Sunday, July 5, 2020

Are You Cultivating Creativity or Crowding it Out of Your Life?


By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner. I Corinthians 14:40

Summer is here and every weekend we can visit the farmer's market for fresh produce. As I walked through the stalls recently, I was drawn back to one summer when I decided to try my hand at gardening.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020

How To Make a Connection


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone and it was as if you were speaking two different languages? You knew they understood the words, but the two of you just weren’t connecting.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Writer's Biggest Fan


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I never dreamed that we would be one of “those” families—the kind whose kids have sports almost every night of the week. But then I had boys and they turned into ballplayers. Flag football, basketball, baseball. They can’t get enough.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Tell Your Story — Transform Your Life: Journaling Tips for Writers


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Journaling is an amazing tool. Since most journals are a private conversation with ourselves, never to be shown to anyone else, they can allow us to open up the memory bank of the past and find the wounds hidden beneath the persona we wear. Author Henry Miller admitted that writing helped him to draw "the poison" out of his system.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

21 Best Twitter Practices for Writers


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There has been a huge change with Twitter recently—Tweets are no longer limited to only 140 characters. Instead you can use up to 280. The question is, should you?

Maybe...

There are other, less obvious, shifts in the Twitter universe as well. Those feed into how we should approach the length of our updates. Instead of length explanations, I’m going to share a list to help navigate this new paradigm.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Digital Self Care for Writers


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The world has changed.

And the process has been exhausting. 

Even when we come out the other side of this pandemic, life is going to look very different. I’m holding tight to the hope that it’s going to be better. But it’s hard for me to equate different and better because I’m not a fan of change. 

But one thing I have learned is this:

We must learn to balance our digital lives as carefully as we balance our physical ones.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Perfect Flower and the Right Fit for Your Writing


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

This flowering bush stopped me in my tracks. I was first struck by the rich purple of the blossoms. As I studied the plant, my photographer’s eye searched for just the right flower in just the right setting. It took several minutes before I chose this particular one.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Power of Masterminds


by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich and The Law of Success, first conceived the concept of Masterminds: groups of like-minded individuals who could meet on a regular basis to support and encourage one another. Hill believed that we each need others who will hold us accountable, and who will always believe in our highest good.

Friday, June 26, 2020

10 Components of a Successful Facebook Live Book Launch Party

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

In April’s post, “5 Reasons You Should Host a Facebook Live Book Launch Party – Pandemic or Not,” I shared how my in-person launch party for Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible suddenly morphed into a Facebook Live book launch party because of the nationwide shelter-at-home order. 

In May’s post, “15 Tips for Hosting a Successful Facebook Live Book Launch Party,” I gave you my best suggestions for a stellar virtual event.

Today, I’d like to share ten components of a successful Facebook Live Book Launch Party.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Writer, Who Told You That?


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Remember the old cliché́ from childhood: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?

Not true. Words and names can actually do much more lasting damage. Cuts and bruises heal. Words and names create self-images that linger and poison for years. They can become prophecies we fulfill whether we want to or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Writer Skill: Understanding Story Pacing


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Story pacing is the writer’s ability to move the story ahead with action and reaction. It incorporates the genre, plot, characters, and goal of each scene. Writers strive for varied story structure that balances the mood and emotion with actions and reactions. The technique opens the door to achieving a perfect speed for a story. No writer wants the rhythm of their sentences, paragraphs, and scenes to resemble a metronome. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Basics of Hashtags, Titles & Images for Bloggers


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

A little teaching moment...

With the chaos of social media, and the strict guidelines now in place with email, our digital connections have gotten more complicated. But one thing hasn’t change—the ability to be found through an organic search. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Finding Your Character's Core Motivation


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan


For a long time, I struggled to find a new WIP's theme. Some authors know that from the get-go. Not me. I'm a slowpoke, I guess. For some, this doesn't matter. But for me, knowing the theme helps give me direction. Just like knowing my character's lie they believe. I'll explore the 8 Basic Lies next month. They go hand-in-hand. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Writers Must Write Truth and Kindness


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

What a year 2020 has been so far. With the mandate of staying home for the majority of people, I’ve heard from many writers about what this time of inactivity has done for them or even how it has changed them. They’ve shared about personal reflection on their lives, to setting new priorities and even a change of goals. Several writer friends have admitted to a shake up from what they’ve been doing to something even better.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Christian Writer as an Apologist


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The world recently lost one of the most respected of modern day apologists, or pre-evangelist, as they are sometimes referred. Ravi Zacharias traveled the world passionately using reason and evidence to bring the reality of Christ to those whose mantra often is, “Each person dictates what is true,” or, as scripture puts it, “They all did what was right in their own eyes.”

