Advice from New York Times Bestselling Author John Eldredge

John Eldredge has sold over 14 million books. He’s achieved success way beyond what most writers ever dream of. Over the past 24 years, the Yates & Yates team has had the pleasure of working alongside John on his books and publishing. Recently, John shared some advice with our team. He focuses on two things when writing a book. Today we want to share those tips with you.

Tip #1 Set a writing schedule

In order to get the writing done, you’ve got to have a schedule. Life will provide plenty of obstacles that will get between you and doing the writing. A schedule can help shield you against those times when things come up. If you don’t make writing a priority, other things will fill your schedule.

A schedule also establishes a rhythm for your writing routine. You know when it’s time to work on your book. If you leave yourself vulnerable to the whims of inspiration, you’re setting an unreliable writing schedule. Don’t do that. It probably won’t happen in the first couple of times you show up for your scheduled time, but eventually, it’ll become a habit - and a habit is tough to beat.

The goal for every writer should be to have a writing habit. That means you put it on your schedule. Take John’s advice: Have a writing schedule.

Tip #2 Invite your reader in

What does it mean to invite the reader into your book? Often times the narrative can tilt towards the author and become one-sided. When this happens, John reminds us to invite the reader into the story. What that looks like can vary, but here are a couple of ways to do that.

  • The first is to ask questions in your book. Are you taking time to pause the narrative to ask the reader if they’ve ever experienced something similar to what the author is describing? Asking a question puts the spotlight on the reader. Enough about me, what about you? Have you ever felt this way?
  • A second way is to give actionable steps the reader can take. In John’s book Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times, he provides a guided prayer experience where he walks you through a specific prayer at the end of each chapter. This actionable step changes the dynamic between the author and the reader.

There are many ways to invite the reader into your book. The important thing about inviting the reader in is that you are thinking of that reader when you’re writing your book. You know when a narrative loses the sense of the reader and becomes one-sided. Keep your reader in mind, always.

John Eldredge has had an amazing publishing career. His books have impacted millions of lives. While the success he’s achieved might feel unattainable with where you are today, his advice is 100% applicable to your writing right now. Build a schedule and invite your reader in. If you do that, you’ll be following the same path that’s helped John get to where he is today.

Take Action: Talk to a professional

We can help you just like we helped John Eldredge. If you’re looking for further advice, schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our agents. During this time, we teach and coach first-time and veteran authors interested in advancing their careers, using our unparalleled experience, hard-won wisdom, and industry-leading strengths to help them reach their full potential. Schedule a one-on-one meeting today!

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