Speaker, teacher, and author Sharon Norris Elliott has received some good and bad writing advice throughout her career. She’s sifted through them all to find the gems, and she’s sharing many of them with us today. If you need writing tips, encouragement, or inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s welcome Sharon!
What is your favorite writing book?
A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech
Which do you think is the most underrated writing book? Why?
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. If an author doesn’t understand marketing, it doesn’t matter how great the book is because people will never find it in order to read it.
What is your favorite (or most anticipated) writers conference?
No conference has taken the place of the granddaddy of them all, The Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I started attending as a hopeful author and ended up serving on the faculty for 20 years. The conference was a family reunion. You attended whether you had a proposal to pitch or not. Now, my favorite conferences are the West Coast Christian Writers’ Conference and the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference
What’s your favorite other source (YouTube, podcast, etc.) for writing tips/info?
Some webinars from time to time. I listen to workshops taught by other industry professionals that are presented at the online conferences at which I am also a faculty member.
Who is your writing mentor/inspiration? Why?
There were so many: Susan Titus Osborne, Gail Roper, Florence Littauer, Kathy Collard Miller, Joyce Dinkins, Patricia Raybon, Marlene Bagnull, Linda Evans Shepherd, and others.
Some of these women ran conferences or organizations that I was able to work with, many times in leadership capacities. Others are editors and writers who shared their knowledge and expertise with me. All of them believed in and still believe in me, never letting me forget I had gifts and could use them to glorify God. They all treated me like I was really a part of this industry until I realized that truth about myself.
What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received? Why was it bad?
Write for the African American community and concentrate on one specific genre. This was bad advice because it tried to put my writing in a small box.
I don’t write “Black” books; I write Christian books. And God has led me to write women’s nonfiction, Bible studies, devotionals, children’s books, parenting books, and teen/YA books. I would be “disobedient to the heavenly vision” if I stuck to just one genre.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Find my voice and communicate by using it.
What would you say is the best writing tip for new authors?
Be teachable and listen to professionals in the industry. Get to know someone in the industry who has your best interest at heart and stick with that person as your mentor.
What is your best self-editing tip or advice?
Read back over everything. There will always be mistakes. Then have someone else—someone impartial and professional—edit your work and consider what that person says about changes that need to be made. Choose carefully the hills you will die on. Everything is not worth a live or die fight.
Please share your most encouraging tip for frustrated/discouraged writers.
Keep at it. The best writers, authors of classics you’ve probably read, were rejected many times before they experienced publishing success. No one is perfect. You will never stop learning.
This is a distance race, not a sprint. Decide that you are in this for the long haul. And whatever you learn, be determined to teach that to someone else. You will never lose by giving back. You get better at what you are able to teach.
Tell us about your newest release/upcoming release.
My newest upcoming release is Didn’t See That Coming: When How They’re Living’s Not How You Raised Them. This is my third parenting book and launched from Elk Lake Publishing on January 3! Later this year, my 7-book children’s series will continue with the next two books: Special Church Snack (explaining communion) and Funny Math (explaining the Trinity).
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The next semester of my AuthorizeMe Academy Masterclass Series begins March 4, 2023. If you’re interested in taking your book from idea to manuscript to masterpiece, and being taught personally by Dr. Sharon, register at www.AuthorizeMe.net.
From obscurity in Compton, CA to preaching from sacred pulpits, to commanding main stages teaching others how to write their books and understand the Bible, Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott encourages us to “Live significantly!” This inspiring message has driven Dr. Sharon to become an award-winning author, editor, agent, engaging speaker, and licensed minister. She is a graduate of Biola University and HSBN International School of Ministry in association with Gateway International Bible Institute, author of 13 books, and a member of several prestigious organizations. Dr. Sharon is also co-director of the WCCW conference and a Christian broadcaster with HSBN.tv. She is founder/CEO of the successful AuthorizeMe® Literary Firm (www.AuthorizeMe.net). Dr. Sharon and her husband James live in Southern California; attend Christ Second Baptist Church of Long Beach; and enjoy traveling to visit their children and grandchildren.
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SaneWriter/
LinkedIn: Dr. Sharon Elliott
HSBN.tv: Search for Sharon Norris Elliott or Life That Matters (the shows)
CWWN.tv: Search for Sharon Norris Elliott or Life That Matters (the shows)