Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Battling a Spiritual Enemy When We Write

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

He doesn’t like it when we sit down to write. Our spiritual enemy’s mission to hurt God’s children and keep hearts blinded to the truth, is thwarted when we write for God. We may grow weary with writing and rewriting, but what we’re really doing is preparing for battle. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Importance of Thinking Before You Write

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

“Think before you speak!” is good advice.

What about “Think before you write?” Not a bad idea either. And I would add to that, “Pray before you write.”

I’ve seen far too much writing launched out into the world these days with nary a thought or prayer as to whether or not the words are true, helpful and gracious.  

Paul exhorted the people of Ephesus to “ lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church.” (Ephesians 4:15-16 TLB)

Monday, July 15, 2019

For Writers: Organizing Business Cards for Marketing

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

A few months ago, Edie Melson mentioned some great apps including Camcard for organizing business cards. I’ve been using that for a while, and it is very helpful as a marketing tool.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

God Loves the Scenic Route

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I grew up during the 60s and 70s, in a family that loved to travel. Some of my earliest memories are of traveling across the united states, looking at life from the rear view window of a VW bug. When my sister was born, our family went from three to four and our parents traded in the VW Bug for a VW Bus. (And yes, the picture above is family. We're in Big Bend National Park in 1969.)

Oh the places we visited.

I’ve been out west in a blizzard so fierce we had to scrape ice from the inside of the windows. I’ve cooked an egg on the pavement in Death Valley, and spent several nights camping on top of what used to be Mount St. Helens. But only a small percentage of our time on the road was spent on major highways.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Choosing to Relax Helps You Achieve Success as a Writer

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

As I mulled over options for this column, American Ninja Warrior (ANW)was on the television in the background. I don’t aspire to conquer those crazy obstacle courses; I’m an armchair American Ninja Warrior. And while I cheer the competitors on during their runs, I love hearing their how-I-got-here stories even more. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

5 W’s and an H of Newspaper Writing

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

What’s black and white and read all over? I know, I know—it’s an old joke, and it’s really only funny when asked verbally, because the homonym “read” gives away the answer. A newspaper is black and white and read all over!! (You can recognize the joke as outdated, also, because most newspapers sport color photographs these days!) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Publishing As a Second Language—5 Thoughts on Selling All Rights

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

“Can you help me? My story was published in one of my favorite magazines. I was so excited to get the contract I guess I didn’t read the fine print. I want to use my story again and realize I sold all rights to this publisher. What can I do to get my story back?”

There are a lot of elements to address in this question. Let’s take them one by one and see what we can figure out.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Taking Pride in Your Writing Work

by Cindy K Sproles @CindyDevoted

I take pride in my work. It was how I was raised. Do your best because your best represents your effort and how much you care.

Some years back, my ministry partner and I decided we wanted to pay authors for their devotions on the ministry website. It wasn’t much. $10.00. But for a struggling ministry, financially, that was huge when you multiplied it times 30 days, times 12 months. Still, we stepped out on faith praying God would provide so we could offer the writers a token of our appreciation.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Spiritual Preparation for Speaking

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

In your plans for a speaking engagement, you probably think about the topic, visuals, handouts, and what you’ll wear. What about your spiritual preparation? 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Delicious Words

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. Job 23:12, NIV

No one can make a morsel of food look more delectable, more delightful, more delicious, than a hungry child.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

For Writers: 5 Tips to Grow Your Vocabulary

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Have you ever been writing along and then, suddenly, was stuck looking at the blinking curser (I know it’s cursor, but the other way seems more appropriate)? Either you don’t like the word you’re using or that perfect word on the tip of your brain just won’t materialize.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Writing: The Journey

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

My rights have been returned! 

Wait a minute. The rights for two books I signed over to the publishing company. The rights they accepted. Now, they were returning them. What exactly did that mean? That my two books would no longer be available? The separate year-long journeys I had made of edits and re-edits. The waiting game I had played—on design, on production—to finally hold a copy of my very own book and know I had written what lay inside the covers. All over. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

God Sees All the Seasons of a Writer

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn 

It’s officially Hurricane Season. I don't know about you, but I am fascinated by storms. I will watch The Weather Channel all day for continuing coverage of whatever massive event is happening.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

For Writers: Still Digging Deep, Solving the Mystery of Deep Point of View—Part Two

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Last month, we talked about how deep POV isn’t really a mystery, it’s one of many techniques to create your characters all the way “to the bone,” where their emotions live. It’s a way to drag your audience along on that journey. And, it’s a way to allow your characters to tell their stories. 

