Saturday, April 30, 2016

Compelled to Write

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to my friend who's a fellow blogger and author. Here newest book, A Mary Like Me, is taking the world by storm and I'm so glad I was able to convince her to stop by The Write Conversation. Be sure to give her a warm welcome!

Compelled to Write
by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

Compelled to Write.
Authors are either audacious or brave or both.

What makes us think we have something to say?

Sometimes, as a writer, I wonder if I’m crazy. Doubts fill my mind. 


But as a blogger, writer and now author, I'm finding that my "job" is not about the blog, the books, or my wit or wisdom, or lack of it. It's about a compelling.

I am compelled to write. What started as a whisper from God seven years ago, an idea for a book, has become my life. It's 8:30 on a Thursday night, and I'm compelled to sit down and type a post for my blog. Nobody is forcing me. No paycheck waits in my mailbox at the end of the month. I just can't help it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

30 Days of Idea Starters for Writers - Calendar Days - May's Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions

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:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

So You Want to Be a Writer...

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

So you want to be a writer...
So, You Want to Be a Writer?

For all you aspiring writers out there, I have a tip. Are you ready?

Here it is:  Put down your pen or pencil. Close your laptop.

And RUN.

To quote Dorothy Parker: If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Add Romance to Your Novel?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Adding a thread of romance to a story can complicate goals, influence crucial decisions, knock a career minded man or woman into confusion, and always force the character to change and grow. In short, it adds value to plot, sales, and marketability.

Some writers balk at the idea of romance in their novels. 

They don’t understand the reasons for allowing readers to experience the growing relationship of a man and woman within the pages of a story.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tips For Laying Out a Writing Calendar

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Tips for laying out a writing calendar.
Recently, at the Florida Christian Writers Conference held in February, our guest speaker Robert Benson told the enraptured audience that he writes 600 words a day. This is the general rule of thumb for him and, apparently, it has served him well.

During a Q&A, one of the conferees asked if 600 words a day would also work if he were a fiction writer. (In other words, when the juices are flowing, how do you stop writing?). Robert said he thought it would, but he had no way of actually knowing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Facebook Basics for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Today I'm sharing another screencast. I've talked with a lot of people lately who are confused about Facebook profiles, pages and groups. This video will hopefully make that a lot more clear. 

I'm also sharing how to unpublished a Facebook page and how to delete a Facebook page. 

It's not a long video, only ten minutes. So after you've watched it, but sure to share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Our Writing Has Power to Speak Truth into Others

By Brenda McGraw @BrendaMMcGraw

What was the last best-selling book you read that changed your thoughts from negative to positive?

One of my favorite books was The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. It changed me and gave me hope for a future in writing. The book is about praying. Our prayers change others and us. The Circle Maker teaches us ways to pray.

Did you know if you are a writer you to have the power to change other’s lives? The words you write have power. They can speak life into your readers. Choose them wisely.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Writer’s Dilemma. How Much Physical Description is Enough?

by Warren Adler @WarrenAdler
One of the imponderables of the fiction writing trade is just how much physical description is enough in order to fully flesh out a character’s identity. In years past many novels contained illustrations that purported to show images of the characters as conceived by the author.

A prime example would be the work of Hablot Knight Brown “Phiz” who illustrated the works of Charles Dickens. Such illustrations were not mirror-image portrayals of Dickens’ characters but imaginary images conceived by the illustrator. Apparently Dickens, who approved the work of the artist, thought they were representative enough.

Friday, April 22, 2016

7 Characteristics of a Successful Pinterest Image


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

In last month’s article, “Why Bloggers Should Consider Pinterest,” I made a strong case for utilizing this powerful social media site to build our blogging platform. Because Pinterest is an image-driven site, it’s vital that we create strong images if we want our pins to stand out. We want readers to notice our images, pin them to their boards, and click through to read the linked blog post. Effective images can increase our blog’s pageviews, reach, and subscriber base.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 Ways to Write Using the Five Senses—Sound

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung


Great authors write using the five senses. They are masters of drawing their readers deeper into the world, scene, or setting of a story by embracing the intricacies and subtleties of the five senses.

The senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and feel are available to almost all writers. Utilizing proper description of each of the five sense in your manuscript will greatly improve your story, and will drastically improve your chances of getting your manuscript published.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How to Make Your Writing Conversational

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Like a textbook.... 

That’s how my writer’s voice sounded when I started to write my first book. I could write devotions that sounded like a one-sided conversation, but my book sounded academic like the textbooks I had in college—factual, cold, distant. I knew I couldn’t leave it that way.

I thought about how I would want the book to sound if I were the reader. I read one of my favorite non-fiction books again to see what I liked about the author’s voice, or tone. He came across as warm-hearted, concerned, and encouraging. Like he was in the boat with me encouraging me to keep rowing and pressing on toward God’s will for my life, instead of shouting at me from the shoreline. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What to Say When You're Second Choice

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindSMcDowel

Understudy. Replacement. Substitute. Interim.