Friday, June 19, 2020

No More Writing Rejections


by Crystal Bowman

I have been writing for more than twenty-five years, and since I write mostly for children, I’ve been able to write more than 100 books. If I were writing novels, that number would be closer to zero. Like all writers, I’ve received my share of rejections, but I don’t get them anymore and I’ll tell you why.  

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Fighting Pandemic Burnout


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

I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has affected me more than I thought. Extra kids and family at home, cooking every meal, dishes, constant interruptions, speaking cancellations along with ensuing deadlines affected me emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. Not to mention the stress and fear of potentially contracting Covid-19 and praying for my friend who was fighting it. Has the pandemic affected you too?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

10 Tips for Irresistible Writing, Part 3


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Have you ever been watching a movie and it had a great beginning, but then it petered out somewhere in the middle? The middle must be the toughest to write. You decide to get some extra popcorn to help you keep watching because you want to know what happens. The ending is pretty satisfying, but (as a writer) you think that the middle could have used some extra TLC.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020

Marketing Your Book From the Heart of Your Brand


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

As I help people discover their brand, I look for the intrinsic value within the person that always comes out in the writing. This is a message that resonates with them and thus connects with their readers. It may boil down to one word like hope, overcoming, or joy, but it flows from the heart. For you as a writer, this is something that naturally finds its way into most of what you write. That should be clear within the brand.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Lessons from Dad


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

My dad taught me many honorable lessons, but two stand out. 

The first lesson came when Dad said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

I heard the statement numerous times from Dad—and often didn’t want to. I’m not sure if he had heard it from his parents, but if he didn’t, he must have picked it up from somewhere else. As a first-born child, telling me this comprised part of his effort to teach me responsibility. I suppose along life’s way he had learned some lessons about procrastination—a fancy word for not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Pursuing Beauty in Your Writing


by BethVogt @BethVogt

When other writers talk, I like to sit back and listen. Often I take notes. Perspective is a powerful catalyst for change, and another writer’s take on the writing journey broadens my understanding. I come away encouraged. Wiser. Motivated to try something new.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Most Important POV for a Writer


by Joshua J. Master @JoshuaJMasters

Although I have a Christian Fantasy novel buried in the depth of my imagination, crying out from the dungeon of my mind to take flight on wings of dragons, I’m primarily a nonfiction writer. So, I struggled with learning point of view (POV) writing, especially deep POV. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

What's Your Biggest Writing Fear?


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

What’s your biggest writing fear? 
  • Fear of rejection?
  • Fear of not finishing the job?
  • Fear of not being good enough?
My mind fought with all three recently, and more, when I faced several deadlines on newspaper work that I didn’t seem to have enough hours in the day to complete, worked to finish a proposal to send in to my agent, and muddled through postings for a social media campaign to help promote my upcoming book release.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Simplify Your Writing Life with These 10 Tips


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

So often we make things harder than they have to be. Sometimes we do it because we’re used to doing things a certain way, or because it’s the only way we know how. But things change quickly these days, and it’s always a good thing to take a look at your routine with a fresh eye. 

Today I’m going to share some tips to streamline your writing life. Some you may already do, some you may not have ever considered. Just take a look at the list with an open mind and see if there’s anything on it that can make your life easier.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Writing a Valuable Book Review



by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

Sitting on the cusp of a new book release, the reality of good book reviews weigh heavy. The natural questions of acceptance raise our worry level just a smidge. Will readers like the book? Will they even post a review? What about the hate reviews?

