Climbing Higher

Yesterday we talked about building our publishing history. Ultimately, what we're trying to do is advance our writing career, especially so that when we write a query we look professional. A growing publishing history is just one aspect of that.

What are other ways to climb higher, so that when we send our queries we don't look like amateur writers?

Here's what we're encouraged to do: join writing organizations (ACFW, RWA, etc.); belong to critique groups; attend writing conferences; start a blog and/or website; build a reader base; enter writing contests. (Did I miss anything?)

We strive to accomplish all of these things and more in order to advance ourselves, to be able list them on our queries, to prove to agents and editors that we take our writing career seriously. But. . .

In the end, the sell will come down to one thing. . .the STORY. In the modern publishing industry, a newbie author has to craft an incredible story to get noticed. It doesn't really matter how many conferences we've attended or how many writing groups we belong to. If our story falls flat, we will too.

Let's work to advance our careers in whatever way we can. But, first and foremost let's get busy writing an excellent story, a story that will stand out from the rest, a story that will push us higher than we've ever been before.

Let's start now! What is your writing goal for the weekend? Tell us in the comments, and then on Monday let us know how you did; we'll all check back to make sure you followed through!

My weekend goal is this: to complete 1500 words on my WIP


  1. I started by writing for anything and everything I could find whether paid or not and built my clips. Evenutally I have enough that it sounds good when I write my history:) If you go to my writers blog you will find where I list many writing opportunities!

  2. Hi Terri,

    Thank you! I will make sure I check out all of the opportunities on your blog. Hope you are able to get some great writing done this weekend!

  3. Great post! And you're right. All your resume won't make a bad story get published. It's the quality of your story, not the quantity of your resume that will help you get published.

    My goal this weekend is to revise more chapters of my first novel and to complete one short story ready for submission.

  4. Great post Jody! Excellent tips too. Hmmm, I need to start working on my wip. I want to do at least a thousand words a day. We'll see how that goes. LOL
    The important thing is to not let these advancements take away from writing. I love to read blogs and many times that takes over my writing time. Bad me. *guilty grin*

  5. Hi Donna,

    OK. So Monday, we'll want to know how many chapters you revised and if you got your short story done! Happy writing! Have a blessed weekend! :)

  6. Hi Jessica,

    So, 2000 words this weekend? We'll ask you on Monday!

    And I know what you mean with reading blogs! It's a great way to get encouragement, especially for us loner writers. But we can't let it stop us from making our writing goals. Right?

  7. Oh, dear. Since I'm a stay at home writer I take weekends off for family time and whenever the crew is home which happens to be this week as it's March break.

    How about I give a goal for the end of next Friday instead. 5000 words by Friday, March 27th. Thanks for the accountability factor!

  8. Hi Eileen,

    That's awesome that you are able to take time off to be with your family! I hope you have had a wonderful week with them.

    I'll make a note that we should ask you next Friday if you met 5000 words! You'll have some hard work ahead of you next week!

  9. These are good tips here. (And made me feel good about my writing preps.) :)

    Goals for the weekend - edit 3 recent poems, edit a friend's weekly column, get at LEAST 3 chapters revised on my WIP.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Hi Angie,

    Sounds like you have a LOT of work cut out for you this weekend! Hope you are able to stay focused and get it all done! We'll check with you on Monday!

  11. Hi Jody -

    Weekend writing is dedicated to blogging. I also attended my bi-monthly writers group.

    Susan :)

  12. Hi Susan,

    Weekends are such a great time to write blog posts for the following week. And I'm jealous! A bi-monthly writer's group? You are blessed!

    Happy writing!

  13. Hi Jody,
    I love your post. As a newbie, I find that while I love to craft a story, I get so distracted by all the great blogs giving me such great advice. It is a bit overwhelming to hear that you need to start building your "name" before you even get published.

    As for word count for me this weekend, I am going for only 800. I did a garage sale today and I'm thinking I will not be so very productive. We shall see....

    Oh, and I am the Sherrinda who joined HIS Writers. I am learning alot from others on there so far.

  14. Hi Sherrinda,

    Thanks for stopping by! I wondered how many Sherrinda's there could be! So if you joined HIS Writers, that must mean you write historical fiction. When you have the chance you'll have to let me know the time period of your WIP.

    My current WIP is set in Medieval times. I know the market for this setting is slim, but I'm really excited about trying to push it through someday!

    And I totally agree! I would be wiped out after a garage sale too!I'll have to check with you on Monday to see if you met your 800 goal!

  15. Jody,
    My WIP is set in medieval times too. I always loved Regency, but read a Lynn Kurland book and was hooked. Though they are not written with a Christian world view, they are PG/PG13 time travel/medieval books. (So hard to find!)

    I heard medieval was a hard sell, but maybe you can push through and open the door for this period. ;)

    How far along are you in your WIP? How many finished MS do you have?

  16. Thank you for your comment on my blog! It looks like you have a great blog here and you are on a similar journey as myself trying to get published. I love this post. You point out the most important thing in our careers, and that's the actual writing.

    My birthday was this weekend, but I did get some writing done. More than I usually do. My goal is to finish the chapter I'm working on today. We'll see if that happens by tomorrow. :)

  17. Hey Jody,
    I am still so new at this, I haven't even begun to think about contests. I had thought you needed a finished MS to enter, but was told by MANY ladies on another blog that is not the case. I learned that too late to get ready for the Genesis, but hopefully some day I will.

    I would love to know how yours does!

  18. Hi Lady Glamis,
    Thanks for stopping by. (And Happy Birthday!) I think you have a good excuse to take a break from the usual writing goal pressures!

    I'll be back on your blog to follow up on your next inciting incident post. It was very thought-provoking!

  19. Hi Sherrinda,

    I will definitely have to post a blog about the contest results, no matter how I do! Because either way, it will be an awesome learning experience to get feedback from so many judges.

  20. I just discovered your great blog through Lady Glamis. A great post and yes, I do seem to be doing a lot of extra writing related things, including volunteering at a fabulous library with their guest authors program. The one thing I find a problem is the balance between writing and blogging and visiting others' blogs. Sometimes the balance gets shifted in the wrong direction, but I love networking and promoting.

  21. Hi Gutsy Writer,

    I think your problem with the balance between writing and blogging/networking is one we can all relate to! At least I know I can!

    Thanks for stopping by!


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