Saturday, May 25, 2019

Tips to Help You Develop a Speaker Author One-sheet

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

What’s a one-sheet? It’s generally an 8 ½ x 11 page that details who the Speaker Author is, what topics they speak about, testimonials from consulting and coaching clients, readers, and audiences, and contact information.

You may be thinking, “Aren’t they passé?” Our reply is, “You only need one if you want to speak.”

Friday, May 24, 2019

Recent Changes & Updates in Writing Style Guides

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

If you’ve been a writer long, you know the English language is ever-changing. Does email have a hyphen or not? Is the word internet capitalized or lowercased? And what in the world is a singular they? It sounds a little schizophrenic if you ask me.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Art of Self-Editing, Part 3

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

So far we’ve discussed several areas in the art of self-editing our work. 

In the first post [Click Here], we covered letting our completed first draft cool off before revising and then reading a printed version of our manuscript. 

In the second post, [Click Here] we discussed the value of having our computer read our work to us and starting our second draft.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Writer’s Danger Zone

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

A writer who slips into complacency enters a danger zone guaranteed to threaten a successful career. One of the biggest pitfalls in a writer’s life is a sense of self-regard that eliminates a dedication to growing in the craft. Add a false belief that previous publications, contracts, and name recognition will continue to soar with the writer investing little input.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What I Learned After I Knew It All

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I was once young and full of it. Ideas. Opinions. Advice. Me. Truth-as-I-saw-it. Then... Life. I grew up and learned how much I really didn't know. 

So I began a new quest. For Vision. Purpose. Compassion. Truth. Hope. Grace. My Story....  Wisdom. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Showcase Marketing Ability in Your Book Proposal

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

An author’s marketing ability should shine throughout the proposal. Publishing experts indicate we need to either build a platform or gather and engage a tribe. Basically, authors need to clearly pinpoint the target buyer’s motivations to buy the book and how to reach that audience.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I Am a Writer

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As writers of words, I have heard far too many of us dodge the question of  “What do you do?” I know I have. I offer up some pittance of stammering not willing to answer that question with the phrase “I am a writer.” Sometimes I’m afraid of the questions I’ve heard before that will follow … “Oh, what do you write? What’s the title of your book? Where can I find it?” 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Growing into the Writer We Were Designed to Be

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

This is the time of year when the results of the crepe myrtle slaughter become obvious for all to see. For you folks up north, the crepe myrtle is a multi-stemmed tree that produces vibrant flowers from late spring to fall. In early spring a few well-meaning gardeners chop the tree down to ugly stubs, exposing only the trunk, ruining the natural form, and resulting in spindly branches too weak to hold up the flowers that begin to bloom in May or June. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

A List of Apps That Help Maximize Your Writing Conference Experience

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writing conference season is in full swing. While everyone knows the value of attending writing conferences, many be not be aware of the benefits gained with a few simple apps added to your mobile device(s). This month I’ll share some of my favorites, and how they help keep me on track.

The first thing you need to know is that the value of an app isn’t dictated by the cost. Many of my favorites are free, and the others are all quite reasonable.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Writing—A Juggling Act

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

A writing career is similar to being a juggler. You need to keep many balls in the air such as writing craft, marketing techniques, and developing industry relationships. With practice, a juggler and writer improve their skills.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Keep Writing on God’s Timetable

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Do you feel like there is a book in you that is waiting to get out? For ten years I’ve wanted to write about the gospel of Mark. I love that book. Jesus is the Son of God in action, constantly on the go. He is healing, teaching, and ministering from town to town. So much ministry is packed into the first chapter that forty-five verses are needed to introduce Jesus. I have a basic outline, I have application ready to go, and I have the willingness to tackle writing about a sixteen-chapter book of the Bible if God gives the green light. But I don’t think He has yet. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

De-Stress Your Writing Conference Experience

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Conference time is gearing up. My inbox is filling with requests for critiques, appointments, and teaching needs and my office looks like a storage room. I’m preparing to box and ship books, drag out suitcases, and begin laying out materials that need to be packed. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

