Wednesday, October 17, 2018

30 Ideas for a Blog Series

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

This special season of autumn ushers in some favorite traditions—sipping on pumpkin spice lattes or hot apple cider, collecting crimson leaves on cool walks in the evening, and dodging spider webs in corn mazes. Why not add a new tradition to your fall calendar? A blog series. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Writer & Speaker - Tips to Get Organized

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

You may be a fantastic writer—author of all sorts of books and blogs and articles. But when your readers begin to invite you to speak, it’s important to make sure you have a whole new set of skills to ensure that your speaking events run smoothly.
I love to encourage writers and speakers. And one of the key ingredients to having a successful speaking career is making sure all details have been clearly communicated between you and the event organizers. 

In advance. 

Believe me, this will prevent all kinds of heartache.

I cannot even begin to tell you the stories I have heard from speakers who expected one thing and were shocked when it never happened. (By the way, I hear just as many stories from event organizers who had certain unmet expectations from their guest speaker.)

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Marketing Timeline for Any Author

Edie here. Today I want to introduce you to our newest The Write Conversation columnist, Karen Whiting. Karen is a friend and best-selling author. Beyond that, she's the person I turn to when I need marketing and branding brainstorming. To say I'm excited to have her sharing her wisdom with those of you in this community is a HUGE understatement. Be sure to check out her newest book (at the end of the post) and give her a warm TWC welcome!

A Marketing Timeline for Any Author
By Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Your book will be releasing. Hooray! Yikes! That means marketing! The dreaded word. Approach it with the joy of sharing about your book and a little organization to stay sane. Then it will not be so overwhelming, and you’ll be more confident. Whether you have a book coming yet, or the hope of one, it’s good to prepare. Whether weeks, months, or even years away from release, there are activities to work on during each phase. Create a notebook or folder to keep your information together.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Called to Pray

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18.
 “I feel a great disturbance in the Force.” 

Ha! I know I’m quoting fiction, Star Wars to be exact, but it makes me think. There are days, in fact specific moments within days, where out of the blue a deep sense of sorrow fills my soul. It is as if, like in Star Wars, a great catastrophe hit and my heart felt the blow. Have you ever felt that? 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Surrounded By Story

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

More and more, I have come to love story.

My life story — and other people’s life stories, too.

To be honest, there are times I see someone and, at first, I’m closed to their story. Maybe they seem a little too different from me … and I’m put off. But I’ve learned to say to myself, “This person is made in the image of God,” and doing so opens me to their story.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Writing Your Story as a Spiritual Discipline

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

“I know some of you would rather haul bricks than write, but I think you’ll find these exercises valuable. Definitely not like your old 8th-grade essays.” I looked across the room at the twenty-five or so pairs of eyes fixed on me. Some were curious, others clearly doubtful.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Take the Scary Out of Social Media, Blogging, Branding & Marketing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Things that most writers dread. 
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Branding 
  • Marketing
Many of us thought writing meant . . . well . . . writing. We didn't sign up for adding these additional—often scary—skills to our publishing repertoire. But in today's world, these are necessary to ensure we reach our audience. 

So how does a writer come up to speed on all these additional tools? We can learn as we go, hoping we don't miss anything, or we can build on the experience of others. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Loving the Writing Life

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

As I rushed to a morning meeting, I asked for God’s direction and guidance to help keep my busy writer’s life in balance. I went over all the things that were important to me—meeting deadlines, celebrating family in every way possible, continuing to build relationships with friends making sure there was enough quiet time, doing laundry and cooking meals, sleeping occasionally, and the list could go on.

I knew I was not giving God any new information. He had blessed me with every wonderful item on my list. And I knew He had equipped me with the means and mentality to handle them all. So why did I feel so frequently out of balance?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Growing the Writing Career

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

This post won’t apply to everyone, but it’s one I feel is necessary to a particular group of authors. Those who are published by small houses. 

Let me begin by saying, I work for a small house, and it’s wonderful. We do our best to offer new authors an opportunity at that first published book. Though there are naysayers who advise against publishing with a small house because the sales numbers are small, there are numerous advantages to working with a small publisher.

Monday, October 8, 2018

20 Tips for Writers & Radio Interviews

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to have my friend and fellow author, Peggy Sue Wells on The Write Conversation. Although her post today is technically a guest post, with her expertise, I've persuaded her to become a regular part of our blogging team. Be sure to give her a warm welcome, and note that her book, Homeless for the Holidays is available as a 99cnt ebook today!

