Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jerry B. Jenkins on Writing for the Soul

Jerry Jenkins's book, Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life, should be on every writer's professional bookshelf. Especially beginners. Especially intermediate writers. Especially professional writers. A candid look into the real world of the professional writer, Writing for the Soul is packed full of advice, born of decades of experience. It's also the story of Jerry's journey from a high school sports stringer for his local newspaper to a best-selling author with over 150 titles to his name. But it's not a "look at what I've done" type of book. Jerry's much too humble for that. It's more like "look at what you can do."

For those of you who don't recognize the name, Jerry B. Jenkins is the co-author of the bestselling Left Behind series. He's also the owner of the Christian Writers Guild and publishes a weekly blog for writers every Wednesday. (Click on under "Writers' Blogs in the right margin of this page.)

Writing for the Soul serves up thirteen chapters addressing all phases of the writing life, from "Why Write?" to "Keeping the Goal in Sight." Sprinkled throughout the book are helpful writing tips and interesting anecdotes about famous folks Jerry's had the privilege of writing about.

Jerry addresses the reader on the inside front flap of the book's dustcover:
Now is the time for honest, perhaps painful, self-assessment. If you have what it takes, including skin thick enough to endure the honest evaluation of your work, you can succeed in making the most of every opportunity. I'm living my dream as a full-time freelance novelist, writing about things I believe in and care about. And you can too. The path is crowded and the passage long, but but the reward is worth it. You can write for the benefit of your soul. And you can write to reach the soul of another.

From the back cover:
"In Writing for the Soul," best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins takes you on a personal and inspiring journey, imparting experience and wisdom gained from his impressive writing career. Unknown in his early days, Jenkins persisted in his passion to write, and his story reveals rewards that can come to writers who put in the hard work and keep their priorities straight. Jenkins shares honest and straightforward truth about how to find writing success and why the journey is a continuous one.

"With heartfelt advice and intimate anecdotes that will satisfy writers and fans, Jenkins discusses:
  • the skills and abilities requires to build an exciting career
  • breaking into the industry through reporting and writing for small markets
  • establishing and maintaining a professional image
  • how even experienced writers should continue to learn and grow (including Jenkins himself).
"Writing for the Soul is filled with Jenkins' autobopgraphical stories--including many of the famous people he's written about--and the lessons he's learned from his decades of experience in the writing and publishing world."

Jerry's big on continuously learning, reading, improving your skills. That's why 10 years ago he bought the Christian Writers Guild, which offers courses for writers all along the spectrum, from beginners on. And why every year, usually in February, he hosts the Writing for the Soul Christian Writers Conference. I recently was on the team of writers who rewrote two of the Guild's writing courses. The Guild, reflecting Jerry's desire is committed to helping writers move up to the next level.

The writing team discusses changes to the Writing Essentials course with Jerry
(from left) Julie Ieron, Karen O'Connor, Jerry, Michele Huey

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