What to do When the Writing Well Runs Dry

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all have times when life spirals out of control. Maybe it’s too many writing deadlines, a family crisis or holiday madness. Whatever it is, it can drain us dry. I’ve learned that these dry times come when I don’t the luxury of taking a couple of weeks of to rest and recover. I’ve had to figure out how to keep going and recover while I'm doing it.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Add Newspaper Writing to Your Resume

Edie here and I'm so excited to introduce our newest columnist - Julie Lavender. Julie and I met when we both won the Guideposts, "Write for Us" contest in 2014. I love her writing, her wisdom, and her willingness to help other writers. She's definitely a perfect fit for The Write Conversation. Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it: 

Newspaper articles are a great way to earn writing credits for beginning, as well as, experienced writers!!!

Have you ever considered writing for your hometown newspaper? Newspaper writing is a market that is often overlooked by writers, but it can be an easy way to earn bylines and build a resume with those elusive credits that every writer needs and covets. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Publishing as a Second Language—Writer Bios

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

You have just had your first article accepted for publication. At the end of the acceptance letter are the words, “Please send us a 50-word bio.”

Your bio is your chance to introduce yourself to the readership of the magazine. But 50 words is not a lot so you must make every word count. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

How to Navigate a Writing Conference—Make Friends and Influence Editors

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

What do editors know, anyhow?
Early in my career, that was my initial thought when an editor returned my manuscript, outlining necessary changes before the piece would be published. When the manuscript for my first book was sent back after being edited so I no longer recognized it, I sat in my dormer window and cried. 

For a day. 

Then I got to work.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tips to Help Writers Manage Deadlines & Priorities

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Sometimes, I have an issue with deadlines. Truth is that I love deadlines. I love order. I love knowing when to have things done, having a plan to get them done, and then I imagine I would love the feeling of submitting something on time.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Spiritual Practice of Writing Tight

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? (Ecclesiastes 6:11)

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8).

There is much we can learn from the spiritual practice of writing tight.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

English Is Always Changing & Writers Must Keep Up

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Have you noticed how our English language seems to be changing at an ever-increasing rate of speed? (My editor would have said to just use faster.) We google for information, text the message to our friend who LOL when she gets it. I know that I am quickly approaching another decade in age, but I don’t think it’s just me.

Friday, May 3, 2019

How to Add Text to Images—A Screencast with Step-by-Step Instructions

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We are becoming more and more visual as a society. Because of that, images are far and away, the most shared things on social media. 

Share an update on Facebook without an accompanying image and we run the risk of having it overlooked or just ignored. 

The images with embedded text are called MEMES (rhymes with seems). When they’re done well, they are an amazing way to convey a message and connect with your audience. 

And they’re much easier to do than you may imagine.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Atomic Habits - a Book Recommendation for Writers

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Atomic Habits by James Clear is one of those books that kept popping up in my world. I'd hear about it on the podcasts I listen to and I'd see it mentioned in Instagram posts and all sorts of random places. 

I put the book on hold at the library and waited for it to arrive. I love books about habits, but I rarely buy them. I check them out from the library, read them, make a few notes, and return them.

The picture above? It's what my library copy of Atomic Habits looked like when I finished reading it. So I had no choice. Y'all, I bought it AFTER I'd read it because I knew I was going to need more time to absorb everything. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Interviewing The Characters in Your Book

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

We all want to know our characters better, to make them ‘jump off the page’ or be ‘less like cardboard’. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. After all, our characters ‘talk’ to US. How is it possible they don’t also come alive for our readers?

Of course, we want to describe the physical appearance of our characters, although that’s a different article. But that’s not the crux of what we writers need to do. We need to make our characters REAL, so that our stories will resonate with the reader. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Improve Your Writing When You Mine Your Life Experiences

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

We all want what we write to matter—to touch hearts, change lives, challenge the status quo. 

To that end we search high and low for the words that connect us to our readers.

