Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lessons I Learned As A Writer Part 2

As a writer of ten books and counting, I am amazed at how much there is to learn about it.
As I foresaid in my previous article, the first lesson one should learn is to know what you are writing about. Know your subject. This is vital for three key reasons:
  1. When you know your subject you will give people substance. Your writings will contain value and quality. People will receive some wisdom, some answer that they are looking for. They may receive some entertainment value, filled with principles which can make their lives better. Write on purpose. Write to impact lives.
  2. When you know your subject, it will keep you focus. You will be able to stay on course with what you are writing about. This is important for it will ensure that your writing has structure and stability. You won’t go all over the place.
  3. When you know your subject it will give your writing credibility. When people realize that you know what you are speaking about and that they can therefore trust your words, it will enable you to stand out as an authority in the field you are writing about. It is not a good  thing at all to have a book about a particular subject, with information which can be shot down easily because it is not built on truth or has very  little, if any, factual substance (that is of course, unless your book is fiction). So make sure you have done your homework and write from a standpoint of knowledge.
The next lesson I remember having to learn is vital if you are going to succeed as an author. You must:
Learn to get past your fear of failure
This was indeed a serious one for me. As I fore-mentioned, I wrote my first book, which was concerning the importance of unity. What I did not say then was that although this was my first book, I never released it. I finished writing it. And I even had a minister friend of mine do a Foreword for it. But I never had it printed.
In retrospect, the book was really good (if I may humbly say so). It had substance and would have been a source of encouragement for many persons. But I did not have it printed. I wished that I still had it saved on a jump-drive. I would surely have it published, at the least as an e-book. Why didn’t I get it printed, you may ask? The answer was that I was afraid. But of what was I afraid? I was afraid of several things:

  1. I was afraid that people may not buy the book.
    This fear was not warranted however. After all, I had no way of knowing if people would or would not buy the book. I should not be the one who chooses for people. People ought to be given the right to make up their own minds as to what books they should or should not buy. My job was to write it, get it printed or published, and then present it to them. But I did not do this because I allowed fear to stop me from moving forward. My question to you is, are you allowing fear to stop you from moving forward regarding your book? If you are, it is time to get past yourself and to get past that fear. Some people may not buy your book. But, if you ask nicely, some people will.
  2. I was also afraid that people would criticize my book if they read it.
    I was scared that they would not find it interesting. And granted, some people may have negative things to say in regards to what you write. However, if you have followed step one, making sure you have written something of substance, worth and value, there will be others who will benefit greatly from your work. When I finally started getting my books out there it is amazing how many people told me the impact they have had upon them. This has transpired from my first book, Diligence to The Things of God, (available here: And it continues. Of course I have had some criticisms. But I have had more encouragement from the testimonies of those who found my books helpful. You never know whose life you can touch in a positive and powerful way.  So step up to the plate, push past that fear and get your book out there.
In my next article I will share with you a third kind of fear that I experienced as I aspired to be a writer and it will be something of great interest to all who read this. I can promise you that it may be the number one reason why many have never even finished writing their book. I believe sharing my experiences with you may inspire you to rise up and realize your dream of being a published author, making a difference in the lives of others.
If this inspires you, please leave a comment at the bottom. I would love to hear back from you. Thanks for reading.
Sheldon D. Newton

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lessons I learned About Writing A Book (Part One)

To date, I have written ten books.

When people hear that, they look amazed and wonder how I was able to accomplish such a feat. I am a family man, a pastor, work at times as a Sales Executive for a leading Newspaper Company, travel to teach the Bible and still find time to write. How, one may ask? The answer is simple. When something means something to you, when it is important to you, when you are passionate and feel strongly within about it, you will make time for it.

I love writing. I started writing from I was a teenager. Of course I wrote in school, doing school work, and at home doing homework. But, when I became a teenager, I started writing using a yellow note pad. (I still do at times by the way). I wrote based upon what I was doing at the moment, which for me was studying the Holy Bible, God’s Word.

