Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Take Time to Retreat, Relax and Rekindle

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This sign greeted us at the front door of the house we stayed
in for the Guideposts retreat at the Wainwright House property.
As I mentioned briefly on Monday, last week I was given an incredible gift. I was one of eleven women who won the 2014 TELL US YOUR STORY Guideposts contest. The prize? Spending an entire week at the Wainwright House with Guideposts editors and writers honing our craft.

Even though I got home late Friday night, it’s going to take me a while to process this amazing experience. So expect some future blog posts about what I’ve learned here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Crafting the Perfect First Line

by: Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

Have you ever shaken hands with someone only for them to offer a cold, limp, awkward greeting? A book with a week first line leaves a reader with the same feeling. Avoid that at all costs.

In fiction, the first line has to pull the reader in. Make them wonder or grip them enough to walk to the register and by the book. Grabbing them doesn’t have to mean giving your reader a total shock because that doesn’t fit the tone of many books, but it must make a reader want more. Spark enough curiosity to continue.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Social Media Monday—7 Situations When Sharing a Live Social Media Update is the WRONG Choice to Make

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

No, I haven’t actually changed my mind about the value of social media.

Yes, you read the title of this blog post correctly. The queen of social media is suggesting that more is NOT always better.

What I am suggesting is that we need to show a little balance. There are times to connect online and there are equally important times to live in the moment—without worrying about how to make your experience into a tweet or Facebook update.

Today I want to share some specific instances when you should put down your smart phone and just experience life.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Forever is Composed of Nows—A Social Media Image to Share

Forever is composed of nows. - Emily Dickinson

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, October 24, 2014

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

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Repeat after me:

“Editors are my friends. They are not enemies determined to ruin my devotion, article, or novel. Their job is to make me and my work the best we can possibly be. Editors are my friends.”

Now we can move forward on the premise that because editors are our friends, we would never, ever, ever want to drive them crazy. A crazy editor is not our friend.

Last month I shared two things that drive editors crazy. This month, in case you’re considering career suicide, I’ll share a few more. If you’re a smart writer, you’ll avoid these pitfalls and be well on your way to making your editor smile.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

12 Key Differences Between Successful and Unsuccessful Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we’re warned early on to avoid the trap of comparison. Each of us has a different path to success—and a different path to publication. These varying ways of living life as a writer aren’t good and bad or even better and best—they’re just different.

Today I want to encourage you to do just the opposite.

While we shouldn’t judge our value as writers by looking at one another. There are some comparisons that can make a difference between fulfilling our dreams or losing heart and quitting when success is just around the corner. These are some key differences between successful and unsuccessful writers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Learning from the Pro Writers without Stalking Them

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

You know who you are. It’s time to step up and be counted. You follow the award-winning, best-selling writers whose success make you drool. Their books are read and reread, often with highlights. Their blogs are ingested like candy, and whenever they speak, you’re there. At conferences, you sign-up for one-on-one appointments and sit at their tables at mealtimes. Their Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and whatever other social media is used capture our attention while we’re learning the craft.
That’s not a bad practice. In fact, emulating our favorite writers can establish professional habits, whether it be in the writing process or in marketing and promotion. Modeling our careers after successful writers is commendable. But stalking a writer through harassment and unwanted attention shoots the follower straight out of the unprofessional canon. What exactly do I mean?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Author Looks Back

by Alton Gansky @AltonGansky 

I’m insecure.

Many writer’s will admit to having the same problem. It makes sense, of course. Writing for publication means putting many hours into a project then releasing it for others to judge. The worse judge most writers face lives and works between the writer’s own ears. Some of this may come from criticisms received during childhood, some of it is just human nature.

My inner critic is hyperactive. Always has been. When I began writing, the judgmental critter began to shout louder. When I wrote my first novel, he went into a shark-like feeding frenzy. I’ve never let the inner-critic make decisions for me but I have been unable to ignore him completely.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Social Media Monday—9 Reasons You're Failing at Social Media & How to Fix It

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I wish I had a nickel for every one who’s told me that Social Media just doesn’t work for them.

Let me suggest, respectfully, that you’re just going about it the wrong way.

I know it sounds harsh, but hear me out. Today I’m going to give you nine reasons you’re failing at social media and I’m going to share how to fix each one.

