Monday, September 16, 2019

Helping Authors Understand Marketing

by Karen H. Whiting @KarenHWhiting

We all know the purpose of marketing is to reach customers in a way that motivates them to buy. Behind that basic concept there are many theories. I have no degree in marketing but have read many books and studied various theories that can apply t books. I want to share a few theories and how they work for authors. Let’s look at a few books and the theories they present.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Find Rest in God

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I wish I could say my soul is perfectly content—that I have the kind of soul-rest that comes from God. Or that I don’t have stress or impatience in my life and I quietly wait as I let God handle everything. But I’m a stubborn only child and often behave like a toddler ready to strike into a full-blown tantrum. I like to do things “by myself.” What the toddler is usually trying to say is I don’t need you, I can handle this on my own. Have you ever felt this way?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Are You Speaking Strong Words or Weak Words to Yourself?

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My youngest daughter started college a few weeks ago and she’s excited to be playing volleyball at the collegiate level. We were talking about her being on the team, and she shared how the coaches are encouraging them to think strong words about themselves, not weak words

Friday, September 13, 2019

Co-Writing with the Holy Spirit

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to our newest regular columnist, Joshua Masters. I've known Josh for several years and I'm so excited he's going to be sharing his heart and his insight with all of us regularly! Give him a warm TWC welcome.

by Joshua Masters @JoshuaJMasters

If the genre we write has the word Christian in front of it, we should approach every project as a collaboration, a partnership where we’re the junior partner. 

The best-selling author of all time has invited us to join Him on His latest writing endeavor. No author has had a greater impact on the world or sold more books than the Holy Spirit. He need not include us in His work, but He enjoys mentoring and building a relationship with other writers. It’s a journey of deep relationship and learning as He guides us in the calling He’s given us.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Write Where God Leads You

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Why did I say yes to this assignment, I thought as I drove to the high school in my hometown. Armed with notebook, several pens, and my camera, I trudged into the auditorium. Already on stage sat a dozen or more fourth through eighth grade youngsters. 

Can these kids please not be as smart as the last ones? Two years ago, I’d covered the same event and those darn smart children spelled for hours and hours. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Debut Author’s Book Launch Primer

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to an author I met at a recent Christian book show. He writes for my publisher—Bold Vision Books—and I got an advance copy of his book and I LOVE it. I asked if he'd be willing to share some of the insight he's gained here on The Write Conversation and he said yes. So be sure to give him a warm TWC welcome!

A Debut Author’s Book Launch Primer
by David J. Marsh @MarshJDavid

First there’s the book. You’ve proofread your book so many times your latest idea of medieval torture is to read it again. You’ve read an advance reader copy and more changes have been identified—even as you’re sending copies out to influencers and your launch team. A release date has been set and the writerly truth rings true: no one ever finishes a book, they simply stop working on it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Value of Writing Friends

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Every career has the obvious—work peers. We travel to our offices sharing space with our coworkers eight plus hours a day. These people become our extended family. It’s easy to become part of their lives because we hear their daily struggles, joys, and adventures.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Tips to Manage a Microphone When You Speak

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

After many laughs and nightmares with a mic, I now tell others that I can manage a microphone without losing my mind. If you and I understand the four types of mic, we can consider the microphone our friend most of the time.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Crossroad for My Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

“Take my life and let it be, consecrated all to Thee.” 

I heard the words to that old hymn today and found myself transported back in time. Thirteen years ago I hit a crossroads with God. Even back then I knew He’d called me to writing—in my heart I knew—but all around me everything was rejection and heartache.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Writers Facing Discouragement

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I have been very blessed to be able to attend several writers’ conferences and meetings this year. It’s always fun to meet writers and hear about what their work.

But it is also easy to become intimated. Everyone I met was so smart, so gifted, so successful.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Slow Your Story to Move Readers Emotionally

Edie here and I am beyond excited (and having a little fan-girl moment). Today I'm thrilled to share a guest post from one of my publishing heroes, C.S. Lakin. I've been a fan of hers for years and cut my writing teeth on her site, Live, Write, Thrive. This year she was part of the faculty at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and I got to meet her in person. She's also launching a new online video class, Emotional Mastery for Fiction Writers. Today she's sharing her expertise with us. So please give her a warm TWC welcome (and sign up for her class!!!)

