Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Does it Mean to be a Writer of Hope?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I am a writer of hope
Being a writer of hope is something I’m making a deliberate effort to become. I think it’s something we all should consider. There is so much in our world these days that can lead to hopelessness if we let it.

Because our business is words, we have the ability to affect how others interpret the world. I’m not suggesting that we slant our viewpoint to something untrue, but rather that we take an honest look at the hope around us no matter what situation we’re viewing.

Being a Hope Writer Means:
  • Reminding others—and ourselves—that no matter what we’re facing, we can use it to make the world better or worse.
  • Reporting truth, but not forgetting that even the most difficult truth carries within it the seed of possibility.
  • Remembering to be kind. We should always take time to make sure what we’re writing isn’t running others down.
  • Remembering to be respectful. There are always two sides to every issue. Even when we disagree, we can do it without attacking one another.
  • Repeating the fact that no situation is ever permanently bad. We all face struggles and stress, but nothing lasts forever.
  • Redefining possibilities. Just as every situation has multiple possibilities, it’s our job as writers to bring those to light.
  • Releasing the misconceptions we hold onto so tightly. We have to first take an honest look around us before we can share truth with others.
  • Reinventing our own personal attitude. Unless we subscribe to the attitude of hope, it’s hard to encourage others.
  • Reminding others of God’s ability to redeem anyone and any situation.

These are the precepts I’m trying to apply to every thing I write. What would you add to the list? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


A writer of hope knows that even the mostdifficult truth carries within it the seed of possibility (Click to Tweet)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Idea Starters for Writers - Calendar Days - 30 Days of Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions in September

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. 

These are fun to read and also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also excellent writing prompts to help get your creative juices flowing.

Finally, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blog Numbers Dropping?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve had a number of similar conversations this summer. They always begin the same way, with an inquiry about how he/she can improve the numbers that are dwindling at an alarming rate. These worried bloggers are certain they’ve either done—or not done—something to cause the drop in views, comments and shares. And my answer is always the same.

A drop in blogging numbers is normal during the summer.

My one-sentence assurance is rarely enough to calm a blogger’s nerves. And that’s understandable from someone who’s seen consistent growth through out the first of the year. So today, I’m going to break down the normal ebb and flow of blogging numbers throughout the calendar year, to help you evaluate the health of your own site.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Actively Erupting Good Thinking

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

A lot of my friends have adopted a more active lifestyle and started new workout routines of late. When they all do it at once like that I’m usually shamed into joining them. This time, I’ve decided to do resistance training. Because nobody resists training like I do.

People are always talking about how important it is to have a strong core. And even though I’ve heard from all different directions that I should exercise my core, I’m having a hard time getting past the fact that it sounds just plain dangerous. I try not to disturb my core. That’s because under the various layers of fat cells, I’m not altogether sure what I’m really made of. Hey. What if my core is made of molten lava? Anyone ever think of that? Activity is one thing. But volcanic activity? That’s a whole different ball of magma.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing a Book was only the Beginning

Edie here. I'm really excited to introduce you to Susan Baganz, one of my fellow authors at Prism Books. Be sure to read about her latests novels, out soon! 

by Susan M. Baganz @SusanBaganz

In October 2009, I had a strange dream. I sensed I was supposed to write a novel in November for National Novel Writing Month ( I figured it cost me nothing, wasn’t illegal and if I didn’t finish the 50,000 word goal in November, I would have at least tried.

So I wrote a story that I’d been too afraid to write for more years than I can count.

Friday, August 26, 2016

3 Good Reasons to Disagree with an Editor

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Because I’m an editor as well as an author, you might be surprised to read the title of this post. Aren’t editors always right? Won’t you doom your writing career if you disagree with an editor? Won’t they stick the dreaded difficult label on you if you dare to question one of his or her edits?

It’s important to keep in mind that disagreeing is far different than being disagreeable. Your relationship with your editor should be one of mutual give and take, characterized by dialogue and interaction. This is the reason for the Accept and Reject Change button in Microsoft Word—you have the power and right to reject editorial changes, but only for very good reasons. And be prepared to defend yourself.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Myth & Management of the Multitasking Writer

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverbendSagas

When I was in public service and in ministry work, especially involved in hiring, it seemed every job description called for the ability to multitask. And every candidate listed multitasking as one of their strengths if not their greatest strength.

