June 19, 2017

Who Knew, It Could Be Me?

By Shelia E. Bell

I never thought I would be a national bestselling author of 20 fiction and nonfiction titles. I always had a penchant for writing essays and speeches, but to be a successful published author was something I never dreamed of until after I faced a tragic event in my life. It's funny how some of life's most devastating moments can be the catalyst that ushers you into realizing your passion. I still recall the tragedy that changed my life and it still brings about a sense of sadness, yet, I realize that I am living my dream because of it and so I embrace it.

Have you ever thought about why you write or why you aspire to write? Maybe your reason is not as drastic as mine is, and that is great. Whatever your reason, I urge you to go all out to make your dreams, your desires, and your passions the driving force behind your writing. However, if you want to make writing a career, do you know what sets your books apart from all of the other millions of authors and the books they write? If you do not, then it’s time you get busy doing some research!

I am sure you know that with rapidly advancing technologies and social media, it is relatively easy to publish a book these days, but if you want to have an edge in the literary world here are a few tips I'd like to share.

1. Write for your readers and not for yourself. You know your story. You know the beginning, middle, and end, but keep in mind, your readers do not. Write in a manner (especially in fiction) so that your readers can get to know your characters and understand your plot. Be clear about what you are writing.

2. Write to the target audience you want to reach. For example, if you are writing for children, identify the age range of the children you wish to reach and target your writing toward that age group.

3. Know your genre. The number of authors who do not know the genre of their writing continually surprises me. Once you identify the genre of writing, find other successful authors who write in this genre. Read and study their work.

4. Editing…the ultimate must do. Whether your book is a short story, a novel, or nonfiction always, always, always have your work professionally edited.

There are so many other tips I could share but these are the ones that I count as being at the top of the writing tip chain.

Thanks for reading and happy writing!
Shelia E. Bell (formerly Lipsey) is an award-winning, national bestselling author with over a dozen books published in Christian fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult genres. Her books have garnered many awards, including 2015 Rosa Parks Award, 2014 Christian Literary Award, AAMBC Nate Holmes Honorary Award, Kindle Award, OOSA Book of the Year, and numerous others. Shelia began her publishing career in 1999 by independently publishing her first book, Always, Now and Forever, which she re-released in 2012. Since then, she has set the literary industry ablaze with her dynamic, true to life stories. She began writing her young adult series in 2012. Her first YA title is House of Cars. The Life of Payne,her second YA book was published in 2013. Shelia is passionate about others and encourages and promotes people to ‘live their dreams now.’ In 2012, she founded and hosted the Black Writers And Book Clubs (BWABC) Literacy Association and Festival. The festival attracts thousands of readers and book clubs from across the nation to Memphis to attend the annual festival, which promotes literacy one community at a time. Authors who write in various genres attend the festival as well, sharing their books, their publishing journeys and their support of literacy. A much sought after inspirational speaker, Shelia travels near and far sharing her inspirational messages of how to overcome the adversities of life. Having had polio since the age of two, Shelia accepts no excuses and is determined not to let her physical imperfections keep her from her life’s purposes Bell’s books are available Nationwide at bookstores, online eTailers, your favorite eReaders, and on this author’s website. Her social media links are: Twitter: @sheliaebell   Instagram: sheliaebell

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