Monday, March 30, 2020

Enjoy Your Best Writing Life with These 12 Tips

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.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Let Go of the Steering Wheel

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are times in my life when making the right decision seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately those times are few and far between.

For those of you who visit my blog regularly it will come as no surprise that I tend to be a little bit of a control freak. And that character trait often makes it difficult to follow God unconditionally. Let me give you an example.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Help—Someone wants to use my content!

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

“Cathy, I just did a presentation and it went really well. I’m concerned because someone from my session asked if they could use my content. What do I do?”

It’s the dilemma faced by most speakers, trainers, consultants, coaches, experts, and thought leaders who use their expertise in the course of their businesses. We want to be regarded as thought leaders, yet we also need to retain ownership of our Intellectual Property (IP). 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Encouragement for Writers Who Don’t Like to Rest

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

The concept of rest is foreign to my Type A personality. I’m a doer, not a sitter. I agree with the philosophy of the pastor who said he’d rather burn out than rust out. But since burning out isn’t my goal, I’d rather work smart than work hard. Success requires some of each.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Continue the Journey

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Continue the Journey has been my tag line since I first became serious about writing and printed my first business cards. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tips to Write Through the Chaos

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Life happens to all of us, and with it comes times of chaos and catastrophe. It’s easy to get derailed and let our writing life come to a screeching halt. That’s never a good thing, no matter what crisis we’re dealing with—from the death of a loved one, to an unexpected pandemic. Because as writers, we process life by putting words on paper (or screen). Suddenly finding ourselves with no time or energy to write can be as traumatic as the original event. 

We need that exercise to keep us sane. The things we write may change, depending on the circumstance where we find ourselves, but I propose that we will cope better by setting aside time. Today I want to share some tips to keep moving forward when life happens.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dipping the Quill Deeper: The Overnight Publishing Success Story

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

In 2000, Multnomah Books published a book by Bruce Wilkinson titled The Prayer of Jabez. This less-than-100-page book was deemed the first in a ten-book series known as The BreakThrough Series. I’m not sure the publishing staff at Multnomah could have, in the beginning, envisioned the monstrous success this book would become. To date, it has sold more than 10 million copies and sparked countless numbers of products. I suspect I know why.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Backstory for Writers: When and How

I love backstory but not in the beginning pages of a book. There. I said it. When I mentor new writers, they invariably ask, "But how will the reader know my character? Where she's been and what made her the way she is now?"

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Walking Through the Storms of Life

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Nothing can ruffle our feathers like a storm. And some seasons of life bring a series of storms. With all that’s going on around us with Covid19, we’re in the middle of a big one. 

However storms don’t have to be hurricane size to be exhausting. Sometimes it’s the tiny, ongoing circumstances that sap us the most. Like single drops of water in series have the ability to wear away solid rock, so these recurring events deplete our energy and—in the process—draw our focus away from God. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Writer Looks at Grief

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme 

The dictionary describes grief as, “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow, painful regret. Agony, despair.” 

These emotions can be fueled by rejection by an agent, the loss of a pet, the death of a loved one, or any incident that collapses our world. Grief takes hold of us like a vice, smothering our creativity by snuffing out our dreams for today and tomorrow. We crash emotionally. Our bodies feel like lead. The hole in our heart produces crushing emotional pain. Our mind won’t let go of the picture of what could have been. Our self-talk changes from hope to one of despair. While these reactions often occur after loss, there is one aspect of grieving that spirals us into the dark recesses of the abyss. That is to blame God. To feel forsaken by the God who we felt we could depend on.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Ways Writers Can Share Words of Hope Right Now

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Powerless uncertainty.

If you dig below the hysteria, that seems to be one of the most prevalent underlying fear. But I think the way to deal with it is to dig it out and look at it for the lie it is. 

As believers, even though the events around us are uncertain, we have the ability to hold tight to the God of certainty. 

