Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Staying Relevant

My ancient home copy machine needed toner. In the scope of my day, buying toner was hardly a blip on the radar. Just another item on an already too-full list. But I needed toner for a Xerox machine, only I couldn't find any. Turns out, Office Depot, Office Max, and Best Buy, the only stores in my day's shopping radius, all carry toner for copy machines--just not Xerox copiers.

What happened? When did Xerox lose its market share? The word Xerox used to be synonymous with copies. Like Band-Aid and Kleenex, Xerox had to worry about its brand becoming a common noun. My machine is so reliable that after thirteen years I've only replaced one part. And it still makes clear copies. . . if it has toner. When did Xerox lose its relevance as a premier copier?

In writing, it's important to stay relevant too. I know a multi-published, award-winning author whose historical novels weren't selling well a few years ago when historicals hit a slump. She had to reinvent herself as an author of contemporary fiction in order to stay published. Is your writing relevant to our culture? I'm now looking at my own writing with a different eye.


If you are able to travel to San Antonio, it's not too late to register for a Mid-Summer Writers Conference on July 17, 2010. Christian Writers Group of Greater San Antonio is offering "Hearts and Craft," a one-day conference with workshops by Janice Thompson, Allison Pittman, Eileen Key, Kelly Irvin and Karen Roth. The cost is $40. Click here for registration form and details.

~ Roxanne Sherwood


Lisa Jordan said...

Novels I started even five years ago are out of date with certain items such as cell phones, phrases, and clothes. As writers we need to keep up with what's current, or else we'll be like Gibbs and wonder what an mp3 player is. :)

Roxanne Sherwood said...

Yeah, it's funny how the lack of modern technology dates our wips. Another reason we should write them faster.

Love the Gibbs reference. ;-)

Beth K. Vogt said...

It's so true, Roxanne and Lisa. Even now as I line edit my WIP, I'm wondering how to make it current--and wondering what will need to be changed at a later date.
Great post, Roxanne!
And, Lisa, loved the Gibbs reference . . . why am I not surprised it was there?

Sue Tornai said...

Great post! Even if you're writing articles. :)

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