Saturday, April 29, 2017

When Saying Yes Can Stand in the Way of Following God

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I mistakenly thought I could say yes to
everything that came my way
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

This was one of the first Bible verses I ever memorized. It’s a heady verse for someone like me. Someone who loves to say yes for two reason— the sheer joy of being involved and the fear others wouldn’t like me if I couldn’t perform. It was a dangerous combination. But I truly believed this verse gave me the ability to say yes to everything, and God would provide a way.

Fast forward several years, and the price of saying yes began to take it’s toll on my mind and body. I no longer lived a life of joy and victory. Instead I was a slave of over-commitment. And I finally broke. It wasn’t pretty. Diagnosed with severe depression and several other mental health challenges it took me months to recover.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Truth Through Story

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Did you ever wonder why Jesus used parables so often to convey the basic truths he had come to teach? Stories like the faithful servant and the farmer sowing in different kinds of soil.

Have you ever read a novel where the author’s agenda was so blatant the story suffered?

Christian fiction is notorious is some circles for beating the reader over the head with a salvation message. The characters and the plot are mere tools for the writer to drive their nail of a message with a sledgehammer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Challenges of a Writer Who’s ADHD (Always Diving Heavily into Detail)

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A 12-step program for writers who struggle with
ADHD (Always Diving Heavily into Detail).
Are you an ADHD writer?

Are you Always Diving Heavily into Detail and seldom adding word count to a manuscript?

Has research has become a priority instead of the goal of powerful written communication?

Extra research is a necessity for accurate content, but continuous fact-finding doesn’t get a manuscript into submission form. While the writer is opening one more research book and one more website, the project awaits a distinct voice, technique, and treatment. Our readers are forced to wait for just the right piece to entertain, inspire, and encourage them.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Intro to Instagram, Part 2

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

Intro to Instagram, Part 2
Last month we opened our social media talk with an Introduction to Instagram. We covered usernames, how to create a stellar bio, privacy settings, how to pick a color scheme, tips on filters and so much more. 

Phew! We don’t mess around! Be sure to check out that article here, because today we’re jumping into content: what to post, how to post it, and why the Stories feature is actually a beautiful time investment instead of a time-waster.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Talking Circles Around Knowledge

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Talking Circles Around Knowledge
I’ve tried some of those idiot-proof tech products and you know what I’ve found? I’ve found that sometimes they grossly underestimate the power of a true tech-idiot. You have to be near genius level to even read the instructions on your average electronic device these days. And I’m talking about the instructions for the on/off switch. For a calculator. I’lm pretty sure I heard somewhere that genius in all areas is 99% perspiration and 62% wishing you had listened in math class. And I would add a pithy phrase about a circumference here—if I had a little more math knowledge.

Friday, April 21, 2017

What Indie Writers Can Learn From the Great British Baking Show

by Traci tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

What Indie Writers Can Learn From the
Great British Baking Show
Have you fallen in love with The Great British Baking Show yet?

The hugely popular British baking competition is available on Netflix for our viewing and learning pleasure.

The premise of the show is simple: There are some great home bakers hiding in Great Britain. Let’s see who is the best!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to Green Thumb Your Social Media

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

How to green thumb your social media.
It’s Spring. Or at least the calendar says so. Time to do some social media gardening, yes? Are you ready? This shouldn’t get your hands (too) dirty. Take these seeds, plant away, and let’s see what grows.

Your overall social media presence can be a beautiful garden, but only if you tend it properly. Think of each site as an individual plant needing care. This includes feeding, watering, and pruning. When everything is harvested in its time, you’ll have a variety of offerings for your (media) table.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Friends Don’t Let Friends Blog Alone

Friends don't let friends blog alone!
by Katy Kauffman 

Do you see blogging as an adventure? Although it’s a privilege to reach readers on a regular basis through a blog, the experience can be frustrating and solitary at times. It can be hard to pick our next topic and to find new readers. It can become lonely writing blog posts week after week. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if we have friends who blog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

5 Ways to Embrace Your Next Writing Conference/Retreat

5 ways to embrace your next writing conference
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Spring and Summer are prime seasons for Writing Conferences, so I hope you are able to take advantage of one in the coming months. There are so many benefits to gathering with other creative folk and learning from one another, especially while going deeper with God. While such events are an essential investment for your writing career, they do require energy, resources and time. 

How can you make the most of your next conference/retreat?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Milestone on the Blogging Road—Are You Marking Your Accomplishments?

by Edie Melson 

Today is another big milestone in the life of The Write Conversation, and in my own blogging life.

And truthfully, I think it would be a shame to let it slip by without acknowledging it. ESPECIALLY because it wouldn't have happened without you all (my readers) and without my amazing columnists.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What Pancakes Taught Me About Dead Dreams

What pancakes taught me about dead dreams
by Andy Lee

Have you tried to succeed at something and failed time and time again?

