Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Screeching Halt

So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again. Numbers 12:15

Miriam's sin brought the entire nation of Israel to a screeching halt for seven days while God dealt with her and brought her back in line with His will. It must have been devastating for Miriam to realize she was the cause of an unscheduled stop.

How do I know presume to know what she was feeling? Because recently I discovered I'm a Miriam.

Have you ever said yes to something because you thought you should, or continued serving even though God was leading you in a different direction? In my zeal to serve God, I’d become prideful and thought I knew better than Him. I once again ran ahead of His will. I'd said yes to too many things and become a stumbling block to a ministry I love. 

For years I've known that trying to do too many things at once means I wouldn't be able to do them well. But I seem to be a slow learner, or at least someone with a poor memory. When I pay attention to the Holy Spirit, this misguided urge stays in check, but when I stray, life gets stressful . . . for everyone.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity make things right by turning over some of my responsibilities to those God had called to serve. And as I sat, listening to them express their joy at that opportunity, it hit me how selfish I'd been. Not only was I disobedient (bad enough) but I stood in the way of others who wanted to serve. In effect, I brought the whole thing to a screeching halt while God dealt with my disobedience.

It felt good to let go of the duties I’d disobediently taken up as mine, to once again align myself with God’s will and let Him be the only one in charge. As I relearn the lesson of listening, the stress is receding and the joy is returning.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sometimes Publishing Does Move at the Speed of Light—The Story Behind While My Soldier Serves

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The story behind While My Soldier Serves.
As many of you know, I spend a lot of time on this blog encouraging writers to NOT think of themselves as the exception to the rule. I have also been very up front about the fact that in general, publishing moves at the speed of a sleepy snail. These facts can be very discouraging for writers. So today, I’d like to share an encouraging story of a time when publishing moved—not at a snail’s pace—but at a pace more approaching the speed of light.

The Story Behind While My Soldier Serves
This book was born out of two books originally contracted with Thomas Nelson back in the spring of 2013. They subsequently cancelled publication of those books in January of 2014.

Fast forward to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2014, when I signed with a new agent David Van Diest. He and I spent the fall, hashing out ideas I had for books to pitch. I mentioned the cancelled books and he suggested I combine them into a single volume and we pitch that book idea.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Follow Your Dreams, Get Writing and Turn Those Excuses Upside Down

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Turn your writing excuses upside down.
We writers are our own worst enemy. We can come up with more reasons to avoid writing and following our dreams than anyone else. I talk to so many people who claim to want to write. And those same people are the most vocal about why they can’t follow their dreams.

The more we talk about why we can’t—the more we guarantee our own failure.

Today I’m listing the top excuses I hear and turning them upside down.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Signings - the Benefits Beyond Book Sales

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

Hi everyone, I wanted to take a moment to introduce a friend of mine to you. I met Wanda at an ACFW conference one year. We shared a table at a book signing at the Mall of America in Minnesota one year. They seated us alphabetically…but that was great. I’d never met Wanda before and we had a good chance to get to know one another a bit. I asked her share a bit with us about her new release. And if you like suspense I know you’re going to LOVE it!

But first, since the subject of book signings has come up, I thought I’d talk a little bit them. Frankly, I have a love/hate relationship with them. LOL. I’ve had quite a few signings and there are things you can do to make them “successful”. Well how do you judge whether or not you have had a successful signing. Guess that depends on your definition of the word success. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Calendar Days—May's Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions—Idea Starters for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. These are just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also a fun writing prompt idea. 

In addition, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially when two contrasting holidays fall on the same date. Here are some that tickled my funny bone this month:

May sixth is National Teachers Day and No Homework Day. I wonder if that's for the teacher's benefit or the students? May eighth is No Socks Day, followed by May ninth, which is Lost Sock Memorial Day. Did someone lose a sock when they went without? May eighteenth is No Dirty Dishes Day and Visit Your Relatives Day—I definitely want them to visit when there aren't any dirty dishes in the sink!

Monday, April 27, 2015

The ABCs of Twitter

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate social media, especially Twitter. Today I'd like to share the basics with the ABCs of Twitter.

A is for Accessibility. It’s important to be easy to find on Twitter. This means your twitter handle needs to be as close to your own name as possible, and your avatar (picture) is recognizable as you.

B is for Bio. Even though your Twitter bio is only 160 characters long, it’s prime real estate. It tells your audience what to expect from your tweets. You can include hashtags, but don’t make them the only thing you list.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inspiring Ideas to Overcome the Blank Page

Edie here. I'm excited to announce the newest member of The Write Conversation blogging team. I know you all have already been inspired and encouraged by Brenda McGraw and now we'll be hearing from her regularly!

Inspiring Ideas to Overcome the Blank Page
by Brenda McGraw @BrendaMMcGraw

The achievements of the tomorrows in our life are many times paralyzed by a lack of inspiration that prevents us from effectively moving forward.

We get stuck.

Many times we want to experience the finality of what we are moving towards without taking the steps to get there.

We must somehow get past the silence in our mind that is paralyzing us.

For example, you’ve been asked to write a guest post and all of a sudden you have a blank page staring you in the face and no idea where to begin.

Some call it “writer’s block.”