Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the privilege of chatting with prolific nonfiction writer Linda Gilden. Linda has written six books, 26 collaborative books, and hundreds of articles, as well as being a speaker and a personality trainer! Today she’s sharing with us from her wealth of experience.
Linda, tell us about your most recent book, Articles, Articles, Articles!
Why write articles? Articles can change lives, instruct, inform, and inspire. For writers, articles can be an exercise to hone your craft, help build your platform, and reach more people than books. Articles, Articles, Articles! will show you how to do all these things and more while supplementing your income as you sell and resell your articles to many markets.
What inspired you to write this book?
I am a believer in articles as a means of building your platform, honing your craft, learning how to write well and tightly, using articles to market other forms of writing such as books, and as a good source of income. I teach at writers conferences all over the country and I have found many writers neglect this area of writing. Writing books seems so much more glamorous.
A great message a lot of writers need to hear. What is the primary focus of your book?
Obviously the focus of the book is on writing articles. But hopefully there is something in the book for every level of writer. The primary focus of the book is how to write articles from format to publication. But other instruction includes different types of articles and where to use them, markets that are easy to break in to, how to use articles to market your book, what is the difference between print and digital articles.
Sounds really useful! What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will read Articles, Articles, Articles! and discover an entirely new market and use for short pieces. I hope they will see articles as a way to use and reuse research, promote themselves and their work, and as a way to get their messages out to a larger audience.
What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
Personally, I love to write by the water. I love to do a writing retreat at the beach or near a lake. It seems that inspiration flows freely when I have a water view. I have a wonderful office at home where I write. There is no water but the view just above my computer is of lush farmland and the beautiful outdoors and I have a front row seat on God’s amazing creation.
Sounds gorgeous to this suburban girl! What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
I know you asked for one thing. Actually there are several things.
- Writing is hard work. Unless you feel called to be a writer and are passionate about getting your message to the world, I wouldn’t recommend you pursue writing, at least not full time.
- Writing is not a glamorous occupation. You will spend a lot of time alone and a good percentage of that time will be trying to meet deadlines.
- Most books do not sell as well as you’d like. The average book from a new author sells less than a thousand copies. So write books, but don’t just write books. Write articles and cultivate other markets for your writing.
Great advice! Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
At my very first book signing years ago, I was, of course, so excited when the first person came by the table for a book. I had practiced several different inscriptions to find something that would be super inspirational and tried different ways to write my name. So I was ready to accommodate this first customer.
I smiled and and said to the lady, “May I autograph it for you? And would you like me to include your name?”
“Oh, no,” she said. “Please don’t put my name in it. Books don’t sell well at yard sales with names in them.”
Ouch. Nothing more humbling than a book signing! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I am involved in many different ways in my church. I love working with ladies’ ministry and seeing women learn from each other. I started a writers group at my church about twenty years ago which still continues to encourage and instruct writers. I work in the media department of the church and have overseen projects such as church directories, Christmas devotional books, church history book, etc. I also direct a writers conference that is held each year at my church.
My favorite ministry is the summer youth mission trip to Kentucky. I participated in this trip as a high school student and continue to go every year as part of the adult ministry team. We will be going to Kentucky and taking about 250 youth and adults this summer for the 49th year. Every year the Lord teaches us something new and we see His hand in all the varied ministry that is part of this trip.
Sounds fantastic! Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
The short answer to this question would be, “No, I don’t have pets.” However, we do have chickens and they are very congenial. I had no idea these noisy birds would become so involved in the family and provide so much writing material. They are interesting to watch, come running to meet us if they are out in the yard, and provide an amazing amount of ideas for articles.
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I prefer to spend my non-writing time with family. Any time you can be with those you love is a good time. My favorite activity is floating in the pool or a lake reading a good book while surrounded by splashing grandchildren.
How fun! Linda, please tell us about your next project.
My next book will be released the end of May and will be the first book in a series of books on the personalities. The first one is called the Linked Quick Guide to Personalities.
Each of us is different, created with unique personalities that influence our actions and reactions. There are four basic personality types: Mobilizer—your gets-everything-done person, Socializer—your life-of-the-party person, Stabilizer—your keep-everything-peaceful person, and Organizer—your everything-in-order person. Which one are you? Learning about the personalities broadens your horizons and gives you a base of wisdom for self-discovery and a positive approach to relationships.
Understanding personalities is so important for writers and in our ministries. Sounds like a fascinating book!
To learn more about Linda, her books, her articles, and her speaking, please visit Linda’s website.
Writing for Him,