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Davis Bunn: An author's pursuit of excellence

- 02/11/10  

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Trainer Network | MAI
January-March 2010
In This Issue:
< Davis Bunn: An Author's Pursuit of Excellence
< A Rescue from Superhero Syndrome
< The Next Chapter of Your Last Good Book
< Pray: New Magazine To Host Writer Workshop in SE Asia
< Publishing Resouces at the Click of a Mouse

Hi, !

What's the secret to success for a bestselling author? Fiction author Davis Bunn describes below  lessons he's learned about achieving excellence. Warning: read no further if you aim for only limited and temporary gains in life.
-Dawn Herzog Jewell, editor

Davis Bunn: An Author's Pursuit of Excellence  

As an aspiring author, Davis Bunn (left in photo) wrote for 9 years and completed 7 book manuscripts before ever getting a book published. Today, he is the award-winning author of 14 novels that have sold more than 6 million copies and been translated into 15 different languages. What was key to his success?

Speaking at LittWorld 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, Bunn described three steps in the pursuit of writing excellence and success.

1. Eliminate distractions. “Excellence does not wait for the perfect time,” he said. We must eliminate distractions and prepare ourselves to receive God’s wisdom. During his long season of waiting as an unpublished writer, Bunn learned to “strive for excellence in the here and now regardless of a particular barrier.”

2. Write responsibly. “I must create something that is worthy to be placed onto the eternal altar.” Bunn admonished himself and others to strive for eternal worth, even in imperfect circumstances. His writing goal is to plant a seed that inspires, challenges and motivates.

3. Find the delicate balance between the creative and business sides of writing. “The demand for holiness requires distance from earthly desires, but writing requires me to engage with the world,” he said. This balance is a paradox made possible by walking with the Lord.

Bunn urged Christian publishers, editors and writers to pursue excellence in creativity, relationships, community and in the legacy we leave behind, remembering that we are striving to promote God’s eternal design. “Taking just one step will grant you the confidence to take another until the pursuit of excellence is a part of your daily publishing life.”

Davis Bunn currently serves as novelist-in-residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He and his wife, Isabella, have co-authored a number of titles.

- Synopsis by Lily Panagiotis, MAI Intern
- Photo above by Eric Gitonga, Kenya. Davis Bunn (left) and Joram Mbui of Christ Is the Answer Ministries enjoy the LittWorld 2009 outing to Lake Naivasha, Kenya.

Watch a short excerpt of Davis Bunn teaching at LittWorld 2009 on YouTube.

A Rescue from Superhero Syndrome 

The lure to be a hero is enticing and the payoff is spectacular: You will feel needed, admired and well liked.
Of course there’s a trap: Superhero leaders finds that all their energy is lapped up by a constant stream of problems that ultimately causes burnout. To what extent do you play the superhero? Use this checklist to find out, by marking each statement that describes you.

- I rarely have a minute to myself.
- I find it difficult to say “No” to a worthy cause.
- I try to solve everyone’s problems.
- I push myself to extremes rather than delegate.
- I receive a plethora of after-hours phone calls and messages.
- I feel compelled to make every project better than before.
If you marked more than two points above, you have a superhero problem. Take these steps to change your ways:

1. Become a coach instead of a hero. Focus on developing others instead of making everything easy for them.
2. Listen to others. They have good ideas – perhaps even better than your own.
3. Discover their strengths. Match your weaknesses with the strengths others bring to your team.
4. Ask for help before you need it. Form the habit of allowing others to assist you.

5. Let yourself off the hook. Pass the leadership baton to trusted colleagues and allow yourself to go off duty. When you understand that you are not the only one who can solve problems and maintain control, you will begin to trust others, and their input and assistance will strengthen your leadership performance.

--Reprinted from Communication Briefings; March 2008; phone: 570-567-1982.



The Next Chapter of Your Last Good Book
Think of two good books that you’ve read in the last six months. Remember how these books encouraged you, comforted you, clarified some doubts, or even helped you make an important decision?

With this in mind, contact a friend or relative and recommend these books. Not only will you promote reading, you will contribute to the growth and development of that person. In other words, you will provide a blessing to this potential reader.

-Lourdes Courdero, director of Editorial Lampara, Bolivia

Send us your idea for how to promote reading. We'll publish the best ideas in future issues. Email


Pray: New Magazine To Host Writing and Publishing Workshops in SE Asia

Women in this closed SE Asian nation are hungry for articles that speak to their soul, heart and mind. A new Christian women’s magazine grew ten-fold last year, increasing from 1,000 to 10,000 copies. 

This April, MAI will lead a second writing workshop for the editorial team, with the magazine editor co-leading. She wrote, “We are very excited. The response from people is great, and we need your prayer.”
Following the writing workshop, another MAI trainer will lead a publishing workshop to equip Christians interested in developing publishing work. 

Please pray: 
>> With thanks, that life-changing words are reaching thousands of women.

>> For the editor’s wisdom and strength as she prepares to co-lead the workshop with the MAI trainer. 

>> That God encourages and inspires the writers, and that their work will impact readers' lives for Christ.

Read more about these workshops.

The photo above features participants of MAI's Asia Christian Writer Conference in Thailand, unrelated to the upcoming workshops described above.


Publishing Resources at the Click of a Mouse
MAI offers you excellent articles and powerpoints on publishing-related topics such as writing, editing and marketing. Download these free resources online. It's easy: just create a username and password to sign in. Start now. 

Photo above by Anna Pugsley.

marketing by Spire2 Communications

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