20 Tips for Writers & Radio Interviews
by Peggy Sue Wells @PeggySueWells

You've heard of surprise parties? Well, I became the surprise producer for award-winning WBCL's Mid-Morning.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

When Words Hurt

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side I will not be hurt. Psalm 16:8 (International Children’s Bible)

The nasty comment rose like a giant on the screen, threatening me with its cruel fist.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Using Miscommunication in Your Stories

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I was in the kitchen, fixing a sandwich for my son. Well, not exactly a sandwich but a piece of bread slathered with strawberry jam.

Then, I lost my mind. At least, it began to wander off.

Friday, October 5, 2018

An Artist Date: Collage Your Creative Dream (And a Starbucks Giveaway!)

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

There’s little doubt that I’m a Julia Cameron fan. Her book The Artist’s Way impacts my daily creative process. In a previous post, Inviting Your Creative Self on a Date on The Write Conversation, I shared a section of her book that speaks of Artist Dates. Julia asks her students to schedule one Artist Date per week. 

I tell students to seek mystery, not mastery, on their dates. I urge them to explore with childlike wonder rather than adult intellect. Artist Dates are intended to be fun.- Julia Cameron

One of her Artist Date ideas involves creating and designing a dream collage as a visual reminder of our dreams, goals, and priorities. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Ancient Words to Inspire Writers

 by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn
In these posts, I often recommend books on the craft of writing. But this month, I want to recommend a book to you that isn’t about the craft, but that I think could be quite meaningful to you in your life as a writer and creative.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

For Writers, The Lies Your Characters Tell

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer 

Characters lie. To each other, to the reader, to the writer, and most of all, to themselves.

Why? Because they have to, if they’re “real” characters.

When writers create characters, we base them on people we know, or on people we imagine we know. But predominately, we base them on ourselves. And, at some level, we all lie.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Boost Your Writing Creativity with Time Off

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m not always the brightest bulb in the batch, and what others learn quickly sometimes takes years to sink in. But one thing I have learned is this:

Time off is rarely time wasted.

My natural tendency has always been all or nothing. I go and go and go . . . and then I drop. Not really the healthiest way to do life.

Monday, October 1, 2018

9 Scariest Things About Blogging

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It's October and in honor of Halloween, I just couldn't resist a tongue-in-cheek post about something scary. After spending the year traveling and teaching writers about blogging, I have plenty of fears to share. Lest you think this is me pointing fingers, let me reassure you. EVERY single one of the things listed has been something I've done/struggled with at some point. 

Remember, none of us is born knowing how to do this stuff. So lets laugh at our phobias together!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Truth About the Size of Our Prayer Requests

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17

For many years, I prayed and spoke to God from behind a wall of misapprehension. I used to categorize my requests to God into two lists. Those that were big things and those that were small things.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Promoting Your Book Through a Facebook Group

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are a lot of ways to promote our books: 

  • Launch teams (sometimes known as street teams)
  • Paid ads (like BookBub or other outlets)
  • Facebook parties
  • Launch events and signings
  • Interviews
  • Blog posts
The list goes on and on. The question tends to be less about what we CAN do than what we SHOULD do. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Can Only Imagine How God Wants to Use Your Writing

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I hope by now you’ve watched the movie I Can Only Imagine, which tells the story of Bart Millard, MercyMe’s lead singer’s relationship with his father. A hauntingly beautiful tale about pain and forgiveness, the film’s central message displays God’s ability to redeem the most broken situation and soften the hardest hearts. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

When It's Time for a Writer to Refocus

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

As you know from previous posts, I have a heart condition. A serious one. And sometimes it’s tempting to give in to it, to pamper myself, to let it limit my experiences and enjoyment of life. But I don’t. I want to live to the fullest, to enjoy all God has for me. I take care of myself and listen to my wife and the medical team around me so I don’t do stupid. But I won’t let the condition hamper me.

Sometimes, I’ve been tempted to give up on writing because of what seems to be insurmountable obstacles and limitations.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How Do You Write a Character That Shows Sacrifice?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Our characters are plunged into an unsteady world brimming with high stakes and a strong potential for failure. The character chooses to go after a goal or solve a problem and is determined to do whatever it takes to succeed. But does the character understand that determination and commitment mean sacrifices? How far will a hero go to ensure what he/she treasures is happy and safe?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing As the Cure

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

In his book, Unless It Moves the Human Heart, Roger Rosenblatt makes a thought-provoking statement: Writing is the cure for the disease of living.

The book is an exploration into the journey of a class Rosenblatt taught titled “Writing Everything” and these are among the words he spoke to his students.

