Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Completely Change Your Writing Style

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills 

Most fiction writers haves experienced low times in their career where rejections, low sales, and reviews sink them to the bottom of a deep, dark pool. Admit it, we’ve all been there, and oh, the things we tell ourselves.

We think about quitting, and we might for half a day. 
           
We have a good cry, but it doesn’t solve a thing.
           
We invite our friends to a pity-party.
           
We attempt to tell ourselves that our lagging career is not our fault. Then comes the list of who to blame.
           
We consider applying to McDonalds as a Big Mac flipper.
           
But the best choice we writers can make is to embark upon a journey to discover how our writing can take on a unique style, voice, and marketability while entertaining readers with an amazing story. Isn’t joy and satisfaction why we spend hours of time in seclusion devoted to story? 

This, my friend, is why I want to ask you 12 questions that might cause you to completely change your writing style.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your Scene’s Not Working? Maybe the Lighting Is Wrong

A Guest Post from author K.M Weiland @KMWeiland

Of all the many story aspects authors have to keep track of, why in heaven’s name should lighting be up there at the top of our list? That’s something movie directors have to worry about, not writers. Right?

Actually, no.

Lighting can be a tremendous factor in bringing scenes to life. Getting the lighting right can help you ace your scene the first time. And we won’t even mention that lighting can help you with your story’s tone, symbolism, and even characterization.

Or maybe we will!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Characteristics of a Successful Hybrid Author

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller
A few weeks ago Edie shared the Characteristics of a Successful Indie Author which got me thinking about what it takes to flourish as a hybrid author. Like Edie pointed out in her post, some of the things I’m going to share today probably apply to more than just the hybrid author—but they are hats a hybrid must be able to wear—and wear well.

The term hybrid describes an author who is published in both the traditional market and self-publishes in the indie market. They produce new content for both markets, simultaneously. To do this successfully an author has to morph into different personalities. Thankfully, we’re good at using our imaginations!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Social Media Monday—Google Plus for Writers—Part 1—Establish Google Authorship

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

I promised you all a series about Google Plus, and today I’m beginning to make good that promise. Unfortunately, one post is not going to cut it. So I’ll be sharing all I’ve learned about this valuable network over the next few social media posts.

Google Plus, an Introduction
Many people are confused by Google Plus. So I think the best place to start on this definitive guide is an overview of what Google+ is and what it is not.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that Google+ is going to replace Facebook. Actually, I’ve said several times that this is my hope. BUT that doesn’t mean that Google+ is a copycat network.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Social Media Image—An Opener of Doors

A lot of what I try to do through this site and through teaching is to be an opener of doors. Others helped me get where I am today as a writer. I'd be pretty ungrateful if I wasn't willing to do that for others. 

I believe most of you who read my blog do the same thing. You take what you learn and help those who aren't yet where you are. Take time today to thank someone who opened a door for you.



Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Friday, July 25, 2014

Remind Yourself of These Things Every Time You Sit Down to Write

By +EdieMelson  @EdieMelson

So often writers struggle more against the head-game part of the journey than any other. Today I’d like to share a list of things to help. So remind yourself of these things every time you sit down to write. 

You're welcome to use/share this graphic online, just be sure to link back to this site.
These are the things I hold onto when the doubts creep in. What would you add to the list?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing IS Hard—No Kidding!



True confession time.

Writing is both the thing I love best and the thing I hate most.

When the words flow, it’s heaven on earth. When they stutter to a halt, the opposite is true. And the truth is, both of these circumstances are a regular part of the writer’s life.

We write when we feel like, and when we don’t; when we’re inspired, and when we’re not. Most of all we write because we have to. Putting words on paper is life to some of us and an addiction without a recovery group.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don’t Slip into these 4 Characteristics of a Lazy Writer

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

With this title, you might think I’m going to be focusing on time management.

You’d be wrong.

The kind of laziness I’m referring to has to do with the use of your brain—not your time.