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Lesson of the Unnamed Linen Weaver


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Joseph purchased a shroud of fine linen and took the body down from the cross. Then he wrapped it in the linen shroud and placed it in a tomb quarried out of the rock. Then they rolled a large stone over the entrance to seal the tomb (Mark 15:46, TPT).

History would understand if the unnamed linen weaver of Mark 15:46 went completely unnoticed against the dramatic backdrop of the crucifixion and death of Jesus of Nazareth. But here it is, a barely discernible clue to the weaver’s existence, embedded in the courageous act of the prominent Jewish leader Joseph of Arimathea. A shroud of fine linen.Joseph dared ask Pilate to grant him custody of Jesus’ body so he could give him a proper burial. And a proper burial required not just any linen wrapping, but the best available.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Going Through Abnormal Times as a Writer



by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

In the United States, most of us have been under stay at home orders since the middle of March due to the corona virus pandemic. Now, most of our states are reopening to some degree. Some are throwing their doors open so that we can return to business, others are being more cautious worried about a second wave.


Friday, June 5, 2020

What Does it Mean to Be a Writer of Hope?


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Being a writer of hope is something I’m making a deliberate effort to become. Right now our world needs hope. There is so much in our world these days that can lead to hopelessness if we let it.

Because our passion (and business) is words, we have the ability to affect how others interpret the world. I’m not suggesting that we slant our viewpoint to something untrue, but rather that we take an honest look at the hope around us no matter what situation we’re viewing.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Deadline Writing Tips in Quarantine



by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I am endlessly fascinated with the way other writers write. 

Are they plotters? Pantsers?

Do they write every day or are they weekend warriors? 

Do they rise before dawn, or write into the wee hours of the morning?

If you’d asked me a few months ago what my writing life looked like, I would have told you the following:

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Four Great Ways for an Author to Hook a Reader


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Pick a book from your reading pile and read the first line of the story. Did it "hook" you? Did it make you want to read more? Or did you put the book back down and promise yourself you'll read it later

Hooks are that important. They are really the difference between your book being read or not.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

To Market to Market to Sell A Fat Book


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

“I sat around for six months after book publication waiting on my publisher to do more. I assumed they would. They didn’t,” said Jennifer Maggio, author of Overwhelmed. “I learned that all of my book’s success rests on my shoulders and I better get busy doing something. Something is always better than nothing.”

In a day when book sales are predominantly the author’s responsibility, what are authors doing to market their titles?

Monday, June 1, 2020

5 Ways Writers can Take Advantage of this Time—Opportunities in Corona Virus Chaos


by Ralene Burke @RaleneB


For the last 10 weeks, many of us have been cooped up in our homes with our families 24/7. In some ways, the changes have been a blessing, allowing us more time with our families, showing us where are priorities should be, etc. In other ways, the changes have tested us, forcing us to learn new technology to work/school from home, keeping us from our friends and other fun activities, hampering our creative juices when everything just seems too much.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Using Seeds of Failure to Grow Fruit


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

I travel around the country speaking and teaching at writers conferences. Beyond being about to help other follow their dreams, I also get to hear about other authors’ journeys to publication. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

What Does My Writing Reflect?


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s no surprise—to anyone who follows my photography regularly—that I love reflections. My husband, Kirk, claims it’s not possible for me to pass a puddle without snapping a picture (I plead the 5th). But his observation has made me consider why I’m so enamored by these unexpected photo ops.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Make Your Writing Life Easier with These 12 Hacks


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s life isn’t an easy one. So much of what we create comes from some place deep inside ourselves. Giving that way can be exhausting, not to mention frustrating, when we feel empty.

