Saturday, October 31, 2015

Don't Forget to Set Your Clocks Back an Hour

I thought I'd post a friendly reminder you can share on social media.

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I 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, October 29, 2015

The Author Roadmap - Learn to Navigate the Social Media, Marketing & Branding Super Highway

Edie Melson & DiAnn Mills
I’m excited to announce a new partnership between author DiAnn Mills and me. We’re combining our expertise to provide an easy-to-follow road map for authors seeking to navigate the social media, marketing and branding super highway.

As writers we need to connect with our readers—but we also need time to write. DiAnn and I have discovered when she and I combine our expertise, we can accomplish our goals without sacrificing valuable writing time.

We teach more than just the basics of social media and branding. We also explain the whys and the whens. By filtering these techniques through the viewpoint of the author and the social media expert, we leverage the power of when as well as the power of how.

In the weeks to come, we’ll be releasing a book, videos, screen casts, and seminars. The debut of The Author Roadmap last week at the Blue Ridge Novelist Retreat went beyond any of our expectations and we’re excited to build on that success.

So we invite you to visit our new site and sign up for updates so you don’t miss any of the upcoming excitement!

But before you click away permanently, take a minute to comment and let us know what you’d like to see included in this new venture.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

The Author Roadmap, anew way of navigating #socialmedia & author marketing –@DiAnnMills &@EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Inside Your Character's Head?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

I’d like to introduce you to a few of my friends.

This is Anna, the younger sister in Frozen. Sincere and optimistic. She’s full of love and a sense of adventure. But caring for her sister causes her to attempt a dangerous mission. A strong heroine, but avoid telling her no.

This is Elsa, the older sister in Frozen. Kinda hard to get to know because she’s afraid, mostly of herself. Rather stiff. Isolated. High maintenance when you consider she thinks she prefers the cold.

This is Woody, a nice cowboy kinda guy from Toy Story. Easy going. Takes life slow unless an emergency rises. Walks like he was born in the saddle. Dresses pretty much the same everyday. Low Maintenance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Brainstorm Your Way to NaNoWriMo—Idea Sparking Style

Edie here. In honor of NaNoWriMo, I've convinced my writing buddy and fellow My Book Therapy team member to share some tips. Michelle Lim is a writer who knows how to make ideas spark when it comes to brainstorming. Her newest book, Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month is available today for only .99 cents on Amazon. So join me and get inspired for NaNoWriMo!

How to Brainstorm Your Way into NaNoWriMo Success!
by Michelle Lim @MichelleLim24

Brainstorm your way to NaNoWriMo success!
National Novel Writing Month is one week away and many of us have taken the plunge, committing to write a novel in a month.

How about you? Have you taken the leap? If so, you’ve likely stockpiled a stash of caffeine and chocolate to survive the next millennium on sugar alone.

Before you empty the chocolate aisle at your grocery store, perhaps it’s time to get a carefully developed brainstorming game plan.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blogging Success is as Easy as ABC - Blogging Basics for Writers, Part 7

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As Easy as ABC
Today I’d like to give you 26 tips for success with your blog. I’m calling this my ABCs of Blogging.

A is for Accessibility—Make sure your blog is easy to find, easy to navigate, and easy to read. And don’t forget to make it accessible to those who are visually impaired

B is for BasicsWhatever you’re doing, make it excellent. That means take time to check for typos and readability, in your posts. Also be sure you’re using giving accurate links. There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link that takes you nowhere.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How Do I Finish Writing a Book?

by Brenda McGraw @BrendaMMcGraw

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

How do I finish writing a book?
“How can I help you?” Those have been powerful words to me on this writing journey. We need each other, and realizing we are not alone is important to our growth.

We need people on the path towards being an author.

Do you have a dream to be an author one day? Have you envisioned what that journey will look like?

I’m not sure exactly how I got here, other than taking one step and then another. Living in the writing world has changed my life. I’ve met some amazing people whom I might not have had I never pursued my calling to write a book.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Write with Abandon

So often with pick our writing to pieces before it has time to mature. This post and quote from Alton Gansky reminded me that there is a proper order to things. 

"Write with Abandon, Edit with Discipline." -Alton Gansky

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I 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 23, 2015

Do You Pray about Your Writing?

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

“It seems easier to go to a consistent extreme than to live at the center of biblical tension.”

These wise words from Robertson McQuilkin, president emeritus of Columbia International University voice the struggle we face every day as writers—finding the balance between working and praying. Last month I challenged you that prayer (for opportunities, inspiration, book contracts) is no substitute for not working hard (Write Hard, Pray Harder). Today, I’d like to challenge you that working hard is no excuse for not praying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For Non-fiction Authors: Tips for Choosing the Right Story

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Tips for Choosing the Right Story
Stories are powerful tools for the non-fiction writer. They grab the reader’s attention, add personality to your writing, and illustrate the point you’re trying to make. Whether you’re writing a blog post, an article, or a book, how do you know which story is the best to use?

