Monday, October 25, 2021

What to do When a Writer Gets Discouraged


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

When I began writing my first manuscript, I was so sure I’d be published right away. And why not? It was brilliant. A wonderful story of Biblical characters we all know and love. What’s not publishable in that?

Sunday, October 24, 2021

10 Ways to Face Your Writing Fears


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

Fall is upon us and with it come black cats and trick or treaters. Some cute and some . . . well . . . not so much. In this season of black and orange, I thought I'd highlight some fears all writers face and how to overcome them. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Why Does the World Need Stories - Part 3


by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

Why the World Needs Stories About Heroes 

When you think about heroes, what comes to mind? Somebody from your family? Superman? Maybe an historical figure who did something great? For me, the word “Hero” makes me think of my stepdad, Ralph, who married my Mom in spite of the fact that she had three little kids at home. He loved each of us as if we were his own—something few men would have done. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

A Cure for Writer’s Block—Straight from Heaven


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

When a writer asks me, “Are you a panster or a plotter?” I don’t think. I just laugh.

I’ve had a plan for every book I’ve written. A schedule, too. I’ve known the genre, premise, and theme of each book, how many chapters they’d contain, and what the topics would be. In my third book, Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible, I even knew which Scripture references I’d use for each devotion. Every time I sat down at my computer, I knew what I was going to write about. 

It was heavenly. I never lacked for ideas or material. The words flowed, and writing was fun. The same thing happened with my fourth book, Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise.

Then came book number five. The geyser of ideas slowed to a trickle, and inspiration flowed as smoothly as a tennis ball through a garden hose. After a few days of staring at a blank computer screen, I did what every seasoned writer does when she hits a speed bump.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

How to Market Your Book TiKToK


Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

TiKToK is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world. Up to 1 billion users get on this app monthly. Since so many people use this app, your target market is most likely on there. TiKToK allows readers to meet authors virtually, so they get an idea of your personality and what you are like. Capturing your readers’ attention with 15-second videos about how the contents of your book would benefit them provides an enormous level of exposure.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Seven Reasons Every Writer Should Join LinkedIn


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

What if you could join a site that allows you to show editors and agents what you’re made of? That lets you connect with other writers and learn about their journeys or ministries? What if there was a nondescript way in which you could share the publications you’ve been in and the awards you’ve won?

Such a site exists, and it’s called LinkedIn. It has close to 740 million members.1

If you’re not a member of the site, I know what you may want to say. “Wait, you want me to join one more website?” 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

6 Writing Prompts for the Holidays


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

In a few short weeks we will be entering that end of the year season filled with meaningful holidays. I don’t know about you, but these days fill me with so many different emotions and memories and spiritual discoveries. I hope you will carve out moments to be alone and reflective. But it’s also a good time to communicate with far-flung family and friends.

Why not begin taking time now to write a story, poem, devotion, family letter, song, or essay? 

Monday, October 18, 2021

How to Know and Market Your Writing to Your Avatar


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Authors hear a lot about using avatars to understand their readers and reach out to them. The original word avatar comes from a Hindu word meaning descent and refers to a deity or guru. In gaming it represents a moveable image that represents a person, especially a virtual person. It is something that represents something else.

For authors, a reader avatar is a personalized illustration of a character, or an ideal reader. So, a reader avitar represents the people most likely to buy your book. Let’s dig in to the how’s and why’s of these ideal readers.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

What's Your Writing Why?


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As a writer, do you remember the actual reason you believe you are called to write? Maybe you felt this feeling, this calling during the past year. Or maybe you felt the need to put words to paper many years ago. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Should Writers Also Be Journaling?


