Monday, July 31, 2017

Facebook Groups...For PAGES!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Yep, you read the title of this post correctly. Facebook has finally given professional pages the options of starting or linking to a group. 

In the past, there was only one way to start a group or join a group—from the Facebook personal profile. Now that has changed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Are Our Devices Making Us Fat & Sleepy?

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

How many of you love to snuggle up in bed with your Kindle and read a bit before you fall asleep? 

And since I’m talking to writers, how many of you will occasionally pull your laptop into bed to work on a few more pages of your WIP until you get sleepy? Have you noticed that you sometimes have a hard time falling sleep after these nighttime sessions? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Is Your Hero Pursuing?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas


We’ve all heard story is about conflict and tension. And that is definitely true.

Stories about happy people living in Happy Valley don’t excite readers. Frankly, they can be boring.

The story becomes a story when something disrupts the status quo. As John LeCarré once said, “The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the dog’s mat—now that’s a story.”

Here’s another way to look at it: Stories are about the pursuit of happiness. It’s even in the Declaration of Independence.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Lies Our Characters Believe & Why It Matters

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Our characters can be stubborn. Just when we think we know them inside and out, they toss us a wrench. We struggle to push them into a storyline that forces them to change and grow—or slide downhill as in the case of antagonists—then they behave contrary to how we sketched them.

We work hard at shaking them inside out to ensure they are unique, memorable, and fit the plot and genre. Our goal is to achieve the proper balance of complexity in an unpredictable story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Avoid These Writing Conference Faux Pas

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson


We’re nearing the end of conference season, which begins in February (to my way of seeing it) and ends around September. Every year, I attend a great many of them, and enjoy each and every one. Some for one reason. Some for another.

I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. When we gather at writers conferences, we talk about which ones have the best editor and agent selection . . . the ones with the best freelancers . . . the best beds . . . the best food . . . the best praise and worship (for Christian writers conferences), the best social time. We mention the ones where we laugh the hardest. (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard in my life as I did at St. David’s Christian Writers Conference this year.)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pinterest Basics & Insider Tips, Part 1

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

We’ve spent the last few months covering the Instagram platform, and now it’s time to move to Pinterest!

Pinterest isn’t really a “social media” platform. Instead, consider utilizing Pinterest as a search engine for your audience. After all, there are times when I choose to search Pinterest instead of Google. And if you’re a Pinterest-user, I’d guess you do, as well.

Today we’re going to do a light overview on some Pinterest basics, starting with…

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Unforgetting

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Have I ever mentioned that I have a terrible memory? Maybe I did. Or maybe it slipped my mind. But hey, I remembered to buy all those vitamins that are supposed to help with memory. I’m pretty sure I’ve been forgetting to take them though. In the old days, people tied a string around a finger to help them remember. Guess I could try that.

I’ve always wished I had a photographic memory. Someone told me I actually do have one—it’s just not developed. That’s probably it. I always seem to be a few pics short of a full roll.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Basic Etiquette for Sharing Online Content

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


A lot of people have asked me to share a blog post about the online etiquette for mentioning and/or sharing content online. 

Mentioning and sharing content from sites we find valuable is the ultimate compliment, and a great way to encourage other bloggers and writers.

Before we begin, let me clarify something. Sharing links or a short quote from another site isn’t a copyright infringement. For those concerned about copyright information, here’s a link to a blog I wrote on CopyrightBasics for Bloggers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Is BookBub—And Why Do Authors Need to Know?

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung


As an agent, I often come across authors and industry professionals who have no idea what BookBub is. 

BookBub is currently the single best promotion opportunity for any eBook and it is highly sought after by authors and publishers in the “know”.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

5 Questions to Refresh Your Writing Purpose

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

5 Questions to give you the writing nudge you need.
Writing a book is no sprint—it’s a marathon. A cross-country marathon. 


As you run through fields of modifiers and metaphors, you eventually encounter hills of writer’s block. Ducking distractions and swatting flies of doubt and anxiety, you barrel forward closer and closer to the finish line.

By the time you reach the last leg of the race—the final editing of your book—your energy and enthusiasm reach an all-time low. What’s a runner—that is, a writer—to do?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tips to Meet Those Writing Deadlines

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowell

How well I remember hearing the phrase, "Interruptions are my ministry!”

