Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Dozen Blessings of Newspaper Writing

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Headlines for the month of November encourage us to count our blessings, an exercise that behooves us twelve months of the year. Occasionally along the writing journey, we’re prone to celebrate and give thanks for the end product – the byline, the print magazine in hand, the final copy of that coveted book. 

But there’s much to learn along the way, many opportunities for thanksgiving, blessings just waiting to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tips for Writers: What is a Simultaneous Submission?

PSL - Publishing as a Second Language

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Simultaneous submission is another writing term that is seemingly self-explanatory, right? Well, yes. 

Just send a manuscript simultaneously to several publishers. But there are a few things that will help you understand how the process works.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

When Writing Grows Hard

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

It’s a given that writing is not easy. Learning the craft, the art, of writing is no different than learning the craft of pottery or forging. It must be learned. Practiced. Honed. Folks don’t just pick up a pen one day and write a best-selling novel. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

How to Craft the First Point of Your Presentation: Part 1

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

What are you passionate about? What could you speak or write on that you would forget to eat a meal or stay up late to prepare for it? That’s your topic. Narrow it as much as you can. Then narrow it again. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Clarity in the Fog

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
Job 12:7-9 ESV

Most of you know that beyond writing, photography is my second love. It's been amazing to spend time really looking at the world around me and I've been blessed by the spiritual lessons God has taught me through this endeavor.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

GRATITUDE: Choosing not to Overlook the Little Things

by Beth K Vogt @BethVogt

Being thankful seems to come more easily to us in November, doesn’t it?

From the first day of the month, we’re thinking about Thanksgiving. Yes, maybe for some of us our focus has been pared down to nothing more than a national holiday that gives us a chance to feast on turkey and all the traditional trimmings. But we also can’t help but catch at least a glimpse of the “give thanks” part of the holiday.

Friday, November 8, 2019

5 Daily Questions Writers Should Ask God

by Joshua J Masters @JoshuaJMasters

Learning the disciplines of writing is important, but it’s even more essential for Christian authors to develop an ongoing focus on God as they use their gift. 

Here are five questions every Christian writer should ask God to start their day.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Move Past Writing Obstacles with These Tips

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

My family and I recently spent a lovely week on the Emerald Coast of Florida. The white sandy beaches of the panhandle are beautiful and the water is clear—a big plus for me because I love playing in the water, but I don’t love wondering what’s swimming with me! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Business of Writing

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Lots of writers just write. The joy of creating a story, of dealing with those voices in your head, is amazing. And, if that’s all the farther it goes for a writer, there’s nothing wrong with that. But many writers take it to the next step and attempt to make a career of it. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Writing Duet

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Author of more than 195 books with sales of over 70 million copies, Jerry B. Jenkins has had 21 titles on the New York Times bestseller list. Owner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Writers Guild, he received this advice in his early years as an up and coming writer.

Monday, November 4, 2019

7 Things to Help You Control Your Social Media Life

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m just back home from several weeks of teaching at writing conferences. In spite of the fact that I’m a card-carrying introvert, I love getting to share what I’ve learned about publishing and marketing with other writers. One of the things I get asked over and over again is, “How do you accomplish so much and still have time to write.”

This question always thrills me, because I have some tips that can truly make a difference in the person who’s asking. My tips aren’t difficult or expensive or even hard to implement. Many are ones I’ve developed over the years as I’ve tried to give myself more uninterrupted writing time. Others are ones I’ve learned from fellow authors. Today I’m going to share them with you.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Writing from Affliction: Psalm 102

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly (Psalm 102:1-2).