Monday, September 24, 2018

My 5 Best Tips on Making Memes

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Let’s face it, pictures are worth ... yeah, yeah, a lot. There are many kinds of memes: funny ones, political ones, life commentaries, inspirational ones, and more. But for this post, I’m focusing on book promotion and author promo.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Strong & Sweet: Thoughts on Coffee & Faith

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

For me, coffee isn’t quite strong enough until it holds the spoon up by itself. I like it when it’s somewhere close to chewy. Coffee you can sink your teeth into. That’s perfection.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Writing the Acknowledgements Page of Your Book: The Art of Saying Thank You

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

My mother taught me that when you receive a gift, you must write a thank you note. In fact, I was not being allowed to play or even leave the writing table until my thank you notes were written.

Mother’s advice still holds true: it’s important to say “thank you,” especially once your book is written. You needed the help of others during this experience, and your “Acknowledgements” page should honor all those who supported you in this journey.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Professional Polish for the Indie Publisher 
Step Three: Seek Industry Approval

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

One thing those pesky traditional publishers have that I have always wanted is editorial reviews. But where? How? Kirkus charges indies over $5oo and Romantic Times just closed!

I strongly encourage you to Google the heck out of options, hunting for all of the review sites you can. While hunting for your future reviewers, you can also hunt for contests!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Common Facebook Scams & How to Avoid Them

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media is big business these days. And like anything that involves large amounts of money, there are lots of unscrupulous people trying to cash in. 

While there is no reason to be afraid, we do need to educate ourselves. It’s important that we’re wise in our social media interactions. Today I’m going to share some of the most common scams and some you may not be as aware of.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Write with I-N-S-I-G-H-T

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Takeaway is the heart of our writing. What do you want your readers to take away with them once they’ve read your blog posts, articles, or books? That answer drives every paragraph, molds every sentence, and selects every word.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Writer’s Best Baggage

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Mike and I had arrived at the New Hampshire retreat center as speakers for the week’s Family Camp. While settling into the Lodge I glanced over at a bookshelf full of bound volumes of… what was it? Old copies of InterVarsity’s HIS Magazine from the 70’s and 80’s. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Feeding Their Muse: Authors in the Kitchen

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Years ago when my husband (a polyester-clad, New York City dweller from Queens) asked me (a back-to-the-land, tepee-dwelling ex-hippie) to marry him, I asked him how he felt about dinner. After a moment of stunned silence, he said, “As in eating it?” 

Clearly he was mortified by images of grazing in the garden after a day’s work and would need a properly concocted meal. Over the years, I’ve learned to make some cd’s, as he calls them—culinary delights—although I never acquired an attachment to the kitchen. That’s why I was surprised when a friend said she’d thought of me when she came across a cookbook. Turns out her association was all in the title: Lit A’ La CarteFavorite Recipes of Famous Authors.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

5 Things to Consider When Naming Your Characters

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce guest blogger, Erica Vetsch. She and several other writers (including our own Ane Mulligan) have just written an amazing book on writing, Writing from the Trenches. Be sure to give Erica a warm welcome and check out this newest book on writing. 

5 Things to Consider When Naming Your Characters
by Erica Vetsch @EricaVetsch

Do you struggle to find just the right name for your fictional characters? It can be a challenge, for sure. Sometimes a character springs into your head with all their quirks and abilities and facial features and with their name solidly in place. Other times, you’re piecing together a character through discovery, asking, coaxing, sometimes begging them to reveal themselves, their personality, and their name.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Create Rich Characters by Tapping into Your Past

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

“Oh Agnes, oh my soul, so may thy face be by me when I close my life indeed; so may I, when realities are melting from me, like the shadows which I now dismiss, still find thee near me, pointing upward.” 

Charles Dickens penned these poignant words in what some say was his veiled autobiography, David Copperfield. The character Agnes was based on the love of his life, Mary Hogarth, who died at age seventeen in Dickens’s arms. His lost love plagued his dreams and thoughts his entire life and sought restitution in his writing.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hard Choices All Writers Must Face

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

True confession time.

Writing is both the thing I love best and the thing I hate most.

When the words flow, it’s heaven on earth. When they stutter to a halt, the opposite is true. And the truth is, both of these circumstances are a regular part of the writer’s life.

We write when we feel like, and when we don’t; when we’re inspired, and when we’re not. Most of all we write because we have to. Putting words on paper is life to some of us and an addiction without a recovery group.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Writers Have to Be Jugglers: Tips for Managing Multiple Projects at Once

Edie here. Today I want to give a shout out to Linda Gilden and her co-author, Linda Goldfarb. Their newest book, LINKED Quick Guide to Personalities: Maximizing Life Connections One Link at a Time, just won first place in the Golden Scroll awards. I want to say, CONGRATULATION!

