Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Publishing Type by Jordyn Redwood

I don’t know if this is true for your business, but in medicine, there are definitely types. Recently, I was sitting at the nurse’s station with several of my co-workers when this discussion came up. It is easy to tell if a nurse is going to make it in the ER within the first few shifts of their orientation. There is a certain attitude, work ethic, and demeanor that are likely consistent among ER nurses across the country.

Several experiences have led me to believe that there may also be a publishing type and I’m curious to know what others think. I’ve been quite surprised at some authorly discussions of late and wondered how there could even be controversy… yet, there is. What follows are qualities I think a writer needs to possess in order to seek publication. Notice, I didn’t say write. Anyone, literally, can put pen to paper and write. This is taking your hope, your dream, to the next level.

  1. Must love to read. This discussion has been raging over at a marketing loop of authors I follow. Several have complained that there are actual people who think they can craft a novel but hate reading. I find this problematic on several levels. First, I think writing is born from an enjoyment of reading. Your pulse has pounded at an author’s musings and you wonder if you could pull off such a feat. You’ll need to read extensively in the genre you hope to publish in if for no other reason than to know what’s being published. Reading in other genres will help your writing grow. Next, will be reading agent/editor’s submission guidelines. Really, the reading list is extensive.
  2. Must be able to multitask. Consider the following if you’re blessed enough to get a multi-book contract. Researching your next series, writing one book, and editing one (or more) novels at one time. Add to that blogging at several sites and developing your marketing strategy for your novel when it is released. Oh, and then there is likely your family, church and full-time job to add into the mix. What else should be on this list?
  3. Be able to organize. See #2.
  4. Must be able to follow direction. Agents and editors lament often about getting material they just don’t need or didn’t request. This is a waste of their time and you don’t want to be the thorn in their heel. If they ask for a one page synopsis—that’s what they actually mean and it’s not open for your interpretation. It’s not a challenge from them to you to get them to change their mind. The ability to do this will aid a lot in your developing a well-respected, professional reputation.
  5. You know how much more you need to learn. A continual love for learning is definitely a must if pursuing publication. I know I had a minor heart attack when my agent asked me for a book proposal. What is that?!? Recently, I was having coffee with a good friend of mine who is also a writer and we were talking about the current state of our relative manuscripts. Needless to say, we both wanted to shred them at the time. I said to her, “You know, the more I write, the more I know how much more I need to learn.” Do you feel this way? Did you feel that way after your first book was published? I think I buy more books now on the writing craft than ever before.
What are your thoughts? What qualities do you see in those who have successfully navigated the publishing road? Which would you take off my list?

Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel,Proof, has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at

ProofDr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?


  1. Jordyn, I totally agree with you on points 1-5. I've discovered, too, that the more I grow as a writer, the more I realize there is always more to learn. But that's also kind of exciting in a way. If we continually challenge ourselves to get better, we'll never get bored with the pursuit!

  2. Angie-- thanks so much for the opportunity to be on your blog today. Great point, Dawn! I think a love of learning is a good way to lead a life.

  3. You're very welcome, Jordyn! Point #2 is so difficult, isn't it? It's so easy to get pulled into one thing or the other and neglect everything else, isn't it? Organization really is the key.

    Thanks so much for joining us today!

  4. All excellent points, Jordyn. The one that scares me the most is multi-tasking as I'm a do-one-task-till-it's-done person. Guess I should add "be flexible" to my list.

    BTW - I recently finished Proof and I really enjoyed it. Loved your unique premise. Can't wait to read more from you. :)

    1. Hi, Brenda! Yes, I do think the multitasking can be the most difficult. When I'm writing, marketing and editing-- I do find that I can only do two at a time really well. There're only so many hours in a day-- particularly when still working another job too.

      I'm so glad you liked Proof! Poison will be out in February. I should get it back soon in the next week or so for another round of edits.


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