Have you ever been called upon to take someone else’s place at the very last minute? Rarely convenient – always a stretch…

When we're second choice, it's easy to feel that our presence is possibly a mistake. And how humbling to learn that we were the one God intended to use all along.

At this time.

In this place.

Monday, April 18, 2016

12 Tips to Reduce Blogging Stress

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

12 Tips to Reduce Blogging Stress
Blogging is a valuable tool for writers wanting to grow and connect with an audience. It provides us with the opportunity to go deeper than a quick social media post. It also gives our readers a place to hangout with us in cyber-space.

But anyone who has done much blogging knows that it can also be stressful. These are my tips for reducing that stress.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Future or Past? Point of View Can Determine What Happens with Our Writing

My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. Philippians 3:13-14

Publishing is a tough business.

It’s almost impossible to write anything for public consumption without feeling like you’re throwing your heart into the lion’s den. And I don’t know about you, but I give these negative comments a lot more credibility than the positive ones. The good ones I tend to disregard with the thought that the person commenting was, “just being nice.”

With the mind-set of living on past rejections it’s possible to shrivel up and die, at least as a writer. Feeding ourselves on what’s gone before forces us to a standstill.

And it comes with an entire travel trailer full of baggage.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with doubt, insecurity and an almost overwhelming urge to give up. Instead, draw a line in the sand. Commit today, RIGHT NOW, to begin to live in the future, on the promises God has given you.

If you’re writing now, you know the promise I’m talking about. You’ve heard that still, small voice call your name. You’ve gotten that confirmation you’ve asked for. Now it’s time to move forward, believing God truly is big enough to make it happen. He doesn’t call us out, fully formed and ready. He calls us out when we’re weak—ready for Him to equip us.

TWEETABLES

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How I Learned to Stop Picking Nits and Love the Language

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to have a good friend, Ramona Richards as a guest. She's a great editor and an amazing writer. Her newest book is sitting on my nightstand right now - and isn't going anywhere any time soon because I love it so much. The details about the book are at the end of the post, so be sure to give it a look and a great Write Conversation welcome!


How I Learned to Stop Picking Nits and Love the Language 

by Ramona Richards
@RamonaRichards



If when we are taught English we are just taught the rules of grammar, it would take all our love of our language away from us. What makes us love a subject like English is when we learn all these fantastic stories. Feeding the imagination is what makes a subject come alive.
~Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day

That Infernal Editor
It’s a universal piece of advice given to every writer who ever sat down at a keyboard: turn off your internal editor and just write. Easier said than done for most of us, which is why I call it the “infernal” editor. One of the crafts we must learn to ply our trade is English grammar, and an emphasis on the importance of correct grammar is in every class, blog, or tutorial we read. But in the first draft process, that’s the exact thing that can stop us cold.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Street Teams for Book Launches

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today's post is a little bit different. 

I'm not coming to you as an expert, but as someone who's just a few steps ahead (or possibly behind) you. 

You see, I'm in the process of putting together my first ever street team for my upcoming book, While My Child is Away. 

Instead of waiting until I was done, I thought I'd invite you along for the journey.

What is a Street Team?
I've had to rely heavily on my more experienced writing buddies, DiAnn Mills and Lynette Eason, as well as the marketing group at Worthy Inspired, to learn what exactly a street team is. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Publishing as a Second Language - The Cliché

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


Publishing as a Second Language - The Cliché
One of the terms we borrow from the French is cliché. If you are not familiar with a cliché, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines a cliché as “a phrase or opinion that is overused or betrays a lack of original thought.”

Most writers use clichés without even thinking about it. Because they know them like the back of their hands, these common phrases just roll off their tongues. It’s easy as pie to include them in writing because writers want to make sure their writing is clear as a bell. Romance writers know that all is well that ends well. Encouraging writers know that every cloud has a silver lining. Regardless of what cliché you use, it feels like old hat to your readers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How to Make Money as a Writer – Guaranteed

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

How to make money as a writer - guaranteed!
How do you make money as a writer? Easy. Write smut! It’s a guaranteed paycheck and if you play your cards right—fame and fortune can follow. Now before you go all self-righteous on me—hear me out.

Let’s face it. Once you are a published novelist, by the time everyone takes a bite of the profit, most authors, are no better off financially, than they were before they wrote the story. So the burning question becomes, why do I write if I never get paid?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Recent Facebook Changes in Groups & Professional Pages

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

One thing we can count on in social media is the fact that it's always changing. This is never more true than when we're dealing with Facebook. 

We can whine and complain all we want, but the truth is this: Facebook is valuable to authors as a way to connect with our readers. Because of that, we need to stay current with all the changes.

Facebook has made some pretty major changes in the way we find certain things, especially in regard to GROUPS and PROFESSIONAL PAGES. Last week I posted a screencast on the Author Roadmap site, giving a tour of these changes. I'd love to introduce you to the site and let you have a chance to view the screencast. So if you're interested in learning more, Click 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Elusive Truth

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest


“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

Why does truth, though perhaps accepted by our minds, so often elude our hearts?

