Saturday, November 18, 2017

Lessons for the Writer from Michelangelo


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

When I first saw Michelangelo’s Pieta at the Vatican in Rome, I was filled with awe at the beauty and perfection of the marble image of the mother of our Lord holding the body of Christ just after his crucifixion. Michelangelo claimed that the block of Carrara marble he used to create this magnificent piece was the most perfect block he’d ever used. He would polish and refine this piece more than any other sculpture he created. When the artist’s work was complete, the clothing of the two figures looked less like stone and more like actual cloth because of natural-looking folds, curves, and deep recesses.

Friday, November 17, 2017

As a Writer, Whose Fame are you Seeking?


by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

Almost ten years ago a woman got very famous very fast with her indie publishing. The name Amanda Hocking was on the lips of every indie in the country. Readers loved her and she made a million dollars on the ten books that had previously been gathering dust in her drawer.

Of course I’d trade my experience for hers. I’d be a fool not to. But as I started my own journey I watched her and was determined to do it a little differently. I didn’t want my name to be famous. I wanted my characters to be famous. I wanted people to be talking about Mitzy Neuhaus, not Traci Tyne Hilton.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Look for the “Lean” in Publishing


by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

The most arduous of being a published author is actually the “process” of becoming a published author. Aspiring writers have to jump through so many hoops—writing conferences, writing retreats, endless platform building, elevator pitches, critique groups, and workshops.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tips to Help Maximize Your First Five Pages


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

One of your greatest marketing tools as an author is the first five pages of your book. Once a potential buyer looks at your title, cover, back cover copy, and Table of Contents, they’re likely to look at your first five pages. If the first paragraph wows them, they’ll keep reading. If the wow factor is missing, you may miss a possible sale.

So how do you maintain the “wow” factor of your first five pages and maximize the appeal of your book?  Here are five ways to keep the wow factor going.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finding Contentment in Writing


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Is there contentment in writing? We’re a people of instant gratification. If others don’t give us what we want, when we want it—we simply take matters into our own hands and make it happen. 

This attitude is one that grieves me. I’m not sure when it began to happen but somewhere along the way, understanding the importance of working hard and receiving success has gone by the wayside. These days we just “do it ourselves” regardless of the impending consequence.

Monday, November 13, 2017

5 Last Minute Blog Post Ideas

Don't ever get caught without a blog post idea again.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


We’ve all done it. Waited until the last minute and we’re rushing to come up with a blog post idea, write it, and get it up. Sometimes it’s because life has gotten in the way, sometimes it’s just because we haven’t planned well.

The reason why we’re scrambling isn’t as important as what to do when it happens. Now is definitely not the time to beat ourselves up or panic. Instead, here is my list when I need a blog post fast.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What is Art?

God  is glorified when we put words on paper.
by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest


“In the beginning, God created . . . .” Gen.1:1.

On my plane ride home from Switzerland this week, I sat by an artist. She showed me recent drawings in her sketch pad and photographs of her paintings. I was in awe. Her work went beyond realism and into an expressive realm of profound artistic mastery.

“I found my voice last year,” she said. That’s what she called it, her “voice.” We use that same term in writing, but I didn’t realize painters and other artists of all types used it, too.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Are You Living Life Revved Up or Relaxed?


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I experienced the whole “stuck in overdrive” ordeal  for real yesterday.

I was driving on the highway when my car started revving up and, even when I tried to brake, the car wouldn’t slow down. I was coming up on my exit — and a red light — in a minute or less, and praying my car would stop even as I imagined my car driving straight into the intersection and oncoming traffic.

Friday, November 10, 2017

How Personal Little Stories Become Big Bestsellers


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Okay. We’ll re-situate the elephant in the room right away: It helps to have contacts and clout when you’re writing personal narrative. That being said, it still took more than money, influence and a gregarious personality to make the anecdotes and life experiences of the following writer leap off the paper, into our hearts and onto bestseller lists. 

Last month, I addressed some of the things I learned about writing from other authors, notably, Rick Bragg. This month I’m sharing writing tips I’ve gleaned from Bob Goff ’s book Love Does. If you’re listening Bob, “Put your humble hat on, because I’m gonna praise you” (as I heard one preacher say).

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Writing Conference Etiquette—From the Director’s Perspective

One writing conference director shares a list of what not to do.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve been on both sides of the writing conference scene—for a long time. I attended conferences for 10+ years before I took a position on a leadership team. I’ve now been in leadership for almost that long. And I’ve seen a lot of things.

Some good.

And some not so good.

Today I thought I’d let you peek in the window at my unique perspective ad take a look at some of things we should never do.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tips for Writers—When Deadline Madness Descends


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

I’m coming down the home stretch on a book deadline. A book that I have loved writing. A book that has consumed my life for a month. A book that I will be able to proudly share with you sometime after Christmas.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Making Memes with iPiccy


by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

Reviewing iPiccy, a free online photo-editing tool.

I’ve long been a fan of PicMonkey and Canva’s photo-editing websites, but when PicMonkey changed to a fee-based service in late September, I looked for other options. Don’t misunderstand—I’m still a PicMonkey fan. I just prefer to share tips about free tools whenever possible. Enter iPiccy.com, a robust and still free online photo-editing tool.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Streamline Your Social Media Now for Less Holiday Stress

A Little Planning Now Makes All the Difference During the Holidays
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I know it's just the beginning of November, but the holiday season is just around the season. It only takes a little advance planning to cut down on the marketing stress that can come during the holidays. 

Now is the time to get your social media ready for the holidays.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

When Writing Rejection Redirects Us Toward Gratitude


by Danetta Keller @DanettaKellar

He led them in a right way. Psalm 107:7, NIV

I was still a newbie, attending my second writers conference. This year I was more prepared. I came wielding the one-sheet for a book I’d had on my heart for the past four years. I had even launched it on friends and family, homemade. I was ready to present my baby to editors and publishers to see if she had a chance.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Writing Book Reviews—A Door Into a Publication

Use writing book reviews as a road to publication
by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

One of the problems with being a new writer is. . . you’re new. Like a new employee, you haven’t established that you can show up, advise the customers, be on time, or are able to run the cash register. (Ugh, I still have nightmares where all the keys are blank.)

And like all new career seekers, we scream, “How am I supposed to get experience if I can’t get a job?” (Ever heard that before?)

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Tribute to a Friend

Bruce, we're all better because you were our friend.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Today is the post I have dreaded writing for over a year.

Our writing comrade, fellow believer and close friend, Bruce Brady, is no longer with us. He was one of the small percentage who knew time was short, so many of us had the chance to say goodbye. My husband Kirk and I were privileged to be with him and Candice and their family at the end.

It doesn’t lesson the immense loss I feel.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How To Write When Everything Goes Wrong - a Book Review

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn


A book review from Lynn Blackburn
Ah . . . the writing life.

When we’re pursuing publication, our imaginations paint a picture of a world where we can always write during our most productive and creative hours, where there is plenty of time for refilling our creative tanks, where everyone around us is supportive and where there’s plenty of coffee and chocolate.

Maybe that last bit is just my ideal, but you get what I mean.

Even when we try to be realistic, we don’t usually imagine any worst case scenarios. When we think of how we would handle our writing in times of trouble, we tend to think of curve balls.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Editing Your Book, Part IV—Line Editing, the 500 Foot View

Learn the process of editing your book.
by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer


There are four basic types of editing:

Developmental Editing
Substantive Editing
Line Editing
Copy Editing

Each type of editing offers an opportunity to look at a manuscript from a different place. Today, we work with Line Editing (LE).

LE is where, finally, you make it pretty.