Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How to P.R.E.P. for a Great Writing Fall!

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Summer 2018 will soon be only a memory… Labor Day will have come and gone.  Whether you are back into the routine of filling backpacks and lunchboxes or at the stage of filling your calendar with work or volunteering, FALL can be a season of fresh beginnings. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Is Building a Social Media Platform Worth the Effort?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media. Often just the mention of this subject conjures up hours of time. First there’s the time it takes to hang out online, then the time it takes to figure out what to say, who to LIKE and which updates to comment on, share and even retweet.

All for what?

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The breath of God in our Lives

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations . . . God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. Genesis 17:5, 15

So often we become God’s children, long before we allow Him to breathe life into our lives. Our hearts belong to him, but we often resist the changes He wants to make in us.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Radiance of the Humble Writer

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The writing life is often one of solitude as we barricade ourselves behind closed doors and weave words into story. If we stay in our writing cave too long without social interaction, we run the risk of what I call the hibernation syndrome. We grow inactive and our mind turns to mush. We’ve used our stored energy and need to escape to enjoy a meal of sumptuous literary food.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tips to Organize Your Writing Life

I don’t care if you’re a freelance writer, nonfiction writer, novelists or something of a hybrid. The truth is that you have to wear a lot of hats to find publishing success. You have to be able to write on a deadline, plan marketing campaigns, utilize social media, and of course, write.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tips for Creating Meaningful Takeaway for Your Reader

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

We buy books because we’re hungry—hungry for a good story, hungry for an encouraging message.

When I consider buying a nonfiction book, I read the back cover and flip through the pages looking for the takeaway. What good things can I “take away” from this book? What message, hope, or practical advice does the author share? I also find out whether the author has a conversational voice and good lead-ins. (For that last one, it’s the writer in me kicking into gear.) But I care the most about the takeaway. Do you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What You Can Do for Writing Conference Faculty

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I’m tired. Really tired. But it’s a good kind of tired. Conference season is over for me. After eleven conferences (and 12k logged miles), some back-to-back, my suitcase is finally emptied and stored in its place. As I climbed the ladder to store the suitcase, I found myself a little sad that it’s done for the year.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Plotting Your Social Media Course: Know Where You Are & Where You Want to Go

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

When I teach social media, I encourage people to relax and not take on too much at once.So today I want to back up and start at the very beginning. Because social media can reach millions, it’s way too easy to think of it as mass marketing. In reality it’s about one-on-one relationships.

That is the beauty and the dichotomy of the medium. It can be overwhelming—this building relationships with millions—especially when our goal is writing, not advertising. Now the good news: social media is not as difficult as it seems.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Go. Write. Love.

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

Do you know that what you do matters? 

Do you understand that the way our Father speaks through you is unique? That there is no one else who can carry his message and his love like you can? 

I want you to hold that idea in your mind as you read today’s story. What you do makes a difference. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Take Another Look

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

My husband and I delved into photography the past few years. You can credit our interest to a couple of different things.

The first would be my personal blog. Yes, that blog is all about quotes, but I pair the quotes with images, preferably my own. And now, whenever my husband Rob goes snowshoeing or backpacking or fishing, he takes along a camera and promises, “I’ll bring back some photos for you!”

Friday, August 10, 2018

Stealth Words: A Writer’s Overlooked Weapon

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

The title did it. Compelled me to halt the project I was intent on and head straight to the library. I was familiar with The Secret Life of Beesand The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but The Secret Life of Pronouns?What on earth could these unremarkable little words be doing behind the scenes that warranted such attention? 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

How Drinking Enough Water can Impact Your Writing Life

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to a woman who inspires me. Not only is she inspiring me to move into a healthier lifestyle, she's an incredible writer. Her latest book,
7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, is already dog-eared and well-loved. I asked her to come on The Write Conversation and give us some tips to write healthy. So give her a warm welcome (and check out her book).