The good news is that there are things we can do to help ourselves. I’ve come to learn that we either set ourselves up for success or we set ourselves up for failure.  Today I’ll share some of the writing and blogging hacks that every successful writer needs to know.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

7 Traits of a Successful Writing Critique Group


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

I’m sure we’ve all participated in or heard stories about horrible experiences with critique groups. I’ve had a few myself. Unfortunately, I may also have contributed to some of them. To any writers I did this to, I apologize.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Why Writers Can’t Ignore the World Around Them


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Many writers are introverts and prefer to ignore the world around them. Writers genuinely care about others but working in cave mode keeps them on task. A quiet place with a laptop is much more appealing than noisy crowds. I understand the writing preference because many times I’m right there with you. While working independently is admirable, there’s a flip side to a writer’s life that we should all take heed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dipping the Quill Deeper – Writing About Sin in a Way that Honors God



by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

There is a story in the Bible—a shocking one—about a king standing on the roof of the palace. He sees a woman taking a bath—a purification bath, to be more specific—on the roof of another building. He has a desire for her. He asks about her, learns she is married, but he sends for her anyway. They “lay” together, and, in that life-altering night, they create a child. This leads to the murder of the woman’s husband, the marriage of our two key players, and the death of the baby they conceived. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Magic Paragraph for Writers


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

The late Ron Benrey taught me—and many other writers—one of the best literary devices for grounding our readers in our stories. He called it "The Magic Paragraph." It plays a weighty role in my writing and is a basic in my toolbox. So much so, Ron's wife and my first literary agent, Janet Benrey, gave me permission to carry on the teaching. And sometimes, it's good to go back to the basics. So let's dive into this device:

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Fry Count vs. A Life That Counts


by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

You know your marriage is strong when one of you gets home with the drive-thru order and the fries are missing but you still stay together. I’m not saying no one checks for fry-breath or anything, but still.

Sometimes you have to look at what counts. Because there are a couple of burgers left in there, right? No wait. What I mean to say is…healthy marriage. Important. That.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

I Double-Dog Dare You to Write


by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Were you ever “double dog-dared?”

Plantation Swim Club in Louisville, KY has a 32 foot diving board that has been legendary for more than 50 years. As kids we would talk about the high-dive, and we would “double dog dare” our friends to commit to making that dive. As a kid, I had promised myself that if I ever got the chance to visit that pool, I WOULD jump off that diving board, even though I’ve always been afraid of heights. After all, I had been “double-dog-dared.”

Friday, May 22, 2020

15 Tips for Hosting a Successful Facebook Live Book Launch Party

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2


Last month, in 5 Reasons You Should Host a Facebook Live Book Launch Party, I shared how, because of the pandemic, I had to postpone my in-person book launch party and instead launch Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible with a Facebook Live event. In addition to being fun, a Facebook Live event was easy for people to attend, relatively inexpensive, required no special equipment, and reached people who wouldn’t or couldn’t come to an in-person event. Like any other promotional event, a little planning goes a long way. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Increase Your Website Traffic with Pinterest


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

Social media is a powerful business tool, but not everyone uses it effectively. Driving traffic to your website is vital to your success as an author. Over the years I’ve worked on improving my reach and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. The platform I found the most success with, other than Facebook, has been Pinterest. I will share my journey in hopes that you will learn how to increase your website views through Pinterest.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

10 Tips for Irresistible Writing, Part 2


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


Connection. We want it during a pandemic. We want to feel connected to people we care about but can’t see in person. To stay grounded in an uncertain time through friendship and interaction. Even if it’s on Zoom.  

We also want connection in the book world—authors connecting with readers and readers connecting with their favorite authors. We can connect through social media, emails, and websites, but an ongoing connection that we can never take for granted is the one we build with readers in our books. We build a rapport with them through what we say and how we say it. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Staying S.T.R.O.N.G. as a Writer


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

How has the pandemic and quarantine affected your life as a writer and speaker? I can imagine some of your answers because they are probably similar to some of mine: cancellations, uncertainty, inertia, and trying out new ways of communicating. Everything that exacerbates our weakness, not our strength.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tips for Recycling Marketing Content


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Reuse, repurpose, and recycle should be good words when we think of our marketing. Once we generate words and/or images we want to get the most out of them. When we are in the same genre, or a series, it’s even easier to tweak and reuse material. You can repurpose your own words or grab words from a review to repurpose.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Chop that Writer’s Block


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I’ve read several articles recently on the issue of Writer’s Block. It’s a thing. It’s not a thing. 

Well, is it a thing or not? Seems to me since so many folks are writing about it, it’s just gotta be a thing, right?