Sunday, November 29, 2015

Living Life Unfiltered

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m an amateur photographer and love all the creative things I can do online with the images I share. When I first began experimenting with my photos, I got a little wild with all the different effects. By adding different filters, I could completely change the look of a picture.

Where once an image was sunny and bright, I could bring it down to look dark and gloomy. I could also do the opposite. I added frames, embedded graphics, even melded two images into one. The options were endless.

But once the new wore off, I found that my favorite images were the ones that looked most like real life—with little or no effects applied. The ones that captured that moment, without embellishment, brought me the most joy. Those unadorned pictures were also the ones that garnered the most attention online. They seemed to bring out the best conversations.

And not too long ago, God whispered a parallel truth to me about my own life. So often, when I share things about me, my tendency is to apply a filter. It doesn’t matter if it’s something positive or negative, I can’t seem to just lay it out there. I play around with what I share, how I share it, and even the spin I put on it when I share it.

I try to frame it and embellish it with explanations and logic. I apologize for the good things, downplay the negative things, and generally try to neaten life up.

But the times when I’m most honest about what I’m experiencing, are the times when I connect deepest with those around me. Those moments of transparency and realism are when God can come in and touch others. It’s when I’m most vulnerable, that I’m most valuable to the kingdom.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:15 (ESV)

"It's when I'm most vulnerable, that I'm most valuable in God's kingdom." @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

And the Winners of the 3 Amazon Gift Cards Are...

Thank you all for sharing the joy of my special day as I celebrated post number 1500! I'm excited to announce the three winners:

Jann Martin

Lori Hatcher

Karen 'Girl' Friday

Please email me at ediegmelson (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send you your gift!

Thanks & Blessings,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why Should I Attend a Writing Conference

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

“Tell me why I should go to a writers conference,” my friend Melissa said. “I’m swamped at work, discouraged about my writing, and behind on my W.I.P. (Work In Progress). I’m not sure I can afford the time away.”

Melissa and I have commiserated on the ups and downs of the writing life for years. She’s a seasoned writer who could probably teach most of the conference workshops. She doesn’t need another class on self-editing or how to write dialogue. Yet I still encouraged her to attend.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Plot Problems Solved in 3 Questions

Before you get into the post from Henry McLaughlin today, all of us at The Write Conversation want to wish you a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!

Plot Problems solved in 3 Questions
by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Here is a tool that may prove helpful. Best-selling author Steven James presented this material at an intensive novel writing retreat I attended.

Whether you’re an outliner or an organic author, these simple, yet intriguing questions, will get your creative juices flowing.

The questions open doors into areas of our story we may not have explored before and will lead us to more compelling stories.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It’s Time to Celebrate . . . YOU!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today is a milestone in the life of The Write Conversation, and in my own blogging life. This post is number 1500.

I read that and I just need to take a minute and let that sink in.

When I shared this information with my husband, his comment was, “Wow that’s over 4 years of posting. I thought you’d been at this longer than that.”

Well he’s right, and he’s wrong.

If I’d been posting 7 days a week from the very beginning of this blog, it would only be 4 years a few months. But I didn’t start out sharing a post a day. I started slow—giving myself a chance to succeed—posting only once a week.

The first post on this site went live on December 11, 2009.

Those early posts were rough. And many of you may think I’ve long since taken them down. But the truth is, as bad as they were, I’m proud of those first posts. To me, they represent my public claim as a writer.

I knew I had a long way to go.

But I also knew that I’d never get there if I didn’t get started. If I’d waited until I was polished and perfect . . . well . . . I’d still be waiting.

Funny thing is, that’s what the first post is all about. I wrote about Mastering Your Dream. As much of a beginner as I was, I still knew that getting where I want to go takes work. 

Enough about me.

The title of this post says what I want to focus on—celebrating YOU.

Each of you is taking time right now, investing in your dream. You’re making the effort to learn and grow as a writer. You’re reaching out and encouraging one another as we come together to follow the path set before us.

I wish I could give each of you a gift. It would only be fitting because this blog would be nothing without you.

What I’m doing instead is offering the chance to win one of 3 $15 Amazon gift cards. You don’t have to do anything to enter the drawing—no tweeting or sharing or liking required. All you have to do is leave a short comment. Then check back on Thanksgiving to see if you won.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Oh, in case you’re curious, here are some links to the earliest posts, along with the stats (and you should notice I didn't even know enough to use images to illustrate my posts). They're untouched. I've left them just as they were when I first put them up.

Monday, December 11, 2009
Page views before today: 40

Monday, December 21, 2009
Page views before today: 21

Monday, January 25, 2010
Page views before today: 12

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Writing Like You Know What You’re Talking About

Eva Marie Everson
Edie here. Today I'm super excited to welcome our newest member of The Write Conversation blogging contributors. In addition to being a good friend, she's been my mentor and one of my biggest encouragers. Her contribution to the Christian publishing industry stretches from east to west. I know you'll be as elated as I am to welcome author, editor and writing mentor Eva Marie Everson!

Writing Like You Know What You're Talking About
by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Have you ever set a scene, a section of a book, or an entire novel somewhere you’ve never been? I have. Plenty of times.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Keys to Choosing Blog Post Titles that Work

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I spend a lot of time sharing other bloggers’ posts with my social media network. But spend even more time passing over valuable posts because my followers would have no idea what the post was about. So today I want to give you the basics of titling blog posts.

I pay a lot of attention to my blog post titles, and I often spend almost as much time composing them as I do writing an entire post.

They are that important!