How Drinking Enough Water can Impact Your Writing Life
by Susan Neal @SusanNealYoga 

It is hot this summer, so it is essential to stay hydrated. However, we shouldn’t appease our thirst with sugar-sweetened beverages because they fog up the clarity of a writer’s mind. Instead, we should drink the fluid God gave us—water. Our bodies desperately need water to flush out the toxins and prevent dehydration. Also, you will have more energy to write when you consume an adequate amount of water. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Fleshing out Article Ideas – One at a Time

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

When pondering one great writing idea what’s the best thing to do? Turn it into many ideas!

Last month I talked about choosing ideas form the millions that are constantly circulating around us in Swimming in a Sea of Article Ideas. But once you “grab” one of those ideas and decide that will be your next writing topic, why not turn it into multiple articles.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Launch Teams –10 Activities to Keep Your Team Engaged

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

All summer we’ve been talking about book launch teams—how to choose members, design your team, and stay sane in the process. With pumpkin spice lattes just a few weeks away, it’s time to wrap up. But now that you have this fabulous book launch team, what do you do with it? How do you motivate your team members, sell your books, and create raving fans in the process?

Monday, August 6, 2018

How to Find Your Social Media Easy Button

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social Media—so vital and yet so frustrating.

As of this moment, there are 200+ social networking sites out there. If you do a search for the top sites, you’ll get listings of anywhere from 7 to 20.

And none of those numbers is manageable when it comes to building a viable online presence.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Words in the Windstorm

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Have windy words no limit? Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?(Job 16:3, NRSV)

The wind along the shore was relentless. We were vacationing on a narrow barrier island off the shore of North Carolina, a wild and uninhabited place, its rustic cabins offering a view of the sea in front and grassy inlets behind. The constant, untamed wind gave our getaway a sense of thrill and adventure for the first two days. By the third morning, however, we were battered and weary. We could not hear each other speak over the howling. We could not easily walk along the beach against its pummeling. We certainly could not build a fire or grill out. We could not relax outside. Discouraged, we withdrew indoors while the wind howled on relentlessly.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Writing From Challenging Times

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Last month, I wrote about the different means available to us for telling a story. My post last month is How Can I Tell My Story?

This time, I want to look at sharing a story that comes from pain, from the heartbreaks in our lives. Whether it’s Alzheimer’s, divorce, loss of a loved one, etc., life is full of times that challenge us. And it is often these stories that we feel compelled to share.

Friday, August 3, 2018

How the Batching Method Inspires Writing Creativity

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. As a result, it increases your productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness, while decreasing fatigue, procrastination, and stress. Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion. – Michael Hyatt

The method of batching is relatively new to me so perhaps together we can learn a few ways to give it a try.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Connection Between Rest & Word Count

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Take a break.

As you read these words, I will be chilling out on a beach enjoying a long-anticipated, and—dare I say it—much deserved vacation.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Art of Writing Intimacy, Part 1

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Intimacy. What a suggestive word. It immediately brings up images of satin sheets, steamy love songs and sweaty bodies.

But that’s not all of it. In fact, love-making is only one aspect of intimacy and may even have nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Steampunk Fable & a Giveaway!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today, my new Steampunk novel is free on kindle. 

Here's what readers are saying:

"A superb retelling of Robin Hood--steampunk style! Edie brings the beloved characters to life in a whole new way that will keep readers feverishly turning the pages to find out what happens next. I can't wait for the next in the series!"

"A steampunk fable at its finest. Melson is a master craftsman in her action-packed spin with Maid Marion and Robin Hood at the helm."

"Edie Melson's steampunk adventure kept me turning pages long after I should have called my lady's maid to help me prepare for dinner. There wasn't enough tea in all of England to settle my nerves as Marion and Robin first matched wits with each other and then joined forces to stop a horrific evil from taking over the land. Maiden of Iron is a must-read for fans of the steampunk genre and a perfect first foray for those new to it."

Leave a comment below telling me that you shared the info and I'll enter you into a drawing for one of TWO $25 Amazon gift cards! This contest is open through Friday (August 3). I'll announce the winners on Saturday (August 4)

With links to the book on Amazon:
A rollicking #Steampunk retelling of Robin Hood, #Free on Kindle - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

#Steampunk & Robin Hood - a fantastic adventure and #Free today on Kindle - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Link to this blog:
Share the info about @EdieMelson's new #Steampunk fable (free on kindle) & be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card (click to Tweet)

Maiden of Iron
Marion Ravenswood’s brother is killed in a duel fighting for her honor. Their father, the Engineering Guildmaster, withdraws and refuses to speak with anyone.

