Friday, September 30, 2016

Idea Starters for Writers - Calendar Days - 30 Days of Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions in October

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Are you looking for a unique article idea to pitch to a magazine? What about a different blog post or a social media update that gets everyone's attention? Today may be just what you're looking for—it’s time again for Calendar Days. These aren't just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity and 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 or if you can personalize them to someone you know. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Find Writing Gems When You Mine Your Life Experiences

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

We all want what we write to matter—to touch hearts, change lives, challenge the status quo. 

To that end we search high and low for the words that connect us to our readers.

But what if the gems we’re searching for aren’t hidden in distant places, but instead are buried deep within our own experiences?

Today I’m going to give you the clues to finding those precious nuggets hidden in plain sight. If you’ll bear with me, I’d like to follow this mining metaphor to its ultimate end and show you how to mine your own experiences to make your writing richer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

7 Reasons Why We Love Novels

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Thousands of novels are released each year. So many wonderful and amazing books, and we’ll never be able to read them all. But we try.

What’s the fascination for story? Why do we crave the next novel and the next?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Best Parts of Being a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


We all know there are aspects of choosing to write for a living that can make life tough. It’s easy to get focused on just the negatives. Today I want us to celebrate the best parts of being a writer!

Monday, September 26, 2016

29 Quick & Easy Social Media Updates to Share


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Sometimes connecting with our readers through social media seems like such a time-consuming chore that we can’t pull together the energy to even try. Truthfully though, by doing a little bit on social media consistently, we can make great strides. Today I’d like to share some easy—quick—ways to make those important connections. My tips are divided into three sections—things we can do now and share later, things we can share on the fly, and things we should avoid sharing.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Circle the Wagons

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Coffee and donuts. They go together like love and marriage. Someday I’d like to write a poem and I’d like to start it with the line, “Coffee and donuts, sittin’ in a tree.” I’m not sure where to go from there. I get that far and all I know is that I want to be in that tree.

I confess I’ve had a few too many donuts. Sad to say, the bough on that tree would be bending pretty low about now. That’s why I decided to go on yet another diet recently. Also sad to say, I’ve already fallen off the wagon.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Living in the Moment

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Forever is composed of nows. - Emily Dickinson

In these days of instant access to cameras and social media, it's easy to get caught up in recording the moment instead of living in the moment. How do you combat that danger?

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I 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, September 23, 2016

Writers Are A Strange Lot

We writers are an odd lot.
by Lori Hatcher  @LoriHatcher2


My husband puts up with a lot.

He’ll be the first to tell you that living with a writer is, shall we say, different. He knows writers are a strange lot. We can be physically present but mentally light years (or centuries) away. While it may appear that we’re talking to ourselves, if you ask us, we’ll deny it.

“Oh no, I’m not talking to myself. It’s the characters in my head who are talking. I’m just moderating the discussion.” Uh, yeah, I think there’s medication for that.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Facing The Dreaded Critique Group - Part 1

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

You’re about to submit your writing to a critique group for the first time.

You haven’t felt this nervous since your first job interview.

Or the time you proposed to your spouse.

Or the time Old Aunt Mary visited and the dog was using the sweater she knitted you as his sleeping spot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Singing Lessons for the Writer

5 Singing Lessons for Writers
by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Every time I hear an incredible Christian soloist, I think, I want to write like they sing. The power in their voice, the soul-stirring words, the motivation I feel to live for God—it’s inspiring. I’ve always wanted to be a singer; however, God didn’t bless me with a singing voice. But He has called me to write.

Have you ever read a book, an article, or a blog post, and heard a “song” in it? Did the words powerfully stir your soul? Could you hear the melody behind the lyrics? Did the message stick with you like a favorite song? We can write like that. The question is how.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to Fight the Comparison Battle

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel
  • “Why did she get a book contract before me when I’ve been writing longer than she has?”
  • “I sent the retreat committee my topics and video clips, but they chose a much younger speaker with almost no experience.”
  • “Our books were published the same month, yet his already has 300 Amazon reviews and I haven’t even hit fifty yet.”
  • “I don’t understand why I wasn’t asked to return as faculty when John serves at the conference every year.”
  • “I love rooming with my friend Jane at writers’ conferences, but it’s hard when she tells me every night about the editors and publishers who are interested in her projects.”
  • “We have the same publisher, but they spent a fortune on her marketing and I was pretty much left to fend for myself.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

Because a Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words—Even for Writers

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Quick! What gets your attention faster: words or images? It’s the images, right? Those bright, colorful, brilliantly-captioned memes and photos.