At the time I was on the staff of a large church and I totally got it—at any given time I was called up to meet with a parishioner or counsel a walk-in or fill in for another teacher. I was also mothering four young children and learning that key parenting moments occur when there's a knock on the bedroom door or a phone call from school or a simple cry of "Mama....." from another room.

In all those cases it was the distractions from my immediate task that propelled me to an even more important task. I get that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Proofread Your Social Media Posts

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Even social media typos can challenge our
credibility as writers.
We see it a lot. Those nasty little things we call typos. They’re everywhere. And *gasp* we’re even responsible for some of them. Oh, call the writing police and throw me in jail!

Folks, that’s why we have editors. Amazing, awesome, hand-holding editors who take the reins and shape our story into what we want it to be. They can see beneath our fast-typing mistakes. They interpret the message from what we mean to what it’s supposed to be.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why I Stopped Chasing the Dream

by Any Lee @WordsByAndyLee

I once had a dream that Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet, throw me on his horse, and we’d ride into the sunset to live happily ever after.

The dream came true. Prince Charming did sweep me off my feet. We jumped into his black 1990 Trans Am, and we rode off into the sunset for a forty-eight-hour honeymoon. There was a war brewing, and my soldier needed to be back to work on Monday, and I had to teach the first day of school. They frown on requesting a substitute on the first day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Memes for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today I'd like to do something a little different. Summer is full on us, so I thought we'd celebrate the beauty of the season with a roundup of memes.

I took every picture below and added the quotes through PicMonkey, so you're welcome to share them on social media. If you want to learn how to make your own: Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Text to Images screencast is the place to begin. 

Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence. Pythagoras

Friday, July 14, 2017

3 Ways to Kill Your Publishing Career

Edie here. Today I'm excited to welcome back Jennifer Slattery. In addition to being an amazing author, she's an excellent teacher in the publishing industry. Since her new book, Healing Love, is about to release, I convinced her to drop back by with more insight into the writer's life. 

3 Ways to Kill Your Publishing Career
by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

Perhaps you’ve sensed God’s call to write, maybe you even jumped in with passion and determination, fully convinced He’d bring your every dream to pass. But that was ten, twenty, maybe even more years ago, and you’re beginning to wonder, “Will I ever get published? Will these thousands upon thousands of words clogging my computer files ever see the light of day?”

I believe when God calls us to do something, He’s got the how and the when mapped out. Though His idea of what our writing career will look like may be different than ours, I fully believe He’s able to perfect that which concerns us and that He always has our best in mind.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Composite Characters: Do They Have a Place in Creative Nonfiction?

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

It was a familiar situation, a mix of writers—some fiction, some nonfiction—coming together for their monthly critique meeting. Michelle was working on a nonfiction submission. She felt she had included too many characters for such a short piece and asked the group what to do.

Sitting across the table, Elizabeth, a solid fiction writer, saw no problem. “Just combine the characters.”

I yelped. “You can’t do that. That’s not a real person.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are Helping Verbs Really Helpful?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


In school we learn about helping verbs, also called auxiliary verbs, and the support they are to other verbs. That is a good thing. Everyone needs a helper occasionally.

Maybe you have forgotten what those helping verbs are. Is, am, are, was, were, been, being, are the most common. Helping is not the only use of the helping verbs. Other times they are used as a complete predicate. Think of the way you function—sometimes you are a parent, other times you are a friend, sometimes in the spotlight and other times not. The function of the verb makes it a helper or not. Many times these verbs are functional and needed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Importance of Book Influencers

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Ding. The computer chimes and you’ve got email. There’s a nice note asking if you will consider being an influencer. That’s nice. We all like the thoughts of influencing others, but in this case, a number of questions come to mind. Things like influence what? For whom? What’s in it for me?

Let’s take time to learn what an influencer is and then we’ll address what remains.

Monday, July 10, 2017

When Marketing Leads to Ministry

by Lori Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld


When I began this writing adventure, I had an attitude about marketing and sales. You see, I wasn’t going to concern myself with such worldly ideas, because, like The Blues Brothers, I was on a mission for God. I may or may not have harbored some unkind and judgmental thoughts about people who invested significant energy discussing branding, platform building, and target audiences. I was simply going to write and trust God to be my marketer. Boom. Mic drop. Thank you, very much.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Life of Breath

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest


We know this to be true. When we stop breathing, we stop living. There is no life when breath is absent.

It’s allergy season here in Oregon, and other places, too, I’m sure. And because this winter was Portland’s wettest on record, there is now no shortage of growing, blooming things. 