But what if the gems we’re searching for aren’t hidden in distant places, but instead are buried deep within our own experiences?

Today I’m going to give you the clues to finding those precious nuggets hidden in plain sight. If you’ll bear with me, I’d like to follow this mining metaphor to its ultimate end and show you how to mine your own experiences to make your writing richer.

Monday, April 29, 2019

7 Ways to Encourage Conversation on Your Blog

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Blogging is a great way to build relationships with your audience. 

But a lot of people forget that, just like building relationship in person, we have to work at building bridges. It’s never a good idea to talk so much that others don’t have a chance to share their thoughts, and that holds true in blogging. 

There are things we can do to make sure our posts encourage conversation. And there are things we can do that discourage interaction.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Awash in Grace

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

You can tell a lot about people by the way they do their laundry. I have friends who have certain days they designate as “laundry days.” I confess, I’m probably much more impressed by that than any grown woman should be. My laundry days? They usually happen on whatever days I realize I have to make a choice:  I have to wash a load, or I have to be one of those people who goes to Walmart in pajama pants.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

When and How to Give Away Books

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

If you believe that the only way to make money on your books is to sell them, let me share a story about Jeff Nally, author of Rethinking Human Resources and Humans@Work. Jeff participated in two of Cathy’s anthology projects (where 15 authors come together to each write a chapter and become authors with a book with all their names on the cover). Jeff decided early on that his strategy would not be to sell his books, but rather, to gift them! 

Friday, April 26, 2019

I’ve Found My Writing Critique Partner – Now What?

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

More elusive than the mythological unicorn, a good critique partner can bring sparkle and shine to your writing journey. In February’s post, “Four Reasons Why You Need a Critique Partner,” I encouraged you to consider taking the next step in your writing journey by finding a writing buddy. In March’s post, “Four Qualities to Look for in a Critique Partner,” I shared similarities you should consider when choosing a writing compatriot. Now that (hopefully) you’ve found your buddy and can’t wait to get started, I’d like to suggest some questions you’ll want to ask as you set up your partnership. 

1. Will you meet in person or online?
Because of the beauty of online communication, your critique partner doesn’t have to live in your city, although an in-person relationship is ideal. If this isn’t possible, or even if it is, you may find yourselves communicating primarily by exchanging critique using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word. Not sure what this is? Check out Bob Hostetler’s helpful post, “Learning to Use Track Changes.” You can edit your partner’s document, leave comments and questions in the margins, and accept or reject every change. 

My critique partner and I live four miles away and meet occasionally for critique. Most of the time, however, we exchange our work via email, reserving the right to call if anything needs greater explanation than the comments allow.

We also occasionally schedule a marathon writing day. If we need extra motivation and help to move past a stuck spot or energy to jumpstart a new project, a marathon writing day often greases the skillet. 

When we break for lunch (which we’ve both contributed to), we critique each other’s work, making notes on double-spaced copies Word Weavers style. We briefly clarify anything that needs more than a scribbled note, and begin writing again. 

When the clock shows 45 minutes left to our writing marathon, we stop, print copies of what we’ve written that afternoon, and critique again. Every time my partner and I do this, we make great progress on our W.I.P.s, exchange valuable insights that always make our work better, and inspire each other simply by writing in the same room.

2. How often will you critique? 
Weekly? By-weekly? Monthly? How many words? When is the material due? When is it due back? Agreeing to a regular word count and time to exchange material sets clear parameters that helps you manage your time. If I know I’ll receive up to 2,000 words from my partner no later than Tuesday, I schedule the critique into my week’s work calendar, knowing I’ve promised to return it no later than the following Sunday. She does the same for me. 

Some weeks one of us misses our Tuesday deadline, but sends our work on anyway with the note, I didn’t make the deadline. No worries if you don’t have time to critique it this week.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. If not, we move the edit to the top of the list for the new critique week.

