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? 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Teach a Mom to List

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Teach a man to fish, it’s all good. But teach a kid a card trick and be prepared to watch it nonstop for like 12 years. 

“Is this your card?”—‘til college.

Understand, you have to make time for that. It’s one of the reasons schedule-juggling is trickier with kids. I’m not a structured person by nature, so in those years of raising mine, to-do lists became my friends. And enemies.

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. You can find the links to other posts in the series at the end of this post. 

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

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.