Writers Have to be Jugglers
by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Even if writers maintain a strict schedule and finite office hours, part of almost every day will include juggling. Why?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Immeasurable Power in You as a Writer

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

You are not alone in this venture to become a writer. You don't have the privilege to whine and whimper that writing is hard or no one wants your work. Get over it. You're not alone.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Basics of Successful Blogging

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love to blog, and I try to share my love of blogging when I teach at writing conferences.

I also know that many of you aren’t such fans. Many try to love blogging because it’s a good way to connect with readers and build an online presence. Others, don’t even try to love it, but do it out of necessity. The rest are like me, and enjoy the process as well as the connections it brings.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Created for Truth

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” 2 Corinthians 11:3. 

“You are alone.” “You are not enough.” “There is no place for you in this world.” 

These are difficult words, yes? They represent exclusion, rejection, and pain. Some of us have heard these words, or some similar, spoken directly to us from those we believed cared about us. Others have heard these words in their own minds and hearts, coming from a place deeply buried and hidden. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Never Walk Back

by BethVogt @BethVogt

Progress is not about how fast you are going, but it is most definitely about forward motion.

We almost always equate progress with success — although sometimes that is debatable — and sometimes we also believe success has to happen quickly. Hence, the term “overnight success,” which is an oxymoron in itself.

Friday, September 7, 2018

6 Ways Creative Writing Prompts Can Move You Toward Your Goal

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Is your muse in need of a little nudging? 

I admit to not always seeing the value of writing prompts. I want what writing time I have to count toward a specific project. Only recently have I begun to see their truth worth. 

In a matter of minutes, writing prompts can help spark our imagination, free our mind, and jumpstart our creativity. They pack a punch!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Soul Care When You're Weary

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’m coming off an intense writing season and I’m drained in every imaginable way.

So the timing couldn’t have been better for me to get my hands on my friend (and the wonder woman who runs The Write Conversation) Edie Melson’s latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary.

The idea behind this book is that in a world where our margin for recovering is shrinking (or nonexistent) and peace is elusive we all need a way to be refreshed at the soul level.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Art of Writing Intimacy, Part 2

by Sarah Greene Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

In Part One, we discussed the natural, normal way that humans express intimacy. But fiction is a little different, not because we don’t follow the same steps in our writing, but because we show it differently on the page. And also in fiction, it’s not only about physical intimacy. It’s about how characters are introduced to each other and how they feel about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

7 Book Marketing Secrets Every Author Needs to Know

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This year I launched two books and signed a contract for four more in the next two year. Over the course of my career I have published through big publishers and through smaller, traditional presses. 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 2, 2018

Seeking Great Things—Thoughts on Faith, Writing & Marketing

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them (Jeremiah 45:5, NKJV).

Alone with the Lord, tucked away in the secret place of solitary worship, His words come to me like dancing light, filling my soul with indescribable gladness and satisfaction. Like a fragrant, freshly baked pound cake out of my great-grandmother’s oven, they beg to be shared. I run with them, out to the crowds, proffering my gift for all who will indulge.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Stay on Track with Your Writing When Chaos Descends

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

September has arrived. In the air, there’s the sense of pumpkin spice and cooler weather.

Where has the summer gone? All the plans, the trips, the whole family gathering together and connecting. Okay, that last one was a bit much.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bullet Journaling for Writers

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There’s a new organizational craze making its way around the world—Bullet Journaling. This process was created several years ago by Ryder Carroll as a way to “Track Your Past, Order Your Present, Plan Your Future.” I highly recommend watching this short video that explains the bullet journaling process. 

Below is the video I made to introduce you to my bullet journal. Further down is a list of Bullet Journal basics, along with a list of resources, websites, and Instagram accounts. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Lessons to Learn From Writing Mistakes & Failures

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I haven’t met a single person who enjoys making a mistake or failing in some way. 

I certainly don’t. 

But I’ve learned to look at certain mistakes & failures from a slightly different perspective. 

That change has helped me continue to grow and blossom in an industry that can be brutal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: The Moment that We Soar

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

In her book, The Writing Life, Annie Dillard penned these words:

Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all your intelligence. It is life at its most free. Your freedom as a writer is not freedom of expression in the sense of wild blurting; you may not let rip. It is life at its most free, if you are fortunate enough to be able to try it …

A few days ago I took a few moments to chat with a fellow author. We had no agenda. We were not trying to encourage each other or critique each other or any of the other things that takes place when writers manage to find the time to chat. We were simply talking.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Writer's Job is to Help Readers Experience Fiction

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

We’ve all read novels that held us tightly engaged from page one to “The End.” Then we’ve read others that while good, we could read a chapter and put it down. There can be various reasons, but I believe when we can experience the story not just read it, we overlook a multitude of possible problems.