As a writer, you may think photo-based social media sites are less helpful to your career, but it’s just the opposite. Capturing the moment can boost your readership, and give your fan base a quick idea of what you’re about. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Obedience Here and Now

He who is faithful in very little is faithful also in much... Luke 16:10

When I was young all I wanted to be was a writer. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote my first novel in eighth grade…long hand, with a purple ink pen. But through the years, my dream of writing drifted farther and farther from the realm of reasonable possibilities, until I finally I gave up.


But as a young mother of three kids, God revived that call. At first I was scared, but then I got excited. Oh the plans I made—I’d write Bible studies and spend my time traveling, speaking and working for God.

I finished my first Bible study and the printer ink was barely dry before I had the manuscript in an envelope and on the way to publisher. I could see my future so clearly and I was on fire, with plans to do great things in His kingdom. All He had to do was open this one door.



Not only did He not open that door, it seemed every other door had slammed shut and locked. It quickly became obvious that going and doing weren’t part of the call He’d placed on my life. Instead, the doors at home began to swing wide, as He invited me to share my story with those closest to me.

As I swallowed my pride and became obedient to act where He’d placed me, the fruit began to grow. Years later, going and doing has become part of my call, but first I’d had to learn obedience and the difference between His will and mine.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy is the Soul...

"Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty." A.W. Pink
As many of you know, one of my hobbies is photography. I just love getting out with my camera and viewing the world through a different lens. Often it's been while looking at God's amazing creation that I've found the peace I've so desperately needed.

I'd love for you to share a time when you've found joy gazing at God's creation.

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I 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, September 16, 2016

Indie Publishing for Children's Writers

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

I was recently asked about marketing indie children’s books. I hated to say it, but I have never seen anyone do really, really well in the children’s ebook market.

Part of the reason is possibly the subscription service Amazon has called Amazon FreeTime. For just $2.99 a month parents get access to “10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.” The indie with an ebook at even 99 cents has a hard time competing with that.

So should authors with products for youth just skip indie all together?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

No Free Passes in Publishing

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

The publishing industry doesn’t give any free passes. Ever opportunity, conversation, meeting, email, and phone call has a price. Nothing is free for anyone.

What is the price? Time.

Time is the most valuable currency that a writer, publisher, editor, or agent has to give. Those emails, phone calls, etc. also have a finite price tag. Someone is on the clock somewhere, but those dollars are not as precious as time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Value of a "Write Away"

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

I have a good friend who often says, “I’m going to be gone this week to a “write away.”

What you may ask is a “write away?” Simply put, it's a time set aside where you go somewhere and write away (in more ways than one)!

When you are in a writing slump and can’t seem to get the words flowing, maybe you need a change of scenery and routine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

4 Ways to Win Over Bad Reviews

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

It’s a given that reviews on our books are vitally important. Future readers scan through to look for the gem that might be their next read. When our book hits Amazon for the first few weeks we relentlessly look over reviews finding ourselves grinning with joy or sobbing relentlessly. The important thing to remember is reviews are not personal – they’re a necessary evil with awesome advantages both pro and con. So how do we win out over the review snobs?

Monday, September 12, 2016

When Social Media Just Makes You Tired

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


I know, I’m supposed to be the cheerleader of all things social media. But let’s get real here. Some days—some weeks—it just makes me tired. Usually it happens when certain situations arise:
  • I haven’t had any meaningful conversations in a while.
  • My updates seem to be going into a black hole because no one is noticing them.
  • Life in general has gotten chaotic and it’s squeezing the life out of me.
  • My numbers aren’t moving up, they’re sitting there like an old tire in a mud hole.
  • It seems like everything I read on social media is rude, wrong, or just plain shallow.

Yeah, I’ve been where you are.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

God's Shadow

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

“While those who are frightened by the primal energy of dark emotions try to avoid them, those who are willing to wrestle with angels break out of their isolation by dirtying their hands with the emotions that rattle them most,” Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark.

There is profound beauty hidden in the dark. It awaits light’s touch to honor it with freedom; to launch it into the air; to explode it into life and thrust it into liberty. It is the earth groaning under the curse. It is the body longing to be untethered from death. It is the heart of man separated from whole and complete communion with the Father.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

What Patience Brings

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Sometimes the situations we are in don’t change. We look and we look, and there’s no door marked EXIT.