We worked with dialogue and body language last month. Today, we’ll add two more layers to the characters we’ve already started creating: 1) Character Goal, 2) and Character Motivation.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Summer Fun, Writing Fodder

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Ah, summer is finally here. The sun is shining, the trees are green…and it's hot, too hot. Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of summer, but traditionally there are a few perks to the season. Summer is a time for swimming, vacations, and lots of reading, right? It's also a time to start building our writing fodder!

Writing fodder is our breadth of experience and knowledge from which we draw upon when we write, no matter what genre that is. Everything from unique events to specific conversations to the books and media we consume contribute to the writing fodder. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Recognizing The Abundance of God's Provision

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it. Numbers 11:9

In recent years, I've made gratitude journaling a daily part of my life. I've discovered that I'm not a very thankful person and it helps me recognize the abundance of  blessings that populate my life. 

That got me thinking about Manna.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Writing Journey: Should Writing Be Your Permanent Residence?

Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce you to a long-time writer friend of mine, Jennifer Hallmark. We've supported each other through this writing journey and now Her debut novel is now out and it's one you're not going to want to miss. Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

The Writing Journey: Should Writing Be Your Permanent Residence?
by Jennifer Hallmark @JenHwrites 

Writing is a journey, one that starts, much like that yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, in a sweet little town far from fields of sleep-inducing poppies and scary forests. Unlike the broom and professor ending, however, penning words is an excursion that can last a lifetime.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Be True to Your Writing Self. Say No. And Sometimes Yes.

By Lori Hatcher @lorihatcher2

The offer I received was a writing dream come true. A major publishing house had read my book on homeschooling and invited me to submit more material. “We’re considering expanding our audience to include homeschooling moms. Would you like to audition for the opportunity to write regularly for us?”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Art of Self-Editing, Part 4

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

We covered a lot of territory over the last few months. The previous blogs in this series are below, at the end of the post.

Now, we’re coming toward the end of preparing our manuscript for submission or self-publishing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What to do When a Writing Critique Hurts

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We writers are a passionate, emotional group. While these traits help us create beautifully worded fiction and non-fiction, nothing slashes the heart deeper than a harsh critique of our work.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

9 Tips for Supporting Your Writing Spouse

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today I wanted to share 9 ways to support your writing spouse. Writing is a tough industry, and the support of a spouse can be the difference between success and failure.

This isn’t really a post from what I wish had happened, but ways that Kirk has supported me—all without my prompting. 

Truthfully, I would not be where I am today without his constant encouragement, prayers, and support.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Writing Better Books by Interviewing Your Characters

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

When interviewing our characters, we have to remove our novelist’s hat and don a journalist’s. You’re after a story, and it’s not time to be nice. 

A true journalist isn’t particularly concerned with the target’s feel8lings. In fact, a great journalist—a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist—goes for the jugular. He’ll poke, probe and pick scabs to get his story. He won’t leave his victim alone until they blurt out their secrets, their hidden desires, their deepest hurt. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

No Other Name

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

I said I’d never do it. But I did it. And actually, I’ve been somewhere near the worst of them all. I said I’d never be one of those moms who went through the whole list of her kids’ names before hitting on the right one. But at least once a week the entire time my kids were growing up, I would want to say something to one of them and…there it was: roll call. I’d hit every name on my five-kid list, and sometimes even throw in a couple of my own siblings and a stray cousin or two. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Earn Your Respect as a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

"Nobody takes me seriously or respects my time."

This seems to be a common refrain I hear from newer writers. They’ve finally worked up the courage to get serious about writing regularly and some of their closest family and friends won’t respect their time. They get calls during the times they’re writing and attitude if they don’t stop to talk. They hear comments that undermine their newfound confidence.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Focus Your Writer’s Eye with These 7 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

By and large writers are an observant lot. Things others might brush over or miss entirely stay with us, sparking ideas that blossom and grow. An overheard conversation can lead us to the plot of entire book. 

