Saturday, May 31, 2014

Social Media Image—The Writer is an Artist

Never underestimate the power of words to illustrate the world around us.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, May 30, 2014

9 Things You’ll Regret When You Look Back on Your Writing Journey if You’re Not Paying Attention Now

     by Edie Melson

Life is full of regrets and the writer's life is no different. But since I'm a few years further down the path than a lot of you, I thought I'd share some things I wish I'd done differently. These are some regrets you don't have to have if you pay attention now.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don’t Let Post-Conference Blues Derail Your Writing Journey

by Edie Melson

I'm just back from co-directing the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. It's always one of the high points of my year, but it's also an exhausting experience. And that exhaustion isn't limited just to those directing a conference or on staff. It affects those attending as well.

I've been attending large writing conferences for fifteen years and they all have ONE thing in common—post-conference blues.

It’s a natural response, if you think about it. A week-long conference is an exciting, grueling experience. Just physical exhaustion alone could get anyone down—add to that the mental and emotional effects and you have the perfect set-up for a huge let-down.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Clues Your Writing Critique Group is Going TOXIC

by Edie Melson

I’m a big fan of having a writing support team. I know I’m a much better writer because I have a small group of writers I exchange critiques with. I believe there are very few writers who produce high quality work in a vacuum. These groups may be set up formally, with specific meeting dates and times. Or they may be less structured.

But occasionally the dynamics change, and today I want to share some clues your critique group is going toxic. These are warning signs that not addressed, may destroy valuable relationships forever.

One caveat before I begin, although I have been in situations where these have happened, they haven’t all happened to me personally. And, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve unintentionally been the perpetrator of a couple of these. We need to be as vigilant about our own motives and actions as we are of others.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Reaching YA or NA Readers Online

by Charity Tinnin @CharityTinnin

What if your readers don't read traditional blogs? This is a question both Jessica and I have wrestled with as young adult/new adult authors. Most 30 and under readers don't follow traditional blogs, and a growing number of teens use Facebook less now that their parents and grandparents have accounts. So how does an author reach YA or NA readers online?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day—Remembering Those Who've Paid the Ultimate Price for Freedom

Today, on Memorial Day, I want to interrupt my usual schedule to honor the holiday that commemorates those who've paid the ultimate price for freedom. 

As many of you know, our oldest son served four years in the Marine Corps as a front-line infantry Marine during two tours in Iraq. Because  of this, I joined Blue Star Mothers of America, and even though Jimmy is now out of the service, I stay in to serve the families of those who serve. 

One of our most important duties is to honor those who have died in service. I wrote about one particular military funeral on my Guideposts blog, While They Serve this past Friday, and I'd like to share it with all of you. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Social Media Image—Where Do You Find Courage?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, May 23, 2014

3 Reasons NOT to Start a Writing Blog & 3 Reasons to Do It Anyway

by Shanan @Write_Tomorrow

I'm very excited to introduce one of my favorite bloggers, Shanan. I discovered her blog, The Procrastiwriter when we both won an award on The Write Practice. I hope you take time to visit her blog and connect with her online. But join me today as she shares

3 Reasons Not to Start a Writing Blog, & 3 Reasons to Do It Anyway

Are you thinking of starting your own writing blog? Before I launched The Procrastiwriter, I was warned about this blogging thing. It’s time-consuming, the Internet told me. It’s a struggle. Bloggers are a dime a dozen. Why bother?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Writers & Fear—The Subject Just Keeps Coming Up!

by Beth Farley

It seems so ironic to me that when I sit down, ponder with God on the subject of writing, He takes me to places I really don’t want to go. 

Today I was putting a strong devotion together for Edie Melson’s blog, when God poked at my spirit and spoke to me about a different subject. I wanted to write about the strong attributes in writing, the faith and the gusto we all acquire in order to be good writers. I was repeating so much of the good stuff that Edie has shared over and over again. Today though, God instructed me to write about fear of the unknown. But God, (in my whiney voice) I don’t want to write about fear….Not again, please!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don’t Miss the Celebration—We’re Hosting the Selah Awards Live Online from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference!

Right now I'm in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina at the Blue Ridge MountainsChristian Writers Conference.