3. What will you do if it just isn’t working? 
I recommend you start your partnership with a trial basis, say 90-days. Depending on how frequently you critique, you should know by then if you and your partner are a good fit for each other. Going into the relationship knowing it’s not a forever commitment allows each partner to decide if it’s right for them. If for some reason it isn’t, agree to have no hard feelings. Prayerfully seek another partner and begin the process again, applying some of the lessons you learned the first time around.

Know also that it’s okay, during busy seasons, life seasons, and sickness seasons, to meet less frequently or temporarily suspend your critique commitment. When life or health calms down, pick up where you left off.  

I’m a member of Toastmasters International, where we often say, “One of the most valuable benefits of Toastmasters is the ability to receive regular, informed feedback.” I say the same about my relationship with my critique partner. Meeting together to polish and sharpen our projects has helped us both take our writing to a whole new level. If you’re ready to do the same, prayerfully seek out a critique partner. You’ll be glad you did.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a critique partner? What pros and cons have you experienced? Leave a comment and share the conversation.


Don't Miss the Rest of this Series

This series comes from Lori Hatcher’s newest writing workshop, “Yes, You Need a Critique Partner – The Who, What, When, Were, and How’s of Writing in Partnership.” Lori is the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine and the author of several devotional books. Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women won the 2016 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year award. Her most recent book, Refresh Your Faith – Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible is due out in the spring of 2020.A blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker, her goal is to help women connect with God in the craziness of life You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter (@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Art of Self-Editing, Part 2

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Last month, we began exploring the process of self-editing, of getting our writing in the best shape we can before sending it out to a professional editor.

Notice, I didn’t say before submitting it to an agent, a publishing house, or self-publishing it. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Easiest and Hardest Part of a Writer’s Life

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Many writers love the title of writer, but they hate the writing process. That’s because the writer’s life is an art form, a means of creating beauty and meaning from words. We can entertain, instruct, inspire, laugh, cry, and encourage others through an incredible gift. It’s also solitary and challenging. Rewrites can be grueling, rejections damage our confidence, and sometimes sales fail to meet our expectations. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Not Getting What You Want

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

According to the Gospel of John, on the third day when Jesus came to Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, John the Baptist pointed to Him and declared, “Look! The Lamb of God!” (John 1: 36) Apparently, the Lord continued on from there because two of the disciples who had been following the baptizer then followed after Jesus. One of them was Andrew. The other, most probably, was John (the author of the gospel).

Jesus turned and, seeing them, asked, “What do you want?”

Monday, April 22, 2019

Brainstorming & FaceTime for Writers

by Any Mulligan @AneMulligan

First and foremost, I love to brainstorm. It’s my favorite part of writing, where you take a skeleton of an idea and flesh it out. I love how one suggestion or minor comment leads to another that leads to another, and so on until you arrive at the perfect scenario. It doesn’t matter the genre, I can brainstorm with the best. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

At the Cross

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

An important day in history happened at a wooden cross. The cross that held the Son of God. 

Christmas is also a special day because believers in Christ celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But, without a cross, it’s just the birth of Joseph and Mary’s son. 

The event at the cross happened on a day we call Good Friday, the beginning of what was completed three days later.  

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hearing Yet Not Knowing. Until

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

It had been the worst of days and the darkest of nights. 

Peter paced back and forth in the poorly-lit room, hiding from real and imaginary sounds. His racing heart and constant trembling had robbed him of sleep. His world had fallen away, drained of all meaning.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Writing Through the Tough Times Brings Discovery

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve never met anyone who had an easy life. I’ve met a lot of people that looked like they did—from the outside. But once I’ve gotten to know them, I quickly learned that things were never what they seemed. This holds true for writers.

Those who have the luxury of writing full-time have the same struggles faced by those who have limited time.

That leads me to what I think is one of the biggest lies about writing—the myth of finding time to write. Truthfully, that time is never found. It’s carved out of our busy lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bestselling author or just starting to put pen to paper. And whether or not we consistently carve out that time, no matter what’s happening around us, will determine how successful we are.