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

It was one of those rainy days of the soul, when a cup of tea and a book seemed to be the protocol of choice. Dragging myself to my library, I scanned the shelf reserved for unread books—stories that waited to spirit me away from the present into a better place. Adventures that would take my mind off myself and maybe, just maybe, would bring light to a dark day. At once my eyes fell on two leather-bound journals that had been mistakenly placed there. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Feeding Hungry Souls with Our Words


by Crystal Bowman

When Jesus stepped out of a boat, a large crowd gathered around Him, He had compassion on them and healed many who were sick. As evening approached, the people were hungry. His disciples wanted to send them away, but Jesus told them to feed the people. The disciples were puzzled since they had no food. “We don’t have enough money to buy food to feed this many people,” they said. Then Andrew brought a young boy to Jesus who had two small fish and five small loaves of bread. Perhaps it was his lunch. Perhaps his parents sent him out to sell the food. The story doesn’t include those details. But one thing we do know is that the young boy freely offered what he had and gave it to Jesus.

You know the rest of the story. Jesus blessed the food and broke it. As the disciples distributed the food, it multiplied until more than 5000 people had enough to eat. An amazing miracle in the hands of Jesus!

So what does this have to do with writers? 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Don't Give Up on Your Writing Dream


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Last month on The Write Conversation, I shared several success stories of artists and professionals who didn’t give up in Perseverance For Writers: Finding the Write One When the Others Won’t Work. Notables who persevered past rejections—sometimes, a huge collection of them before finding the right answer or getting that first acceptance. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

How to Prepare Your Writing Life for the Unexpected


by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

There isn’t a person I know who can say that 2020, and truthfully 2021, hasn’t affected them. We haven’t seen such chaos and internal unrest since the 1960s. I remember as a child, being afraid to close my eyes to sleep and wondering if the world would end. Now, here we stand again, amid that same type of unrest and fear. Between Covid-19, its variants, and the civil dissatisfaction, I feel like I’m four years old again, reliving those same fears. In my 60s, I would lie if I didn’t say the angst keeps me up at night.

Though this last year, I’ve experienced loss. Of course, I’m not the only one, but it seems to be more loss than the average Joe runs sees. This past year Covid has claimed two of my sweetest writing friends, and cancer has taken another. My heart hardly had time to recover before the next death hit. It has become increasingly vital to address our writing careers from the backside going forward rather than the opposite. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Speaking Tips for Writers: Meet Ellie Kay


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Who Is Ellie Kay?

Ellie Kay is an international speaker in both the general and faith-based markets. She is also the author of fifteen best-selling books and is known for her presentation, Heroes at Home. She has given that presentation to all branches of the military in the Unites States, Europe, and Asia.

Ellie can offer countless speaking tips for writers. Let’s look at three of them.

Be Inspired to Research

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Looking for Something Better


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

They needed something else…something better…and quickly. 

One year had passed since my daughter, our son-in-law, and their two (and now three) children had moved twelve hours away to Searcy, Arkansas. Another company had bought out our son-in-law’s employer, and our son-in-law had signed a two-year contract to keep from losing his job. A part of the deal entailed the real possibility of being transferred to Arkansas. And he was. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

What are Five Good Reasons to Publish a Christmas Novella? (Besides Trying to Sell Books?)

Edie here. I hope you'll celebrate with our own Beth Vogt as she gets ready to release her Christmas novella: Unpacking Christmas! I asked her to share her thoughts on releasing a novella and specifically one at Christmas. I know you'll be blessed & encouraged by her insight!



by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My book, Unpacking Christmas: A Thatcher Sisters Christmas Novella, is up for preorder on Amazon. So many writer friends are celebrating with me, telling me they hope I have great sales. 

I say, “Thank you,” and then tell them I don’t care about the sales. Honestly, yes, that’s what I’ve said.

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Fruit of the Spirit in a Writing Career (Part 1)


by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

When we think of a fruitful writing career, we usually weigh our success with the number of books we’ve published, how many articles we’ve had printed, or the quantity of paperbacks we’ve sold. But for Christian writers, the development of our character should be of greater concern than the success of our career as an author. But developing Christian character is the greatest thing we can do for our writing.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What to do When Writing Inspiration Leaves You Adrift


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Writing by the Ash Wind

Do you know this term? To do something by ash wind? 