As you’ve heard me say many times, social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. But, that’s still not an excuse not to use it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Never Forget, Beauty is God's Handwriting—A Social Media Image to Share

It's easy to get caught up in the day to day of living life and forget to look up and see what's around us. Since returning home from our trip to Colorado, I've found myself more aware of the beauty in my every day life.

What helps remind you to stop and appreciate what's around you right now?

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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, October 17, 2014

Life Lessons for Writers—To Solve or Not to Solve?

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

My wife and I attended a play last Sunday and we’re blown away by the subject matter. It dealt with Biblical view versus world view, including singles living together, homosexuality, church marriage versus civil ceremony, and others. This was surprising as we were not in a Christian venue.

Like me, most of the audience became uneasy when we realized where the storyline was going. I could see some bracing themselves to fight what they were sure would be the writer’s take on the subject. When the show ended however, we were all surprised by the fact that the playwright didn’t provide any solution.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Misperceptions about Writing a Proposal

David Van Diestis the owner of Van Diest Literary Agency. He believes that the best books are yet to be published.

His path to becoming a literary agent was both surprising and inevitable. David describes himself as a late bloomer, languishing in the lower echelons of his literary courses through school, and not becoming much of a reader until he was nearly thirty. But publishing is in David’s blood, it seems: his father, John Van Diest was the original publisher at Multnomah Press and is now associate publisher of Tyndale; both sisters worked in publishing; Don Jacobson, his brother-in-law, was publisher/owner of Multnomah Publishers for nearly 20 years; David’s wife, Sarah, has been a literary agent for a number of authors; and even his wife’s brother, Jeff Gerke, is an author and publisher.

Since starting in publishing in 1988 David has worked directly with many leading Christian publishers, ministries, and bestselling authors Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, and Chuck Swindoll. He’s worn a variety of hats in the past 20+ years, including marketing director, vice president of sales and literary agent. While in marketing at Multnomah, David wrote the marketing plan for a little book called The Prayer of Jabez, which surprised everyone by selling over 10 million copies.

Today, David continues in the publishing industry because of his passion to help everyone understand the un-surpassing greatness of God’s love expressed through His Son Jesus’ free gift of grace, and to help Christians mature in Him through continued growth.

Note from Edie: Hey everyone, I'm super excited to have David as a contributor on my blog. He's not only knowledgeable about the industry and the craft of writing, he's also my agent! So make him feel welcome.

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5 Misperceptions about Writing a Proposal

For nearly all authors, writing a proposal is worse than
any other task imaginable.
For most authors, writing a proposal is a necessary but unappealing task.

Please forgive me, I may have understated this, so let me start again.

For nearly every author, writing a proposal is worse than any other task imaginable. Most would rather take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, wash the dog, mow the lawn, scratch your eyeballs… and the list goes on. In fact, when faced with the idea of writing a proposal many will do all these things first in an effort to avoid the monumental task.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Writer's Life—Distractions

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

What is your distraction?

I don’t know about y’all, but two weeks sure does pass by fast for me. It gets me thinking how fast my kids are growing up, how fast that deadline arrives, how fast that opportunity came and left. Lately I’ve been thinking about time. How am I spending it? What are the results of how I’m using my time? We often talk about being good stewards of our money, but what kind of steward are we with the time the Lord has allotted for us? Yes, I’m preaching to the choir. LOL

Anyway, I know that I tend to take on more than I can handle sometimes. And sometimes the things that I say yes to might be GOOD things, but that doesn’t mean they’re the RIGHT things for me. Sometimes they become a distraction from the purpose I’ve been called to fulfill.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Writing Out of the Box

@AuthorKeller here: today I've ask my friend, fellow indie author, and two time Genesis award finalist, Sally Bradley to talk about her journey to self publishing and how writing an out of the box story helped her decide to become an indie author.

Also I need to announce who won the signed paperback copy of Searching for Home that was up for grabs last week: Gwendolyn Gage! Congratulations, I'll be sending you an email today.

Back to the subject at hand, please welcome Sally and her take on the freedom found in indie publishing.

