Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Dozen Hacks to Make the Writing Life Easier


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s life isn’t an easy one. So much of what we create comes from some place deep inside ourselves. Giving that way can be exhausting, not to mention frustrating, when we feel empty.

The good news is that there are things we can do to help ourselves. I’ve come to learn that we either set ourselves up for success or we set ourselves up for failure.  Today I’ll share some of the writing and blogging hacks that every successful writer needs to know.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Stupid Things People Say to Writers (and how we'd like to respond)

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Below is my list of comments I’ve received over the past years since I’ve admitted to being a writer. 

In the parenthesis after each comment is what I wish I could have said. 

I’m happy to report I’ve not given in to the temptation…yet.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dealing with Stress for Writers (and Everyone Else)


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Stress: a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existing equilibrium (Miriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11thEdition)


If we’re breathing, we all feel stress. Something is always trying to disrupt our equilibrium.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fiction Writing From A to Z


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Reminders about our craft burst our imaginations into creative mode. From A to Z, we find sources of inspiration to keep us writing. I’ve chosen the first word that entered my mind as a means to keep my imagination in full gear.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing to Live


by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson


American author and screenplay writer, Ray Bradbury, said, And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Publishing vs. Encouraging


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

According to a song lyric by Linda Rondeau

Home, home in the industry
Where the writers and publishers play
Where seldom is heard 
An encouraging word
And the skies are so cloudy all day 

Thanks, Linda for letting me borrow the lyric. Yes, I've experienced discouragement in my writing journey. Maybe it was a rejection, or comments from a contest judge, but they threw ice cubes on my dreams. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

More Faith, Less Fluff


by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

I accidentally put one of my favorite “lay flat to dry” sweaters in the dryer. Somewhere in the last fluff cycle, somebody must’ve slipped in and traded it for some kind of little teddy bear sweater. What am I supposed to do with this? I guess now I have to buy a little teddy bear.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Planning Your Virtual Book Launch Event


by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock


Your book is completed, and now it’s time to plan your launch. If you’re not considering a virtual launch event, you’ll be missing out on an easy and powerful strategy to ensure that more of your prospects learn about your book and your content. Additionally, planning a launch event will also help you in preparing content that you’ll use to share your book’s message when you speak for conferences and programs.

Friday, June 22, 2018

3 Surprising Benefits of a Nonfiction Book Proposal Rejection


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Let’s be honest. Writers, like most human beings, hate rejection. Especially when we’ve put so much work into a project. We refine our purpose, target our audience, and select our best chapters. We agonize over our hook and drive everyone around us crazy by testing alternate book titles on them. Anyone who’s ever written a book proposal will agree—completing one is like birthing a porcupine—with no epidural. 

It’s no surprise, then, that we experience disappointment and sadness when our proposal is rejected. Once we put some distance between the rejection and the project, however, we can usually learn from it. If we apply the lessons to our next proposal, we’ll increase our chances of receiving a yes instead of another heartbreaking no.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

12 Things to Let Go of to Find Writing Success

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Successful writers sacrifice a lot to get where they are. Often we forget this and just see the end result. The dream of becoming an overnight success is just that, a dream. This post isn’t meant to discourage anyone. Rather, I want you to focus on the fact that, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can find writing success. To that end, I’m sharing 12 things you need to give up to become a successful writer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

6 Tips for Submitting to a Compilation


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

The anticipation of submitting an article, the adventure of writing it, and the hope that it will be accepted—writing for compilations can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Tips for the Discouraged Writer


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel


You got excited. Inspired to write. Motivated to minister. Challenged to pursue dreams.

And, for a while there—surrounded by kindred spirits cheering you on—you could almost taste the success. A book published. A conference keynote scheduled. A popular blog.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Why Tags and Labels are Important to Blogging & How to Use Them Correctly


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I get the opportunity to evaluate a lot of blogs, from writers I meet with at conferences to clients. And they all have many of the same questions. One of the most common is what are some tips to help their blogs get found.

There’s one easy answer—proper tagging/labeling with each post.

When I give this answer, I get a lot of blank looks. This is one critical step a lot of blogger miss when posting a blog. Today, I’m going to give you the tools that make labeling/tagging a breeze and immediately help your blog come up in the search engine rankings.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

She’s Got Her Father’s Eye

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

It's been almost two-and-a-half-years since Daddy won his ultimate battle with Alzheimer's and Jesus took him home. Today, in honor of Father's Day, I'd like to share some of my memories of him. 


