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Ozarks Chapter American Christian Writers


Extreme Writers
President’s Column
By Jeanetta Chrystie, Ph.D.
OCACW President
Everything seems to be extreme lately. Magazine and newspaper advertisements tout extreme makeovers and extreme artists. Our televisions scream about extreme weather, extreme sports, and even extreme cooking! Often these advertisements misspell “extreme” as “Xtreme”.

Of course, as a writer, even advertisements provide ideas for our writing. So I began a little brainstorming list of potential qualities of an Extreme Writer – or Xtreme Writer, if you prefer. I chose a broad focus, to include Christian and secular writer-type activities.

Extreme Writers might:

  1. Start each morning giving thanks to God for the writing ideas he provides.
  2. Study their Bible during breakfast and pray to hear God’s voice that day.
  3. Check e-mail every hour in case an editor sent you an e-mail so you can be responsive.
  4. Write in a journal about everyday experiences, your thoughts, your dreams, etc.
  5. Record writing ideas and file them where you can easily find them.
  6. Read 20 pages of Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide daily to find new markets you haven’t yet tried.
  7. Avidly peruse magazines, newspapers, and online blogs for hot writing topic ideas.
  8. Get up an hour early just to squeeze writing time into your busy day.
  9. Check ShawGuides.com every week, and click the “Writers Conferences & Workshop” link to check for a conference where you can meet editors to sell your latest book, etc.
  10. Set specific writing goals - for specific markets - every week.
  11. Select a writing how-to book, or a writing inspiration-focused book, to read every month.
  12. Attend at least one, and preferably two or more, writer’s conferences for training and inspiration every year.
  13. Create an organization system for your written works, submitted writing, writing business financial records, and editorial contacts.
  14. Meet regularly with local writers for training, information, and inspiration.
  15. Submit writing somewhere regularly.
  16. Participate in a local critique group.
  17. Try writing in another genre to break through any writer’s block.
  18. File rejection letters, or e-mail messages, and immediately “redirect” - find another market for that piece, then update it for that market and send it.
  19. Start your own writer’s blog and update it at least twice a month, preferably weekly.
  20. Create your writer’s web site to offer your author’s bio, credentials, writing topics, and publications list.
  21. Pray every time you sit down to write for God’s direction and guidance, so your writing will outlast you by positively impacting other lives.

Are there other items you can add to our Extreme Writers description? Where would you set the bar to define an Extreme Writer? Perhaps you fit 5 of the 21 items, or 10, or 15. If we said 15 of the 21 items was the definition of an Extreme Writer, would you fit? I wouldn’t - yet. Are you an Extreme Writer - yet?

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