Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Indie Tuesday—How to Become an Indie Author’s Best Friend

by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller
Kermit the Frog would have you believe that being green is the hardest thing to be, but I’m guessing he hasn’t tried going it alone as an indie author. He just might change his tune if he did.

There are many perks to self-publishing—You can write the story of your heart without trying to make it fit into what a publisher is currently buying or into a certain set of rules. You don’t have to follow trends. You can publish books at any speed you wish. You can work in multiple genres, set your prices, and decide when your books will go on sale so they can be used to bolster your new releases.

Being an indie author has so many positives, but it has its many downsides as well. Probably the most difficult one to overcome is the lack of marketing power behind your book (other than you and your one author revolution) which makes discoverability sometimes almost impossible—or at least some days it feels that way.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Social Media Monday—Is the Facebook Messenger App Safe to Install?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Is it safe to install the Facebook Messenger App?
In a word, YES, it is safe. Beyond that, I have it installed on all my mobile devices. 

Lately this seems to be one of the question I get asked the most. But with all the hype and warnings about this app, I’m sure you’d like to know more than just a simple yes. I wanted to make sure it was safe, so I dug deeper. I’m going to share why I think it’s safe to install.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tasting Life Twice—A Social Media Image for Writers

I've found that as I writer, I process the world through words. Maybe that's why this quote resonates so deeply with me. So I'm curious, how has writing helped you experience life more deeply?

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." -Anais Nin

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, September 26, 2014

The Editor’s Desk—A No-nonsense Approach to Non-Fiction

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Welcome to the Editor's Desk.
Welcome to The Editor’s Desk—A No-nonsense Approach to Non-fiction. On the last Friday of every month, I look forward to sharing some nuts and bolts about non-fiction writing. This month’s post is the first in a series called “How to Drive an Editor Crazy.” I write from the perspective of a print magazine editor, but whatever your target publication, the tips I share will help you submit polished, professional work so you DON’T drive your editor crazy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Juggling Family, Commitments and Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Life is busy. I know this fact catches no one by surprise.

We all fight the battle of too much to do and too little time to do it. And it’s one of the biggest struggles writers face. I know we all have the same 24 hours in each day, but at times it’s harder for writers. Juggling family, commitments and writing can seem like an overwhelming task.

Not because we face more time commitments, but we have the added challenge of working from home—at a job many people consider nothing more than a pleasant hobby.  Even if we have an additional job that takes us away from home, the time we spend writing is a job, and deserves the same kind of respect and priority. I address this issue specifically in my blog post,  I Don’t Get No Respect!

Today I’m going to address how to give writing the time we need to, and still fulfill our other commitments? It’s not easy, but I’m going to share some tips that may help.

Decide where you want to go with your writing. You don’t have to schedule your time to get there overnight, but to get there, you do need to know where you’re going.

Take an inventory of what’s happening in your life right now. This is also going affect how much time you can realistically spend on writing.

Now answer these two questions:
  • What are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing?
  • What are you doing now that you DON’T love more than writing?

Once you have these three issues decided, here’s how to move forward.

Set deadlines. Even if you don’t have a client waiting for an article, give yourself a deadline. Then, write it down. It’s easy to fudge a deadline when it’s just in your head.

Set a weekly writing goal. If you write fiction, it may be a word goal. If you write articles or devotions, it may be a finished product goal. (For example, I’ll have 2 finished devotions every week.) I recommend a weekly goal rather than a daily one because it’s easier to meet when life happens. Here are three options to setting this goal that you may not have considered:

Weekly Word Count Goal. One of the things I've found most helpful when setting word count goals is to set my goal for the week rather than the day. I still have two teenagers in and out of the house so sometimes life interrupts life. To combat this, I set a weekly word count goal for my fiction endeavors. Then, I break it down into daily totals. If I miss a day's goal, I can make it up later in the week and I don't wind up feeling like I've failed.

Weekly Project Goal. You may normally work on smaller projects, like articles or devotions. If that's the case, try to set a goal of one devotion or article a week.

Revolving Weekly Goal. You might want to try something I call a revolving weekly goal. This is where you have a different goal every week for 3 weeks and then it starts over. The first week you might complete a small project. The next week, you look for markets where you can sell it. The third week you might spend learning about the craft of writing. Then you begin the cycle again.

Build in some room to breathe. Let’s face it, life happens. And more than that, unscheduled crisis come up at the worst possible time. To combat that, I’ve learned to build some additional time into my schedule. For example, if I have an article due on August 15, I put August 10 on my schedule as the due date. This gives me room to maneuver in case I have an emergency. It also gives me the opportunity to turn something in early (always a plus for you as a writer), as well as have some extra time for editing.

Find a critique group or partner. If you’re meeting regularly with someone, you’re more apt to be producing regularly. What if you don’t know any writers nearby to meet with? Look for an online group.

All of these things can help us find the write balance in life, but I'd like to know what works for you. How have you managed the juggling act that is life today? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Struggling with where #writing fits into your life? @EdieMelson has tips to help you juggle (Click to Tweet)

Tips to help you juggle family, commitments and #writing - via @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Flabby Prose is like Flabby Arms—Plus 6 Tips to Get Your Writing in Shape

by DiAnne Mills @DiAnnMills

Not so long ago, I took a critical look at myself, and I didn’t like what the mirror revealed. I have flabby arms. Some of you call these bat wings or fly-zones. 