A teenage girl, beautiful by every standard of beauty we hold, thinks she’s ugly. She despises her teeth, her chin and her general appearance. The truth of her beauty has been told to her many times over the years in words and in the way others respond to her, but she can’t quite believe it. She tortures herself. Loathes herself. Gives herself away. She simply doesn’t believe in her heart the truth of her beauty and worth.

A mother whose son took his own life blames herself for his choice. She knows it was his decision, but she cannot shake the feeling it was her fault. Though she loved him dearly every day of his life, her heart is crushed under the belief that she caused it to end. She tortures herself. Loathes herself. Her life slips away into nothingness.

These stories are so sad, but we’ve all seen them. Or maybe we’ve lived them, and maybe living them today. The truth that maybe we are able to hold steadily in our minds won’t sit still in our hearts. It may come now and then to rest there, but it flies away, chased off by the feelings of blame, shame, disbelief or some belief that isn’t Truth.


We compound the issue by believing that healing means no more pain.
We compound the issue by believing that healing means no more pain. Somewhere along the mostly Christian road we were taught that pain from the past goes away when our Savior heals us. He wipes all our tears away if our faith is strong enough, they say. The converse, then, must be true: if our faith is weak then He won’t. Pain, they continue to tell us, is evidence of our anemic faith. In walks the self-blame, feelings of inadequacy, and shame.

The promise our Savior gives of wiping away our tears is for a future none have yet seen or known. He gave us those words as hope. How we find a way to be self-condemnatory out of a promise meant to bring hope is astounding! But we do it. Our souls are trapped in the shame of our pain, unable to allow the Truth to penetrate our desperate spirits and bring freedom.

Winter

Tied and wrapped up, bulging at the seams, yours is a stifled soul.
Contained, restrained, restricted and denied, yours is a thirsty spirit.
Winter...
A chill breaks in a burgeoning breeze, and wisps and whips; a gathering wind.
Frost covers and cocoons, envelops and holds still and stiff the stifled soul and thirsty spirit.
Penetrated deeply and contorting in its grasp the held is manipulated and mauled by cold.
Frozen.
Unmoving, unbending, quiet.
Deathly silent.

Yours is a stifled soul.
Yours is a thirsty spirit.

Blown on by the Spirit sent as Comforter,
The winter white breaks, falls off and drops below.
Uncovered now.
Unburdened now.
Unleashed and unfurling.
Undone and enduring.
Movement.
Freedom.
Life.

Yours is a stifled soul.
Yours is a thirsty spirit.

Though the spring of life flows out
And sprigs and twigs burst forth,
A memory lives in the stifled soul and thirsty spirit.
Reminders of a winter past and another yet to come.

It is not cold or snow or frost that holds the soul or contorts the spirit,
It is the belief it should not be winter.


The greatest distance for truth to travel, I’ve been told and I believe, is from the head to the heart. The difficult journey is riddled with traps, wrong turns, road blocks and walls. We defend our hearts from Truth as if a brutal enemy were invading and the castle walls were about to be torn down by a ruthless foe. The great irony is that it is Truth walking up to our fortified structure gently extending love and grace and freedom, and our resistance to Truth is our demise. We have been bewitched. Our vision confused.

Truth holds our hope and we send it away. We deny it access to the place it is meant to live and thrive.

A mind renewed by Truth is a life transformed. A soul convinced of Truth is a life of abundance and freedom.

TWEETABLES

"A mind renewed by #Truth is a life transformed." - @SarahVanDiest (Click to Tweet)


Sarah has worked in Christian publishing since 2005 as both an editor and an agent.

Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

When You Can't

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

There are days I wake up thinking about all the things I have to do — and how I probably won’t get them done.

Of course, those are the days where I fell asleep the night before thinking about all the things I had to do when I woke up in the morning … and all the things I left undone that day …

It’s a wretched, wretched cycle, isn’t it?

And sometimes I get halfway through those days before I realize I’ve left God entirely out of the equation. Sometimes I may have given him a passing nod — a “Be with you in a moment, God” kind of acknowledgement.

As if all that other stuff is more important than God.

As if what I have to do is more important than what he might have to say about the next 24 hours, about me, about the other people in my life.

How presumptuous.

How foolish.

Why do I rush past the God who is able … and wonder why I’m so exhausted at the end of the day?

Why do I forget that he can accomplish what I can’t … he can keep me in the center of his will when I feel off-kilter … he’s never bewildered. He has a plan — and I’m invited to be part of it.

I just have to accept the invitation — day by day by day.


In Your Words: What do you need God to do in your life today? Accomplish? Provide? Help? Save? Keep? Subdue? 

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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

10 Tips for a Great Speaker Demo Reel

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

I've come to learn—and I'm sure you have, too—that this speaking and writing stuff consists of so much more than speaking and writing. 

When I first felt called to such a ministry, I dreamed of sitting at my desk, writing life-changing books, messages, and devotions, and then sharing those written words from the stage. I never envisioned the hours and energy I would spend getting those words out to those who needed to hear.

I never envisioned marketing.