Did you finally throw in the towel with the disappointing yet relieving thought, “I guess I’m just not meant to do this. I will never be able to do it, so I’ll give up.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

Business Cards for Writers—13 Things You Need to Know

by Vonda Skelton 

In this digital world of technology-over-paper, business cards remain strong. After all, those tiny little cards are often the only things agents, editors, and event planners have to trigger their memory of you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Can Self-editing Improve Your Writing?

by Cynthia Howerter

Can self-editing improve your writing? That depends: is your goal to simply write or is it to write to the very best of your ability? While the former can lend itself to mediocrity, the latter challenges us to improve our skill, learn what we do not know, and utilize our knowledge throughout everything we write. Self-editing, when done thoroughly, forces us to scrutinize our writing and find ways to improve it.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Writing How-To Articles—A Great Place to Start

by Linda Gilden 

Harriet had been in my writers group for years. She had tried and tried to get her children’s book published and still no success. She began a second children’s book. Harriet worked really hard and wanted so badly to see her words in print.

At one meeting we were encouraging Harriet to try something different. I suggested she keep working on her children’s books but try to write an article.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

5 Ways to Win at Writing

by Cindy Sproles 

Our lives are filled with firsts. First birthdays, first dates, first time driving. In the writing world, it’s first publication. It’s an innate desire for us as humans . . . to be competitive. To strive to win. But where does first come in our writing lives, and how do we achieve it?

It’s important to know that being first is not always a sign of success. For example, that first draft is neither a sign of success nor a first-place winner. It requires tweaking, editing, and massaging before it’s ready for the winner’s circle.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Blog Editing Checklist

by Edie Melson

Lately, I’ve notice more and more typos creeping into my blog posts. It’s not a fun thing to admit, but it’s because I’ve become complacent about editing. 

Oh I could blame it on being busy, or life getting crazy, but the truth is...I’ve gotten sloppy.

It’s easy to do. We’re a third of the way through the year, things are going well with my blog, and my concentration has been elsewhere. Still no excuse. 

So today I’m going back to the basics. I’m posting the checklist I use before I hit the publish/schedule button for a blog. It’s not a long involved process, but it will ensure those annoying typos become much less commonplace.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Who Do You Say I Am?

by Sarah Van Diest 

That question is simple, but incredibly complex, yes? You can answer with your name, your occupation, your position in a family or in society, etc. Some will answer with their sexual orientation. And we may all answer that question differently depending on who is asking and what the context is, but just because we offer different answers at different times or to different people doesn’t mean our identity changes, does it?

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Tongue-in-Cheek Look at How Writing Conferences May Have Started

by Bruce Brady

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (or maybe just down the lane), Mary, an aspiring novelist, sat down to lunch with friends. There was Nancy, a nonfiction author, and Jane, a blogger.

“Why don’t we get together once a month and share what we’re learning? I think this would help us improve our craft, increasing the chances of reaching our goals.” Nancy smiled.

“That’s a great idea!” Jane’s eyes sparkled.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Don't Overlook Valuable Writing Connections

by Lynn H Blackburn 

Last month I wrote about some of the things I wish I’d known when my writing journey began. Today, I want to share something else that may be beneficial, whether you’ve only dipped your toes in the writing waters or have been swimming along for a while now.

Here it is . . .

In my humble opinion, your fellow writers are at least as important and in many cases are more important to your success than any agent or editor.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3 Tips to Get the Most From Your Next Writing Conference

by Cynthia Owens 

Three tips? Surely there are more. There are, but I want us to focus on the ones that will make a real impact on your writing life. If you attend a conference and do just these three things, you’ll not only gain value from that event, you’ll be taking positive steps in advancing your writing career.

If you’ve decided to attend a writer’s conference, you probably already have a specific priority in mind. There’s a set of classes you want to take, a key editor or agent you need to meet, or an author you want to question for career advice. Each of these priorities highlights a different benefit of conferences. To gain the most value from your experience, it’s important to take advantage of all the benefit areas.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Social Media TMI—Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online

by Edie Melson 

For an author, building an online presence that’s both professional and personable can be a bit of a tightrope walk. After all, we’ve all cringed at some of the intimate details shared in ill-considered tweets and Facebook posts. We want to connect with our readers as honestly and as genuinely as possible. But we also want to present ourselves as the professionals we are. I’ve had a lot of writers ask for guidance on where to draw that line.

The good news is that there are some guidelines you can follows. The bad news is, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Each author relates differently in person and to be authentic, we must carry that personal bent into our online presence.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Style Guides for Writers

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

You’ve finished writing your story and now it’s time to go back and edit. How do you know what the standards are before you make your changes?

All writers face this dilemma. Writing has so many suggestions, but few rules. Do you use a comma or semicolon? What about this thing called a serial comma?

It’s enough to make you miss a deadline.

That’s when you should turn to your bookcase and get out a style guide.