Monday, January 30, 2017

Update Your Social Media Strategy for 2017 With These 10 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


It's a new year and that means change. We don't only have to get used to writing 2017, we also have to be ready for the changes in social media that are around the corner (and already here).

My purpose with this post is 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, January 29, 2017

Bringing Fruit From Failure

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

I travel around the country speaking and teaching at writers conferences. Beyond being about to help other follow their dreams, I also get to hear about other authors’ journeys to publication. 

As we compared routes, I noticed many similarities to my own. Most are like mine—not a direct route—but a circuitous trip full of bumps and detours. Frequently a writer's path can be littered with broken dreams and shattered expectations.

In the past I would have called them failures.

As I've heard more and more stories, I've reflected on those instances in my life that I've always labeled as failures and shortcomings. Now, in the light of the successes those detours had brought, I see them more clearly. They're really been valuable opportunities to grow and learn.
  • Those times of waiting had become patience.
  • The weeks—and sometimes months of—frustration had become discipline.
  • The heart-breaking rejections became joy.
All those difficult circumstances had been used by God to teach me things I lacked, as well as giving me compassion for others on similar journeys.

Somewhere along the way, God used the seeds of failure to grow fruit in my life.

Today I challenge you to look at those things you’ve labeled failure, and notice the fruit that’s now begun to grow.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Refinement of Publishing Patience

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all need it and we all abhor it.

God has used patience to refine my writing in ways I never thought possible. That process of waiting hasn't just given me time to learn how to write, it's also given me time to grow into the stresses and stimulation of writing as a chosen profession. It's been incredibly painful and a blessing beyond belief as I've watched my hopes and dreams begin to come to fruition. 

How has God used patience to answer the cry of your heart?

Teach us. O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. - Peter Marshall
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also 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, January 27, 2017

When Your Writing Feels Small...

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I had the privilege last week to teach at the Lexington Word Weavers 2nd Anniversary Christian Writers Workshop. One of my favorite parts of the one-day conference was the time I spent with beginning writers.

“Sometimes when I take a walk, God reveals himself to me through my surroundings,” one woman told me. “I’ve started writing these thoughts down. Do you think they’d make good blog posts?”

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Don’t be Stupid About Writing Critiques

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

It’s not often we read the word “stupid” in the Bible, especially directed against ourselves.

But it’s there in Proverbs 12:1. In four different versions I consulted. The Contemporary English Version seems the most direct: To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid.

One could say any version with the word stupid in it is pretty direct. Kind of like stepping on the wrong end of a rake.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Author's Publishing Team

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A writer’s passion for a book project isn’t enough. Success depends on her team’s 100% commitment to the project. Writing and publishing are not single-handed ventures. It takes a community of specialized people to write, edit, design, market, promote, and sell a story that readers will eagerly purchase, read, and recommend.

Take a look at the overall picture of what goes into placing a story in front of a reader’s eyes.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2 Objections that Hold Us Back from Winning at Social Media

Edie here and I'm super excited to introduce you to our newest columnist here on The Write Conversation. Bethany Jett is a respected professional in the publishing industry and a whiz at social media. She's also a close friend of mine, as well as one of our conference assistants at The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writes Conference. Be sure to give her a warm welcome!

2 Objections that Hold Us Back from Winning at Social Media
by Bethany Jett @BetJett

I’m obsessed with Gary Vaynerchuk these days. This past weekend, I devoured two-and-a-half of his books on social media and marketing. Gary Vee, as he’s known in his online circles, owns VaynerMedia, which was listed as a Fortune 500 company and CNN voted him as “one of the top twenty-five investors in Twitter.” He’s kinda cool.

What I love about his books is his focus on story-telling and creating content for your audience. As a writer, that hit me hard. Stories sell. Stories connect. We must tell stories well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Faith Like a Taco

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Okay, so here’s an idea. A taco, but with a folded hamburger patty for the shell. Because nobody lives forever anyway.

