Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekend Worship—So Who's Really Driving the Car?

Sometimes making the right decision seems
like a no-brainer.
There are times in my life when making the right decision seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately those times are few and far between.

For those of you who visit my blog regularly it will come as no surprise that I tend to be a little bit of a control freak. And that character trait often makes it difficult to follow God unconditionally. Let me give you an example.

When our oldest son was just a few months old, my husband and I felt like God was calling us to leave our home in Arkansas, and move to South Carolina. We had no friends or family in the Carolinas, but my husband had a job offer, and there had been some issues with his job in Arkansas that made both of us uncomfortable.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Makes You Blossom?

I love this quote by Oscar Wilde because it makes me stop and think. So often we blossom because we're living up to expectations. So my question for you today is this, "When was the last time you blossomed just for the joy of it?"

A flower blossoms for its own joy - Oscar Wilde
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,

Friday, August 29, 2014

To Outline or Not—Which is Better?

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Two types of writers in this world, outliners and intuitive!
In the past year I’ve heard a lot of writer discussions, and passionate arguments, about whether to outline or not.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well that’s a no-brainer.” But is it? Those who have taught and argued that outlining is the best way to write range from beginning writers to editors to best-selling authors. The same is true for those who advocate in favor of intuitive writing.

There are two types of writers in this world. Those who map out their stories before they ever begin (outliners), and those who hear the voices (intuitive writers).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Children’s Writing 101: Five Common Misconceptions

I wish I could explain how excited I am about today's blog. Having Michelle Medlock Adams as a regular contributor to The Write Conversation really is a dream come true. I had the opportunity to get to know her several years ago when we were both on staff at a writers conference. She has been a close friend ever since. She's also a fellow blogger on Guideposts.org and I know you're going to learn so much from all that she shares.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Rock Your Character’s World

by +DiAnnMills @DiAnnMills

I’ve always wanted to rock climb. When I studied the skill, I realized rock climbing and scaling heights with my hero had a lot in common. 

Both require a struggle against odds, guts, stamina, techniques, and training. 

So I compared the two arts, and this is what I discovered.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Indie Tuesday—The Positive Side to Receiving a One Star Review

by: @AuthorKeller

Most of us dream of that elusive publishing contract. Of having deadlines and planning a release party. Soon after our books launch we start checking our reviews. They tell you not to, but believe me, somehow, when you least expect it—you find yourself reading over some reviews. The first ones are great. Friend and family write sweet five star reviews that you want to share with the world. But one day you go back and look and there it is: the one star monster, staring you right in the eyes.
Now…take a deep breath and say this with me. Ready? A one star review is a good thing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Social Media Monday—Why Blogging Numbers Drop During the Summer

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

I’ve had a number of similar conversations this summer. They always begin the same way, with an inquiry about how he/she can improve the numbers that are dwindling at an alarming rate. These worried bloggers are certain they’ve either done—or not done—something to cause the drop in views, comments and shares. And my answer is always the same.

A drop in blogging numbers is normal during the summer.

My one-sentence assurance is rarely enough to calm a blogger’s nerves. And that’s understandable from someone who’s seen consistent growth through out the first of the year. So today, I’m going to break down the normal ebb and flow of blogging numbers throughout the calendar year, to help you evaluate the health of your own site.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Worship—God Takes the Scenic Route

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

My sister and I on vacation
I grew up during the 60s and 70s, in a family that loved to travel. Some of my earliest memories are of traveling across the united states, looking at life from the rear view window of a VW bug. When my sister was born, our family went from three to four and our parents traded in the VW Bug for a VW Bus.

Oh the places we visited.

I’ve been out west in a blizzard so fierce we had to scrape ice from the inside of the windows. I’ve cooked an egg on the pavement in Death Valley, and spent several nights camping on top of what used to be Mount St. Helens. But only a small percentage of our time on the road was spent on major highways.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Social Media Image—Hummingbird Faith

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

I've always loved hummingbirds, and this past weekend I finally managed to catch some cool photos of one.

I admire the way these tiny creatures go at life full-blast. I think we can learn a lot from them. So often we're too timid, waiting for life to come to us, instead of being willing to go after what we want. 

So what dream are you waiting for? Today mimic a hummingbird and go after it!
"For to have Faith is to have Wings." J.M. Barrie
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,

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nine Reasons Why Professional Writers Should Write for Free—Part Two

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

As promised, here's the second part of yesterday's post. If you missed yesterday, here's a link to Nine Reasons Why Professional Writers Should Write for Free—Part One

As I mentioned, life as a professional writer hasn't gone exactly to plan. But it's been full of a lot of opportunities that led to exciting things. And some of those opportunities have included writing for free. So here are reasons six through nine to consider following my path.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nine Reasons Why Professional Writers Should Write for Free—Part One

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

When I pictured my life as a professional writer, I imagined bylines in prestigious magazines, interviews with celebrities, and a big fat salary. I assumed I’d start out small (like volunteering on my high school newspaper), move up to a paying position (like maybe the editor-in-chief of our local newspaper), and then agonize over which plumb job offer to accept—the one at World Magazine or the one at Christianity Today.

