Sunday, December 9, 2018

Reflecting on Blessings

By Sarah Van Diest

“True beauty must be able to engage the dark desolations of pain; perhaps it is on this frontier that its finest light appears?” John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

There was so much I could write that day. I could write on being home after a trip to visit our son in Italy. I could write about Christmas just around the corner. I could write about one of our five sons who turns 18 in a few days, entering adulthood. I could write about freedom and life juxtaposed with law and death as depicted in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Seriously. There is so much I could write about. Friendship and love. Hope in sorrow. God’s faithfulness. Thankfulness. Wisdom. Passion. Forgiveness. Grace.

How do we choose, dear ones, what to write on when our hearts are full? How can we select one blessing over another and proclaim it to be superior simply by the act of choosing it? How do we not, when our hearts run over, spend our entire day with our eyes heavenward praising our Father? Or maybe we do just that.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Benefit of Disappointments

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Disappointments are unavoidable in life. The question is, what will we get out of our disappointments? How, as Thoreau puts it, shall we be compensated by the discouragements that come our way?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Three Creative Ways to Use Your Gift of Writing this Christmas

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Anyone can purchase a Lowes gift card for Christmas. Or perhaps, a handcrafted petal-soft infinity scarf the color of sea glass. I’m sorry, was that too specific? 

But you, my fellow writer, can create one-of-a-kind gifts with the swipe of your hand or a tap on the keys. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

5 Writing Life Lessons Learned by Choosing an Orthodontist

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’m a firm believer that you can learn lessons about your writing life anywhere—as long as you’re paying attention.Case in point? I got the idea for this blog post from taking my oldest to three different orthodontists. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Subtext for Writers, Part 1 - What Lies Beneath

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Subtext? What the heck is subtext? You use some innuendos and a few mixed signals and you're good, right? 

Well, not so much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

Stay off the Social Media Naughty List with this Fun Quiz

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I know, nothing like a pop quiz to get us all in the holiday spirit. But don't click away too soon. This quiz is designed to help you evaluate where you are with building an online platform. 

I hope you enjoy my impromptu quiz. To stay on Santa’s nice list, no cheating allowed. 

Take the quiz first, then look at the answers below.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Battered Briefcase of Words

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

It was days before Christmas, but you would never know it to look around the village. Mud huts formed a semi-circle around a huge baobab tree, our little house shyly standing off to the edge. There was no electricity in this remote area of the East African bush to brighten strings of holiday lights, no Christmas trees dotting the landscape. There were barely any trees at all other than the ancient, knobby sentinel in the center of the compound. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Does it Matter Whether You’re a Pantser or a Plotter When You Write?

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I am beginning to plan my next book. My fifth.

By this time, you would think I’d have a process down and could just start the writing machine, right?

Except, for me, there is no one process. Each of my books has come together in a different way. Some of those ways I don’t want to go through again.

Friday, November 30, 2018

What's the Value in a Critique Group or Writing Partner?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I field a lot of questions about the value of having a critique group and/or partner. There are as many answers as there are writers. But there are very few who are able to produce publishable writing in a vacuum.

For me personally, I wouldn’t be where I am today as a writer if wasn’t for the groups who have nurtured me along the way.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Would You Nominate Us for the Top 101 Websites for Writers?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Well it's that time of year again. I'm asking for your help to get The Write Conversation recognized as on of the Writer's Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. 

This year it takes a little more work to nominate a site. You have to sign in on the Writer's Digest website to leave a comment and nominate a site. Here's the direct link to the post where you nominate a site:

They do offer another option to nominate a site. You can tweet them using the hashtag #WebsitesforWriters

Below is a TWEETABLE that you can share if you prefer that method:

Whether we win or not, I want to thank you for being the BEST writing community on the web!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Does Social Media Sell Books?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Whenever I speak about the value of social media, writers groan, frown, and complain. Too many writers are not willing to get past the learning curve needed to develop their brand. My response is always a focus on a writer’s life requiring flexibility to learn craft, marketing, publishing, and branding. If a new technique in the writing world emerged, we’d find a way to master it. So an open mind and a great attitude will help us acquire the skills needed to develop our online presence.

I think we’re asking the wrong question.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Profile of the Lukewarm Writer

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I love hot baths, especially when a thick layer of soapy, sweet-scented bubbles are added to the mix. During said bath, if the water begins to turn tepid, I reach my toe up, kick the hot water on, wait for it … wait for it … and when the water is perfect again, I turn the water off. 