Marion must now save the guild’s children and reclaim the family honor. She dons the persona of the Maiden of Iron to right wrongs not of her making.

But will a chance encounter with the prince of thieves be an answered prayer, or will he just steal her heart and abandon them all?

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Maiden-Iron-Steampunk-Edie-Melson-ebook/dp/B07CWH5NZG/

Monday, July 30, 2018

10 Ways to Wreck Your Social Media Presence

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For writers today, an online presence can mean the difference between success and failure. But if we’re not doing it right, we may be our own worst enemy. 

10 Ways to Wreck Your Social Media Presence 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sandal-ready Feet & Walking in Faith

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

How beautiful are the feet of the one who brings good news…Isaiah 52:7

Now that we’re deep into summer, I’ve finally gotten my feet sandal-worthy. And believe me, it’s not been an easy task. I tend to have very dry skin and the winter season, with the dry heat that comes with keeping the temperature comfortable indoors, wreaks havoc on my feet.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Summertime . . . and the writing is easy?

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

It’s summertime. Vacations. Picnics. Days at the lake. 

Thoughts tend to drift toward leisure activities, knowing that “back to school” season is just around the corner.

So, is summertime a good time to write? Or is it the time to replenish and restore one’s soul?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Living Revved Up & Learning to Slow Down

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Do you ever get the feeling life is running out of control and you’re racing like a car in the Indy 500? And falling further behind the rest of the cars no matter how fast you go? And your pit crew looks like the Three Stooges on steroids?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

For Writers: How to Ask Your Character Hard Questions

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Some of our character’s traits are easy to discover. Physical description, food preference, a career choice, favorite color or food, wants, goals, and other basic attributes that can be revealed in a non-threatening manner. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Today is my Birthday, My Character Wrote

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I recently taught a continuing fiction class at St. David’s Christian Writers Conference, which is held each June at Grove City College, a picturesque institution of higher learning tucked along the eastern border of Grove City, Pennsylvania. Participants—limited to eight—were to bring the first thousand words of their work in progress (WIP) as well as a letter from their protagonist to whomever. The letter should begin, I instructed them, with Today is my birthday … Who the character writes the letter to is entirely up to the individual writer, I said. 

Monday, July 23, 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. 

So how do we get a book that offers an experience? By taking a lesson from a layer cake.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

There are comforters, then there’s THE Comforter

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Never scrimp on an electric blanket. Electrical currents on top of your body. While you’re sleeping. Think about it. Also, if the lights flicker when you plug it in and you smell bacon you should probably forget the whole thing and just get a Snuggie. Or also if you wake up in a morning and find it melted into a puddle of liquid wool and smoking wires. Snuggie. If you hear sizzling at any time. Snuggie.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Embracing the New Normal

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The ringing phone woke me from a sound sleep. The caller ID flashed bright in the darkness. It was from the memory care assisted-living, where my husband had been for three months. The voice on the other end was somber. “Your husband has collapsed and is unresponsive. We’ve called EMS.” After a pause she added, “But he’s breathing.” 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Professional Polish for the Indie Publisher, Step One

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

One of my “made it moments” in indie publishing was the first message I got from an author asking if Proverbs 31 House Publishing was accepting submissions. It’s not. It’s barely even taking my own work. But I knew when I got that message that I was managing to make books that felt like “real” books to other authors. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

For the Love of Reading: How Books Shaped My Destiny

Edie here. I know how much you love hearing from this Great American Author. Today he's sharing a video that I know will inspire us all!

For the Love of Reading: How Books Shaped My Destiny
By Warren Adler @WarrenAdler

For the love of reading: how books shaped my destiny - @WarrenAdler (Click to Tweet)

Warren Adler is the author of The Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries series and his stand-alone cozy mystery, Flanagan’s Dolls. You can learn more about Warren’s popular titles here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Would Your First Lines Sell Your Book?

