Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My ONE WORD for 2015

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Since today is New Year's Eve, I thought I'd share my One Word for 2015.

I’ve long since given up making New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I use this time to allow God to redirect my steps onto the path He has for me. I’d like to take today to share how I go about that.

I began this process in 1996 when, at the urging of several godly friends, I began asking God for a verse to guide my steps during the coming year. He faithfully supplied that first verse and has done so every year since.

I’ve loved the practice of searching out His will, and it’s become a sweet time of fellowship as I listen for His voice. Then, in 2012, a new friend suggested I also ask Him to supply a single word for the coming year. (Thank you, Beth Vogt.) I did, and again the process added depth to my relationship with God.

This year I, after much prayer, I’ve chosen the word Yoke. This word encapsulates what it means to stay close to Jesus, and is amplified by Matthew 11:30.

I did some deeper study into this verse, and I’d like to share with you what I’ve been reminded of about Jesus’ yoke and the rest He has for me. There are three applications I’ve found from these verses. 
  • First, our yoke is personal. In biblical times the yoke of an ox was made from wood. It was hand carved—especially for that particular animal. It wasn’t interchangeable between animals.
  • Second, our yoke is a partnership. A young, untrained ox was paired with a more mature ox that could guide and teach the young one and make his work easier.
  • Finally, our yoke is perfectly fair and just. The word Yoke has the same Greek root word as the balance on a scale.
I’ve shared my word for 2015, I’d love for you to share yours. Be sure to leave it, and/or your verse for this year in the comments section below.

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

TWEETABLE

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I’m Making a List—of the Best Writing, Publishing & Marketing Books in 2014

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today’s post relies heavily on your participation.

I’m going to share the book industry books that have helped me the most this year. 

But I’m only one person and can only read so many books. Think of the to-be-read list we’ll compile when we put our heads together!

Edie’s Picks of Best Writing, Publishing and Marketing Books for 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Social Media Monday—Get Your Blog Ready for a GREAT 2015

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Get your blog ready for a great 2015.
This time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is often a no-man’s land of lethargy and laziness…at least for me. Part of it has to do with the surfeit of calories and gatherings. The rest seems to stem from re-evaluation.

I can’t seem to help it. The approach of New Year’s, with its focus on resolutions, pulls me into a period of introspection. Actually, it’s a good thing. It gives me a chance to look back over the past year and decide what worked and what didn’t. It also gives me a push toward trying something different.

Today I’d like to invite you to join me in one aspect of this journey and get your blog ready for a great 2015. Click on your own site and look at it with these thoughts in mind. Here’s the checklist I use to evaluate my sites. Don’t hesitate to tweak it to fit your needs.

Friday, December 26, 2014

3 More Secrets Writers Won't Tell You About Themselves

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

We writers are a funny bunch.
Writers are a funny bunch, and only other writers really understand some of the idiosyncrasies that plague us. 

To exist in polite society, we try to keep our quirks on the down low, but some of them spill out into our everyday lives. 

Last month I shared four secrets writers won’t tell you about themselves, and today I’ve compiled three more.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas to you all!



I hope your day is filled with joy and blessings!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

The Twelve Days of Christmas has been given a new twist. This version is for writers.

On the first day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
A conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the second day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the third day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Eight thick-skinned edits,
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Nine cups of Starbucks,
Eight thick-skinned edits,
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Ten Godiva chocolates,
Nine cups of Starbucks,
Eight thick-skinned edits,
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Eleven million readers,
Ten Godiva chocolates,
Nine cups of Starbucks,
Eight thick-skinned edits,
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Twelve books on blogging,
Eleven million readers,
Ten Godiva chocolates,
Nine cups of Starbucks,
Eight thick-skinned edits,
Seven eager agents,
Six pink highlighters,
Five contracts signed,
Four proofreaders,
Three iPads,
Two webinars,
And a conference in Dallas, Texas!

Actually, I signed the contracts and sent back the gifts. 

Merry Christmas!
DiAnn

TWEETABLES
New twist on a classic carol, the Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers! - @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers - via @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)



DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than sixty books published. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at www.diannmills.com and connect with her on

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Indie Tuesday—A Year Learned

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

In the past year I’ve tried to share as much as I could about the life of an indie author. I hope someone out there has found Indie Tuesday useful. I’ve really enjoyed my time on The Write Conversation and appreciate the interactions I’ve had with so many of you. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and today marks my final day as a regular contributor to this blog.
So what have I learned this year?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Social Media Monday—The Worst Thing You can do When You Take a Day Off from Blogging

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social Media Monday
We all know consistency is an important part of social media, especially with blogging. But our digital life isn’t the end all be all of all life. It's just one small part. Because of that, there are times when we aren’t consistent—either by choice or by circumstances. And that’s okay, life happens and we all need some time off to regroup and recharge.