Lukewarm baths are for fever reductions, not for relaxing with a good book, I say.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Literary Theft – The Value of Reinventing for Writers

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

I read an article on literary theft, and in it, the author said, “Don’t steal ... reinvent.” Then on Friday, Nov 8th, Marcia Moston posted “Steal Like an Artist.” Marcia’s post was focused on learning from others. This post is from a different perspective. 

Since all of us get inspired by stories, characters, and the worlds they live in, let’s tap into those gems – make them ours. The value in literary theft is knowing what to steal and then how to do it. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

God Is in Control Even When Life Feels Sketchy—Or Etch-a-Sketchy

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

I was working on a book in a wild fury. My fingers had been flying across the keyboard for the better part of an afternoon. I was in the zone, man. The. Zone. Which was great since the deadline was inching nearer. I say inching. More like barreling. Like a locomotive.

If we’ve met, you know that procrastination is how I roll. Or inch. Or loco…mote? Heavy on the loco. I lean into that panic-driven rush of adrenaline. I’m pretty sure I do my best writing when I’m just this side of hyperventilation.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Better Connection with the Reader by Writing Around the White Space

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

White space is negative space. The part left blank. The space between the elements.

In the graphic arts, white space is an integral component of the design. In music, the rests between the notes creates space and clarity. In speaking, the use of the pause allows the listener to grasp the punchline or the moral of the story.

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Writer’s Unlikely Thanksgiving List

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Lord, James 1:17 reminds me, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights . . .”, so it’s fitting to thank you during this season set aside for thanksgiving.

Some gifts are easy to recognize, because it’s obvious they come from you. “Good and perfect” make them pretty easy to spot.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Write Conversation!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Hidden Connection Between Writer and Reader

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Squeals erupted in the backyard. Lucy Shepherd took another sip of hot chocolate, and swiveled her computer chair to look out the window of her study.

“I should be out there with them,” she mumbled, “not stuck in here in front of this computer screen.”

Falling leaves encircled her two redheaded girls as they ran through a pile of leaves they had created. Pure joy. No worries. No deadlines. No blog posts. Lucy began her pity party chant.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What I Learned When My Dreams Were Shattered…

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Imagine my surprise when, at age fourteen, I actually got to meet my idol – Hayley Mills! 

We were both aboard the final voyage of that great ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth I. It was a heady moment, I assure you. And, of course I have an old-fashioned “selfie” to commemorate it.

Monday, November 19, 2018

7 Ways to Use Bookmarks for Marketing Your Book

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Bookmarks are inexpensive and make great marketing tools. Each one is a blank canvas that you design to showcase you, your books, and your brand or services. Plan the content carefully to get the best mileage out of it. That can vary depending on how you will use the bookmarks.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Writer, Even in the Silence

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to another regular contributor. In addition to be a good friend, Tammy Karasek is an experienced editor and writer. Her insight and humor are a huge blessing in my life and I know she will bless you as well!

A Writer, Even in the Silence
by Tammy Karasek @tickledpinktam 

There are times as a writer that we can feel at a total loss for words. Have you experienced this? As a lover of words, this can make us wonder or doubt if we are in the correct field. We want to write, but we sit in silence.    

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Time Out for Thanksgiving

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In the south, we always have meat and two vegetables for supper, one green and one yellow. Potatoes don’t count. Of course, no meal would be complete without something sour. Pickled beets, peaches, or watermelon rind will do nicely. On Thanksgiving, however, our repertoire expands like our bellies. On that grand day diets are ignored along with my brother’s corny jokes and Uncle Ferd’s unpopular political views.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Aren’t All Indie Books Bad?

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#2 in a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking. Below is a link to the rest of the posts in this series:

Indie Author: If I indie publish people will know I couldn’t get a book deal, and if they know that, they will think my book is bad, plus, there are a mcBillion terrible indie books out right now---way more than there are good ones, so everyone will think my book is terrible. And it probably is. I’m going to burn my computer now, forget I said anything at all. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tips to Stay Physically Active When Writing

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS 

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. However, how can you exercise when you are sitting on your behind writing? This post provides tips about how to add movement into a writer’s daily routine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When is Permission to Quote Necessary for Writers?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Who doesn’t love a good quote? After all, why should we try to put into words something that someone else has eloquently said? As writers, we are always looking for and finding good quotes to strengthen our books and articles. Using someone else’s words brings credibility to our work. But when is it necessary to ask permission to use a sentence or two from someone else in our writing?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It’s Time to Stop Preaching—and Writing—to the Choir

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

We’re preaching to the choir and it’s time to look past that and venture into the world. Why? It’s easy. The world needs us. People outside the church, need to be reminded of who Christ is.