As I read from Matthew through Revelation, I would write down things I came to understand. As a matter of fact, when I began writing, things would just start flowing. I would write page after page from one passage of Scripture. The more I read the more I wrote. It was exhilarating. It was thrilling. It was exciting.

As time went on, I began to date a wonderful and beautiful young lady, who has since become my wife. I wrote her a booklet on my plans for the future, I mean in detail. She still has it after twenty three years of marriage, and at times reminds me of what I promised her I would do for her. (Maybe I shouldn’t have written it down for now I cannot deny that I said it).

Then came the time when I decided to write my first book. Now let me be honest with you when I let you know that writing a book, while to me is exciting, has also proven to be work. Indeed I have had to develop the habit of thinking things through and stating things in the clearest manner possible so that the reader can comprehend what I mean by what I write in the context that I write it.

So, I wrote a book dealing with the importance of unity. I ensured that I had my reference points and that I knew my subject. And this brings me to my first point about writing: Ensure that you know what you are writing about.

Do not just write a book to write a book. I know that many people are doing that these days. But if you determine to be a writer, I mean someone who speaks through the pen (or the computer), ensure that you write something of quality, something which can make a difference and have an impact upon the lives of those who may read it.

Do you best. Do your homework regarding your subject matter. Make sure you know what you are speaking about. Words written and sent to the world should make a difference. So write something which matters and for which you have passion and focus.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Wisdom is the Principal Thing

Wisdom is the principle thing. So, get wisdom, and with all your getting, get understanding. This is the admonition of The Holy Bible, advice from King Solomon, the person who carries the reputation of being the wisest person in the world, before the Lord Jesus Christ. So, his instruction should be something we all need to heed. Wisdom is God’s answers to our questions. Wisdom is God’s solutions to our problems. Wisdom is the key to living a truly successful life. When King Solomon says that wisdom is the principal thing, he was giving each of us a clue as to what we really need. The principal thing means the chief thing. So, money is not the main thing we need. A better marriage is not the main thing we need. A promotion on the job or a new job is not the main thing we need. Granted that these things are what we desire, the path to them all is the wisdom it takes to attain them. Wisdom, God’s answers to life, is the main thing.

The power of wisdom was proven in the life of the one who wrote those words thousands of years ago, and they are just as true as they were then. Indeed, all who adhere to King Solomon’s advice and pursue wisdom have the testimony of excelling in life, for wisdom will always elevate any person who embraces it.

Those who achieve success financially, the right way, can attest to the fact that wisdom in the area of finances was the cause of their prosperity. People who applied the wisdom of God in the area of family relationships will tell us that their homes are a haven of rest because of the wisdom principles they applied and continue to apply daily. Others who apply the wisdom principles which govern good health also bear witness to the fact that wisdom is the principle thing.

Most people want the results of wisdom, without the responsibility of applying the wisdom principles which brings those results. We all want a good home, a loving spouse, more money, a healthy body and a brilliant mind, peace, tranquility and the assurance of a wonderful and blissful life after death. We all want success in every area of life, don’t we? But in order to have the things we desire, we must be willing to do what is necessary to have them. Principles, wholesome, godly and sensible principles are necessary to get and maintain the kind of life that we want.

Here are a few suggestions for gaining wisdom:

Realize that wisdom comes from God. Schools, colleges and universities may give you knowledge. But they cannot make you wise. Only God gives wisdom. And His wisdom is found in His Word, the Holy Bible.

Read a chapter from the Book of Proverbs daily and heed its wisdom. The man, who wrote the majority of this powerful and life-transforming book, is the very one who said, get wisdom. He gives us some of what he learned in this book. So read it and get wisdom.

Realize that what you are reading is about life’s situations, circumstances and relationships. The Book of Proverbs is not just words. They are wisdom principles. It may be wise for you to read varied translations of The Holy Bible in relation to this book. It has the capacity to change your life for the better.

Apply what you learn. Doing is what causes changes in our lives. It does not matter what you read and learn, if there is no application, there will continue to be no change in our situations, circumstances or relationships. Only doing the principles of wisdom consistently and persistently gets results.