I got serious about writing five years ago. That was the first step. I needed tools that would keep me going in a career where I worked alone and had little experience. Other than that, it’d be fun!

The founders of Write Well, Sell Well shared their vision from the beginning.  As successful writers, they wanted to offer what they’d learned about writing well and building a profitable business.

Being connected to the community of Write Well, Sell Well challenged me in all the right ways. No more excuses about being alone and new at all this. I was around people who cared enough to help.

I had some success at the beginning – like hitting a strike the first time I’d hurled the ball down a polished lane. Maybe this wasn’t so hard after all. A few articles, several likes and shares on my blog. A couple ghostwriting assignments.

One day I accepted a project with someone who had a story to tell, but not much money. After applying shining armor, off I went. Without a contract. Sixty hours of work later, the deal was off. And I had nothing to show for all that time.

Whine, whine, whine. Note to self. Hadn’t I attended Melanie Hemry’s ghostwriting class? She’d included a sample contract form in her sessions. I had it on my laptop.

Then there was marketing. My quiet nature shuddered. Didn’t I need to hone my craft before presenting a product?

Except for me, hone my craft was code for, marketing is unknown, scary territory. Avoid at all costs. Year after year Christopher Maselli taught about this complex world in a way that broke a mountain into achievable bites. I couldn’t plead ignorance there, either.

Business? With measurable goals? The interior life of a writer wasn’t subject to incremental steps I could check off every day. Or was it? I’d hear our staff talk about deadlines and wonder if I’d ever live in the multi-published world.

But wishing wasn’t getting it done. So, I started with a plan.

It began with setting daily goals to keep me on course. Without specific assignments, the laundry called and I was happy to respond. Even cleaning closets looked good when I lacked clear direction for the day.

The key to my growth as a writer between conferences, critique groups and craft books has been goal-setting. I still hate to admit this. My intuitive nature tends more to living and working like a pantser, not plotter. (Listen to Rene Gutteridge teach fiction – she’ll explain the difference.)

But objectives based on what I’ve learned forces me to put knowledge into action. Pretty soon, that information isn’t brand-new anymore. I’m more confident. At some point, it morphs into an educated instinct. I may not remember why something works, but I’ll know if it does.

That’s what I call progress.

Amazing hasn’t just happened on my pages. But give me time, along with knowledge that professionals of WWSW offer. I’ll work what I learn. And at some point, amazing with happen.

For me. And for you.

A former high school English teacher, Laurel Thomas has written for magazines such as Guideposts, Mysterious Ways and others. In addition to her foray into fiction with her first novel, Laurel has ghosted six books and edited others. In her position as general administrator of Write Well, Sell Well OKC, she heads an amazing staff of volunteers.

Laurel holds degrees in English and Counseling. She is a chaplain for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, as well as being a lay pastor at Church on the Rock, Oklahoma City, OK.