It’s time Christian authors begin to focus on the general market non-Christian reader and start to gently teach a Christian World View. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Walking Through the Writing Door

Edie here. Today,
I'm excited to introduce you to an amazing young woman. Paige Snedeker is an author, illustrator and speaker. She does all of this in spite of the fact that she suffers from a rare neuromuscular disorder called Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency (RTD) Type 2, which has caused her to be deaf, legally blind, confined to a wheelchair and dependent on breathing assistance. 

I've known Paige for several years and I'm proud to call her my friend. This month her foundation is raising money and awareness for RTD. When I found out, I insisted she come on as a guest. I know you'll be blessed by her post and hope you'll give her a warm TWC welcome. Be sure to visit her website and find out how you can help cure RTD.

Walking Through the Writing Door
by Paige Snedeker @paige_project 

“...for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
1 Corinthians 16:9 ESV

Sunday, November 11, 2018

God Created You to Be You

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

As my thoughts meandered around this past month, they took an odd turn. It’s not that this kind of thing doesn’t go on in my mind all the time, because frankly it does, but it usually doesn’t make its way to paper. The level of “spiritual insight” may be lacking, at least in the up-front reading of it, and I’m not going to force any great pearls of wisdom to be born from this non-oyster. The only thing I will say is that God has implanted in each of us a creative and unique spirit. The beauty, splendor and majesty of our Father is revealed when we allow our individuality to show; when His workmanship stands in the sun and reflects Him to those who would see.  

As a writer and editor, my mind needs to be “on,” but sometimes I can’t seem to find that button. Perhaps you can relate. This is what flumped out of me one day this month as I fumbled around trying to find the ON button.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Best Advice

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I think the encouragement to keep reading is good advice for anyone, don’t you? I certainly never lack for books to read … and while sometimes I just read for pleasure, there are certain books that have influenced me greatly, changing my thoughts about life and about myself.

There are any number of quotes about advice:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Steal Like An Artist and Learn from the Best

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

I teach a class called Steal Like An Artist, a title I promptly stole after reading Austin Kleon’s book with the same name. We study examples of good writing, some to model, some to simply admire in hopes there’s such a thing as learning by literary osmosis. Although I know there’s a lot to learn from reading bad writing, I seldom use it as an example. It’s a philosophy I adopted a long time ago after reading a response Mark Twain gave to a question about his river piloting days.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

How Eavesdropping Can Improve Your Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I read somewhere once that good dialogue is a conversation with the boring parts taken out. I completely agree. Just record and transcribe a normal conversation and you’ll see that it isn’t all that interesting to read without a lot of judicious editing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tips for Writing Powerful Scenes

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Isn’t that what we all strive for? We all want the ability to write a scene that engulfs our reader with cathartic emotion, one that makes them laugh or cry, and hopefully, read the next one, right? A scene that is so powerful that we want to run to the top of Rocky’s steps and hold our arms up in jubilation?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Diet for Writing Dynamic Dialogue

by Peggy Sue Wells @PeggySueWells

Like delicious desserts, dialogue is often a reader’s favorite part of a story. We quote great dialogue for generations.

“Off with her head!” – Lewis Carroll.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill.

“There’s so much scope for imagination.” Lucy Maud Montgomery.

“It’s me again, Hank the Cowdog.” John Erickson.

“Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” – Jesus Christ.

Dialogue is what characters say. Powerful stories are dialog driven through carefully chosen word selections. When Scrooge responds to Christmas cheer with “Bah, humbug,” Charles Dickens has masterfully portrayed the old man’s attitude and character in two words. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Get Your Social Media Ready for the Holidays

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I know it's just the beginning of November, but the holiday season is just around the season.  I'm not advocating rushing the season, but if we take time to get ready now, it can cut down on the stress that can come during the holidays. 

So now is the perfect time to get your social media ready for the holidays.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Unfolded Words

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130, NIV

She withdrew the folded piece of paper from her pocket with reverence. Handing it to my husband, the young mother swelled with hope, her face broadening with expectation. The edges of the paper were fuzzied and the well-worn surface felt like soft cloth. Unfolding it, careful not to tear the fragile creases, he read the words inside aloud.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

How To Finish: Three Hurdles Every Writer Must Overcome

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I was so excited about doing this post. I’d just completed the climax for my work-in-progress and it looked like I would be writing those beautiful words, The End, just as I would start writing this post. It was all going so well, until . . .

It wasn’t.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Feed Your Writing Creativity in Five Easy Bites

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

No doubt there will be a lot of feasting happening later this month, so today I’m serving up five bite-sized morsels to fill your creativity tank. The turkey and dressing will just have to wait!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Called to Create

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Called to Create has been on my radar—and my desk—for months. 