It’s an expression I just heard a few weeks ago. It’s an old sailing term—to sail by ash wind—and the moment I learned of it, I could see the writing application. 

In case this is a new concept for you, let me explain: 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

How Do the Characters We Write Speak to Us?


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Characters are really nothing more than ghosts in the imagination of the writer. We start with the bones (structure), add muscles and organs (also known as goals, motivation, and conflict, as well as character traits), and finally, put flesh on everything and start pumping blood and oxygen. Sounds so simple when we break it all down, right? 

But what actually brings characters to life? It’s how they tell their story. 

We writers have only four real ways for a character to “talk” to us:
  1. Dialog
  2. Body language
  3. Action
  4. Thoughts (POV character only)
Motivation is WHY a person talks or moves or thinks. We’ll talk about that next month. This one is about HOW the character expresses and what it tells the reader. Each one is directly linked to what’s going on with that character. It’s a window into what the character feels and thinks and believes. 

Dialog
First is how characters actually speak. No two people in the world, even ones in the same family or in the same culture, speak exactly the same as anyone else. Nor do we speak only one way. We each have a “mad” voice, or an “excited” voice, or a “stern” voice. We use “baby talk” with our small children and pets, “love talk” with someone we care about, and “explanation talk” when we’re teaching someone. Each one is very personal to us, as part of our entire range of voices. How does your character talk? And why? There MUST be a reason why or it doesn’t matter what they say.

Body Language
Next is body language. There are hundreds of books and classes on body language. But I really think, as I said in my blog in September, the easiest way to learn about body language is to pay attention to the people around us. How does Suzie look when she’s happy? Does the smile on her face light up the room? And how does George react to her happiness? Does he smile with her or does he fold his arms across his chest and frown? Does his body stiffen with anger? Does she notice and lose her smile?

Action
Action itself is also significant and an amazing way to open that window into what’s going on in the character’s head. Having a character MOVE according to the emotion she or he is feeling allows an interaction with the setting (Inside? Outside? On a mountain? In a dungeon?), and gives the reader context. So, does Suzie dance down the hallway, with George turning away and walking out of the room, slamming the door behind him? Does Suzie drop into a chair and reach for a tissue? 

Remember, the WHY isn’t important right now—although it is in the story itself. Instead, we’re looking for the REACTIONS of the characters’ emotions. 

Thoughts
Last but not least, thoughts allow the reader to actually crawl inside characters, to deeply understand what they feel. A major part of this, however, is that the rule of thumb says thoughts can only be thought by the point of view character. So, if you’re not in George’s POV, you can’t know why he’s upset about Suzie’s happiness. IF we’re in Suzie’s POV, we can read her thoughts on the page and see that she’s worried that George didn’t want her to get pregnant, so he must not want the baby. But, if she’s wrong and he’s worried about her dying in childbirth, the reader won’t know that until a) he tells her or b) we’re in his POV and he thinks it.

Which, of course, creates the opportunity for wonderful conflict!

Bottom line
The four ways characters are able to express don’t really limit a writer. Instead, each is an amazing tool for us to deepen POV, and to make each sentence really count.

How do you use these four ways? Share a couple of sentences!

TWEETABLE

Sarah (Sally) Hamer is a lover of books, a teacher of writers, and a believer in a good story. Most of all, she is eternally fascinated by people and how they 'tick'. She’s passionate about helping people tell their own stories, whether through fiction or through memoir. Writing in many genres—mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, medieval history, non-fiction—‚she has won awards at both local and national levels, including two Golden Heart finals.

A teacher of memoir, beginning and advanced creative fiction writing, and screenwriting at Louisiana State University in Shreveport for almost twenty years, she also teaches online for Margie Lawson at WWW.MARGIELAWSON.COM. Sally is a free-lance editor and book coach at Touch Not the Cat Books, with many of her students and clients becoming successful, award-winning authors. 

