September 03, 2012

How do I Develop Necessary Skills in a Writers' World? - Janis Cox

"School is never out for the pro!" Those were the words that Brenda used to motivate us this month for our posting.

She is right. I think I have learned more in the past 10 years than I did in my first 50. Yes it has been an uphill climb but very exhilarating at each of the peaks. Of course, the slides down are not too much fun. But God knows that we have our ups and downs.

Brenda asked:
"How are you developing and growing your skills as a writer?"

Well right now I am trying to grow my skills as a marketer – or promoter. Or somehow find an audience.

My Learning:

  • Write! Canada – Thomas Umstaddt’s course. Opened my eyes to social networking. So I have been busy learning more about blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. That’s enough for me at the moment. But there is Pinterest, Digg, Google, and on and on.
  • Using Google as Search Engine - Every time I have hit a wall and think I can’t go any further – I Google for the answer. I always seem to find something that works. Thomas said to Google 50 times a day. Well I don’t think I have hit that number but some days I am close.
  • Set up a self-hosted Word Press Blog. This was a big learning curve. Setting up the blog wasn’t too hard. But finding the right pluggins – that is harder.  
  • Publishing and Marketing a book - And the other learning curve is working on edits and preparation for final publishing of my book. When I self-published a few copies it took lots of time. But now when I am working with a real publisher I have to work with others – it seems to be taking longer. I say, “patience, Jan, patience.”

Some Interesting Resources:

Twitter Ideas by Ruth Snyder
What is a Platform? by Chip MacGregor
How to Launch a Self-Hosted Wordpress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less - by Michael Hyatt

Janis Cox

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement.

She has published a couple of devotionals and a number of articles. Her Bible study is available in PDF.

As owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and A Better Way, she writes often.

Her children's book, Tadeo Turtle, is scheduled for release in September. Email her at Janis or visit her at www.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Janis :) there is definitely a lot to learn and we all need wisdom as we set our priorities. I'm looking forward to sharing your children's book with my kids.

  2. Hey Jan, I really liked your post... and how you turned the areas you are developing into a great list of ideas for the rest of us.


  3. Thanks Jan for your posting. I'm not a twitter, but now that you've shared the resources to get into that, I'm going to give it a try.

  4. Ruth,
    Thanks so much. Yes learning - but I love it - sometimes I get frustrated - but then I remember that my job isn't to do this - but to believe in Jesus.
    So I believe -
    Then I start back in again.

  5. Brenda,
    I think ideas are awesome. And the more links the better. I have a list that I have been saving - for times like these and for me as well.
    I need to read these links again, especially for Twitter.
    I would like a post on using Hootsuite.
    Thanks and blessings,

  6. And Precious Moments - I tried to post a comment on your site - it doesn't like me. lol:)

    Give Twitter a try - it is fun. But I wish I knew how to do it better. That is a work in progress.


  7. This 'promoting thing' certainly seems daunting at first, but little by little, you get on to it and like most things, its best to just do what you can until you're ready to move to the next level.

  8. Tracy,

    Excellent advice. One step at a time. If we looked at the whole package at once - we would back away in terror.

    You have been doing an excellent job on your marketing. Now you will be able to write a book. :)


  9. You've been busy, Jan. I would like to start a blog but I'm always afraid that I won't be able to keep up with consistent posting, and I don't want to let my readers down. Any advice on how to keep to a regular (and inspired) schedule?
    Pam M.


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