This past week was just such a time for me. Friday evening our middle son got married. It was a joyous celebration, and I chose to experience the whole of it—unplugged.

So when the time comes for you to make that choice, I’d like to share the very WORST thing you can do when you take a day off from blogging.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Are You Hoarding Your Words?

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

We writers are a pretty insecure bunch.
We writers are a pretty insecure bunch. No matter how accomplished we may be, we always worry about what others will think of our work—especially our family and friends. In fact, I suspect there are at least a few pretty good writers out there who gave up all together because of some cutting criticism delivered by a well-meaning confidante.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Fast Track to Getting Published—A New Conference for Writers

There are myriad educational conferences available to writers of all experience levels. And most are good. But which is the best for you?

While many conferences offer a great number of expert teachers, they most often have a large number of attendees. This type presents at least two major challenges. First, with many class offerings, you can find yourself running from class to class and feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Second, class sizes are usually large, making it difficult, if not impossible for you to spend any individual time with teachers. Yet, they usually offer the most bang for your buck.

There are smaller conferences with a limited number of attendees. These are better for someone seeking a greater opportunity for personalized guidance. However, many of these conferences come with a high price tag.

My own experience taught me that the situation is one that offers a low student to teacher ratio. This gives you the best of both conference types. It allows you to learn from an expert faculty and affords ample opportunities to discuss your individual needs. And I’ve learned of just such a conference.

It’s called Weekend with The Writers, and takes place in Greenville, South Carolina on March 20-21. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s path is a journey of a lifetime—one fraught with discovery and discouragement. We can avoid some of its pitfalls if we define that path early on. Today, I want to share some insights into my writing journey and the markers I look for to help me stay at least in the vicinity of the path.

This time of year, with Christmas and New Year's still looming close behind, my thoughts turn backward. I use this time to evaluate the past year and prepare for the next one. I've given up New Year's Resolutions completely and find the freedom from those expectations (and failures) a major relief. 

But I have implemented something else instead. My husband and I spend some time looking back at our spiritual markers for the past year. We evaluate them individually, as a couple and as a family. I also look at them in regard to my past year as a writer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Social Media Monday—Basic Social Media Strategies for 2015

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Last week my post on Facebook Changes in 2015 caused quite a stir. That really wasn’t my intent. My purpose was to give all of us enough advance notice to make some wise social media decisions while we watch how everything settles out.

Today I’m going to share several social media strategies to deal with upcoming changes. Most are applicable no matter what your specific circumstances.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Voice of Love

by Sarah Van Diest


Making sense of trials often takes time. Why do we feel the way we feel? Is a question we can often only partly answer in the middle of feeling it. And Why can’t we fix what’s wrong with us? Can be even harder to answer. Hindsight is clearer most of the time, if not all of the time.

Not long ago, I basically stopped eating. Each day my caloric intake decreased. My typical daily allowance was somewhere around 1500 prior to this decline, but by the end of the third week I was down to about 300 calories a day. If a banana has 65 calories then that’s where I was at the end of 4 weeks.

A dangerous trend.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Discover What Works for You

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

"Life is trying things to see if they work." Ray Bradbury


I like the freedom inherent in today’s quote:
Life is about trying things … and maybe they work, and maybe they don’t.

Life isn’t about getting it right the first time. And there are some seasons in our lives when it isn’t about getting it right most of the time.

Life is about discovering what works for you.

So here’s a story for you:
I went to breakfast yesterday with a few writing friends. One of those friends was an early writing mentor. This is how my  former mentor  complimented me on Somebody Like You, my latest novel: Beth, I hope it’s okay for me to say this, but Somebody Like You is better than Catch a Falling Star. (Catch a Falling Star is the novel I wrote before SLY.)

My response: I hope so!

I try to up my game with every book I write. I want to discover what is working for me as a writer—and improve on it. And I also try to figure out what isn’t working—and fix it in the next book I write.

I wish I had learned the whole “how’s it working for you?” principle sooner in my life—instead of operating on the “let’s pretend I’ve got it all together and aim for perfectionism” theory. When I allow myself to learn—and leave room for both success and failure—then I grow in an atmosphere of grace.


In Your Words: So what have you tried lately—and discovered “Wow! This worked!” And what have you tried … and it didn’t work? And what did you learn from those experiences?

TWEETABLE

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’Words.