Slow Your Story to Move Readers Emotionally
by C.S. Lakin @CSLakin

We writers need to face this truth. Our #1 objective when writing fiction is to evoke a response from readers. Readers read to react. If our scenes don’t move our readers at all, we fail as writers. That’s a sobering fact.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Why You Should Support Other Author’s Events

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

During the first week of each month, my social media feeds are full of book launch news. The latest releases from both long-time favorite and new-to-me authors are available for purchase and the authors are promoting their books with Facebook live parties, Instagram takeovers, blog tours, book signings, giveaways, and more. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Perspective Changes Everything—Tips for Writing Description based on Character

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Writers use words to paint pictures. Unlike screenwriters and the cadre of directors, set and costume designers, and cinematographers who use an entirely different set of tools, we writers have to describe the windy hillside, the absolute cold of space, the golden plains of grain. But it’s not quite that easy. We also have to tell the story through our characters and their feelings. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tips for Fiction Writers: Which Character Has the Most to Lose?

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Rewrite your chapter from the viewpoint of another character.

The assignment was a consumer of valuable time but that’s what my mentor required.

Enrolled in a mentorship program, each fresh chapter of my novel went to award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, who helped improve my skills.

I opened a fresh Word file on my laptop, MacBeth, pulled the weakest chapter from the work in progress and pasted it there. Then I went about getting through this requirement so I could move onto the next – hopefully more important—step. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Before You Share Online T.H.I.N.K.

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I didn’t always enjoy social media. 

Before I spent time on the various networks I assumed that interactions there were at best, shallow, with little or no real-world value. I’d formed my opinions by listening to the comments and complaints of others.

It wasn’t until I actually took time to interact online that I discovered there were lots of things of value being shared. The people I’ve met and the skills I’ve learned through online connections have added so much to my life—professionally and personally.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Words that Fill Others with Courage

by Audrey Frank @audreycfrank

With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 32:8, NRSV).

Like a present wrapped in beautiful paper, tied with a silver bow, the Hebrew word for encouragement is a gift. Upon opening it, one discovers that it contains not just one treasure inside, but many. Sāmak in its fullness means to sustain, uphold; to lay (one’s hand upon); to be braced, be steadfast; to lean upon, rely upon, gain confidence; to strengthen, refresh (Kohlenberger III, John R, Swanson, James, A Concise Dictionary of the Hebrew, 1996). 

Think about it! The gifts of sāmakwe can give others with our words!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

14 Ways to Carve Out Time to Write

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I think one of the biggest obstacles writers face is finding the time to write. It's a common myth to think that time just magically appears.

Truthfully, we never FIND time to write, we have to carve out time to write. 

That’s what separates the wanna-be from the professional.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Compose an Effective Social Media Update

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Twitter, as many of you already know, is my Social Media Sweet Spot—my easy button, if you will. It’s my go-to place to send and receive information. Because of that, I compose all my social media updates from a Twitter mindset. So no matter where I'm sending the update, I compose it with Twitter in mind.

I know that Twitter is NOT the sweet spot for many of you reading this blog.

Part of that is because you’re not really sure what constitutes a good tweet. You’ve heard just enough about hashtags and twitter etiquette to make you cringe at the thought of composing your own tweet. So rather than failing, you either stick to retweeting what others share or just pass on the whole thing.

Today, I’m going to break it down for you and share my tips to composing the (almost) perfect tweet every time.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Contest to Help Tame the Elusive Beast of Author Marketing

by Angela Breidenbach @AngBreidenbach

Where are great examples of successful author marketing?

What if your marketing is actually stellar, but you honestly have no clue?

Up until now, there’s been no tangible measure of excellence in Christian author marketing for books, book series, or brand. Some people may even be scared of the elusive beast of author marketing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Discipline of Being a Writer—What Does it Take?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Many people long to be a writer. They are avid readers and usually devour everything they can find on the printed page. The art of communicating through the written word fascinates them until they aspire to write. But with the interest comes many questions. The following are a few that may help with your decision.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

8 Tips for Writers to Stay Safe Online

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll never be hacked. Especially since, as writers today, this is where we spend so much of our time. But there are a LOT of things we can do to lower the odds of it happening.

This week I want to give you some tips on how to keep from being hacked online. This advice will continue to change because inevitably, the more wise we become at protecting ourselves, the more cunning those wishing us harm become.

Monday, August 26, 2019

For Writers: What – Because – But

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

I used to struggle with GMC (goal, motivation & conflict). I loved the concept, and quickly jumped on the band wagon. I got the book GMC: Goal Motivation and Conflict, by Debra Dixon. I devoured it. It was an easy read, since she uses movies as examples. 

I had no trouble following Dorothy's GMCs as she traversed Oz. Then I closed the book, made some GMC charts, and sat at my desk to put what I'd learned to use. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Verti-coming and Verti-going

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Have you ever had one of those world-tipping inner ear things? It’s about the worst kind of imbalance. It started small when it happened to me. My body kept trying to lean to one side. I felt like any minute somebody might come up behind me and try to stick a couple of sugar packets under my left foot. 

