Pressing on Update

Pressing on Update

Rory C. Keel


Earlier this year, I posted the blog Pressing On in which I discussed a few things I would do to move forward in my writing. I must confess, today is the first day of March and I find myself struggling to find the time to write as much as I would like. I have added a few more words to my novel. Sometimes I write only a sentence, and at other times as much as a page or two. The novel is moving slowly, but it’s moving forward everyday.

One of the goals I made was to submit smaller pieces of writing for publication. Today I received my copy of The Secret Place magazine, spring 2016 edition published by Judson Press. You can read my devotional called Being Courteous in the April section.


Just keep pressing on!

Pressing On

Pressing On 

Rory C Keel

Today I’m spending time reassessing last year’s writing goals.

I have made it a custom to take the time at the beginning of each year to evaluate my writing and see where I accomplished my goals, and examine where I fell short of my expectations.

I confess—I failed to meet ALL of my goals.

While this may seem like defeat to some, it really isn’t. The truth is, I did exceed some goals and didn’t reach others. My novel is not finished, but my goals of submitting other works were achieved and rewarded with paid publication.

This year I will set my writing bar high and reach for it, and any goals not met will be closer and easier to reach the next time.

My number one Goal is to finish my novel. Secondly, is to submit ten smaller pieces of writing to various publications. Thirdly, there is a need to constantly improve in the writing craft. So, I will read and study at least one book on writing and attend one or more presentation on writing.

So, I’m pressing on.

How Did You Do It?

css-inspiration-for-writers-2How Did You Do It? 

By Rory C. Keel

This is the number one question I’m asked when others learn that my story, The Challenge, was published in the recent edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul:Inspiration for Writers. 

There is no magic button

In trying to answer this question, I realized there is no one specific thing that will get a story published. There is no switch to flip or button to push that makes it happen, nor did I have an acquaintance or inside contact at Chicken Soup.

However, hard work along with a few of the following things can improve your chance of success.


To keep me from getting writer’s block, I have made it a practice to write in a journal everyday. I jot down simple things like a quote, a thought or a remembrance of something in the past. Many times I express an emotion and try to explain in words how I feel. The words in a journal don’t have to be profound, hilarious or novel worthy, but write something, anything.

Over time your journal becomes a vault of story materials.

Study the publication

I believe a crucial step in getting published in any market, is to know the market. If you desire to be published in Chicken Soup, read it, study the stories and notice how they are written.

Submit, Submit, Submit

Watch for story call outs. Many publications announce the type of stories they are seeking to publish. This is where the journal comes in handy. You may have story material already waiting to be expanded, worked or polished.

Early in my writing at a writer’s conference, I remember a publisher who said, “Ninety-five percent of those who want to be published begin writing, but only five percent finish and submit.”


Finally, sometimes it’s a matter of having good work at the right place at the right time.

Rest in Peace Harry Potter

Rest in Peace Harry Potter

 An era has ended. The final installment of the Harry Potter series hit the theaters making even bigger mega bucks for the franchise. That’s fine as I enjoyed every movie. With HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, a ten year journey began for my nephews and me. One was seven and the other twelve when the movie came out. I bought the tickets and the boys bought the snacks. This was our tradition for each movie.

My eyes misted as we left the theater following the DEATHLY HALLOWS Part II.  My nephews are now college students and fine young men. Watching the guys grow up fascinated me. One year they were kids with wide-eyed wonder and dreams.  Now they are fine, talented young men setting goals and focusing on the future. I’m honored to have had these special moments with them.

Just as my nephews grew up, so must our characters grow and change. When the story opens, the protagonist faces a problem. As the tale progresses we learn what he is willing to do to solve the issue. How disappointing it would be to finish a novel or leave the theater knowing the protagonist never learned anything from his hardships and life journey. In the end he is the same self-centered, weak individual we met at the beginning. What a waste of time, money and effort. Chances are you would never again invest in that author or screenwriter’s work.

Writers also face growing pains. The first short story or manuscript may be rough, but we send it out hoping our efforts will attract the attention of an agent or editor. Too often we are met with scathing rejections or at the very least polite form letters. The true writer does not quit. He keeps on producing work, honing the skills necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of publication. Then there are the writers who refuse to listen to critiques and continue making the same mistakes. They stagnate and die without ever realizing the goal.

My advice to all writers is simple; take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the craft of writing. Enroll in writing courses at a local college. Find a writers group and get involved in the meetings and activities. Attend writers’ conferences. Practice the art of networking. Accept one very hard fact; you may never have your work on the shelves in a bookstore or see your name on a movie screen. Even if this is your reality, the journey is worth the effort.

Cait Collins