Watching how others and I performed our job functions over the last too large number of years, I’ve learned we can really do only one thing at a time if we want it done well. Multitasking is really knowing the status of where everything else on our plate is so we can quickly pick it up when we get back to it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tips for How to Hook Your Reader

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

The best compliment a writer can hear is, “Your book kept me up all night. I was hooked from the very first line.”

We’re pumped! What wonderful affirmation for our hard work. All the hours, tears, rewrites, digesting critiques, and muscle-cramped fingers just paid off. A lovely nap is in order.

But in addition to all the effort it takes to write a dynamic story, a wise writer understands her readers have certain habits. Those peculiarities and preferences are vital to creating a novel that leaves the reader satisfied and wanting more. Our desire is for our books to be shared with others, via word of mouth and social media.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting Creative with Fiction Publicity

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Nearly 20 years has passed since I walked into this world of publishing, whether I knew it or not. Twenty years ago (March 1997) I began writing what would become my first published novel, Shadow of Dreams. As I wrote, I knew—somehow, deep deep down—I knew this book would find itself onto bookstore shelves.

Monday, August 22, 2016

13 Social Media Rules Every Writer Needs to Know

by Edie Melson @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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Ways to Write Using the Five Senses—Touch

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Different body parts experience the sensation of touch in unique ways. Fingertips have heightened levels of sensitivity, but the tip of an elbow is desensitized. 

Depending on how you touch on object with certain body parts the feeling or experience will be different and should be described relative to the sensation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10 Tools for the Bible Study Writer—Hunting for Treasure

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I have a confession to make. I love to stop at tourist traps and pan for gold. It’s like a mini-adventure when I get to sift through a pan of dirt and discover treasures for myself. 

Sifting through lumps of mud, shaking the pan anxiously, waiting for the moment when a piece of gold or pyrite catches my eye. A little work, a little waiting—and then the reward! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Writing a New Book

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Today I began writing a new book. I gasp as I realize this is number thirteen to be published under my name (I’m not superstitious).
Did you think I would be calm with this process by now?  The truth—I am in awe. That a fine publisher has offered me a contract. That amazing people actually buy the books I write. But mostly, friend, I am in awe that the God of the universe would deign to offer me a part in helping to further His kingdom here on earth.
Through words.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tips for Tromping Trolls on Social Media

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Social media is one of those love-hate relationships. There’s a lot of good buzz it can create, but there’s also a bitter aftertaste if a troll decides to attack your territory.

It’s important to understand the difference between trolls and someone who just doesn’t like you. You have every right to delete inflammatory comments and keep peace on your pages, but be careful to not manipulate the system so you’re only seeing the sunny side of things. If a person voices their dislike, let them know it’s okay and different people have different views.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Life in Words

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

My words rest on the page as if sleeping.

They are worn out from their journeys and struggles. The stories they would tell if they weren’t so tired are of an epic nature, I am sure. Where they have traveled, what they have seen and endured, how they have suffered and triumphed, and what miseries and hopes they have carried! They are weary, and for good reason. “The road has been long” is an underdeveloped expression of their experience.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Loved or Understood?

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Loved or understood? Do we have to choose between the two?

I don’t think so.

When we take the time to understand someone else, isn’t that a form of loving that person? Understanding someone demands concentrated effort. Sometimes we must set aside prejudices and preconceived ideas about a person. Understanding happens when we listen. When we consider someone else more important than ourselves — when we let their story take precedence over ours.

It’s not so much which came first: loving or understanding? It’s more that you can’t have one without the other. If you understand someone, you can’t help but care for them in at least some small way. And if you love someone, then you are willing to put in the effort to understand them — to ask who are you and why are you who you are

In Your Words: If you had to choose, would you want to be loved or understood? Why? And what do you think of George Orwell’s quote? Is it a matter of choosing one or the other — or are being loved and being understood intertwined?

Loved or understood? Do we have to choose between the two? @BethVogt (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.