Writing Out of the Box
by Sally Bradley @SallyBWrites

Earlier this year, I emailed an editor who had my proposal somewhere in her inbox and let her know I was withdrawing it to go indie. A week before the book debuted, an acquisitions editor at a small press asked to see it, based on the recommendation of a friend. I turned that request down too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Social Media Monday—Eight Social Media Updates You Should NEVER Share

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media is all about connections. It’s a digital community where relationships are built. IN this community, the relationship building takes place in much the same way as in a physical community. The foundational component is sharing—sharing lives, sharing thoughts, sharing hopes and dreams. But with all this sharing, there are still things we don’t need to know about one another.

I hate to say this, but I’ve seen all of these irritating updates show up in one or more of my social media feeds. My reaction on seeing these has ranged from mildly irritated, to what-was-she-thinking shock. I’d love for you to make note of these, and avoid them completely

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend Worship—Red Lines

by Sarah Van Diest

Sometimes I feel like I’m being saved from myself.

My computer runs too slowly for me to capture all my thoughts, as though somehow that’s best for me.

I sit waiting for the screen to appear that allows my thoughts to find their mark and be written down, but the page hides from me. It makes me wait and my thoughts don’t want to wait. They fly. They race through my mind and have no outlet.

Then when I do start writing, that wicked red line appears under misspelled words calling me to fix them. To break my thoughts and make sure that they are perfect. I hate that. I don’t want to fix them. I hate fixing them. But I hate the red line even more.

The red line tells me that I’ve messed up. It says that something about what I have written isn’t good enough. It’s not going to be publishable. It isn’t acceptable. It’s not worthy.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Habit or Marvel? Social Media Image to Share

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Habits are highly effective—or so they say.

But there’s something to be said about allowing life to surprise us. 

Remembering to be wide-eyed. Taking time to marvel at things around us. Or the people we meet during the day.
"Life never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel." - Katherine Mansfield

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the midst of running my errands, living my oh-so-daily life—you know, falling into the familiar habit of it all—I can forget to look up and see Pikes Peak rising just beyond the foothills. It’s right there, waiting for me to notice it, every single day.

But I’m so used to Pikes Peak, I forget. It becomes nothing special and fades into the background. Just another mountain. Nothing to marvel at.
Today’s quote made me stop and think: If I had a choice, would I rather live life as a habit or a marvel? I’d pick marvels over habits every time.

It seems as we grow older, life demands that we spend less time marveling — over a rainbow or a hummingbird or the kindness of a friend or the comfort of silence. Instead, to succeed we must work harder to establish habits: being diligent and proactive and good communicators.

And yet, in the pursuit of helpful habits, what if we lose the spark, the wide-eyed wonder, of seeing life for what it is? A gift. A blessing. A reason to be thankful—every day.

If you had a choice, would you rather live life as a habit or a marvel? What marvelous experience—event, person, thing—jolted you out of your ordinary recently?

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.


Habit or Marvel - which do you live your life by? via @BethVogt on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

When has a marvelous experience jolted you out of ordinary? via @BethVogt on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Beth K. Vogt discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”  Despite being a nonfiction writer and editor who said she'd never writer fiction, Beth's inspirational contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, as well as a former consulting editor for MomSense magazine. She is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren. 

Connect with Beth on her website, as well as through TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thoughts for Speakers & Writers—Would Jesus Network?

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

Okay, let's be honest here. How many times have you cringed at the word, networking? When I first started writing and speaking, I struggled with the whole concept of promotion and marketing and...yes, networking.

After all, this writing/ministry thing was supposed to be all about Him, not me. I just wanted to write and speak words that would ultimately point others to the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus Christ. I didn't want to talk about me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Adler's international hit stage adaptation of the novel will premiere on Broadway in 2015-2016. Adler has also optioned and sold film rights for a number of his works including Random Hearts (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas) and The Sunset Gang (produced by Linda Lavin for PBS' American Playhouse series starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts). In recent development are the Broadway Production of The War of the Roses, to be produced by Jay and Cindy Gutterman, The War of the Roses - The Children (Grey Eagle Films and Permut Presentations), a feature film adaptation of the sequel to Adler's iconic divorce story, Target Churchill (Grey Eagle Films and Solution Entertainment),Mourning Glory, to be adapted by Karen Leigh Hopkins, and Capitol Crimes (Grey Eagle Films and Sennet Entertainment), a television series based on his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series. Warren Adler's newest thriller, Treadmill, is officially available.
* * *

“How can I turn my book into a movie? Advice from you would mean a lot.”