I refer to them as dangling participles, nothing I want on me or in my writing. 

Now, I’m a small person, and I exercise and lift weights, but still the flabby arms persist. What was I doing wrong? Had my body become accustomed to the same exercises?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Social Media Monday—5 Tips to Keep Your Social Media Relevant and Fresh

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It's important to keep your social media updates fresh and relevant.
This past week I was contacted by one of my social media students, Wendy Herrmann Smith. Because of the death of Robin Williams, she had changed up her social media routine, adding in an the additional topic of mental health to the updates she regularly shared with her friends and followers. After Wendy started down this path, doubts began to make her second-guess the shift, so she contacted me.

I couldn’t have been happier.

She was taking the principles I’d taught and applied them to make her social media personality unique. Yes, it’s important to find a focus and a connection with your audience. But it’s just as important to stay true to yourself and keep your online conversations relevant. Her detour couldn’t have been more relevant.

After she and I exchanged a couple of emails, I considered the wise decision she’d made and wanted to build on that. So today I have several tips to help you keep your social media relevant and fresh.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dwell on the Beauty of Life—A Social Media Image to Share

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

How do you find time to dwell on the beauty of life?

"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." Marcus Aurelius
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, September 19, 2014

Life Lessons for Writers—Live Like Joni

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Recently I found myself encouraged in an unexpected way when my wife and I drove to the Billy Graham Library to meet and listen to an amazing woman. Her name is Joni (pronounced Johnny) Eareckson Tada.

If you’ve not heard of her, she’s an author of over 50 books, a blogger, and an excellent artist whose paintings and drawings are in high demand. But that’s not all, Joni is a public speaker, and an international advocate for disabled people. She’s served on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She’s the founder of “Joni and Friends,” an organization that encourages physically handicapped people all over the world, and supplies them with free wheelchairs.

She’s also recorded a song for a that was nominated for an Academy Award. This recording tested her physical limitations. While singing, her husband had to press on her diaphragm so she could hit and hold the high notes.

But these aren’t the reasons I’m so impressed by her. What amazes me is that she has done all this for forty-seven years as a quadriplegic with fifty percent of normal adult lung capacity.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blogging Success—Slow and Steady Really Does Get You Where You Want to Go

by @EdieMelson

For the past five years I’ve been sharing tips and tidbits from the writing life here on The Write Conversation blog. One of the things I keep coming back to is the fact that small consistent steps make a big difference.

Today I want to toot my own horn a little, as well as share some small things you can do consistently to duplicate the success I’ve had with building an online platform.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brainstorming for Writers—Use Social Media to Get Unstuck

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

So…what do you think about brainstorming? Do you do it? Do you enjoy it? Or are you afraid someone will steal your story idea? Or do you simply prefer working alone?

I have to say I’m a mixture. LOL. I love to work alone most of the time, but there are brief moments when I come out of my writing “cave” and love to brainstorm. The problem is I’m much better at brainstorming someone else’s story than I am my own. LOL. I don’t usually get “Writers block”, but sometimes when I’m first fleshing out a story, I love to get a bunch of ideas and thoughts to wade through.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Conquering Six Enemies of Deep Point of View

Jessica (@AuthorKeller) here: Today my friend and critique partner Amanda is here to share some tips on writing in Deep POV. Amanda's debut novel Seek and Hide released YESTERDAY **tosses confetti** and let me just tell you, this book is amazing friends. Amazing.

Conquering Six Enemies of Deep Point of View

So you know the rules of point of view (POV), the difference between first and third person. You understand what writers refer to as “deep POV.” You’ve decided you want to write that way, offering your reader an immersive experience in the thoughts and senses of your character. But when looking at your scenes, how do you know you’re writing deep? And if you’re not, how do you start?

Monday, September 15, 2014

10 Novelist-Tested Ways to Defeat Writers Block from Acclaimed Author Warren Adler

10 Novelist-Tested Ways to Defeat 

Writer’s Block 
by Warren Adler

1. Reread your favorite novels, the ones that once inspired you to be a writer.
One of my favorite books is the Red and the Black by Stendhal, not surprisingly, it makes an appearance in my new novel Treadmill.

2. Rewatch your favorite movies, the ones that made you hope your work would follow suit.
No one can deny that electric feeling of inspiration that sparks up after watching a great movie.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Worship—The Wind of Truth

by Sarah Van Diest

We've all been both leader and follower.
I’ve been a leader and a follower, or maybe the way I’m currently thinking about it, I’ve been an active participant and a responder. And as I think on the idea of being either of those two, I recognize that I place a value judgment on them. I don’t mean to, but I do.

In my mind, I value the times more highly where I have been the active participant. When I have been a teacher, a missionary, a leader of women…whatever. And I feel shame for the times I have just been a responder: a mother, a wife and friend. And I’m not saying that I have shame in being a mother, wife and friend, but I’m saying that the part of those roles where I am a responder has been tainted for me. I feel less than when I think of those things, like I’m not doing enough and not being enough.