As writers, we need to realize tough times will come. And it’s during those times that our commitment will be tested and our resolve will be forged.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marketing Strategies to Improve Book Sales

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

Today’s article will finish the topic from the Southern Writers article, “How to Sell One Thousand Books in Three Months.” Last month The Write Conversation posted the blog “How to Use Pre-Publication Planning to Sell More Books” Today, we will review the after publication marketing plan. Publishers expect an author to market their book. The marketing section of a book proposal is a selling component of any pitch.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Platform Building for Writers: Focusing on Content More than Numbers

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

“Just post something.” Once platform-building began to take more time than writing, this subtle mantra echoed in my subconscious. Of course, I wanted to post something worthwhile on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and more. But who has time to keep up with all of that when you’re writing a book and blogging every week? I was overwhelmed and desperate. I just wanted to post something.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Writer, What’s Your Side Hustle?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Let’s face it, most writers simply cannot financially support ourselves on writing alone. If you are one of those best-selling authors who does, you have permission to totally stop reading now.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Marketing Strategy: Make Followers Feel Special

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

I recently posted a cover reveal as a FB live. I have not posted the cover anywhere else yet, I wanted my FB followers to feel special and be the first to hear the news from me (it is on amazon if one knows the title of searches for my books). This is part of engage marketing where you interact with your readers and make them feel special. They should become special to you too as you interact. Growing a tribe focuses on growing friendships and making them feel you care about them. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Work of Jesus' Hands

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In this season of Easter, my thoughts and imaginings have turned to hands. Of course you know what started me down that path. The image of Jesus’ nail-scarred palms are everywhere. But as I reflect on those precious hands, I realize the story of our Savior’s hands begin much earlier. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Write What You Know x 2

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

“It's better to write about things you feel than about things you know about.”
- L. P. Hartley (1895-1972), British novelist

Humorist Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” 

And other writers have been debating his advice ever since. 

Does “write what you know” mean to base our stories on our practical life experience – education, occupation, travels? Or does “write what you know” mean to tune into our emotions and write from the overflow of our heart?

Friday, April 12, 2019

What is Flash Fiction?

Edie here. Today I'm so glad to introduce you to a friend of mine. Lindsey Brackett is a wonderful writer and her first novel, Still Waters, has garnered a lot of critical acclaim. Beyond that she's a talented editor and writes wonderful flash fiction. I invited her to share about Flash Fiction today and she's also provided a place for us to submit our own stories. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!

What is Flash Fiction?
by Lindsey P. Brackett @LindsBrac

When I first started teaching at writers’ conferences, I represented a company entirely devoted to the art of flash fiction. But before I began attending conferences, I didn’t even know flash fiction existed. Once I discovered it, though, working in this form of short fiction changed my writing—for the better.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Soul Care for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

Those who write have opened themselves to specific stresses. We pull from what’s inside us to create a gift. Our individual goals and dreams are as varied at the words we use. No matter why we write, I believe we each fight this battle to bring forth words to make the world a better place. We are hope givers, joy bringers, and light shiners. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Publishing as a Second Language – Defining Editing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

It may surprise you to see “editing” listed as a term we need to know to understand publishing. After all, doesn’t everyone know that editing is simply the process of correcting, condensing, and polishing a manuscript in preparation for publication or other distribution?

The truth is there is nothing simple about the process of editing and that is why we need to take a closer look into exactly what that means.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Don't let Fear Paralyze Your Writing

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I have a confession. It’s not the kind that involves a lie or something terrible, instead, it’s something frightening and it’s affecting my ability to write.

You might ask, what is so terrible that a writer can’t write? What’s so frightening that she can’t manage to enter her office? 

Monday, April 8, 2019

How To Craft An Introduction for Your Speaking Engagement, Part 1

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

“I can’t speak for you this weekend, ma’am. I don’t have anything to say, and no one wants to hear me anyway.”

“Yvonne, you do have something to say, and we do want to hear you. I’ll see you tomorrow—on stage.” And she hung up.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Writing from the Desert

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1, When David was in the Desert of Judah).

Bump, roll…thump! Bump, roll…thump!