Even before I turned to the first page, I knew I was going to enjoy this book. The premise was intriguing. Friends have read and recommended it. I expected to jump in and finish it off in a week.

It’s been closer to four months. 

When I found myself digging around my desk for a highlighter after reading the first paragraph of the introduction, I knew this wasn’t going to be a quick read.Called to Create has been the kind of book where I’ve found myself needing to read a few pages and then let them swirl in my brain before coming back to read a few more.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tips to Turn Off Your Internal Editor in Time for NaNoWriMo

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I'm going to share some insights I've gleaned about writing a first draft.

I’ve spoken with a lot of writers who have trouble disconnecting their INTERNAL EDITOR when they're working on an early draft of a manuscript. 

This overly helpful person lives inside most of us and comes in handy when we’re putting the finishing touches on our manuscript. But when we’re in the midst of a creative surge, that same person can short circuit our progress.

Today's post will give you the tips you need to turn off your internal editor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes with These 7 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we know that inspiration is a fickle thing. And while we all need to keep writing whether we’re inspired or not, that rush of creativity is nice. What's not nice is not being ready.

There's nothing as disheartening as those times happens when inspiration strikes and we’re not ready to capitalize on it. So today I’m going to help you be ready. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Don't Ever Be Scared of Running Out of Writing Ideas Again

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

For me, one of the scariest things of being a writer is when I’m out of ideas. Today’s post should take care of that—at least for November!

Take your future inspiration for today's post and turn to the calendar when ideas are running low. Whether you're looking for a unique article idea to pitch to a magazine, a blog post or a social media update that gets everyone's attention you can find a wealth of ideas in the calendar. Today's list of November holidays isn't just fun to read, they’re also a great way to jumpstart creativity and a fun writing prompt idea. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Finishing Well - And the Gravity of the Situation

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

There are several reasons I’ll never skydive. I’ll give you my top two. First, I’ve seen videos of people skydiving. Skydiver’s faces? They…flutter.Sometimes wildly. I’m telling you now, I do not need to see my face crazy-flapping over my ears, thank you. That kind of wind velocity is just not meant for faces over 40. You can end up looking like a basset hound pup. One with its head out a car window. Multiplied by how ever many years you are over 40.

I’m not daring enough to sass the math. Gravity plus wind velocity times the number of years over 40. It’s an equation that equals: ew. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tips for Writing in Community

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Writing can be an extremely solitary activity. Yet, I believe that the most successful authors work in community with others in order to achieve their results.

Friday, October 26, 2018

How to Guarantee Your Success as a Writer

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Never were truer words penned than these ancient words from the prophet Isaiah. And if you’re a writer with the call of God on your life, these words are especially true for you.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Can Books Change Lives?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Can books changes lives? We all know the Bible can.

But what about fiction?

Thinking back on my own reading experiences, I would have to say yes. Reading awakens me to the beauty and strength of words and stories. Stories transport me to worlds I never knew and other places I have no way of knowing. They open my eyes to the ways of people of different cultures and time periods. Books fueled a life-long desire to learn. I know I’m a different person because of books. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

For Novelists, What is in Your Character’s Lifeboat?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Many of our characters have a lifeboat filled with tangible items and memories that help them survive challenges. This is where a character travels when the storms of life gather and blow. The psychological connections keep the character grounded, inspired, on-task, encouraged, entertained, pacified, and motivated. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper & Diving into the Unknown

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Did you know that George MacDonald (1824 – 1902), a man with errant hair, a wild beard, and piercing eyes, mentored Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)? That he was a pioneer in the field of “fantasy fiction”—that piece of literature set in other worlds? Places where a writer’s imagination runs free and a reader’s is set to flight? Did you know he influenced writers such as Lewis, Tolkien, L’Engle, and (most likely) Twain, who disliked him at first blush.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Write a Novella? Easy Peasy …

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Or so I thought. 

Why didn't someone tell me? Sure, a novella contains fewer words—about one quarter of a full novel to be exact. And I thought that meant less work. Ha! I mistakenly figured I wouldn't need all that goal and motivation stuff. After all, this was short and a romance.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What the Headless Horseman Can Teach Us About Faith

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Now that fall is fully upon us, everywhere we look evidence of the season jumps out at us. The trees have donned their colorful best and pumpkins are sprouting grins on every front porch. Halloween candy is littering the aisles at grocery store and kiddos are planning costumes. Along with this, some classics have also come back to haunt us—from It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.