Writing might have come natural to me, but it was never easy. As far back as I can remember, I enjoyed telling stories to my young brothers and sister. When classes in English grammar and composition required the writing of essays, poems, and short stories, I was excited ó that is, until my papers came back with ‘A’ for imagination and ‘D’ for technique. Those were dark days because nouns, verbs, participles, and punctuation were no friends of mine.
Those were also the days of writing longhand, and eventually using a typewriter. In the former times, my lined paper was blurred with constant erasures and encryption due to my poor handwriting. Typing was a slight improvement, but I still used enough White Out to paint a centerline down the road from Atlanta to Miami. Final papers were even more traumatic because making a mistake meant retyping the entire page.
I survived, however, and went on to a career in radio and television. As a producer/director, I wrote hundreds of commercials, dozens of program scripts, and screenplays. The pay was good and I won several impressive rewards, but something was really missing.
In 1992, while working on a large presentation for my company, the urge struck. I saved the file on my screen, pulled up a blank page, and keyed (this is the honest truth…): ‘It was a dark and stormy night.’
That was easy, I thought. All I needed was a title, 50-150,000 more words and I would finish a novel.
Ninety days later, my first young adult novel, The Mystery of the Shrieking Island, was finished and I was stunned. Even though I feared that my total capacity for writing had been used up, I was challenged by my wife to try another book, just to be sure.
Now, seven novels, three anthologies, two non-fiction career books, and scores of magazine, ezine, and newspaper columns later, I’m starting to believe that I am a serious writer. Serving as president of two writing guilds and holding seminars on the conference circuit gave me the opportunity to share what I have learned in the process of becoming an author, and SME (Subject Matter Expert), and journalist. It became time to publish a book revealing all the tips, hints, Internet sources, interviews with published authors, word processing tools and the secrets of making my computer a servant. That’s what writers do for others, and that’s one of the reasons we’re such a unique breed.
I started with a monthly newsletter that quickly attracted a very large subscription base. Each issue was filled with the kind of information to not only help in the development of writing skills, but also included segments devoted to earning good money as a freelancer. I even revealed many of the websites that had hired me to write for them.
When Angela Hoy wrote that ebooks designed to help writers would be published on WritersWeekly.com’s popular website, I asked if she could post my newsletter. She explained that the process of scheduling and mailing out electronic monthly subscriptions was burdensome, but, if I could reformat them into a series of volumes in book form, that would probably work ó and it did.
The first volume of The Serious Writer is filled to the brim with ways to begin seeing checks appear in your mail as a freelance writer. There are five chapters on organizing, writing, and revising that novel you’ve always threatened to write. There are dozens of articles on jazzing up your computer, and how to use word processing tools that many do not even know exist.
Downloading your copy of the ebook from WritersWeekly.com or Booklocker.com is simple, fast and economical. My newsletter costs $42 for 12 issues. The Serious Writer ebook contains almost a full year of content, but is only $14.95, and is delivered instantly. You don’t even have to get past the introduction to get your first three tips: How to print the book using less ink; Using embedded hyperlinks; and creating bleed-proof, two-sided copies.
Proceed beyond, ‘It a dark and stormy night…’ in pursuit of your long awaited novel. Write on!!
R.T. Byrum, President of the Christian Writers’ Guild, has published three of eight completed Carver Cousins Adventure for young adults, and several career books for Lucent. He writes magazine and Ezine articles, newsletters, radio and TV commercials, and is a composer. R.T. resides in Georgia with his wife, Karen.