If I knew the golden answer to this question I would amass a fortune. In the first place, no one knows how to make a bestseller, nor do I believe that there is a surefire way to engineer a bestseller amazing enough to be made into a movie (at least not that I know of). However, what I am certain of are a few vital steps that can’t be missed on the journey to attempting to have your work made into a movie. 
Since writing The War of the Roses, I cannot count the amount of questions I continue to receive from amazing fans around the world that are serious about their writing. The hope is to get their works published, recognized, and made into a movie. I want to share with you some of my thoughts and insights when it comes to this one essential question: How do I get my book made into a movie?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When the Lone Wolf Writer Needs a Pack

by Lori Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld

Edie here—I'm so excited to welcome my writing buddy, Lori Roeleveld to The Write Conversation today. Her own blog, Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island is phenomenal. As a friend, she's provided inspiration, encouragement, and accountability. Be sure to check out her bio below, sign up for her blog, and watch for her upcoming book Running From a Crazy Man!

* * *

When the Lone Wolf Needs a Pack 

When I first took writing seriously, it took considerable effort for me to learn to pull away from others, withdraw into my writing cave, and focus on creating.

I learned to say “no.” I made important decisions about the time I invest in social relationships – sorting through friendships, setting boundaries, and making prayerful choices. I did this because God has called me to write and to write requires a person to develop a comfort level with solitude.

Well, until it doesn’t.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Indie Tuesday—Let’s Celebrate!

by: Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller

Today I'm handing out party hats and slicing the cake (oh, it's totally okay to eat cake at before noon!) to celebrate my latest indie book which released today! Well I wouldn't be able to be a part of Indie Tuesday if I wasn't indie publishing more books, would I? Also, anyone who comments on today's post will be entered to win a signed, paperback copy of Searching for Home.

Part of the strategy for being a successful indie author is putting out multiple books a year. Today's book will be my third (one of those was a traditionally published book) for 2014 and there is one more releasing before the end of the year. In a future post I'll go over the different strategies there are when it comes to publishing timetables in the indie industry. I'll also do a post on how to write a book blurb that hooks a reader...but not today. Today is all about cake.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Social Media Monday - Guard the Trust Your Social Media Audience has Given You

Did you know it’s your job to protect your social media audience? 

I’m not talking about guarding them physically and/or from harmful (and often questionable) content. I’m referring to the job you have of guarding their time.

In today’s digital paradigm people are much more willing to spend time than money.

So your loyal followers have given you a precious gift. They are investing their precious time in reading your blog, your Facebook updates and your tweets. They browse your pictures on Pinterest and Instagram. 

Do not take this gift lightly.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekend Worship—Which do You Live By—Guilt or Grace?

So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free from the law that brings sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 

It had happened…again. I’d sworn it wouldn’t happen, but it had. And I’d made the promise just last week. I’d cried out to God during my morning prayers, promising to do better, to be more careful. This wasn’t the first time I’d confessed this weakness. I’d wrestled with this temptation again and again. 

What kind of a person was I that I’d fall so easily back into the middle of temptation? My repeated lapses made me wonder if I was even a believer.

Those were dark days. But coming through them has given me confidence.

Not in myself…never in me. But in God. 

He was always there to pick me up when I fell, always waiting to extend grace and give me another go. I was the one who struggled with shame and condemnation. And that condemnation NEVER came from Him.

Oh don’t get me wrong. I know it hurt Him when I gave in to sin. But He didn’t return that hurt with punishment. He returned it with patience, grace, and love. I discovered I couldn’t out-sin His mercy.

Do I still struggle? You better believe it. But I’m quicker to admit my failings, and less willing to listen to the false guilt that comes from my enemy. 

Satan lashes my soul with guilt, but God extends infinite grace.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Calm Before the Holiday Storm - a Social Media Image to Share

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The holiday season is almost upon us. I love this time from Halloween to New Years, but it can be overwhelming. Without meaning too, I end up playing an almost endless game of catch up, never able to get ahead of my schedule and to-do list. 

And every year, after the holidays are over - I vow to do better when it comes to stress and time management. This year, I'm trying to make good on that promise. I'm deliberately taking time now to develop good habits. I'm also filling my spiritual well. 

I'd like to know what you do to prepare for the stress of the holidays.

"...I pray this winter be gentle and kind - a season of rest from the wheel of the mind..."  John Geddes

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!