My real life as a professional non-fiction writer is currently hovering somewhere between Step 2 and Step 3 and has included something I didn’t envision—writing for free. Although donating my writing seems contradictory to the goals of a professional writer, I’d like to share nine reasons why I think it’s a good idea to give our writing away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Making the Most of Your Marketing Time

Today I'm excited to have another amazing post from Jennifer Slattery. She's sharing some of her thoughts on marketing.

Jennifer Slattery writes Missional Romance for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available for preorder at a 33% discount. You can find it here on ChristianBook.com. Connect with Jennifer on her website and through Twitter and Facebook.

Making the Most of Your Marketing Time

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Dozen Indie Writing Rules You Should Sometimes Break

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Classroom Rules . . . NOT!
One of the first things we encounter as new writers are the rules of writing. Unfortunately these rules are presented as immovable precepts that writers must abide by to reach the goal of being publishable.

Then, as we gain more experience, we encounter certain anomalies hidden within the writing community. What once was black and white has no turned a muddy gray. And as confusing as it may be, that muddy gray is the place we want to be. Very few things are cut and dried in the publishing industry. So today I want to share a dozen writing rules you should sometimes break.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Free Ebook Giveaway from Great American Novelist, Warren Adler!


Warren Adler is giving away 600 free ebooks. Just leave me a comment with your email address AND THE BOOK YOU WANT, and I'll see that you get put on the list!

Social media Monday—Google Plus for Writers Part Four—Yes You can Schedule Google+ Updates!

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Today I’m going to finish out my series on Google Plus by telling you how to set up your Google Plus account so you can use a program like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts. But before we get started, if you missed the first three posts in this series, here are the direct links:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Worship—How Do I Know the Voice I’m Hearing is REALLY God?

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." John 10:4-5 (NIV)

Throughout my years of teaching, there’s one question I get asked the most.

“How do I know the voice I’m hearing is really God?”

The answer is at once very simple and very hard. You can tell it’s God’s voice, because you recognize it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Social Media Image—Heaven Under our Feet

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

I believe one of our tasks as writers is to point out things that other people sometimes miss. We use words to help our readers notice the beauty around us. 

What writers have helped you see the world in a different way?


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, August 15, 2014

Life Lessons—How to Deal with Rabbit Holes when You're Writing

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Curiouser and curiouser!

This is how Alice described her experience in Wonderland, and it's my reaction when I realize I'm writing myself down a rabbit hole.

I used to get frustrated, delete my work and start over. Now, I've learned to step back and ask my inner helper what I should do. More often than not, the answer I get shows me how the seeming rabbit hole actually fits the story by reminding me of Psalm 77:19 which tells how God led the Israelites through the Red Sea, "...a pathway no one knew was there."

Frequently, my inner guide helps me weave a better story than if I just forged ahead without paying heed. Of course, this means the occasional rewrite of portions of my story, but the end result is worth the extra effort.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On Rejection and Renewal: A Note to Aspiring Novelists

by Warren Adler @WarrenAdler

Edie here, and today I'm so excited to welcome one of our newest regular contributors to The Write Conversation, Warren Adler.


He is best known for The War of the Roseshis masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. In recent development are the Broadway Production of The War of the Roses, to be produced by Jay and Cindy Gutterman, The War of the Roses – The Children (Permut Presentations), a feature film adaptation of the sequel to Adler’s iconic divorce story, and Capitol Crimes (Sennett Entertainment), a television series based on his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series.Adler's forthcoming thriller Treadmill, is slated to be released in September. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.Warrenadler.com, and connect with him through Facebook and Twitter.

On Rejection and Renewal: A Note to Aspiring Novelists

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Publishing isn't Dead—New Fiction Imprint Looking for Submissions!

I always want to pass along any new opportunities that I hear about within the publishing industry. So today I'm excited to introduce you to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina's newest imprint—BLING! Managing editor, Sandie Bricker has stopped by to give us some insight on what she's looking for in submissions. Just to let you know, LPC is the company that published my first two books—Social Media for Writers - out of print and Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. I loved working with LPC.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Why Quality Matters (A Reader's Perspective)

Charity Tinnin @CharityTinnin: Long-term success as an indie or hybrid author depends on a number of factors. Some of which you can't control. However, one you can absolutely control is the quality of the product you introduce into the market. This fall, Jessica and I will focus on giving you resources to help you put out a great book. But first, our YA friend, Kim Vandel makes the case for why quality matters from a reader's perspective.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Social Media Monday—Google Plus for Writers Part Three—Set Up Your Profile

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Even though this may seem out of order, I purposely waited to post details about the nuts and bolts of setting up a successful Google+ profile. I wanted all of us to be on the same page as to the purpose and opportunities this social media platform offers. Your profile on Google Plus—and on any platform—needs to be customized to the strengths of that specific platform.

If you missed the first two posts in this series, here are the direct links:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekend Worship—Are You Skydiving or Flying

by  +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes (more often than not) I get caught up in the process of life. I’m an analytical sort of person, and I’m definitely a planner. With every project I tackle, I make plans, trying to anticipate any possible potholes and pitfalls. I build timelines and set expectations.