If the afflicted one has the strength to capture his emotions and thoughts in written words, he gives a profound gift to the world.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

3 Things Every Writer Can Learn From NaNoWriMo

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

It’s the second day of November. For all our readers who are participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I wish you good luck and hope you have many great ideas. Remember you have the whole month. It’s okay if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. I mean, when has it ever gone as planned?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Dialogue

by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

Dialogue is as crucial to a novel as conversation at the dinner table. Without it, both are lifeless. However, conversation comes much easier than well-written dialogue. My tips are far from an exhaustive list and tend to be ambiguous. That’s because the rules aren’t hard and fast. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Face Down Your Writing Fears

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and this person confided that she was afraid she didn’t have what it takes to be a writer. “I’m just not good enough to get a book published, and I don’t know if I ever will be.”

“Welcome to the club,” I told her. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

9 Blogging Tips From My Canine Friends

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Most of you know I’m an animal lover. We have one cat, Emily Dickinson, and our son's dog, Cosmo. I don’t know what I’d do without my four-legged friends cheering me on as I work every day.

But they’re more than just great companions, they’ve got a lot to teach me. I’ve shared lessons from Emily before in a devotion on Being Still. So today I’d like to pass along some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from my dogs.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tips to Creating Effective Blog Post Titles

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I spend a lot of time sharing other bloggers’ posts with my social media network. But spend even more time passing over valuable posts because my followers would have no idea what the post was about. So today I want to give you the basics of titling blog posts.

I pay a lot of attention to my blog post titles, and I often spend almost as much time composing them as I do writing an entire post.

They are that important!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Why a Writer's Office Needs a Door

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

I have a dream. It's of my optimal office space. I've achieved part of it, but there are some elements missing. Like the mountain lake outside my window. Hey, a girl can dream, right? I'd love a coffee bar behind my desk. I’m want someone to invent a desk that cleans itself. But most of all, I want a door I can close when I'm working. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Persona Non Au Gratin

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Do you know how glorious it is to speak at an event that’s directed by a thoughtful and gracious event coordinator? Near-heaven. Chauffeured about, fed the best meals from the finest restaurants, then transported to a posh hotel with a gorgeous gift basket already waiting. Mint-on-the-pillow kind of stuff. Oh how I like being treated like a queen. No one knows better than I do that I don’t deserve it. But I still like it.  

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Generate More Speaking Opportunities While You're Speaking

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

When you speak, what can you do to generate more speaking assignments?

There are many ways you can generate more speaking engagements while you speak! 

During your keynote, workshop, seminar, or webinar, you might include some phrases that let the audience know that you are a speaker and that you regularly provide programs on this and similar topics. While it may seem obvious to you that you would like to do more speaking, the audience may not be aware and are only given this idea when you mention in your presentation that you do other presentations. Do this by including phrases such as the following:

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Seasoned Writer’s Prayer

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Father, thank you for the writing opportunities you’ve given me. Thank you for article ideas, devotional thoughts, and book concepts. Thank you for the joy of writing. Your Word tells me “every good and perfect gift comes from above,” so I know these publishing treasures come from you. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

What Legacy Are We Leaving?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Often when we think of legacy, it’s in terms of what are we leaving behind us materially. We can’t take it with us. We never see a hearse followed by an armored car filled with gold.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

7 Tips to Take the Boo out of Writing

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Do you feel like it’s Halloween every time you start a writing project? How would you like to take the boo out of those scary feelings? The following are seven ways to overcome the fear and write on!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Along the Road to Getting Lost in Writing

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it. ~~Charles de Lint, Dutch-Canadian author of fantasy fiction

Monday, October 21, 2019

Get the Most of Writing Coaching

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

When you feel stuck or want to get to the next level in your writing/publishing consider using a coach. Many coaches have specialties in what they do best. The coach’s job is to help you move forward and overcome obstacles that keep you from improving and reaching goals. Coaches don’t make you a best seller. They guide you to where you want to get next. That means you need to identify your needs and goals.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Think Differently About Your Writing

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

There have been many conferences this year already. Maybe you’ve attended one or two yourself. We may be hearing about the successes of our fellow writers, while we may be hearing rejections. Or worse, no response at all. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Seven Deadly Sins for Writers

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

One thing that great novels consider is the search for self. Good writing brings us into story and, as we enter another’s world, we allow the protective shield around our hearts to peel back. What we see in the protagonist, we often begin to recognize in ourselves. Good storytelling does that. A prime example is Jane Austen’s delightful novel Pride and Prejudice. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Book Marketing Through Writing Contests

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

Contests are an excellent promotional tactic for authors. When your book is a finalist in a competition, you can use that information to promote it through many outlets. Entering book contests should be a part of every author’s marketing plan. This article will help authors navigate the process.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Are You Writing with Insight?