An afternoon doing simple gardening can turn into a night of sneezes and snores. Last night was a perfect example.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Avoiding the Debris of Life


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Snags and debris. We’re not going to make it through life without running it to one or the other … or both. 

Snags are impediments to progress … irritants, interferences, interruptions … we want to go one way and they push and prod us another, holding us back from our goals.

But debris … that’s another kind of danger that can weigh you down, pull you under, and drown you.

Snags can leave marks — a scratch here, a bruise there. Debris, however, can be lethal. Emotional debris like guilt … regret … shame … fear … they pile up on us and dishearten us. 

Best to heed Anne Shannon Monroe’s words and “Pull yourself loose and go on.” 

How?
  • Ask for help from someone standing on firm ground — someone who sees the truth you’ve lost sight of. 
  • Recognize the debris for what it is: garbage. Nothing more, nothing less. 
  • Regain your focus. Realize you are stuck — remember where you’re headed — and start moving again. 


In Your Words: What snags have you run into recently? How do you avoid debris that stops the forward motion in your life? 

TWEETABLE

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women's fiction novelist with Tyndale House Publishers, Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, as well as a 2016 ACFW Carol Award Winner and a 2015 RITA® finalist. In 2016, she continued her destination wedding series published by Howard Books with You Can’t Hurry Love (May) and  Almost Like Being in Love (June). Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.

Friday, July 7, 2017

What to do AFTER a Writing Conference

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007


Recently, a friend of mine, Cherrilynn Bisbano, posted a meme for 1 Chronicles 28:20 from The Living Bible translation. It says, “Be strong and courageous and GET TO WORK (emphasis added). Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Unglamorous Life of a Writer

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn


If you’ve hung around the writing world for long, you’ve heard it before . . .
  • Being a published author does not magically fix all your problems.
  • Being a published author does not mean you’ll spend your days fending off random fans when you’re buying groceries.
  • Being a published author does not mean you’ll spend your days in a lovely office overlooking a serene pastoral setting as you churn out novel after novel. 

But . . . come on. It has to help. Right? It has to be more good than bad. At least when you get “The Call” or reach new writing milestones, there will be parties and well-wishes and celebratory balloons falling from the ceiling. Right?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 Tips on Writing a Legacy Letter to Your Family

by Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Families are funny.

Sometimes a family member can be a best friend. But all too often, childhood competition and conflict break families apart. Even as adults, the ties of family – which we’re told should be the strongest – don’t always survive.

I’m one of five siblings. We weren’t close growing up but we’ve settled some of our differences and found common ground we can all deal with over the years. Not easy, but greatly rewarding.  But one of my best friends can’t even talk to her sister because of the hurts they both carry.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Pinterest for Writers – Research and Collaboration

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

Pinterest is a great tool for writers!
Today I get to write about my favorite social media format: Pinterest. People visit Pinterest to relieve stress, find information, get inspired, and just plain have fun. It’s a great place to go for entertainment and education. It’s also a great tool for writers.

Now, gentlemen, don’t check out. Yes, Pinterest has been heavily skewed toward female users in the past, but the number of men on the site is growing. Don’t believe me? Check out this article from Business Insider to see cool things men are sharing on this hot media platform: How Men UsePinterest

Monday, July 3, 2017

How to Write a Good Tweet—It’s Easier Than You Think!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Use this simple method to compose effective tweets.
Twitter, as many of you already know, is my Social Media Sweet Spot—my easy button, if you will. It’s my go-to place to send and receive information. Because of that, I compose all my social media updates from a Twitter mindset. So no matter where I'm sending the update, I compose it with Twitter in mind.

I know that Twitter is NOT the sweet spot for many of you reading this blog.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Writer’s Fleece

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Judges 6:36-38a, NIV

Much can happen between the magical moment an idea rises up like joy in the heart of a writer and the day that idea is printed between two covers and placed on the bookstore shelf. The journey is arduous and joyful, agonizing, yet fulfilling. It requires courage.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

You Write Like a Woman

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth


A few years ago, I attended my first writers’ conference, the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. The sweet lady who critiqued my first chapter looked me in the eye and said, “You write like a guy.”

I thought, Great. John Steinbeck, James Patterson, or Jerry Jenkins?

Not what she had in mind.

She went on to explain I had the action and the setting, but I was leaving out the personal side, the emotions and internal thoughts of the protagonist.