I’m also a recovering perfectionist.

For years I didn’t realize I was a perfectionist, but I definitely am. My perfectionism shows itself in strange ways. In the past it has kept me from trying anything I thought I couldn’t succeed at. For me, failure wasn’t an option. That translated into a hurdle that kept me from pursuing my dreams.

Truthfully, that issue does continue to crop up from time to time. (I can anticipate the snickers this engenders in my family and close friends as they read this.)

In the past I’ve gone to great lengths to build in safeguards that keep failure at bay when I tackle a difficult project. I always thought of these things as packing a parachute. They’d be a built-in safety net that would keep me from crashing and burning if I hadn’t covered all the possibilities.

Then one day I felt a metaphoric tap on the shoulder from the Holy Spirit. He asked me a question I’ve never forgotten.

Are you skydiving or flying?

You see God is in the business of helping us to fly. He’s not interested in skydiving, and He has no need of parachutes. Sure there are things we need to do to get ready to fly, but packing a parachute isn’t one of them. God wants us to fly free, chasing the dreams He's set into our hearts. His plan doesn't include the encumbrances of safety nets and parachute. When He's in control, they're just extra baggage that can hold us tethered to the ground.


So whatever dream you’re chasing, leave the parachute home and get ready to fly.

TWEETABLE
As you follow your dream are you planning to skydive or fly? (click to tweet)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Social Media Image—What Mountain is Calling You?

This summer our youngest son went west to follow his heart. He signed on at Camp Timberline as a counselor and tennis coach.

And he fell in love with the Colorado Rockies.

As his mother, I hate having him so far from home, but I love watching him spread his wings and fly. Like all three of my sons, John's an inspiration to me as I watch him leave behind what's comfortable and follow his calling.

"The mountains are calling, I must go." - John Muir
Now my question to you is this.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Place to Learn from the Experts as well as Those in the Trenches with You—Taking The Write Conversation to the Next Level

by  +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Making a place to share the journey with other writers.
Once upon a time there was a writer who loved words. And as much as she loved words, she loved other writers. Her goal was to find a place where they could share their journey, learning and growing together. That writer was me.

From the very beginning, the focus of this blog has stayed the same. 

I’ve always wanted this to be a place where writers could come to learn more about the craft and the business of writing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Value in Entering Writing Contests

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’ve been writing with an eye toward publication for five years and I’ve entered several contests. Contests are great for feedback, critique, and even to help you get your name in front of an agent or an editor.

They can also be demoralizing. You put all that time and energy into your submission and you get nowhere. Believe me, I’ve been there.

But I am more convinced than ever that when it comes to contests, no matter where you place, you win.

I’ll use my personal contest timeline to explain.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Writing Process

by +LynetteEason  @LynetteEason

When Edie asked me to post on her blog, my mind went blank. I was like, “Um…so what do I write about?”

Edie: “Writing?”

Me: “Oh, that. I can probably do that.”

Edie: “Yeah, I figured you might be able to.”

So, here I am, writing about the topic of writing. The problem with THAT is choosing a subtopic. LOL.

So here it goes.

I get asked all the time, “How do you plot your stories? Where do you get your ideas? Why did you choose that theme for that book? Why did your character do such and so?”

Those kinds of questions make me stop and think because my first response is that I have no idea.

But when I stopped to think about it, at this point in my career, I kind of do have an idea.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Making Sense of a Bad Critique

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller


Conference season is upon us. Some people have recently returned home from the RWA Conference and many are gearing up for the ACFW Conference. These events bring a whirlwind of emotions. Elation from finding people who completely understand you to holding in tears as you glance over a hurtful paid critique or after feeling like you totally bombed an agent/editor appointment.

I’m here to offer encouragement for the latter.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Social Media Monday—Google Plus for Writers Part Two—So What’s Up with Circles?

by  +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Friends…

Followers…

Pins…

Circles…
The list of new vocabulary words within the context of social media just go on and on and on. The words are—for the most part—familiar. But the meanings have changed. Even for those of us familiar with social media terminology it’s an ever-changing landscape. To today I’m going to tackle the basis for Google+ and explain what’s up with circles.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekend Worship—Planting Seeds

I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God made it grow. I Corinthians 3:6

I’ve talked with a lot of writers through the years. One recurring question I get is about where they should focus their efforts. They struggle with whether to submit this article, write this devotion, try authoring a book. I encourage them to try it all.

My answer generally catches them by surprise.

I take a different approach when it comes to the decision of what to write about. I approach it like a farmer sowing seeds. I’ve never seen a farmer pull out a handful of seeds, search through them and choose only one or two to plant.

What I’ve seen is farmers sowing handfuls of seeds at a time, casting them into the prepared soil. They do this knowing that not all seeds take root and grow. As writers, we would do well to follow this model.

I’m not advocating that writers start a dozen different things without finishing any. I’m not even suggesting that a writer certain of where she’s called, move too far away from that. But I am telling you that although we make plans—in obedience—God decides what grows. And it only makes sense to walk through the doors that seem to have been opened.


So take a chance, toss those seeds out. You may be surprised by what takes root and grows into a harvest.