Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Free Gift for Writers: The Writer’s Social Media Advent Calendar


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media isn’t a favorite thing for a lot writers and speakers. And for many it brings a great deal of stress. But it IS a great way to connect with those we serve. This year, I’d like to offer you a gift—a way to connect with your readers that’s already organized and ready to go. 

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out something that would help you, WITHOUT adding additional stress. And this is what I’ve come up with—a social media advent calendar for writers to use to bless their audience.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Write Better Heroes When You Know the Top Seven Essential Character Qualities to Include


by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

I have been saying for some time that a key hallmark of writing from a Christian worldview ought to be main characters who have all the makings of a hero. Instead of assigning to our characters the types of flaws that currently dominate the anti-hero archetype in secular culture, our protagonists ought to be comprised of different stuff. This different “stuffness” would necessarily preclude our characters from having certain characteristics for their “fatal flaw.” Not to say that they wouldn’t have flaws. They would. But the types of flaws that we would assign to them would differ greatly if only we understood what sorts of characteristics were automatically out of bounds from the start. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

5 Things Writers Can be Thankful For Today


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

When Abraham Lincoln declared a day of thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November, 1863, he instituted one of the most beloved American traditions. But a holiday to express our thanks didn’t begin with President Lincoln. It began, as does everything wonderful, with God. Early in the nation of Israel’s history, God instituted seven feasts or celebrations. In Leviticus 23:2, God calls them “feasts of the LORD” and “My feasts.”

God commands us, as a people, to give thanks. This is why I thought it would be appropriate, on this Thanksgiving weekend, to pause, writer-to-writer, and ponder a few of the many things we have to be thankful for.

A Writer's Gratitude List

1. Laptops 

As much as my laptop vexes me when it shuts off for no reason, locks me out, or hides documents in folders I didn’t know existed, I’m still very grateful for it. Remember when a 40-lb. desktop was our only option? (And yes, I was very grateful for that, too, because it replaced my electric typewriter.) But oh, the convenience of being able to take my computer with me and work on airplanes, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet spot in the woods. No longer am I chained to my desks when the wild wild world beckons. Thank you, Lord.

2. Bible Software

Remember the days when you had to look up a verse in Strong’s Concordance, cross reference it in your King James version of the Bible, and type it, word by word, into your manuscript? Thankfully, those days are gone (except during power outages). Today if we need a verse about forgiveness, we can type the word into the handy dandy search box and every occurrence of the word will pop up. With one fell swoop, we can cut and paste the perfect verse into our document without missing a jot or tittle. Thank you, Jesus.

3. Search Engines

Until recently, if writers needed to research a topic like What did indigenous people in Southeast Asia eat in the 1800’s, good luck. We were limited to the books available in our local library, or, if we were especially savvy, through interlibrary loan. Now, with a few keystrokes, we can learn not only what indigenous people in Southeast Asia ate, we can discover where they lived and what their favorite flavor of toothpaste was. We’re no longer limited to writing about our personal areas of expertise or what we’ve learned by interviewing an expert. We can access data bases from all over the world (even Southeast Asia) and learn everything we need about whatever topic we’d like to write about. Thank you, Father.

4. Critique Partners and Groups

My beloved critique partner (shout out to the amazing Jean Wilund) has helped polish my writing more than any other writer’s “tool.” She and my two critique groups (thumbs up to Lexington Word Weavers and Page 33) offer invaluable feedback, perspective, and suggestions. They provide more than just technical advice, though. They cheer me on when I’m discouraged, share their writing connections, and pray for me. Thank you, God.

5. The Opportunity to Do What We Love

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to do what I love. I suspect you feel the same. God called us to Himself, gifted us with the desire to write, and then gave us an audience who can benefit from our words. Sometimes God uses our writing to reach thousands. Sometimes He intends it for the young mother sitting in the pew next to us or the grieving neighbor on the next block. Regardless, writing in His name is an honor and a privilege. May we never take it for granted. Thank you, dear God.

Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for in this crazy, wonderful writers’ world? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

TWEETABLE

Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, writing instructor, women’s ministry speaker, and career dental hygienist. She writes for Our Daily Bread, Guideposts, Revive Our Hearts, and Crosswalk.com. Lori’s upcoming devotional, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God with All Your Heart, will release on January 3, but is available now for preorder. Connect with her at www.LoriHatcher.com or on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Common Writing Obstacles (Part 7): Taking Risks


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Write the Story

Writing is risky. And not just in the sense of facing physical danger. Although I’m sure many writers did face physical danger at one time that stimulated or inspired them to write their story.

There are other risks every writer faces. More mundane than climbing Mt. Everest, but just as real. The underlying source of these risks is fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of failing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Discover & Accomplish Your Writer's Adventure List


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Our writing careers are met with victories, successes, challenges, rejections, and lots of writing time in between. One way to stay encouraged and focused is to create a Writer’s Adventure List, those things that are personal, achievable, and unique to every writer. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

7 Christmas Gifts That Tickle a Writer’s Senses


by Ginny Cruz, MPA, PT

Have you started shopping for Christmas? As hard as it is to believe, it’s that time of year again. While making out my list, I wondered, “What gifts does a writer need to awaken their playful, creative side?” 

In Soul Care for Writers, author Edie Melson shares fun ways to get creative and improve our writing and connection with God, the ultimate creative genius. Since I work with young children as a physical therapist and early intervention specialist, her work reminded me of how children play and learn about the world around them. 

Children constantly engage with their surroundings using their sensory systems through messy tactile play, pushing the limits on climbing, twirling, swinging, or coloring outside the lines. As writers, we need to stay in tune with our inner child by engaging all our senses in enjoyable activities. Those sensory experiences turn into words on the page. A writer whose senses are fully engaged and regularly fed has a bottomless well of words and sensory memories to weave into stories. With these thoughts in mind, I’ve developed a list of gift ideas every writer needs to tickle their senses and rejuvenate their writing. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

How Writers Can Follow the Apostle Paul's Marketing Strategy


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Times and strategies don’t really change. Reviewing Paul’s approach gives us insights into one of the greatest missionary marketers of all time. He started with understanding his audience, figuring out ways to reach them, and sharing his testimony to the right people. Let’s examine his approach and plans.