If you missed Part I of my Seven Habits of a Successful Christian Writer, first published in Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, please scroll down to March 12 for the first four habits. In quick review, they are:
1. Use your gift of writing to worship God.
2. Enjoy the writing adventure (and its surprises).
3. Keep learning from the pros.
4. When disappointment happens, press on (like Paul).
5. Be open to publishing options you may not have prevously considered. Traditional large publishers aren't your only choice. I learned about self-publishing at a writers conference, and have found it a viable option for me (so far). I'm still working towards my goal of signing a contract with a traditional publisher. But meanwhile, I've sold several thousand of my self-published books (mostly when I speak about the topics of my books), enough to establish my own little company, Millie's Books.
6. Find a good agent. In today's publishing climate, most book manuscripts need the backing of a literary agency. In publishing, here's the irony: To get a good publisher, you need a good agency behind you; and to get a good agent, you need a good publisher who wants your book/s. I'm delighted to be represented by Diana Flegal of Hartline Literary Agency. I made my first contact with them at a writers conference. (Free grammar note: "Writers" does not need an apostrophe when it precedes "conference" because "conference" is for the writers, not owned by them.)
7. Be prayerfully assertive. Good manuscripts and books need good promotion. I've learned so much about promotion and marketing at writers conferences. (I didn't say I've put all I've learned into practice yet, far from it!) For example, I've learned the fun of exchanging business cards, and the importance of having a website and a blog and being on Face Book. But most of all, I've learned to be grateful for the doors God opens for me with little or no effort on my part.
As I've worked on these habits (and others), I've paraphrased my life verse for specific writing and publishing encouragement: And we writers know that God works in all things for the good of the writers who love God, and who live according to God's purpose (Romans 8:28).