I don’t how many times I’ve spent hours researching details for a story, only to end up choosing a different angle. But the time was well spent. Writing is a process of trying and failing and finding what works. The five hours it can take to write one article becomes five minutes of inspiration and encouragement for the reader, inspiration that impacts their daily living. So perhaps I can help you streamline the time it takes to pick the right story. Ask yourself 5 questions when you find a good story online or recall one from your own life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Good Writing is All in the Details

by Lucinda S McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Just because you write non-fiction doesn’t mean you can’t be a good storyteller.

In fact, I heartily advocate using all the elements of fiction in your writing. This is often called “narrative non-fiction” and employs good storytelling in order to offer an important takeaway.

While strong characterization, dialogue, and context are important, the key is in the details. Details are what help a writer to heed the advice of “Show, don’t tell.”

What does this mean to a writer?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Three Ways to Connect with Your Readers

Edie here. Today I'm so excited to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Bethany Jett. This young woman is doing some amazing things for writers! She's created the Serious Writer Academy, a place for writers to study, be encouraged and hang out. In addition, she's also developed an AMAZING planner for writers. She sent me one, and I'm absolutely in love with it. All the links for these opportunities at at the end of the post. So drop over and see what she has to offer!

Three Ways to Connect with Your Readers

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

“I feel like I already know you!”

Best. Praise. Ever.

In today’s ever-crowded online space, your message can easily get lost among thousands of other blogs and sites yelling for attention from readers. With all the noise, readers have quickly tuned their value-meters to high volume, and it’s becoming harder to capture their attention.

They can pick and choose who they listen to and trust, thus the need to connect with your readers is at the heart and soul of your mission as a writer. What sets you apart from the hundreds, possibly thousands of writers focusing on your topic is you. Your voice. Your story.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fruit or Failure?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

For me, this verse is tough. Some of the things listed are easy. Some…well…not so much.

In my travels this fall, I’ve had the opportunity to hear about other the journey to publication from a lot of different authors. I noticed most of us have a similar story. Very few had a direct route. Instead we traveled a circuitous trip full of bumps and detours.

Friday, October 16, 2015

With Indie Publishing - We are the Gatekeepers!

Edie here. I made a HUGE faux pas. I posted someone else's article originally here today. My sincere apologies to Traci, to Vonda Skelton, and especially to all of you, my readers!!!! I have uploaded the CORRECT article from Traci and will leave this up here through Saturday, October 17. What an awful way to introduce a new contributor. Track, please forgive me!!!

Now back to Traci's fantastic article!

I'm really excited to introduce you to our newest member of The Write Conversation blogging team, Traci Tyne Hilton. I've been a fan of Traci's for a while - I love her cozy mysteries. In addition, I've been looking for someone who knows Indie Publishings. Traci is a perfect fit. Be sure to give her a warm, Write Conversation welcome!!!

Last Book Ever
by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton
There’s an old myth going around that the indie-path has no gatekeepers.

Sure, there are no acquisition editors standing between you and getting your book in the marketplace, but there are other gatekeepers, and they hold the keys to your success.

The most powerful gatekeeper is probably the book addicted Amazon shopper. If you don’t catch the eye of that reader right off the mark, while you are still a new release, you can almost say goodbye to sales on that title. (Almost. There are ways to turn things around, but it takes hard work and money!)

Despite the make-or-break power of the reader, the most important gatekeeper is you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is a Writer an Author or an Artist

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Are you an author or an artist?

These words author and artist are not as similar as they sound. Some gifted individuals can be both, but in actuality, most people are one or the other.

In the writing world, these terms are often mutually exclusive of each other. They don’t have to be, but the majority of writer’s fall in one category or another. The rise of independent and self-publishing has widened the gap between the two considerably. Neither is better than the other. It is important for writers to understand in which category they fall, so the ever-changing and always difficult market does not disappoint or devastate them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Publishing As a Second Language—The On's of Article Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Several terms you will hear that pertain to article writing begin with the word “on.”

ON Speculation
Many times you will hear this term shortened to on spec. This usually follows a query and issues an invitation to send your article on speculation. That is a tentative “yes" meaning that once your article is received they will read it carefully and if it fits their needs, will accept it. Acceptance on speculation leaves the door open for the publisher to reject the work if it is not up to the standards set in the query. If you have studied the publication and its guidelines and have written a strong query letter that shows excellent writing skills, the possibility of acceptance for an on spec article is high.

“I don’t worry about money, this is my ministry.” How many times have I heard these words at Christian writers conferences when the subject of money comes up? Many writers seem to think that talking about making money for your writing is a sin. But the Bible reminds us “the worker deserves his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18). That doesn’t just apply to construction workers, teachers, or bank executives. Writers are on that list as well. No matter what market you write for, secular or inspirational, your time is valuable to you and to those you write for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Encouraging Words for Writers

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

An Open Letter to Authors

Dear Authors,

Publishing is double-edged sword. It brings us great joy and equal frustration. Daily publishers post information about the terrible state of the industry, driving us to ask the question, “Why do we bother?”