Then, as inner-ear malfunctions are wont to do, the thing accelerated and suddenly the world was very…how can I describe it? Very “Star Ship Enterprise.” The kind of Enterprise where some space anomaly has the ship flailing back and forth. I felt fine as long as I was lying down. But it was a busy season. I’d been meeting myself coming and going and lying down made me remember everything I needed to do.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Finding a Unique Way to Reach Your Readers

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

“Ping! Ping! Ping!”

While on vacation in Mexico, I was enjoying some much-needed time on the beach with my eyes closed, just soaking up the warmth of the sun and the smell of the ocean, and I heard a familiar sound. 

“Ping! Ping! Ping!”

Friday, August 23, 2019

This Writing Journey

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

This writing journey. This vexing, exhilarating, maddening, fulfilling writing journey that keeps us awake at night, plunges us into the depths of despair, and launches us to places we never dreamed we’d go, oh the glory. And the agony. And the joy.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Writers Facing Criticism

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. Psalm 13:18 NLT

One of the hardest things for a writer to learn is to receiving criticism and correction. Unfortunately, some never do.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Nine Ideas for Scripture-Related Memes

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I want to make them, but I easily run out of ideas. Do you?

They’re beautiful and inspiring. Colorful and carefully worded. Memes. A surprisingly needed tool in the writer’s arsenal.  

Our writing isn’t just for books and blogs. We can share tiny snippets of our writing on memes. Those perfect, eye-catching pictures are just waiting for our words to be added to them. We can share our memes on social media and on our blogs. They capture the readers’ attention and impart some nugget of encouragement or wisdom. The best wisdom we can share comes from Scripture itself. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

8 Things Every Writer Should Know About Using Footnotes

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Who loves to write but finds documentation a bit challenging? 

Hey, I’m raising my hand here. However, because I do love to introduce my readers to other wise people, I will probably forever be tracking down quotes and their citations. As I’m working on final edits for my 15thnon-fiction book, I am yet again polishing up all the documentation. My biggest word of advice is do not wait until you’ve written the entire book in order to start looking up your footnote information. Do the hard work from the very beginning and that will make the entire process run smoothly. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Marketing to Reach Families

by Karen H. Whiting @KarenHWhiting

We always want to target out audience in our marketing. That means understanding the needs and motivations of those readers. This is true when the books are focused on helping families thrive and equipping parents. Parents are the big buyers in books for children and families. Grandparents are secondary buyers. 

Technology changes so fast that marketing to this tech savvy group is like trying to hit a moving target. Yet, what remains is that parents buy what they need and believe is best for their children. They want to raise children who will succeed, enjoy life, and build a strong faith. They want to raise children who will remain close to them and overcome challenges. Offering to fill those needs must translate in the marketing.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Truth in Love

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

When we say we are speaking truth in love we need to pause and think that through. Are we really, speaking truth? Are we really speaking in love? Scripture does teach us that in order to have unity in the Body of Christ, this is what we must do:

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Parting From Our Characters Is Such Sweet Sorrow

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In Shakespeare’s illustrious play, Romeo and Juliet, he pens these words as Juliet bids goodbye to her lover Romeo, “Sweet, so would I, yet I should kill thee with much cherishing. Good night. Good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

Why & How to Step out of Your Writing Comfort Zone

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As a whole, writers consistently struggle with self-confidence. Part of that comes, I believe, from working alone. Another contributing issue is the fact that writing is creating. We bring something tangible out of nothing and it carries our creative DNA. Both of these factors make it hard for us to have accurate perspective, so we err on the side of negativity. We tend to think less of our writing—and our abilities—than we ought. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Author Income Diversification

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

Income diversification is prudent in any business. Writing is a business. As an author, there are many facets to obtain multiple streams of income including, book and digital product sales, articles, courses, coaching, and speaking. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Publishing As a Second Language - A Publishing Glossary

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

When I first began writing there were times I felt like I was in foreign language class! What did these new words mean? 

Wasn’t a clip something you put in your hair when you were going out? And felt needs? Aren’t all needs felt? What about a slush pile? Things that are slushy aren’t easy to pile up. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Extrovert Tips for Introverted Writers

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

I stepped to the podium. “Raise your hand if you are an introvert?” Conferees began to glance over their shoulders, waiting for that first person to be brave enough to raise their hand. It took a minute, but hands began to reach into the air. My first thought was to laugh. Over half the room of writers considered themselves introverts.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Facing Exhaustion in Ministry: When You Can’t Do More

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

You and I will face exhaustion in ministry when we can’t do more. Then what?

First, remember that God is with us.
I suffer from sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to sleep better. Before my trip out-of-state to visit family and attend the SpeakUp Conference, I noticed a leak in the machine’s hose. I called the doctor’s office, but they had closed early for the United States Independence Day weekend. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Thoughts on Being Used by God

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For the past few months I've been sharing some of my photographs on social media along with a short devotion. Today I'd like to share one of them with those of you who are part of the Write Conversation community. 