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Takeaway is the heart of our writing. What do you want your readers to take away with them once they’ve read your blog posts, articles, or books? That answer drives every paragraph, molds every sentence, and selects every word. 

Insight. That’s what our readers want. They want to know how to solve a problem, answer a question, or meet a felt need. They want meaningful takeaway written by people who have discovered the answer, who know the subject from the inside out. Our insights won’t be perfect; only God’s are. But with His help, we can deliver insight that’s practical, proven, and profound. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Learn How to Put Your Reader to Sleep

Yes, you read the title correctly. Put your reader to sleep

Okay, maybe not completely to sleep, but at least allow them to dream. What does dreaming have to do with writing? Everything. The dream I’m referring to is the fictional dream. If you’ve never heard the term before, don’t worry. I guarantee you know what I’m talking about. I think author, John Gardner says it best. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Physical Preparation for a Speaking Event

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Are you worn out? Perhaps you’re thinking, Is there no end to the preparation for a speaking event? 

I understand. In my early training to become a speaker, I once threw my arms up in the air, looked to the sky, and said, “Gracious, does it ever end?”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Writing in the Right Light

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Ephesians 5:8 (HCSB) 

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a photographer. And one of the earliest lessons I learned about good photography was that exposure matters. I’ll be non-technical: for an image to work, there has to be light—and plenty of it—or the picture won’t look right. Not enough light means it’s a blurry dark mess that’s unrecognizable. No matter how much post editing we do to an underexposed picture, it can’t be fixed. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

13 Reasons it's Scary to Live with a Writer

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are a lot of scary things about living with a writer. My husband and family know this only too well. Unfortunately, they’ve been subjected to just about everything on the list. And yet they still love me—even more than that they appear to enjoy my career choice at times.

Still, if you’re not expecting some of these things, they can be frightening. So since it’s Halloween I thought I’d give those unsuspecting family members a sneak peak at what they’re in for with the 13 scariest things about living with a writer.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Cure for Discouraged Writers

By Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

Christian writers are not immune to rejection and struggle. I’d like to say I responded to a recent rejection by saying, “What a delightful part of God’s plan for this project,” but that’s not exactly how I felt. When we feel discouraged in our writing, how do we overcome the negative story we tell ourselves and recapture the heart of what God’s called us to do?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Write On, Scribes!

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Last week, while Lori Hatcher penned the words for her September 27 post on The Write Conversation, I spoke at a gathering of the Jolly Christians, the senior ministry of a small church about twenty minutes from my home. Interestingly, Lori and I shared common Bible characters in our thought process. Lori’s delightful post about “Barry” and “Jerry” can be found here on An Unlikely Publishing Story.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Publishing as a Second Language—What It Means to Write on Assignment

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

As a new writer I remember hearing seasoned writers talk about writing assignments and wondering How do you ever get to that point?
The short answer is lots of hard work! But if you are one of those writers who would love to have editors calling or emailing you with an assignment, let’s talk about how to get there.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Woes of Unsolicited Manuscripts in Publishing

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

No unsolicited manuscripts!  Ah, the pain of reading or hearing those three words is every writer’s nightmare. As the squeeze on the publishing industry grows tighter and tighter, so grows the frustration of the new writer.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Starting Where You’re At (in Book Marketing and Life)

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

I have had one CRAZY summer. Insane. Unyielding. Emotional. In fact, I’m convinced August was a blackhole that didn’t actually happen. Before I could recover, my book release time was here, and I had hardly done anything I had planned to do. This launch was going to be a total failure. 