Even more than that—as writers—we have the unique ability RIGHT NOW to share that certainty with the world. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Improve Your Book’s Amazon Rank

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

Is your book selling as well as you would like? How would you like to attain a higher Amazon rank? This article will describe techniques to boost your book’s rank by adding book categories and strengthening keywords. It takes a little work, but the results can be exceptional.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

10 Tips for Quoting Scripture in Your Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

There’s study mode, and then there’s writing mode. When we’re jotting down Bible verses in our spiritual journals, we normally don’t think about writing down the Bible translation. Or where the quotation marks go. Or if a period should be before the reference or after it. We’re in study mode, fixated on a verse’s beauty or power, and rightfully so. But when we quote Scripture in our writing, it’s not just about getting the words right, but remembering the correct formatting. Not because we’re legalistic or the punctuation police will come after us, but so we can help our readers. And our editors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

5 Tips for When You Are Discouraged in Your Call to Write

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

You got excited. Inspired to write. Motivated to minister. Challenged to pursue dreams.

And, for a while there—surrounded by kindred spirits cheering you on—you could almost taste the success. A book published. A conference keynote scheduled. A popular blog.

But now. Now you live in reality. Of words that won’t come. At least not in the right order. Of emails that say your social media numbers aren’t high enough. Of family and friends who still treat your holy calling as a mere hobby.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Book Launch Tips for Authors

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

A book launch encompasses all the activity around the release of a book. The plans are as varied as authors and their titles. The following are two snapshots of single activities. One took a lot of planning and the other took a few minutes. They were both part of a larger plan.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A Prayer for Writers

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As writers who are Believers in Christ, we should be praying for our writing. That sounds very simplistic, but am I the only one that often forgets to cover my writing in prayer before I get into a writing jam?

Friday, March 13, 2020

5 Ways to Honor God in Your Writing

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

As a Christian writer, our first goal shouldn’t be a publishing contract or word count. Those are both important, but our priority should be to glorify God and draw closer to Him in our writing.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Writing the Rest of the Story

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

For more than three decades, he told “the rest of the story” on the airwaves of radio programs that reached millions of listeners every week. News broadcaster Paul Harvey delivered current event stories with a flair like no other, inserting dramatic pauses and intonations and his own quirky sense of humor. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

7 Benefits of Writing Articles

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

As I step back into the writing business after almost a year away, my mind immediately went to my favorite kind of writing—articles. Just in the last couple of weeks, I have written and submitted over half a dozen articles. I am rediscovering the fun of writing for publication.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Guarding the Integrity of the Writer

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

We live in a judgmental world. These days, integrity is, well. . . defining.

When my boys were in high school it was fun to watch the expression on their faces when I knew what went on at school before they got home. The truth is, people do not live to share the joys of your children, rather they rush to tell you all the unpleasant things. Sad as it is, the news is always hidden under a ruse like, “So and so was caught doing this at school. Don’t your boys hang out with him because today…”

Monday, March 9, 2020

Storytelling for Authors, Part 1

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Have you ever spoken to a group to promote your business or ministry and wished you hadn’t?

A little over twenty years ago, I spoke for a conference and hoped it would launch my career. It didn’t. I rambled on and on. I had the passion to speak, but no storytelling techniques.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

When the Unimportant Becomes Too Important

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to our newest Write Conversation Columnist - Martin Wiles. I've long admired his writing and the way his dedication to the Lord always shines through everything he does. Now I've managed to persuade him to share his heart with us every month. Be sure to give Martin a warm TWC welcome!

When the Unimportant Becomes Too Important
by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. (Mark 4:19 NLT)

Sometimes, the unimportant becomes too important.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Angst of Writing Contests

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We’ve just announced the finalists in the Selah award contest in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, so writing contests are on my mind. Over the past 24-hours I’ve done everything from congratulate to commiserate with writers who entered, and it’s made me consider how I view contests—and how I should view contests.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Thursday, March 5, 2020

When a Writer Needs to Rediscover Her Reading Mojo

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

While some writers have been writing stories since they could hold a pencil, that wasn’t my experience. I was a reader first. For thirty-five years I fell into books, crawled into stories, and lived there as often as possible. 