My daddy was a man who knew how to follow his dreams—always traveling via the scenic route. As a young man, he played in numerous bands—the big band type, not the rock band type—built his own sailboat, and took to the road as he embraced his love of photography and travel. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How Writer Dogs Can Add Dimension to our Stories


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I’ve been looking for a dog. Not just any dog. A writer dog—a well-behaved pooch who will follow me into my writing room and lay at my feet until I’ve written my word count for the day. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Build an Indie Empire—What You're Selling Matters


by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

*disclaimer. This series is about following rules. I know that Indies don’t have to follow rules. That’s the whole point of being indie. But indies who pay attention to what rich and famous authors do, have a much better shot at fame and riches.*

I mentioned a software program called Vellum in part 5 of this series. I highly recommend you get this software, by hook or by crook. It makes life as an indie so much easier! Sure, you have to invest in a Mac computer to get it, but empires cost money. If you have Vellum, with the push of a few buttons, your perfectly formatted ebook becomes a perfectly formatted paperback, and having a paperback for sale matters.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Social Media Strategies in this New World of Algorithms


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This has been a world-shifting year in the realm of social media. It began with the new Facebook algorithms in January. This was followed by the changes in the Twitter algorithms. Directly related to these two shifts, we've seen somethings change. Thunderclap has been shut down, and this past week so has Klout.

With all these changes many people are scrambling and scurrying. Chasing trends, new apps, and giving up aren't the way to deal with this new world. Today I'm going to lay out my strategy to help you find a blueprint to continue to make valuable online connections.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Signings – What’s a Writer to Say?


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Recently I was signing a book for someone and a friend stood nearby. After the reader left, my friend said, “How do you decide what to write when you sign a book?”

Good question. As I pondered that, several things came to mind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What a Writer Gains By Entering Contests


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

And the winner is. . . 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve entered one writing contest or 20. Waiting on the result makes your heart skip a beat. Writers work hard on their manuscripts, and stepping out to enter them in a contest is a little scary. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Numbers Reality and the Writer’s Responsibility


by Kristen Hogrefe @kjhogrefe

My first solo lasted two whole verses. I was thirteen, and since I don’t do math, that was a while ago. But I still remember the chorus by heart: “It was little by little, minute by minute, for little is much when the Lord is in it …”

Those words well-describe God’s work in my life and perhaps my whole career as a writer.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

What Song Plays in You?


by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

Focused in nature, thematic in expression. Central, intrinsic, permanent, though not static. Unmoving, but not unbending. 

There is something in you fitting this description. A force you hold unique to yourself. You may have unearthed it, or maybe not. Others may see it more clearly than you do, but it is there. In the core of who you are is one melody that plays, one song that sings, one message that rings out. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Lessons Learned


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I like John Wayne. To be more specific, I like his movies. Some of my favorites are Hatari, Hellfighters, The Quite Man, Rio Bravo, The Searchers … okay, I’ll stop there. I had fun weaving my love of John Wayne movies into to my newest novel, Somebody Like You. My heroine, Haley, likes John Wayne movies too.

Friday, June 8, 2018

One Writer's Story of the Takeaway


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Several years ago my memoir manuscript, Call of a Coward, won the nonfiction award at a writers conference. The following week, puffed with pride, I shared the first few pages at our critique-group meeting. To be sure, even if I didn’t mention my recent honors, I was certain everyone would be impressed with my excerpt.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It's Okay to be a Beginner


by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

A few months ago, I learned to SCUBA dive. 

I was so excited! I’ve wanted to learn for a long time. 

Unfortunately, I was NOT a star student.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Triangle Structure for Writers, Part 2


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer


We’re working on the Triangle of Structure, to understand how even a three-point structure can make the difference between a good book and a great book.

If you missed it, here's part one of The Triangle Structure for Writers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Launch Teams – What Authors Need to Know About Picking Members, Part 2


by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

Earlier this year, I contacted authors Mesu Andrews, Cathy Baker, Lynn Blackburn, and Rachel Dylan to learn about their experiences with book launch teams. They shared so many great ideas, I had to break their insights into multiple posts. 

Last month we looked at how to design your book launch team. If you missed the tips for envisioning your team, getting help, or initial planning, check out part one of What Authors Need to Know About Book Launch Teams.

This month, we’re taking the next step, investigating how to fill your team.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Increase Your Writing Productivity by Finding More Time to Write


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


I had always believed that I needed at least an hour, and preferably three, to make any progress at all with my writing. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Tethered Writer


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Tether: to tie with a rope or chain so as to restrict movement (New Oxford American Dictionary).

“You are tethered!” said my friend, her blue eyes sparkling. 

Her eyes were not supposed to be twinkling with mirth, the corners of her mouth turned up in the shadow of a smile. Eyes brimming with tears, I had just poured my heart out to her about how overwhelmed I was, how many difficult things had happened since I signed the contract for my first book. My friend was supposed to murmur in sympathy and cry with me. But she seemed to be happy about my misery!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Writer Shouldn’t Write Alone


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

When I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with about 500 other writers, I had a blast. I felt I was with my peeps. Edie jokes that it’s when we’re with other writers that we can most feel that we are understood.

Friday, June 1, 2018

5 Creative Ways to Share Your Work While on Vacation


by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

The month of June offers summer vacations, time by the pool, and family road trips but who says we can’t also share our work while we’re away? If we put in a little time prior to packing, three of the following ideas will take care of themselves while you’re busy soaking up the sun.