Thoughts on Being Used by God

I’ve always been fascinated by bees. Now that I have a daughter-in-law who’s a beekeeper, I’m even more aware—and a lot more educated—about this amazing insect. 

I was surprised to learn that bees have relatively short life spans. And that the worker bees we see gathering the nectar can travel up to seven miles and sometimes make close to one hundred trips a day. And the amount each bee has to show for her work? About one-twelfth of a teaspoon. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Be a Writer Who Dares to Write with Honesty

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

“Writing has made me more honest.”

My statement surprised me, even as it rang true.

I was out on an impromptu date with my husband, Rob. The conversation had turned to my writing life—the ups, the downs, and the constant choice to trust God with this hard work of living my dream. 

And somewhere, in the midst of it all, came this moment of clarity: the reality that choosing to be a writer demands I live an honest life.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Blogging Dos and Don'ts for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love to blog, and I try to share my love of blogging when I teach at writing conferences.

I also know that many of you aren’t such fans. Many try to love blogging because it’s a good way to connect with readers and build an online presence. Others, don’t even try to love it, but do it out of necessity. The rest are like me, and enjoy the process as well as the connections it brings.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Newspaper Writing: Tips for Becoming a SuperStringer

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

EXTRA! EXTRA!      Read all about it! 

Who? You, that’s who.

What? Could earn valuable writing credits.

When? Every time your article is accepted.

Where? In your local newspaper.

Why? Because newspapers need fresh, up-to-date content every day!

How? With the help of freelance writers willing to seek and write current event, community articles and hometown human interest stories.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

For Writers: Solving the Mystery of Deep Point of View: More Techniques for Deep POV – Part Three

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Still digging deep into deep POV!

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. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Freelance Writer Questions Answered

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

These questions came from a writer who is growing his career. 

Q: Should I propose an idea or a fully written story to a magazine or newspaper editor? I don't want to submit a completed story that does not fit what the publication's editor wants.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Writers Conferences: 10 Lesser Known Benefits

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Whew! Last month flew by faster than ice cream melts in the summer sun. As Marketing Director for Realm Makers, July is always a big month as we prepare for our annual writers conference and book festival. This year, I was doing just that—while trying to move! Yes, July was indeed a blur.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Word Rehab

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees (Job 4:4, NIV)

The verdict was in: one snapped ligament, two torn ligaments, and one major fracture. My husband’s day on the ski slopes with our son’s Boy Scout troop had ended in disaster. Without the use of his knee, he would not be walking for some time. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Advice For Writers Who Are Also Caregivers

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

This summer has really been a strange time for me. I don’t know if it’s the summer doldrums or trying to shoehorn too much into a day or new distractions, but I’ve spent very little time at the laptop. Very little.

It’s worrying my wife. She’s learned that if I go without writing for too long, I tend to get a bit cranky. Maybe a smidge. Like Godzilla taking over Tokyo.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Tips to Stay Safe Online

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers we know the importance of developing an online presence, but is there such a thing as putting too much information out there? 

How do we know when we've gone beyond platform building into an area that puts us and our families at risk?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

My Editing Prayer

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

If there is one part of the publication process that I have the most mixed feelings about, it would have to be editing.

Please note that I said editing—not to be confused with editors—my editors are amazing and I’m extremely thankful for them!

But as someone who thrives on words of affirmation, who has a deep (and wide) streak of perfectionism, and who avoids conflict at all costs, well, you can imagine how fraught with peril the editing process can be!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Midyear Writing Goal Assessment

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

Are you meeting your 2019 goals? Now is the perfect time to assess your writing goals, determine what you’ve accomplished, and adjust your goals accordingly. If you did not write your 2019 goals, look at my previous blog, New Goals & A New Writing You

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

How to Best the Box Jumps in Your Writing - Part 2

by Kristen Hogrefe @kjhogrefe

Kristen here. I’m happy to report I haven’t bruised my shin on the box jump this week. Level 4 is still slightly out of reach, but I’ll get there. That’s what my husband James tells me, and I choose to believe him.

Last time, we saw how the “box jumps” of fear and failure can prevent us from reaching our writing goals, and today, we’re going to learn how to combat them. Yes, these obstacles present challenges, but the good news is that we can overcome them with some help and tenacity.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Box Jumps in the Writing Life - Part 1

by Kristen Hogrefe @kjhogrefe

When my husband and I joined a gym together, he introduced me to the box jump. In theory, it’s simple, a metal platform that you jump on with both feet at the same time. You can move to higher levels as you advance in ability. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

In theory, publishing is simple too. You have a great idea. You write it down on paper. You publish it, and it becomes a New York Times’ best seller.