Okay, yes, I’ll make this blog post personal.

I’m dealing with several ongoing situations that, by definition — ongoing, right? — haven’t changed. Circumstances haven’t budged for months.

Chronic health issues? Still here.

Strained relationships? Still here.

Some things I can’t fix. I can’t demand an end date. I’m on hold … waiting … learning patience, yes. Or, as Henri Nouwen said: I’m learning to be willing to stay where I am and live these situations out to the full believing that something hidden here will be revealed. 

Willingness is an odd combination of faith in God’s presence in the midst of these difficulties and releasing my preconceived ideas about my life. Holding on to trust and letting go of expectations. An uneasy balance, that.

One of the things I’ve learned in all this waiting is to stop being so quick to take the blame for everything … and to stop being just as quick to cast blame. Shouldering blame or expecting someone else to bear the burden of blame are equal sins. I’ve taken far too much credit for far too many problems, which has separated me from God, from others, and from a true estimation of myself.

Yes, I need to own up to my wrong actions. But guilt is not a mandatory and I do not need to carry that weight every time someone offers it to me.

And the waiting times? That’s often when God does His best work in my life — if I let Him.


In Your Words: What hidden things have been revealed to you during times of waiting? 

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, September 9, 2016

My Favorite Online Writing Resources & Hangouts

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In days gone by, writers looking for others of their ilk were relegated to out-of-the-way coffee shops, pubs, and sidewalk cafes. Not so anymore. Now we have cool blogs and websites on which to congregate. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a list of online sites for writers, so today I thought I’d remedy that.

I’m posing my list below, but I’m certain I’m forgetting some or might just not know them all. So I’m really hoping you’ll add places that you’ve found in the comments section below.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Our Writing Contains the Fingerprints of God

Lynette Eason @LynetteEason


Hi all, Happy Thursday. Hope everyone is doing well and making progress on whatever you’re working on this week. 

When I was wondering what in the world I might blog about today, I thought about God’s fingerprints.

I’ve been writing pretty steady since about 1999. I was published in 2007. Since then I’ve written thirty some odd books. That’s a lot of writing if you stop to think about it. LOL.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Loose Your Words & Let God's Creativity Reign

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

In the beginning God created… Genesis 1:1

My mother is an artist, and I’ve always admired the sure confidence she exudes as she applies color to her creations. The finished pieces don't come together because of the tools she uses or the circumstances surrounding the process. They are created by the vision she holds so firmly in her mind. 

In her mind’s eye, the picture is already finished before she even begins. But to me, watching the process, it so often looks more like chaos than art.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

14 Ways to Guarantee Failure as a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve never met a writer who didn’t SAY they wanted to be successful. And while everyone’s definition of success is different, there are a lot of writers out there who are working hard to avoid success.

The one thing I’ve discovered on my own writing journey is that I’m often my own worst enemy. I’m the person who has—most often—stood between me and achieving my dreams. But if you really don’t want to find success, here are 14 things you can do to guarantee writing failure!

Monday, September 5, 2016

7 Book Marketing Secrets You May Not Know

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


This year I will launch three books. Two have been with a big publisher and the third will set sail in November with a smaller, traditional press. Of course there are differences between what support a big and small publisher provides. But—and we all need to wrap our brains around this one truth—our responsibility as the author is fairly consistent. Today I’m going to share 7 book marketing secrets I’ve learned from experience, and some I’ve learned by watching other authors.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Left With Nothing But Words

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

For the ear assesses words as the mouth tastes food. Job 34:3

I have had the unpleasant task of listening to the entire book of Job this month on my audio Bible. Unpleasant because I only like words that are encouraging, make me feel good, and don’t challenge me to think about the God I do not understand. It is one thing to have faith in the God I can reasonably understand, or at least think I can. It is another matter entirely to trust and have faith in God when circumstances swirl around me that I just do not understand and cannot explain.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Teaching Through Writing—Writing Against the Grain

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 29:18-20 NLT).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

One Writer's First Experience at the ACFW Conference

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I attended my very first ACFW(American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference last week. 

I know many of you may be thinking about attending ACFW at some point in the future so I thought I’d share my thoughts and impressions with you.