Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

How To Seize Your Day

During the last couple of years, I've been aware of the brevity of life and the need to seize the day and make the most of every moment and experience. As a young man, these thoughts never crossed my mind but wisdom and experience has changed me. I'm eager to follow the Latin term “carpe diem” or “seize the day.”

In this article, I want to give you some ideas how to take the opportunities of life and make the most of them. As a writer, I understand much of the publishing world is outside of my direct control. I don't determine which articles are published in a magazine or which books get published. I don't control who buys the books that I've written or what they tell their friends or don't say anything about them. I don't control which literary agents read my proposals and offer to work with me. I don't control Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or any number of other online places. It's easy to grow discouraged and feel like you have no power or opportunity.

The reality is actually something different from my years in publishing. I do control what I write about and what I pitch to editors of magazines and book editors. I can write query letters and emails to see if the editor is interested in my ideas. If I don't know how to write a query or a book proposal, then I can learn how to create these publishing tools. After they are written, I can make sure they are excellent, then pitch them over and over until I find someone interested in my idea. 

I don't run a conference but if I want to teach others, I can craft pitches to the directors of conferences and see if they are interested in my participation. I don't control who interviews me about my books or my work. Yet when someone interviews me, I can replay and promote that interview to tell others about it. For example last week, Angel Murchison interviewed me about Billy Graham and my biography, Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist. The interview aired last Saturday in northern Maine and West New Brunswick, Canada. Angel sent me a copy of the interview and you can hear it here (on my own site so I know this link and the 25-minute interview will not disappear since I'm controlling it). 

While I can't force people to buy my books, I can focus on the benefits of the books and tell as many people about it as I can reach through social media or email marketing or blogs or any number of other possible tools.

Every writer has these opportunities with your work. Are you seizing the day and latching on to these possibilities? As you do it, you will expand your audience and the reach of your message. Another way that people in the publishing community speak about it is platform. If you want to expand your possibilities, I recommend this free ebook that I wrote called Platform Building Ideas for Every Author

Each of us have the same finite amount of time in a day. How are you seizing those opportunities?

Columnist: Terry Whalin


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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