Then one day the stories in my head tumbled onto a page. I started writing, and for a while the writing seriously messed up my reading life! Perhaps you can relate?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Learn to Build Tension in Your Novel

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Conflict and tension are very different. Conflict is a problem between two ‘things’—two people, two armies, two countries, a person and a fish—or even an argument between two points of view in a person’s head. Tension, on the other hand, raises questions in our stories and is there all the time. We need both.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Write Anyway

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Daughter of a town marshal, and recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels. Known for her western romance series, and living in the west, she offers these tips to fellow writers.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Do You Struggle with Writing Procrastinating?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love writing. And I love talking about writing.

Sitting around with other writers, discussing all things literary is one of my favorite things. It’s one of the reasons I love attending writing conferences.

But there are people we know who like talking about writing so much that’s all they do. They join writers groups, critique groups, even take classes. 
The one thing they don’t do is write.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

So That You May Know For Certain

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning. So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know for certain the things you were taught. Luke 1:1-4, NET

We held our breath as music intro to the local news marched through our living room. Alert and erect, two reporters looked directly into the camera, faces serious, as The Defenders rose in a flash of orange beneath them on the television screen. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Remembering What Defines True Success as a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

One thing I’ve noticed is that we writers are way too hard on ourselves. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to each other, looking for affirmation through someone else’s opinion about our work and even our calling.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Six Things to Do When You Can’t Attend a Writing Conference

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Are you planning to attend a writers conference this year? Maybe not. Perhaps health issues, family dynamics, financial challenges, or a demanding work schedule have left you on the sidelines sighing over Facebook posts and conference invites. 

If you can’t attend a conference, you can still move forward in your writing life. Here are six suggestions:

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Who Are You Depending on as You Write?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Over the last couple of years, I spent a large amount of time working on a novel. The concept was unique. At least, I’d never discovered any other book with a similar plot. The characters were fascinating. I even developed an exciting plot twist for the end that I had never envisioned during the writing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

7 Traits of Intentional Writers

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Intentional writers refuse to consider if or when they will succeed. These writers know where they are going in the publishing world because they understand the value of persistence and hard work. 

So how can we writers be termed as intentional? Is it an innate trait or one we must learn? Is the process difficult?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Give Your Social Media a Workout and Get it Into Tip-top Shape

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all know the importance of staying in shape. 

Today I’m going to give you a workout plan to keep your social media life in shape. 

To stay efficient at social media we’ve got to be lean. 

After all our goal is a writing life, not a marketing one.

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Writer's Toolbelt

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

My husband is an artist and our Community Theatre's set designer. When he plans a new set, he lays out his favorite tools before he begins the work. Pens, pencils, rulers, angle finders, compasses, geometric shape templates, etc. all laid out within arm's reach. It's quite an array. If it's a painting he's working on, he has at least a dozen tubes of oil paint next to his easel and dabs of at least a half-dozen others already on his palette. 

I have a similar routine when I begin a new book. I first open a new project in Scrivener, my preferred writing software. I populate it with a character interview for each point-of-view character. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Qualities vs. Symptoms

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I have some very unique and useful character qualities. Granted, most better psychoanalysts might not refer to them as “character qualities” as much as they refer to them as “symptoms,” but still.  

I think writers acquire an exclusive symptom or two…make that a “quality” or two…that others don’t necessarily encounter. Maybe it’s the inordinate amount of rejection we’re called to deal with, but insecurity is so often the order of the day. Not to mention that when fiction writers hear new little voices in their heads, they never medicate. No, they actually encourage the little voices. And then publish them. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Getting More Book Reviews on Amazon

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

On one of our recent Author Mastermind calls with newly published authors, we brainstormed about how to get more reviews on Amazon. Here’s the start to our list.