If you’ve followed this blog for long, you know I’m passionate about excellence in writing. And I don’t mind helping those who are willing to work to achieve it. I’ll patiently spend hours helping beginners learn the craft, but I have very little tolerance for those who insist on shortcuts and shoddy work . . . and then whine because they’ve been rejected.

Why bring this up? Because I wish someone had pointed out these pitfalls when I was just starting out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Indie Tuesday— Getting in the Write Zone: Simple Strategies for Creating Productive Writing Time

Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller here: I first met author Kristen Ethridge because our books debuted in the same month. We’ve been kindred ever since. Not only did we launch into the trade publishing world at the same time, but we both decided to dive head first into indie publishing right next to each other too. Like me, Kristen juggles a full-time job, kids, a writing career and managing her household (did I mention she makes AMAZING dinners?) so we often commiserate about how to find writing time. Today she’s agreed to stop by and offer pointers for getting in the write zone: simple strategies for creating productive writing time.

Getting in the Write Zone:
Simple Strategies for Creating Productive Writing Time

by Kristen Ethridge @KristenEthridge
 
When Jessica asked me to join her here, I jumped at the opportunity because there’s so much great information and conversation on this blog.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Social Media Monday—You Must NOT use BlogSpot or WordPress—Major Blogging Myths Debunked!

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m on a lot of writer lists, and I read a lot of really questionable advice from well-meaning folks. But this past month I read some advice that just about set my hair on fire. 

The person giving the questionable advice stated that no one should ever use BlogSpot or WordPress in their blog address. They said that if someone did, it would be almost impossible to break into the highest levels of SEO discoverability. They went on to say the reason for this is that there are millions of Blogger (BlogSpot) and WordPress blogs, so SEO doesn't consider them professional, no matter how often the site is update.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend Worship—The Writer’s Walk of Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7

As writers, we have chosen to follow a difficult path. I remember, after a particularly hard week, my husband remarked that he wished I’d chosen another career, something simple—like becoming a movie star. 

His comparison was more appropriate than he realized. Success, for both career choices appears, from the outside at least, to rely on being popular with a lot of people. Reaching the top seems to come and go with the whims of an unknown audience. We struggle and strive for numbers—likes on our Facebook pages, followers on Twitter, and ultimately sales numbers. We seek to please our readers, our publishers, even other writers. 


But when we have chosen this path at God’s calling, our focus needs to be somewhere other than those who will read our words. Our audience is an audience of One, and it is to Him and Him alone that we owe our allegiance. He will dictate, with wisdom far beyond our own, who will read our words and the reach they will have. And I for one, am well pleased to leave my destiny in His capable hands. 

So today I encourage you to seek out the joy of your audience, because I know He is well pleased by your obedience to follow His call. Let Him lavish you with praise and protect you from worry. Leave the numbers to Him and concentrate only on the words.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Social Media Image—Chasing Butterflies

Butterflies can be a euphemism for many things, from cool ideas to distractions. No matter what they stand for, we still need to go beyond chasing them. How do you catch those elusive butterflies in your life?
You can only chase a butterfly for so long...  -Jane Yolen

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Friday, July 18, 2014

Life Lessons—Don’t Let the Don’ts Stop You

by Bruce Brady @bdbrady007

During a writing class I attended, the instructor stressed that we should write just about anything. She went on to qualify that by saying, “It needs to be believable. You don’t want to write about the moon being made out of cheese.”

Because my brain works the way it does, I thought why not? I’m not saying the instructor was wrong. It was just a spontaneous remark to stress that readers would not be receptive to the absurd. However, my questioned remained. Why couldn’t I write about the moon being made of cheese?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Handy Step-By-Step Blog Editing Checklist

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Lately, I’ve notice more and more typos creeping into my blog posts. It’s not a fun thing to admit, but it’s because I’ve become complacent about editing. 

Oh I could blame it on being busy, or life getting crazy, but the truth is...I’ve gotten sloppy.

