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Thursday Thirteen--How to Start Writing "For Real"

Thursday Thirteen is a good way to let readers know a little bit more about the blogger, and since I've only recently started writing this blog, I thought I should say a bit about myself!

I've been writing professionally since 1998, writing columns, articles, and books. I'm going to list 13 things you can read of mine on the net, but first I thought I'd write a bit about writing!

A number of readers have asked how I got started in writing, and the truth was it happened accidentally. I was sitting in the NICU with my little boy when I overheard a nurse tell a really hilarious story. I sent it into Reader's Digest and got $200. I thought that was pretty cool, and starting searching on the internet for more places to send little things into. I came across a book listing 900 Christian magazines (I didn't even know there were that many), and I started from there. This book is amazing. It is very hard to get published without it, and it will build your career. It did mine. I found magazines I never heard of before in there that paid well, and I found my book publisher through there. You really need it if you want to try your hand at writing.

It's much easier to start with articles or columns than it is with books. And besides, chances are more people will read any one article you write than will read a whole book! It's prestigious to have a book, but most people find that article writing pays better, and it's easier. Unless you make it really big!

A lot of you write. You blog. You love putting your thoughts down on paper (or on the screen). Why not try to branch out and get paid for what you love to do? You can see my tips on how to get started here.

So, without further adieu, here are 13 things I've written:

1. My first published article, The Least of These, about my little guy who is now in heaven.

2. My second published article, in Today's Christian Woman, about how to comfort a friend who's grieving.

3. On a more light-hearted note, here's one of my syndicated columns recounting our experience with lice.

4. Here's my tribute to my husband on our eleventh anniversary. Again, from my column.

5. I provide online advice through a Christian ministry that we speak with. Here's some marriage questions answered!

6. Women need to feel loved to make love. Men make love to feel loved. What a recipe for disaster! My book Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight: Help for women who want to feel more in the mood, helps break this impasse. You can read an excerpt here.

7. A few years ago I was fired from the paper I was in for writing this column. I was hired by a rival paper the next day and given a raise. God is good.

8. What's wrong with schools today? I resurrect my grandmother and ask her.

9. Can women really have it all?

10. To Love, Honor and Vacuum. What this blog was named after! Read reader testimonials here.

11. Do you ever have a friend who is hurting and you don't know what to say? That's why I wrote How Big Is Your Umbrella: Weathering the Storms of Life. It's a short little book that talks about the things you yell at God when life stinks, and what He whispers back. Great to give to a grieving friend.

12. Introduce your kids to chores!

13. Finally, do you want to know why Christian couples have more fun in bed? Here's why! (and it's not X-rated, believe me) :).

So what about you? What are you writing? Do you want to get started writing professionally? Why don't you share your dreams with us?

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At 5:35 PM , Anonymous We are THAT family said…

Very informative and I am impressed! I actually tried for 2 years to get a couple of my children's books published. I resorted to blogging in retaliation of all the rejection slips I collected. What's funny is I find more joy and fulfillment in blogging about my life than writing picture books. Retaliation is a good thing.


At 9:59 AM , Blogger Deborah said…

Great site from a fellow Canadian writer! Thanks for all the info.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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