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

If someone read the first line of each paragraph in your book, would they buy it? I tried that exercise once, afraid of the answer. It taught me to pay closer attention to my paragraphs. Each line that begins a paragraph is like one of those people who are hired to stand on a corner and hold a sign that says: Come visit so-and-so. Except, your first lines hold an invisible sign that says: Keep reading! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What Can Happen with Your Writing One Year from Now?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Whoever invented the phrase “the wind rustling through the leaves” obviously sat on this screen porch in these woods. The breeze is so cool, the leaves are dancing, the birds are singing, and I am remembering one year ago when I sat right here and asked God to guide my writing of a new book.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Don't Break Up with Social Media—8 Tips That Help You Stay Committed

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all know it’s important for writers to have a solid presence online. 

But many of us struggle with Social Media commitment issues. We have good intentions, but our follow-through may be less than stellar. 

So today I’d like to share some tips to help you stay on track.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Baggage or Luggage—Which Am I Carrying?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble forgiving myself. For some reason I expect a level of perfection from myself that I would never expect from someone else.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Embracing My Story

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

My friend, Sherrinda, recommended the book The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. (I’m not going to comment on his wonderful middle name—Raphael—at this point. But I mean … really … Raphael.)

One thing Sherrinda said was how she was underlining the book like crazy.

So I bought the book … and I am doing the same thing. McManus’s book just breathes truth to my thirsty soul.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Am I Purposed to Write?

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

I like to encourage people, to inspire them by sharing examples of others who have done something of interest. But today, I’m taking the “misery loves company” approach for those of you who may have returned from a conference high in hopes but are now scraping bottom, or those of you who can’t get even your mother to buy your book. Take heart. Here’s what a few giants who have trod that road before you have to say:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What to do When I Don't Feel Like Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love writing. And I love talking about writing.

Sitting around with other writers, discussing all things literary is one of my favorite things. It’s one of the reasons I love attending writing conferences.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Swimming in a Sea of Article Ideas

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Recently I attended a swim meet to watch some of the grandchildren. Chatting with a few friends between events, someone asked, “How do you find ideas to write about?”

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Novels are Way More than Just Writing a Story

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I’ve been writing seriously for the better part of fifteen years, and I still love to sit at the feet of those who are successful and pick their brains. They offer valuable guidance. When a new writer hands me a manuscript it’s easy to see their passion for the story. The concept is good, and they have an idea where the story should go, but as I begin to read, things start to fall apart.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Serendipity of Hope

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

When the unexpected becomes the serendipitous we rejoice. We are glad and our hearts are grateful. When our spirits are fragile, the smallest of blessings can overrun us with their beauty and our sense of sentimentality boldly presents itself. Tears of gratitude are evidence of its effect on us. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

How Can I Tell My Story?

By Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I love watching the expressions on people’s faces when I tell them I’m a writer. Most people have heard of such people but have never knowingly met one. Usually there’s acknowledgement, sometimes they ask questions, and, occasionally, they will stop and say, “You know, I’ve thought about writing. How can I tell my story?”

Friday, July 6, 2018

Make Your Creative Juices Sizzle with a Summer Day Trip

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Summertime offers a plethora of opportunities for us to explore, learn, and hone our writing skills. Intentionality is the key, unlocking the power of creativity to sizzle through our stories. 

It’s no secret that our brain re-engages when faced with new experiences, so today I’d like to encourage you to plan a day trip. The only caveat is that this destination must be a place you’ve never visited before. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

When Your Writing Conference Doesn’t Go the Way You Planned

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I love writing conferences. I love attending them, and I love teaching at them. 

No two events are exactly the same. Even the same conference will have a different feel from one year to the next. Some years, I look back and see them as crucial networking years. Some years they are fun. Some years are educational and informative. All are important in their own way. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Triangle of Structure Part 3

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Part Three - the Black Moment
The Black Moment is the third and final structural element of our Triangle. It‘s also called the crisis or the emotional climax. I like to call it the 'all is lost' moment, since it's where the protagonist has the absolutely toughest decision in the world to make. How will he decide between what he wants and what's right? Will she hold onto her original goal if it causes her to lose what she now wants? This last decision has to hurt and has to matter. Be mean! Even if you don't want to torture your character!