It’s easy to do. We’re halfway through the year, things are going well with my blog, and my concentration has been elsewhere. Still no excuse. 

So today I’m going back to the basics. I’m posting the checklist I use before I publish a blog. It’s not a long involved process, but it will ensure those annoying typos become much less commonplace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

8 Reasons to Write Something RIGHT Now!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We writers tend to be an odd lot. We obsess about learning to write better. We hang out with writers online and in person. We buy books on How to Write, How to Write Better and How to Sell What We Write.

But we do almost anything we can to avoid the actual act of writing. Nothing shuts down a writer quicker than a blank page and/or a blinking cursor.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Indie Tuesday—What To Do With Goodreads


Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller here: Confession time. Goodreads used to terrify me. Especially as an author. I couldn’t figure out how to interact on it and felt overwhelmed the first time I signed in. Avid Goodreads users have told me that authors can really get themselves into trouble by using Goodreads incorrectly for promo—which made me shy away from it even more. But no longer. My friend, critique partner, and David C. Cook author, Amanda , taught me what to do with Goodreads and now I’m loving my time there. You can too!

What to Do With Goodreads 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Social Media Monday—This Author is Waving Goodbye to Facebook

by Edie Melson  @EdieMelson

No, I don’t think Facebook is going anywhere—yet.

But I am.

I’m tired of wasting time and energy with this clunky and frustrating social network. Facebook has become it’s own worst enemy, working at cross purposes and driving away users.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Worship—The Post of Ambassador

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20

I’m constantly amazed at how God chooses to use me in the work He’s doing in this world. It’s humbling and terrifying at the same time.

I’ve been looking at this verse, trying to wrap my mind around what being an ambassador for Christ looks like when it’s lived out. I think this verse is particularly applicable to those of us who write from Christian world view. As I studied the parallels between the role of ambassadors here and our role as believers, I was struck by the lessons hidden there.

  • The first thing that struck me was the fact that, here in the physical world, those who are ambassadors don’t live in their own countries. They are strangers in a strange land. That’s also true of believers. This world is our temporary home, even though our time here can sometimes seems endless.
  • Next, I realized that ambassadors are appointed, not elected. They haven’t campaigned for their position, it’s a gift of responsibility. We are also appointed, chosen by God and elevated to the position of spiritual ambassador. It’s not because we’re better than anyone else, it’s simply a gift of grace.
  • Finally, earthly ambassadors don’t get to choose their country of service. That too is the choice of the one they serve. As believers, we have each been chosen to serve where God places us.
As a writer, I’ve often chaffed at this restriction. I wanted to do big things for God. I had a definite opinion about where and how I wanted to live out my dream.

Thank goodness God had other plans.

It turns out, when I look back, His plans were much better. They went farther and deeper than I ever imagined. For some reason, we writers tend to think too small. And we assume that if God doesn’t do things our way, the outcome will be just a shadow of what we want. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So let me ask you this, how has God surprised you with the way He’s used your writing. This isn’t a time to be shy. It’s not bragging to share what God has done, at least it’s not bragging on ourselves. So let’s take a minute to brag on God.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Social Media Image—Favorite Places

Where are some of your favorite places to rest and renew?

"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." William Shakespeare
(This picture was taken on a recent trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC)
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pray and Work – A Writer’s Two-fold Mandate

By Lori Hatcher

“How’s your writing going?” I asked a woman at a recent writers’ conference.

“Not very well,” she said. “I’m very discouraged.”

“The last time we talked, you were working on a new article. How did that turn out?” I asked, probing a little deeper.

 “I haven’t worked on it in months,” she said with a sigh. “I sent out three queries and didn’t hear back from any of them. I was going to look into writing for our church newsletter, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.” She took a deep breath and blew it out in frustration, flinging her hands in the air. “I just can’t seem to get any breaks. I don’t understand it, because I believe God’s called me to write.”