Unforeseen Circumstances 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Our Words as an Instrument of Gentleness

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).

The United States had just invaded Iraq, and we were Americans living in a Muslim country. The national news was not kind, nor was it censored. Images of children, victims of bombs, flashed daily across television screens, along with a call to defeat the infidel. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

How To Use NaNoWriMo to Further Your Writing

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

It’s almost that time of year again. No, not pumpkin-spice season. NaNoWriMo.

Now, for the very few of you who are asking what is that, NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month that takes place annually in November. Can you believe that this is its twentieth year?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Don't Be a Scaredy-Cat Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The season of spooks is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we can give in to the fears we face as writers. We must face our writing fears and keep moving.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Don't Despise the Writing Time You DO Have

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Do you ever wish you had all the time you need to write?

Do you let the fact that you don’t have enough time stop you from writing?

Do you wonder what the point of writing is when you can’t keep up with the pace set by other writers?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Art of Writing Action

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Characters do more than just talk at each other. They move—with grace, in anger, to disguise emotion—and movement tells even more about them than their words. Understanding and using action to tell a story is both powerful and organic—a naturally evolving way to strong characterization.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

For Writers: What to Remember, What to Forget

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Multi-published author and ghostwriter of more than 100 titles, Cecil (Cec) Murphey tells how his missionary experience impacts his writing. 

A decade after I left Kenya, East Africa, I returned and met with a group of pastors whom I had taught. I preached twice that day, both in churches I helped to start. Afterward, ten of us gathered in the home of Blasio Were, one of the pastors. Because he was the only one who didn’t know fluent English, we spoke in Luo, the local language.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Theme—The Abstract Element of Novel Writing

Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce our newest columnist, Kathleen Neely. I've known this talented author for several years and so glad she'll be blogging regularly here on The Write Conversation. Be sure to give her a warm welcome!

Theme—The Abstract Element of Novel Writing
by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

A writer makes many decisions when beginning a new novel. Characters. Structuring a plot. POVs. First or third person. Past or present tense. 

However, theme, perhaps the most important element, is often neglected. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Don't Let Your Writing Get Caught in a Crab Bucket

Edie here. Back in 2010 I met a writer and really loved her spiritual insight and her writing style. I invited her to contribute a guest post to The Write Conversation. She did and then we eventually lost connection. This summer we ran into each other again. She'd taken some time off from writing, but now was back at the keyboard. Today I'd like to re-introduce Susan Browning Schulz. I know you're going to love her post today!
Don't Let Your Writing Get Caught in a Crab Bucket
Susan Browning Schulz

Crab fishermen have long known they don’t need to put a lid on their buckets, as long as there is more than one crab in the bucket. Some call it the Crab Bucket Syndrome. When there are several piled in the bucket, if one tries to crawl out, another one grabs hold and pulls it back down. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Showing up as a Writer

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

80% of success in life is showing up. –Woody Allen

I love this Woody Allen quote, and I’ve been thinking about how we as authors “show up.” 

I believe that these statements are those that are made by authors who are not only showing up, but making real progress with their work. How many of these are messages with which you identify?

Friday, September 27, 2019

An Unlikely Publishing Story – Hope for When You Feel Like Quitting

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Jerry loves God and those around him. He ministers through his local assembly, studies the Bible, and counsels his friends and neighbors. Concerned about the direction in which his country is moving, he’s become increasingly fervent in his witnessing.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Proverbs for Writers

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Here are some proverbs I believe apply to all of us, but especially those of us who are pursuing the dream of being writers.

Proverbs 3:12 (NLT) For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

We are writing for the Lord in response to the call he has placed on us. Some of us do it enthusiastically. Some of us not so much. Perhaps we’ve become discouraged by the struggles of getting published.