But like any skill that comes naturally, there's still room for improvement. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Prevent Post-Writing-Conference Burnout

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

I enjoyed attending the 2019 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. During the conference many industry relationships were cultivated as discussed in my last article Writing—A Juggling Act I saw friends I hadn’t seen since last year and met new ones. Now I have several new podcasts and magazines to query, dozens of social media pages to like, and book proposals to complete. By the time I got home exhaustion ensued. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Writing with Purpose

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Writing a book is no sprint—it’s a marathon. A cross-country marathon. As you run through fields of modifiers and metaphors, you eventually encounter hills of writer’s block. Ducking distractions and swatting flies of doubt and anxiety, you barrel forward closer and closer to the finish line. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Writing Memoir - 3 Keys to Keep You On Track

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

“So what?”

Unfortunately, that may be just the response when you say you want to write a memoir. Why do you do it anyway?

To communicate a true story. Your story. Or at least part of it.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Marketing to Your Reader

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Marketing to the reader should begin before typing the first word of your book or article. To reach that reader you need to understand the person’s real desires and needs. Your words will be a gift to that reader. Consider what your reader really wants and write to meet those desires. What’s the question you can answer that is on their mind or heart? What’s the challenge in their life that I causing struggles? What emotion do the struggles cause? Those are the felt needs. Keep them uppermost in your writing and then showcase them in the marketing.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Writing and Cooking

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPickTam

All the beautiful produce is hitting the grocery stores as well as farmers’ markets throughout the area. The colors and smells are mesmerizing. The choices abound. As a classically trained cook, the joy I get walking through the bounty is probably like the joy my hubby gets as he walks through a chocolate shop! Both of us take our time, imagining the taste and thinking through just what we will buy. And buy, we will. Share we must. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Living the Writing Dream—Even When You Don’t Know What It Is Anymore

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I’ve learned to never lock myself into an idea. Complacency sets in which can show up like arthritis on a rainy day. 

My southern grandmother could predict when her joints would act up by observing nature. “The cows are layin’ down. It’s gonna’ rain today,” she’d say. Sure enough, those cows were spot on. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

23 Things to Do for Your Writing Self

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are a lot of things about being a writer that are hard. And there are a lot of ways we make it even harder on ourselves. So today, I’d like to remind you—and me—of ways to be a little bit kinder on ourselves.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

6 Steps to Break Into Newspaper Writing

By Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

And the winners are ….. 

I told you last month in my very first blog post for The Write Conversation that writing for newspapers as a faith-based, freelance stringer is a win-win strategy. An unpublished or newly-published author wins valuable credits for the resume when a newspaper article sporting his or her byline appears in print. And the readership of the community earns the prize of positive and inspirational, local content above and below the fold. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Publishing as a Second Language—Acquisition Editor, Managing Editor, or Editor-in-Chief?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

When we enter the publishing world, lots of terms come to the surface. One of the things that can be a little confusing is:
  • When I go to submit a manuscript, to whom do I send it? 
  • Do I send it to the Senior Editor, the Managing Editor, the Editorial Assistant, or one of the other folks that I see listed as part of the staff?

Often when studying the masthead of the magazine (where you see the listing of editors) it seems overwhelming. There are so many names. But as long as you know who to look for, your submission will find its way to the correct person. If you don’t see an Acquisitions Editor listed and the staff is small, an editorial assistant may be your best choice.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

For Writers: Staying True to You

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

Writing is subjective and this sometimes makes it difficult to know who or what to believe about our writing. For this reason, I think this is the first lesson all new writers need to learn.

Monday, June 10, 2019

I Might Have Commitment Issues as a Writer If...

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Choosing to be a writer can be a daunting prospect. It involves courage, creativity, and yes, commitment. When we’re unwilling to make that commitment, we can destine ourselves to failure before we’ve had a chance to succeed.

This post isn’t meant to beat anyone up, but rather to make us aware of some of the things holding us back on our writing journey.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

When Failure Brings Blessings

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delightin weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV).

