by Connie S. Hall
Writing is similar to an athletic event; it takes skill and stamina, and is competitive in today’s world. Anyone unprepared has no better chance of success than the athlete who enters competition out of shape. You must learn how the game of writing is played, and prepare for the battle if you want to win.
Athletes and most writers need coaching to help them succeed. I was lucky this past month to have several instructors assist me. In a writing conference I attended there were many classes offered. You could choose a lesson in the category in which you needed help. The teachers were prepared and answered questions.
One speaker taught a new writer how to make a manuscript more attractive. Many do not’s were mentioned. Shirley Bahlmann made sure everyone knew about one-inch margins, double-spacing, and to always use white paper. She encouraged us all to follow the publisher’s guidelines, and to always include a SASE with our submissions. I learned that the person with the biggest hand in your success is YOU.
For me it took courage to attend the early morning boot camp meetings. It wasn’t easy to put my writing out there for strangers to critique. I can’t put a price on the information I received both mornings from our many drill sergeants.
Learning to play the game of writing will benefit me for many years because I want to win.