As most of you know, I'm the Co to Director Alton Gansky. He's the HMOC (Head Man On Campus) this week. Tonight's award banquet is the culmination of a week of connecting with others in the industry and concentrating on going deeper into the craft of writing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Indie Tuesday—The Power of Live-Tweeting

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

To date live-tweeting for fun has proved to be my most effective marketing tool. Even though I never meant for it to be and don’t discuss my book. The power of live-tweeting is that it helps build a following of people who feel connected to you because you enjoy the same things. It’s a logical leap that they’ll enjoy your books as well.

When I joined Twitter I started live-tweeting without knowing that it was a “thing” and watched my following mushroom. Then my book released and my Twitter followers bought Saving Yesterday. They sent me private messages saying they were reading, wrote reviews and tweeted about my book. When I released the link for my newsletter more than half of the people that signed up were Twitter followers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Social Media Monday—With Social Media, Nice Guys NEVER Finish Last

by Edie Melson

I spend a lot of time speaking with people about social media, and in almost every instance the same three concerns come up.

First, the person I’m talking to shares his belief that social media posts are irrelevant and inane. This statement is then followed by the infamous example of how so-and-so posts updates about trips to the powder room and/or coffee consumption.

The second is directly related to the first. I hear complaints about how social media is all about—me, me, me—and the person I’m talking with never wants to be seen like. (Newsflash, neither do I!)

The third is frequently voiced by those new to the medium. They claim they have nothing of value to share.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend Worship—Above the Clouds

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. I Thessalonians 5:24

Many of you know today is the start of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian WritersConference. I’m privileged to be the co-director of this wonderful conference and it’s one of the highlights of my years.  

But I didn’t start out on staff—far from it.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Social Media Image—The Writer's Soul

"Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind,
is written large in his works." -Virginia Woolf
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Writing Advice You Should ALWAYS Follow

by Edie Melson

Several months ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about Writing Advice You Should NEVER Follow. Today I want to share writing advice you should always follow. Now, like ninety-nine percent of publishing rules, take these with a grain of salt. Writing is rarely a one-size-fits-all proposition.

1. Keep a regular schedule. Notice a said REGULAR schedule, not normal (and I didn’t say write every day). Your schedule may be writing on the bus everyday to work, or from midnight to 2 a.m. or even only on the weekend. Whatever works best for you, stick with it. Small bites are the best way to devour a huge task.

2. Don’t stop learning. Even if this weren’t an industry that’s ever changing, you’d still need to keep honing your skills. I don’t care who you are, or how long you’ve been writing, you never arrive.

3. Plug into a supportive team. You’ve often heard that writing is a solitary pursuit. Yes…and no. The act of putting words on paper is rarely a team sport. But producing publishable work is not. It takes a good support system to help you cover all the bases.

4. Build your platform BEFORE you get published. Yep, you read that right. So many writers put off building their social media networks until they sign with an agent or a publisher. I’m telling you that’s too late. Start building now and you’ll find yourself more attractive to editors and agents.

5. Don’t let the voices in your head derail your progress. As a whole, we writers are an insecure bunch. And most of our insecurity starts in our minds. We convince ourselves to fail before we even get started good. Who am I fooling, I can’t write. That editor/agent didn’t mean it when he said to send him a proposal. I don’t know why I bother, none of this is any good. Any of these sound familiar?

6. Learn the rules so you know how to break them effectively. Part of developing as a writer is knowing when to break the rules. It’s hard to do if you don’t know them to begin with. For example, you’ll hear the advice to get rid of repeated words. In most cases that’ good advice, but there are instances when you’ll want to repeat a word for emphasis.

7. Don’t EVER talk bad about anyone in the industry. Publishing is a small family, and people move around a lot. An agent at this company today, may be at a different company next year. The person sitting next to you at a conference, could be your editor. You get the idea.

8. Take critique, but don’t let it silence your voice. It’s important to develop a tough skin in this business. That means learning from tough critiques. BUT and this is vital, remember that a critique is just someone’s opinion. If you incorporate every critique into your WIP you’ll lose that distinctive thing called voice. This means sometimes throwing out advice from people you trust, and breaking some rules.

9. Write what you love. It's tempting to try to follow what's popular, but it rarely works out well. Life's short, spend it doing something you love.

10. Don’t quit. I’ve been around this business a long time. I’ve learned that while talent is good, perseverance will get you a whole lot farther. You’re going to have bad days, bad weeks, even bad months, but that’s still no reason to quit.

I’ve given you my best advice. Now I’d like to hear from you. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Top 9 Ways to Support Your Writing Spouse

by Edie Melson

Many of you know that I credit a great deal of my writing and general life success to the support of my amazing husband, Kirk. For example, next week he'll be with me at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. There aren’t many engineers that I know who would be willing to brave five days in the company of 400+ writers.