Write a really, really good book! People are more willing to review your book if they love your book.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Protecting Digital Accounts After Death

by Barbara Latta @BarbaraLatta

Anyone who has a Facebook profile more than likely has at some time had a person clone you and send out friend requests to people you are already friends with. Most people are wise to this now because it happens so frequently, but some unsuspecting Facebook members still click to add the friend and then the fake user starts sending out pleas for help as if they are stranded in another country and they need you, their dear friend, to send money. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Top 12 Ergonomic Writing Tips

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

Do you have a physical condition that is aggravated by writing? I do. I suffer from a right wrist injury from gardening that flares up when I do a lot of cutting and pasting on my computer. Writers perform repetitive movements that can injure muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. A common injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, but repetitive motions can also cause back and neck injuries. However, we can use strategies to prevent injuries and help heal them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Make a Difference with Writing—Keep Your Light Shining

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

The light in the sanctuary grew steadily in the silence. Adults and children alike handled their stewardship with care—to keep the light shining. A sacred tradition, candlelight passed from person to person in the Christmas Eve service that I watched online. Once every candle was lit, the pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah, stood at the front and led everyone in a simple but poignant song for the moment—“This Little Light of Mine.” 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

So You Want to Write a Book

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I love to write. I love to speak. I love people who come up and chat with me at events.

And yes, I even love people who say to me, “I want to write a book too!”

But I’m often stymied by how to answer their inevitable questions about how I can help them get published. I have some standard answers, including urging them to attend a writers’ conference and meet industry professionals, other writers, and go to practical workshops. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Tips for Marketing Children’s Books

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Parents, grandparents, and teachers are the biggest buyers of children’s books although the child is the actual audience. That means marketing simultaneously to both adults and children. The adults want great reasons to buy the book that promote education and inspire children to become lifelong readers. For children, it’s all about being entertained and excited.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

We Should Be Writing

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Have you ever found yourself with looming writing deadlines and nary a paragraph completed on a page? Whether those deadlines are self-imposed or set by someone else, they seem to nag and agitate you until you get that piece done. Or worse, you panic and freeze.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

15 Things to Love About Being a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all know there are aspects of choosing to write for a living that can make life tough. It’s easy to get focused on just the negatives. Today I want us to celebrate the best parts of being a writer!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Two Words Christian Writers Should Stop Using

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

As Christian writers, we know the importance of selecting just the right words. But many of us over use two words that stunt our growth as writers and followers of Christ—two words we should remove from our vocabulary. Those words are have to.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Writers on Repeat: Don’t give up!

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Bill Murray’s classic romantic comedy, Groundhog Day, played in the background (as an alternative to the Super Bowl) on one of those movie channels when I sat down to ponder my February post for The Write Conversation. With conference season on my mind, I couldn’t help but compare the lessons learned by meteorologist Phil Connors with some of my takeaways of conferencing. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Carolina Christian Writers Conference

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

I hope by now you have taken time to set some new goals for your writing for 2020 and figured out what you’d like to accomplish. When we assess our writing goals, we need to take a look at markets, article and book deadlines, and creative ways to sell our work. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

5 Tips for Social Media from an Author Who Just Wants it to Work

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

I’m no good at social media. I’m just an author who wants it to work. I’ve laughed with my dear friend, and social media guru, Edie Melson, that she dragged me into social media kicking and screaming. We know, as authors, social media is vitally important.

Monday, February 10, 2020

10 Things to Help You Fall Back in Love with Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It's February—the month of love. And I want to remind us all how to stay in love with the writing life!

I’m a member of several writing groups, and I’m always amazed at the different reactions people have to similar situations. For instance, one writer might leave a critique session in tears, questioning whether or not the call to write was real. Another writer might have just as challenging a critique and leave energized because she now has the insight she needs to improve.

I’ve begun paying attention to the way the writers I respect handle this writing life. I’ve noticed that even though life gets hard at times, they never fall out of love with writing. I’m trying to take deliberate steps to guard my love of writing and not let things and/or people steal it from me. Today I’d like to share what I’ve discovered with you.