For me, failure reinforces and validates the fears I battle as a writer. Every mistake I make seems to add weight to the voices I hear in my head that feed my insecurity. And I make a lot of mistakes. Because this vicious cycle can bring my writing to a screeching halt, I’ve had to find a way to combat this way of looking at life. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Learning to be Content with the Writing Life We Have Right Now

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

The writing life is one of constant evaluation. We all set goals for ourselves, most of them familiar:
  • Finish a manuscript. 
  • Attend a writers conference.
  • Pitch a book idea to editors and agents.
  • Land a contract.
  • Win an award.
After we’ve set our goals, we do the work needed to achieve them. And that’s when we constantly ask ourselves the question, “How am I doing?” Sometimes we’re successful. Sometimes our dreams even happen faster than we imagined. Other times? We do the work … and we wait. And then there are the times when our success shifts, seemingly disappears, like when our publishing house closes or an anticipated follow-up contract doesn’t materialize. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

A Checklist for Your Blog AFTER You Hit Publish

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Last week I shared A Checklist for Your Blog Before You Hit Publish But publishing a post doesn’t mean our work is done. 

There are even more things you can do then that make a big difference in how many people it reaches. This week I’m sharing how to continue that momentum with 9 things to do after you hit publish.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Grammar Book for Writers and Everyone Else!

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Not everyone who writes is a grammar nerd.

While I fully embrace the term “nerd” when applied to me, I don’t consider myself to be a grammar nerd. My grasp of the English language comes more from the thousands of hours I’ve spent reading, and my ability to form a coherent sentence has more to do with an innate sense of what sounds right than from being able to explain what is grammatically correct.

In fact, until I’d been on the receiving end of an intense copy edit, I thought I knew what I was doing. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

For Writers: Solving the Mystery of Deep Point of View—Part One

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Get out your magnifying glass! We’re going to dig deep into deep POV and see if we can figure it out!

Deep POV really isn’t a mystery, it’s a technique used extensively in modern-day writing. It’s a to-the-bone character development which is expressed in your writing. In so many words, it’s FEELINGS. What does your character feel? And how do you express that on the page?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

For Writers: World-Building is in the Details

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

If you ask any speculative fiction writer what the differences are between "normal" writers and spec writers, we can give you a whole list of fun things. (Don't get me wrong, we have much respect for all writers—it's a tough job no matter your genre.) But one of the biggest, most fun, and perhaps hardest difference in being a spec writer is world building. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Telling God’s Stories

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The Lord sent Nathan to David. “This is what the Lord says…” (2 Samuel 12:1, 7).

Nathan had learned early not to trust his own words, but to instead listen to the Lord and deliver the words He gave in their entirety (see 2 Samuel 7:1-17). 

In 2 Samuel 12, we have the privilege of peering into his obedience as the trusted prophet of the king follows the Lord’s command, approaching David with words that would change the course of history. God-words, the kind that are sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Nathan was a storyteller, and the story he told came from the piercing mind of God. He offered it to King David and trusted the results to God.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Getting The Message Out About Our Writing

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Whether it’s getting back from our conference or from a vacation, many of us have returned to our cozy hidey-holes in front of the computer/laptop/typewriter. If the conversations at Blue Ridge are any indicators, we tend to lean toward being introverts and are most comfortable with our characters, all apologies to our families and friends.

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Checklist for Your Blog BEFORE You Hit Publish

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all want every blog post we publish to be the best it can be. Beyond that, we want our posts to get found. For that to happen, we have to increase the reach of every blog post we write. 

It's hard to remember all the things that go into an effective post, so I've compiled a checklist for my own blogging and today I'm going to share it with you.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

35 Pictures YOU Can Take for Your Blog or Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve shared several posts about where to find images for your blog. But one thing I haven’t covered is a list of images you could take with your own camera. I’m always on the lookout for images that I could use to illustrate a post. In my mind, I have a list of things I always need.

Today I’m going to write that list out and share it with you.

Before I start though, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be professional photographer to take your own pictures. You can use a fancy camera, a point and shoot, or even your cell phone. Personally, I use my Nikon point and shoot and my iPhone 6 to take a lot of the images you see on my site.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

13 Things We Must Remember About Being a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Choosing to stand up and be identified as a writer can be a scary thing. The road is rarely a straight path to publication. These are some things that I hope will help you stay the course as you continue on your own writing journey

13 Truths About Being a Writer

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing in the Hard Times

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

How do you write when you’re in the middle of life’s crises? 

I get this question a lot. And, I typically have the same answer, which is that if you had a “normal” 9 to 5 job, would you just shirk it? Not go in?