Today, in honor of his unwavering support, I wanted to share the top 9 ways to support your writing spouse. This isn’t really a post from what I wish had happened, but ways that Kirk has supported me—all without my prompting. Truthfully, I would not be where I am today without his constant encouragement, prayers, and support.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Do I Really Need a Writers Group or a Critique Partner?

by Edie Melson

Only if you want your writing to improve! Writing for publication is an endeavor built on forging relationships. And those relationships can ultimately determine your success or failure in the writing industry. Here’s a list of those relationships.
  • Between you and other writers
  • Between you and the reader
  • Between the reader and the subject or characters
  • Between you and the editor
  • Between you and your agent

I listed the relationship between writers first, because surprisingly, it’s often the most vital in your writing life. The actual act of putting words on paper is a solitary act and because of that it’s easy to lose perspective. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Are Writers' Conferences a Waste of Time for Indie Authors?

by Charity Tinnin @CharityTinnin

For traditional or hybrid authors, attending a writers' conference is a career requirement. Having the opportunity to meet one-on-one with agents and editors can give these writers an edge for their next project. However, this is not an essential step in the process for authors who self-publish. So are writers' conferences a waste of time for indie authors?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Social Media Monday—How to use Hyperlinks Effectively on Your Blog

by Edie Melson

What is a Hyperlink? It's is a clickable link found within a post. The previous sentence contains a hyperlink—the words WHAT IS A HYPERLINK. If you position your cursor above any of those words and left click, you’ll be taken to another page on the website. Other common terms for a hyperlink are a Hotlink or just a Link.

Hyperlinks are a good thing to have within a post for a several of reasons.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Social Media Image—What's your foundation?

I'm thankful that in these uncertain times I have something firm to stand on!

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Life Lessons—14 Things Writers do to KEEP From Being Successful

by Edie Melson

I’ve never met a writer who didn’t want to be successful. Sure everyone’s definition of success is different, but we all want to succeed. And a lot of writer blogs offer advice on how to find that success. And while it’s vitally important to learn how to write well, network, and market. Often those aren’t the only things that stand between us and our goals.

The one thing I’ve discovered on my own writing journey is that I’m often my own worst enemy. I’m the person who has—most often—stood between me and success. So today I’m sharing 14 things that writers do to KEEP from being successful.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writers, Are You Taking Advantage of Your Email Signature Line?

by Edie Melson

It’s important that in today’s digital age, writers don’t pass up marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, I see a lot of writers doing just that when they send out emails. Your email signature line is prime marketing real estate.

If you’re not certain what a signature line (sometimes called a sig line) is, it’s the line or lines including or directly below your signature. You can set up one that is automatically generated within your email program. Just go to settings, signature, and set it up.

The addition of my book, blog, and social media info in my sig line has made it much easier for people to:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Social Media Monday—5 Simple Things You can do to Keep Your Social Media Identity Consistent

by Edie Melson

As writers in today’s digital world, we all know the importance of having an online presence. The savvy writer works hard to leverage social media to do everything from building a platform to interacting with readers.

Even armed with the knowledge of how important engaging online is, many authors have missed one vital component. 


So today I’m sharing 5 simple things you can to do keep your social media identity consistent.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Restore the Joy of Writing—a Social Media Image to Share

by Edie Melson

I've shared several posts over the past few months on how to keep moving forward with writing. I think the basis of that momentum is the joy we feel when we write. Sometimes, circumstances reduce that joy to a dying ember. 

The image today is a short cut to help you rekindle that joy. I'd love to know what else you'd add to this short list.

Restore the JOY of WRITING by giving up these 5 simple things - Edie Melson
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Write Like a Reader—Tips to Discover Your Inner Reader

Discover your inner reader.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Yes, you read that right. 

The title offers tips to discover your inner READER. 

To be successful writers, we must do more than just write. We must engage with our readers. That means we have to be able to communicate with them in mind.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nine Ways Writing is like CrossFit

by Lynn H. Blackburn

I joined CrossFit a few months ago. Me. The girl allergic to exercise now finds herself doing deadlifts, kettlebellswings, and burpees.

It’s caught me completely off guard, but I love it. The other thing that’s caught me off guard is how much similarity there is between my CrossFit journey and my writing journey.

Here are my Nine Ways Writing is like CrossFit.