2018 Resource Investments

IMG_7389Since making a decision on Christmas of 2015 that I would become serious about my writing, I’ve made it a point to make one writing investment each winter. For the last few years, that investment has meant buying a few writing books. Here’s what I bought for Christmas of 2017:

  1. Interzone:
  • One of my goals is to get published in a science fiction magazine this year. Part of making that goal a reality is to fully understand what gets published in science fiction magazines. Side note: in the fall of 2017, I ordered a combo pack of Analog and Asimov magazines. You can do the same at this LINK). Link to purchase Interzone below:

  1. Christian Writer’s Market Guide:
  • I purchased the Writer’s Digest Writer’s Market Guide in September and was sorely disappointed in the religious section. Only a handful of periodicals were represented. I didn’t want to buy yet another market guide, but I felt like I had no real choice in the matter. I write religious articles and stories for the most part, so I need a good market guide for that industry.
  • Also, I have purchased the Christian Writer’s Market Guide several years ago when Sally Stuart used to publish it. It was a good publication then, and I am making an assumption that the agent Steve Laube has continued that quality as he oversees its publication. I like it so far. Link to purchase below:

  1. Writer’s Digest
  • I’ll be honest, I bought this because Andy Weir, who I listened to in person, is on the cover. He had some great stories about his writing career, so I want more. I don’t subscribe to this magazine (might start soon), but I usually buy the first issue of the year. Link to purchase a sample copy at this LINK:
  1. Crafting Novels and Short Stories:
  • I’ve submitted several stories in the past, and it’s only recently that I realized that I need some serious work on my short story craft. Honestly, my book-length fiction needs work too. I’ve become fairly good at writing articles and essays (enough to have over a dozen credits), but I want more.

While that’s it for now, don’t be surprised if I update this list from time to time in 2018. In making my writing more of a priority, I will be adding the resources to make it a successful expenditure of my time. Check back for more!

Will I ever Write a Book?

Actually, I have written a book. I thought for sure that Feeding the Dragon was going to be my ticket to stardom. Even as the final edits were being done and the cover was in design stage, I started writing the second book in what I was sure was the next Tom Clancy-esc series. To my great surprise, Stars and Stripes even interviewed me! I thought I was in for sure! I checked the subscription numbers for Stars and Stripes and guestimated that approximately 15,000 people could become interested in purchasing Feeding the Dragon.

I sold maybe…MAYBE…150 copies. Most of those were by family members or close friends (thank you!). The book is now out of print and the publisher has returned all rights to me. What a sad end to what I thought was my big move.

Writing a book is hard. It’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I learned a hard lesson in Feeding the Dragon.

The publishing world is cut-throat and I was not ready to play.

Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson and my approach now is to slowly build an audience that trusts me to deliver a specific area of expertise. That expertise is practical theology to make their lives better and (more importantly) more productive for the kingdom.

Someday, I hope that will become a book. I know my desire is to move out of blogging (which is another form of independent publishing) and article writing and into traditional book publishing. The book is in its very infant development stage. I’m not even yet ready to talk about it.

Safe to say, however, that someday, I will write a book. And you’ll be the first to know about it (after my wife!).