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Monday, July 24, 2017

3 Tips for Beginning Writers

by Beth K. Vogt, @bethvogt

An author-friend recently posed this question: What is the best advice you can give to someone who is writing a manuscript, attempting to get published?

I pondered the subject for several days, tossing thoughts back and forth, and then settled on a trio of lessons learned.

FIND A MENTOR. Often when I tell someone to find a mentor, my suggestion is met with the protest: But it’s so hard to find a mentor. Well, yes, yes, it is. But a lot of things about the writing life are hard. Deadlines. Rejections. Characters who don’t follow the script … I mean, the synopsis. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Go ahead and ask, all they can say is no”?  It’s true for asking someone to be your mentor. You have to ask, realizing they may say no. But then again, they may say yes. Go ahead. Ask.

Worth considering: When you’re looking for a mentor, know what you’re looking for. A good mentor should be enthusiastic about their own career, should be excited about your success, and should offer you constructive feedback.

DISCOVER THE POWER IN REWRITING. Acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway said, “The only kind of writing is rewriting.” You may write a decent first draft, and for that I applaud you. But you will write a better story – perhaps your best story ever – by being willing to tear apart your first draft. By accepting what doesn’t work even while you relish what does. During my recent deadline, when I struggled with the words I was putting down on the page, I muttered these words out loud: Rough, need to be rewritten words are still words. And they count. But rough words are only the first stop along your way to really, truly writing THE END. Go ahead. Rewrite.

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT GOD IS DOING IN YOUR LIFE IN THE WRITING PROCESS. There are a lot of different things I love about being a novelist. The beginning spark of a story idea always excites me. Brainstorming story with other writers? One of my absolute favorite things to do. I also love meeting my deadline and a good review can make my day. And yes, I celebrated the couple of awards I’ve won. But the most significant effect of writing in my life – the most eternal effect – is how God uses writing to conform me more and more to His image. God wastes nothing, and I firmly believe my writing is one of the tools He uses to reveal both my strengths and my weaknesses. In God’s economy, writing is a means to an end, showing me where I’m walking in accordance with His Spirit … and where I’m walking in my own strength. As you write, it’s okay to focus on goals like finding an agent. Or landing a contract. Or indie publishing. But remember, God has his plans for you, too. Go ahead. Pay Attention.


3 Tips for Beginning Writers by Beth K. Vogt (Click to Tweet)

A lot of things about the writing life are hard. ~ Beth K. Vogt (Click to Tweet)

Go ahead. Ask. Rewrite. And pay attention ~ Beth K. Vogt (Click to Tweet)

Almost Like Being in Love
She’s won a luxurious dream wedding—now all she needs is the groom!

Winning an all-expenses paid Colorado destination wedding might seem like a dream come true for some people—but Caron Hollister and her boyfriend Alex Madison aren’t even engaged. How is she supposed to tell him that she’s won their wedding and honeymoon when he hasn’t asked her to marry him? And while everyone says they’re perfect for each other, how strong is a relationship when it’s built around protecting secrets?

Realtor Kade Webster’s business savvy just secured his company’s participation in the Springs Tour of Homes. He never imagined he would run into Caron Hollister—the woman who broke his heart—right when Webster Select Realty is taking off. When Kade learns his home stager won’t be able to help with the Tour of Homes, he vaults past all the reasons he should avoid Caron, and offers her a temporary job helping him on the project. This time, their relationship is purely business—Realtor to Realtor.

Spending time with Kade again has Caron questioning who she is and what she wants. The man intrigues her—at times infuriates her—and reminds her of what she walked away from. Has she been settling for what everyone expects of her? How can Caron say “I do” to one man when she’s wondering “what if?” about another?

Beth K. Vogt
 is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” As a contemporary romance novelist, Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner and 2016 Carol Award winner for her novel Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She was also a 2015 RITA® Finalist for her novel Somebody Like You, which was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015, Beth introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love, and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She continued the series in 2016 with the e-novella You Can’t Hurry Love (May) and the novel Almost Like Being in Love (June). Her novella A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding Series by Zondervan. Beth enjoys writing contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Find out more about her books at An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also part of the leadership team for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories.


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