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stop With the Excuses and Start Writing!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

One of the most frustrating things for me when I’m approached by folks who want write is the litany of excuses that come up. I know, they’re not excuses, they’re reasons.

Poppycock!

I don’t care what you call them, we all have them. We all have legitimate reasons not to do something. We’re all insanely busy—maybe not all in the same way—but trust me, we are equally bound up with to-do lists.

In case you think I’m being callous and unfeeling, let me assure you I’ve let these things keep me from writing. And one thing I’ve discovered is this—they’re not even reasons—they’re choices.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

World Blog Tour—Catching Up with Edie Melson

Christian writers support and encourage one another by letting our readers know about other new writers they may like. We do this through blog tours. Lori Stanley Roeleveld invited me to answer four questions and then point you toward three authors whose work I support.

I’m trying to get more comfortable with Vlogging, so I’m going to answer these questions on video. (I’ll also post a recap below for those who don’t want to watch).




Next on the world blog tour, I’d like to introduce you to these writers:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Characteristics of a Successful Indie Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Anyone can self-publish, but not everyone is comfortable the skill-set required to do it with excellence. Today, I’m going to highlight some of the things that prove you’ve got what it takes to be an indie writer. Some of these things apply to any publishing endeavor, but they’re an absolute must for self-publishing.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Social Media Monday—T. H. I. N. K. Before You Share Online

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I didn’t always enjoy social media. Before I spent time on the various networks I assumed that interactions there were at best, shallow, with little or no real-world value. I’d formed my opinions by listening to the comments and complaints of others.

It wasn’t until I actually took time to interact online that I discovered there were lots of things of value being shared. The people I’ve met and the skills I’ve learned through online connections have added so much to my life—professionally and personally.

Unfortunately, I’ve also run across my fair share of time-wasting interactions. These have run the gamut of spam sales notices to misleading articles. But even these experiences have been, in a strange way, valuable. They’ve helped me develop my own set of guidelines to keep me from adding to the worthless noise that clutters up our digital universe.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Fourth of July Meme

In honor of the Fourth of July holiday—


Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Friday, July 4, 2014

As a Writer, Who's My Audience?

by Bruce Brady @bdbrady007

Many unsuccessful and minimally successful writers have at least one thing in common, they write for and to themselves. While it’s okay to write for yourself, writing to yourself will greatly limit your potential audience—often to a crowd of one.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thursday Review—Story Trumps Structure—A Writing Book for Everyone

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you’ve probably been asked the ever popular question, “What kind of writer are you?” What they want to know is are you an outliner or a pantster. Do you plan every scene in advance, or do you write organically and discover what happens along with your characters?

If you’re an outliner, you can find a plethora of books that will help you on your journey.

If you’re an organic writer? Not so much.

If you aren’t sure, join the club.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Love Being a Writing Hermit

 by Beth Ann Farley

Are you a hermit?  When I first took the leap of faith to leave my full time employment to stay home and heal my body, little did I know that God had more in store for me. I hated—not a very nice word—being home by myself. I missed people. I had worked in a very busy public library for many years and then boom; home to heal and be ALONE so much of the time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Ten Easy Ways To Show Tumblr Love

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

I'm switching gears today. Still talking about Social Media, but instead of only talking about how an author can use Tumblr, I'm going to share about how we as people who love to read and support other authors can do so in this medium. I've broken it down into ten easy ways to show Tumblr love to your favorite book/author. This is a repost from when I guest posted on the wonderful Kim Vandel's blog*

Tumblr is a place for microblogging amazingness. Not just a place—it’s THE place. One of the best things about Tumblr is that it has outlets for everyone. The blog platform includes photo sharing, written entries, video uploads, music sharing, a platform just for quotes, and the ability to post links. The best part of Tumblr is that it attracts creative people so books and stories are always welcome and reblogged. Unlike Twitter, you aren’t limited by a certain number of characters and you can use as many tags as you want. The latest Tumblr data shows that they host 187.0 million blogs. Don’t miss out on the fun we’re having over there!