It’s this question that prompts my letter to authors, both new and seasoned. Quitting is not an option, but strength, determination, and wherewithal must supersede that which discourages you. Follow this wisdom and know that despite the odds you are called to a task. You are trained to move ahead—groomed to withstand the wait.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Do I Need in My Blog’s Sidebar—Blogging for Writers, Part 6

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m going to break it down and answer the question, “What do I need in my blog’s sidebar?”

Definition: Gadget, Widget, Whatever
Depending on which blogging platform you use, the names of the plug-ins for your blog are different.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Defining Success — in Life and in Writing

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
People like to talk about success—they like to bandy about different definitions for it. Success is this. Success is that.

And they’re all usually talking about something as far from failure as you can get.

I’ve been reading Alton Gansky’s book Imagination@ Work. (Alton’s a friend and a colleague.
I admire him. Even if I didn’t know him, I’d recommend his book. It’s like a series of “here’s what I’ve been thinking about” conversations with a witty, intelligent guy.)

But back to the topic at hand: failure.

Alton poses the question: What would you do, if you knew you could not fail? (That is a topic for another blog.)

I answered his question by writing this question in my journal: How do you define failure?

And then I wrote:
Success—less than

And by that I mean that what appears to be success in one person’s eyes can feel like a failure in someone else’s.

Say, for example, I land a book contract.

But I don’t earn out my advance.

Or I don’t win an award.

Or I don’t get offered a second contract.

Or I don’t ______________ (fill in the blank).

It’s the whole “being nibbled to death by ducks” experience. Turning success into failure because it wasn’t good enough.

But Beth, you say, Winston Churchill was talking about success—and defining it as facing failure enthusiastically.

I know. And I love his definition.

But Churchill got me thinking. And so did Alton. We need to enthusiastically face both our failures and our successes and not let the little duckies (dare I name them comparison and envy and disappointment?) nibble them all to pieces.

In Your Words: How do you define failure or success? And how do you face them with enthusiasm?

Defining success - in life and in #writing - via @BethVogt on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” 

A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quick Tips for Writing a Synopsis

by Vonda Skelton @VondaSkelton

You've just completed the Great American Novel. You've done everything you've been told to do. You've created compelling characters and plopped them right smack in the middle of emotional/physical conflict. You've engaged the reader with your perfectly executed plot and subplots. You've edited and proofed and allowed your baby to be critiqued by your writer's group.

Now it's time to share the pictures and see if anyone wants to hold her. So you register for a writer's conference where editors, agents, critiquers, and contest judges may ask for a synopsis.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Will TV/Film Kill the Literary Star?

by Warren Adler @WarrenAdler

As a longtime practitioner of the art of fiction writing and a committed reader of the works of others, I have been thinking a great deal about the impact of the proliferating film/TV industry on the future of reading.
Having lived through the golden age of Hollywood films shown in ubiquitous neighborhood theaters in the United States with outlets throughout the world, I hadn’t given much thought to the moving images’ actual impact on reading up until recently. Although there were voices that persisted in sounding the death knell of the novel, the popularity of novels and short stories never seemed challenged by the movies.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tips for Getting More Comments on Your Blog—Blogging for Writers, Part 5

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Even today—with as many blogs on the Internet as there are—blogging is still a valuable part of building and maintaining an online community. But it’s rare for a blog to take hold and grow—if it’s not a place where comments proliferate. Almost no one likes to be lectured, and that’s what a blog can feel with it the conversation is only one-sided.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Truth Inside the Lie

I love the dichotomy of this quote from Stephen King. So often we're able to explore truth when we write fiction. 

Fiction is the truth inside the lie. -Stephen King
Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I 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 2, 2015

One Writer's Love Affair with the Keyboard

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

I’ve failed miserably. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Some of you know that I struggle with a health challenge that kept me from writing anything for several months. 

 was in such pain that I couldn’t sit long enough to write. And when I tried a standing desk, I discovered I couldn’t remain in one place without those annoying pains forcing me to move. And just to add to my woes, I suffered the emotional pain of not being able to express myself through the written word.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

On Your Left—A New Perspective on the Writing Journey

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

A new perspective on the writing journey.
A few weeks ago, my family and I rode the Virginia Creeper Trail. Built on an old railroad bed, the Virginia Creeper Trail offers a unique biking experience. 17 miles.



It’s an amazing ride. The scenery is stunning and the trail is open to cyclists of all experience levels. As you head down the mountain, you see professionals wearing their padded bike shorts, wild little boys on their 20” bikes peddling as fast as their legs can go, infants snoozing in their bike seats, and parents cruising along with their toddler behind them on a tagalong.

For the most part, the cyclists are respectful of the trail and their fellow cyclists. There’s a real sense of camaraderie. After all, we’re all on the same trail, headed in the same direction. We all want to achieve the same thing—to get to the bottom safely and have a great time doing it.

With such a variety of skill levels, it would be boring if you had to start down the trail and ride in single file. Fortunately, that’s not how it works. There may be a bit of bunching up at the top, but before long everyone finds their own rhythm. The faster riders start calling out the standard warning, “On your left!” as they pass the riders taking the trail at a more leisurely pace.