It makes me want to imagine there’s actually a quote that goes, “Ask not for whom the Taco Bell tolls. It probably tolls for thee.” 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

No Matter What, Choose Hope

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

No matter where we are, we don't have to go through life alone God is always here with us. 

TWEETABLE
No matter what comes, choose #hope. Romans 12:12 - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Friday, January 20, 2017

What Authors Can Learn From Tyra Banks

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

Last night I watched an old episode of America’s Next Top Model. (Series 16, ep 6 available at hulu.com.) It was from one of the seasons that still seemed professional and serious. Very little girl fighting, lots of modelling. No male contestants for dirty hook ups, no weird online voting. Just young women with a dream and industry professionals challenging them to reach for it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Is Amazon Marketing Services, and Should I Be Using It? (Part 2)

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) allows you to advertise your book utilizing a targeted keyword strategy. 

But first, you must answer two important questions.
  • What type of ads do I run? 
  • Where do I find the keywords to use?


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tips to Map Out Your Blogging Calendar

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

A new year means 52 new blog posts for us who are weekly bloggers. Some writers may be more adventurous and post more often, but I’ve found I need to blog just once a week to keep up with my schedule of writing, editing, and marketing. (If you can blog more, like Edie, I am rooting you on!)

When I plan what to write for my blog, I don’t worry about the number 52. Fifty-two posts is a lot to plan at one time. I focus more on the number 3. What can I write about in the next 3 months?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Differences Between Successful & Unsuccessful Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we’re warned early on to avoid the trap of comparison. Each of us has a different path to success—and a different path to publication. These varying ways of living life as a writer aren’t good and bad or even better and best—they’re just different.

Today I want to encourage you to do just the opposite.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Using a Calendar to Storyboard Your Novel

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

As a discovery writer, I sometimes feel as though I'm just a passenger on this train. I'm the transcriber of events observed. Or a screenwriter giving words to the movie playing in my head. Often, my characters will rebel, refuse, and rearrange the scenes I'm trying to create.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Obedience Versus Sacrifice

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

Sometimes it is difficult to know if you should let something go, like a job, or a volunteer position. It’s hard to discern if we are feeling God’s nudge, or our own emotions. As writers, most of us have other jobs to make a living, and our writing comes second to the job. But it also often gets pushed back on the to-do list because of our many other commitments.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Thoughts that Make Us Strong

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt


My youngest daughter likes to read fantasy and scifi novels. My son writes fantasy novels (and yes, he has published several titles.) I know enough about that genre to tell you that one type of character populating those books is a shape-shifter. A shape shifter appears in one form at first—maybe a human—but can shift to another form—maybe an animal of some sort. One shape … shift … another shape.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Writing Through the Tough Times Brings Discovery

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve never met anyone who had an easy life. I’ve met a lot of people that looked like they did—from the outside. But once I’ve gotten to know them, I quickly learned that things were never what they seemed. This holds true for writers.

Those who have the luxury of writing full-time have the same struggles faced by those who have limited time.

That leads me to what I think is one of the biggest lies about writing—the myth of finding time to write. Truthfully, that time is never found. It’s carved out of our busy lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bestselling author or just starting to put pen to paper. And whether or not we consistently carve out that time, no matter what’s happening around us, will determine how successful we are.

As writers, we need to realize tough times will come. And it’s during those times that our commitment will be tested and our resolve will be forged.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What Writers Can Learn from Olympic Athletes

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

You may be wondering why I’m writing about the Olympics now. Didn’t we just have one of those? And isn’t the next one a couple of years away? Yes, to both of those questions, but something has stayed with me since our last Olympic games. It’s a thought that keeps reverberating in my mind.