But I know that’s bad thinking.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Following Your Dreams Means Getting Your Feet Wet

Life is hard, chasing our dreams is hard. 

Making what we dream a reality takes more than wishing. We have to get our feet wet and venture into unknown waters—swimming in faith. 

What are you doing to get your feet wet?

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!

and the winner is...
The winner for the drawing for Ane Mulligan's book is Marjorie Hill!
Marjorie, please contact me (ediegmelson (at) gmail (dot) com) and we'll get your book to you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

On Being a Perfectionist Writer

by Henry McLaughlin @riverbendsagas

It's rough being a perfectionist in an imperfect world.
It’s rough being a perfectionist in an imperfect world. It’s a wonder we can make it through the day.

In a perfectionist’s world, every driver would operate their car exactly the way I want them to. (Ooops, ended a sentence with a preposition. Oh my!)

I cringe when a critique partner finds a sentence splice. Or spots a sentence dangling its participle for the entire world to see.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11


Today we honor the sacrifices made on 9/11 and the ongoing sacrifices made because of 9/11.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Magic Paragraph for Writers

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Today I'm excited to have another guest on The Write Conversation. Ane Mulligan is one of my favorite new authors to watch, as well as a dear friend and president of Novel Rocket. Be sure to leave a comment below welcoming her. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a drawing as well!

The Magic Paragraph
The Magic Paragraph was the brainchild of the late great Ron Benrey. I sat in a class Ron taught at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference a number of years ago. That was, for me a benchmark in my writing career. I’ve been given permission to carry on teaching it by his widow, Janet Benrey. For more of Ron’s witty delivery of writer advice, do yourself a huge favor and buy his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WritingChristian Fiction.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Do Indie Books Need Endorsements?

by @AuthorKeller

Endorsements. The word sends shivers down even the most seasoned author’s back. No one likes feeing like a door-to-door salesman, asking their friends or other authors that they don’t know all that well if they’ll please read your book, write something eloquent you can use with their name for promo, and help hawk your book on social media.

This might sound revolutionary to anyone who has spent time in the publishing industry, but if you’re going to self publish you can take a deep sigh of relief right now. An indie never has to seek out endorsements. Not unless you want them for some personal reason.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Social Media Monday—Blogging Milestones You Should be Celebrating

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

As many of you might have noticed, I love blogging. But what you may not know is that it wasn’t always that way. When I first started blogging it felt sort of like writing into a void. Days—and sometimes weeks—would go by without feedback from my online audience.

However, I knew the importance of growing an online platform, so I kept at it. And some of the things that kept me moving forward were celebrating milestones. I didn’t always announce them, or even share them with many people, but I noted them and gave myself permission to consider them proof of a job well done.

Today I’d like to share some of those blogging milestones you should be celebrating.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Summer Memories—A Social Media Image to Share

Summer is definitely winding down. The kids are back in school and an occasional cool breeze here in the south promises fall is on the way. What are your favorite memories from this year?
Summer's Lease hath all too short a date - William Shakespeare
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!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday Review—A Book to Help Creatives with Productivity

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I have a soft spot for anything that will help me improve my productivity. As a task-oriented nerd, productivity books warm my geeky heart. You may not feel the same way. I understand that. (Sort of).

But this book might change your mind. (A little).

A productivity book specifically for creatives?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick, Down & Dirty Edits

by Lisa Carter @LisaCarter27

I'm excited to have author Lisa Carter guest blogging today. Her newest novel, Beneath the Navajo Moon released just yesterday. She's a fantastic writer, but beyond that, she's able to explain how she does it. If you ever get a chance to take one of her workshops, don't even hesitate. Today, she's sharing her checklist for edits.
* * *

Okay—you wrote this article/blog post/novel.

And like the writing mentors recommend, you allowed your “baby” to take a little nap before you returned with fresh eyes and ever-evolving writer-ly skill to complete your edits. It’s on the back burner for a while due to too many items on your plate.

Proceed at your own risk, because I’m throwing cliché rules out the window with this one, folks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are You Surrounding Yourself with Toxic Writers?

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

There are very few of us who can write in a vacuum. The actual act of writing is done in seclusion, but we gravitate to others who share our struggles. Sharing the journey can make success easier . . .  if we choose the right companions. So my question to you is this, have you chosen your tribe with care?

Or are you surrounding yourself with toxic writers?

None of us want to consider that there are those we should avoid, but there are. This doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage them from afar, or interact with them in certain situations. I’m not suggesting we become elitists, only banding together with those who have something to offer.

But I am suggesting we choose our traveling companions with care. Today I’m going to share some traits that might be a warning to keep your distance.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Social Media Monday—10 Social Media Rules Every Author Needs to Know

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

Social media is a tool. But like any tool we need to know how to use it and not be overwhelmed by it. Here are some basic social media rules every author needs to know.

1. Be consistent in posting social media updates. Small regular steps get you much farther, much faster. By posting 4 to 6 social media updates at day, 3 to 4 days a week can help you build a powerful platform much faster than any other way.