whether you want to be a freelance writer, a novelist, or anything else, is to daily put one foot in front of the other.

Some days you will take big steps and others you will barely move but keep moving forward.

This writer's life can be a lonely place so let’s talk. When has a disappointment [in writing or something else] ended up opening the door to growth and opportunity? Post the answer in my comment section and let's learn together

If you'd like a coach to help you down the path go to my website to find freebies as well as my Writing Career Coaching course. Take advantage of any opportunity to grow.

And by the way, I’d urge you to buy this book. The link is below. Even if you don’t make it past page 13 it’ll be worth every penny.

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Industry News

This week we are speaking with Author Amy Wallace. Her Defenders of Hope Series released its first book of the three book series last spring.

1. What are some things you did to market your book?
Which one(s) did you feel were most effective.
Marketing is one area of writing that scared the chocolate right out of my hand. ;-) But I've learned what parts of marketing I enjoy and what I need to do anyway. The marketing I've most enjoyed has been blog tours and radio interviews. As far as these things translating to sales, both the blog tours and interviews have been extremely helpful in letting people know who I am and why Ransomed Dreams is a book they'd want to read.
I've also done puzzles, mugs, and candy bars with the Ransomed Dreams cover and giveaway baskets that included these items. They've all been huge successes. I give these fun items away to my newsletter subscribers and people who visit me at book signings and speaking engagements. Many times I've included a signed copy of Ransomed Dreams. Not only are these things one way I can say thanks to readers, but they've also provided a neat way to remind folks about my book and inspire them to share the books with others.

2. Share with us some things you did to improve your craft.
One of the most important ways to improve your craft is to get honest with God about your heart. It's from the depth of who we are and what God has taught us that come stories people connect with and remember.
Some other ways to improve your craft: Read great books~ ones in your genre and outside of it. Prayerfully seek writing partners or mentors who will help you grow by showing you areas of weakness and strength. And another awesome way to improve your craft is to reach out and help others by teaching, critiquing, and learning the nuts, bolts and heart of writing together.

3. You recently attended the ACFW Writer's Conference, share with us something you learned there that you think will make you a better writer or person.
One of the most valuable things I take away from ACFW this year is that God sees me and the affirmation that He has a good plan that He alone knows and will reveal in His perfect time. The writers who make up ACFW are an incredible group of God followers who teach, inspire, and love well. I'm honored to be a part of an organization that equips authors spiritually and practically to dream big and watch God do amazing things.

Ransomed Dreams (Defenders of Hope Series #1)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Caitie's Corner

Every Wednesday my daughter Caitie will post book reviews on Children's books. So if you have kids and would like to know about books from a kids perspective join us on Wednesdays for author interviews, book reveiws and contests.

If you'd like to have a book reviewed for this blog then email my Marketing Director at

Reviewing Changes for Kirsten [Book Six of the Kirsten Series] American Girl Collection. Published by Pleasant Company Publications, Middleton, WI

Changes for Kirsten is about a girl who lives in the 1850s. She lives with her Mother, Father, big brother Lars, little brother Peter and Baby sister Britta. She lives next to her Aunt Inger and Uncle Olav and their family.

In Changes for Kirsten, Kirsten finds a raccoon while she’s trapping with Lars and John. When Papa is at a camp the raccoon they trapped knocks over a lamp and burns their house down. This story is about Kirsten getting her new house after the old one burned down.

I loved this story because it tells me about what things were like in the old times and about good changes that can happen. I think other people should read the book.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions. Leave a comment!

Changes for Kirsten: A Winter Story (American Girls Collection)

A huge help for writers of all levels

I went to ACFWs national conference and had the pleasure of sitting in on Chip MacGregor's Professional Writer class. For those of you who don't know Chip has been an editor, agent, and writer. He is owner of MacGregor Literary Agency and an all around decent guy.

He posted a blog about his experience at this years conference that is must read material if you'd ever like to make a living as a writer. Follow the link below then come back and tell us what you thought of his insights.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My plan

Hello and welcome to the Writing Career Coach blog.

This is an exciting place where we will learn together and grow as not only writers, but as people who own a writing business.

Every Monday we will learn about another way to build our writing business. That doesn't mean you have to have a huge business. The point is growth. Put one foot in front of the other and make progress.

Tuesday I'll answer questions posed the previous week. I'll pick a couple and respond to them. So be sure and leave questions in the comment section.

Wednesday is a special treat for mom's of young girls because every Wednesday my 9 year old Caitlin will review a book for girls her age. She is an avid reader [and budding writer who has already entered 2 Reading Rainbow young author competitions]. So if you'd like a book for your girls to read come read Wednesday's and hear about books for kids. And if you write for this group contact me about getting your book reviewed.

Thursday we will have people in the industry interviewed. We will interview writers, marketers, editors, agents and others give you advice and share funny stories.

Come back often and leave a question or comment. This blog is all about you after all.