What kind of writer would I be if I trained and “performed” like those Olympic athletes?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Achieve Your Writing Goals by Attending a Conference This Year

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

As we start a new year, I hope you have taken time to set some goals for your writing and figure out what you’d like to accomplish in 2017. When we assess our writing goals, we need to take a look at markets, article and book deadlines, and creative ways to sell books.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tips for Writing with Emotion

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

I still get chills when I hear those words. Something inside me churns. I scoot a little closer to the television. As the stars shoot past me on the screen, I am drawn into the next adventure of the Enterprise. Excitement. Anticipation. A touch of anxiety – all emotions set into play by the author.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Question of Becoming a Hybrid Author

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason


Indie, traditional, or hybrid? That is the question…

…a lot of writer ask themselves.

I’ve been published traditionally for the past ten years and I absolutely love that fact. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Finding Freedom on The Back Row

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” Galatians 5:1

It seems to me that once we begin trying to evaluate our “effectiveness” as Christians, or determine how much we must do in order for the declaration “good and faithful” to be awarded us, that it is at that moment we have lost our way. It is a moment governed by law and not freedom.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lessons From Writers Who've Gone Before Us

It's me again! Today I'm introducing our newest columnist, Tim Suddeth. I've known Tim for several years and have watched him grow as a writer. Even though he doesn't quite have that first book contract, he's active in the industry and I believe can add a lot of insight to this blog. He's one who, in my opinion, has done it right. He's been willing to follow the advice of professionals, spend time reading, learning about all aspects of the publishing industry, and attending classes and conferences. I hope you'll give him a warm welcome!


Lessons From Writers Who've Gone Before
by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth


Writing can be a lonely endeavor. It’s easy to want to withdraw into our little holes like Mr. Beaver in C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Then we can shut everyone else out. But most of us have to poke our heads out, at least every once in a while, because we want others to read our work. The reason we write stories is so we can share them with someone else.

Friday, January 6, 2017

One Writer’s Love Affair with Telling Stories

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago, there was a young boy who fell in love with stories. He longed for the times he could grab a book or turn on the TV to lose himself in an adventure or fantasy that not only entertained, but also taught him important life lessons.

Growing up with Disney, he learned from Cinderella you can rise above your circumstances. Pinocchio taught him to trust the Father’s love and always tell the truth, no matter the consequences. He learned from Snow White there are kind-hearted who will help in his times of need. And the Absent Minded Professor encouraged him to never stop dreaming. And that it’s okay to be a little different.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Finding Writing Focus After a Distracted Year

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

It’s a new year and if you’re anything like me, what worked in 2014 and 2015 did not work so well in 2016. You’d love to be more productive in 2017.

I know for myself, I have to find a better way to do things or I’m going to be in really big trouble. This realization has been growing for a few months and it hit hard during the holidays.

So I did what I usually do when I want to learn something.

I went to the library.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

3 Reasons Blogging Helps Authors Grow Readership

Edie here again. I've got another treat for you all - a second guest post this week. This one is from my friend, Jennifer Slattery. She's visited with us before and always has valuable things to share. Be sure to check out her newest book, too, Restoring Love (details at the end of the post).

3 Reasons Blogging Helps Authors Grow Readership

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery




With over 152 million blogs on the Internet, why would anyone read yours? Is blogging even worth your time?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I Think I Can! I Think I Can! The Role of Self-Efficacy in Writing Your Book

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to have blogger Cathy Fyock as a guest today. She has a new book coming out, Blog to Book, that you'll definitely want to check out!

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

“I think I can! I think I can!” said The Little Engine That Could. The Little Engine believed that she could do it—that she had the smarts to figure it out and the persistence to keep at it. She had a quality that social cognitive theorists call self-efficacy, and it’s the same trait that enables us to achieve our big goals—like writing our books.

Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments wrote Albert Bandura in his 1977, 1986, and 1997 research findings. It’s the confidence we need in our abilities to be able to exert control over our motivations, behaviors, and social environments.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Idea Starters for Writers—January Calendar Days

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It's that time again—Calendar Days. I sure hope you all are enjoying this column as much as me.

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.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Year’s Resolution for Those Who Have Failed

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)