You can find her at hamerse@bellsouth.net or WWW.SALLYHAMER.BLOGSPOT.COM

From Sally: I wish to express gratitude to the giants upon whose shoulders I stand and who taught me so much about the writing craft. I would list every one, if it were only possible.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Why the Stories You Write Must Have a Problem


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

To have a story is to have a problem. Story is conflict. Crisis. There must be a problem, an interruption to paradise, a discord in harmony. Without this essential ingredient, you have a description, but not a story. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

5 Reasons to Join Author Street Teams


by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

As writers, we often fill the free space in our calendars with writing deadlines, learning opportunities, and platform work. Might I add one more item to that list? Apply to participate in another author’s street team or book launch team. 

Why should you join one, aside from the pure enjoyment of being an advance reader? 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Writer’s Purpose


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it(Matthew 16:18).

Do you know your purpose, writer?

Saturday, October 2, 2021

5 Ways to Solicit Stories for an Anthology

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to a woman I admire as a Bible teaching, writer and friend! Her newest book, Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith is up for preorder and I asked her to share a post about how this book came about and what she learned while writing it. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!


by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

I had not planned to write this particular book. But God brought me the opportunity. 

It all began with a century-old letter. I found the treasure at my parents’ house, tucked under an ancient pair of spectacles in a dented metal box. I carefully unfolded the yellowed, brittle paper and struggled to read the faded ink. The letter was dated March 26, 1914. Addressed to Howell Adam Shouse, my great-grandfather on my mother’s side, it was written by his mother, Mary Dozier Shouse, more than a century ago.

Friday, October 1, 2021

For Writers: 3 Tips to Untangle a Complex Plot


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

I have really long hair, and there’s nothing worse than when it gets tangled. Tangles don’t just go away, either. The longer you leave them, the worse they get. And then when you finally take a brush to them, it hurts like the dickens to get them all out. 

A nice personal tidbit, right? But what does that have to do with writing? Well, when I think about tangles and having to invest hours of painful focus to get all the knots out, I think about some of the tangled plot lines I’ve had to edit over the years.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Is NaNoWriMo Right for You?


by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

If you’re an author, you have probably heard of NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. You can visit their website at nanowrimo.org

November is designated as National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I said November, the month of Thanksgiving, the busiest travel time of the year. The time for long lines at airports and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Add to that, preparations for Christmas. It’s a time for family, falling leaves, bonfires, and homemade soup. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

10 Traits of a Well-equipped Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

When each of us chooses to label ourselves as a writer, we are embarking on a journey that’s not for the faint of heart. To find joy—and yes, even a little success—we need to make sure we’re well-equipped for what lies before us. 

I know many of you who read this blog, and I have to confess I’m thinking of you specifically as I write this. Yes, these are things I’ve tried to cultivate in my writing life—but they’re also things I SEE in your lives. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Figuring Out the Days of Our Lives


by Eva Marie Everson

Like sands through the hourglass . . . so are the days of our lives. 

Do you remember those words? If you grew up in a certain era and your mother was a homemaker, you probably do. They were spoken at the beginning of the daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives, by actor Macdonald Carey. They quoted Socrates who said, “Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Importance of A Name for Your Novel's Characters


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

I spend a lot of time on my characters’ interviews, getting to know them well before I start writing. That way, the name I choose for them—like that friend you've known for years and couldn't imagine their name as anything else—sticks.

 

But it hasn't always been this way. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Learn What You Don't Know and Write That!


by Craig von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck

Many beginning writers have heard a seminar speaker or professor utter the familiar line, "Write what you know." The quote is attributed to Mark Twain—but is it wise? Is it true?

Writers have many opinions on the question.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED STORIES - PART 2


The Hero’s Paradox: Someone Great + Someone Flawed
by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

In my last post, I argued that the world needs stories about heroes now more than ever. Why? Because heroes inspire us to be greater than ourselves, to surpass our own limitations or painful life circumstances to truly exhibit heroic qualities. If we didn't have stories about heroes, we would see fewer acts of courage in real life. We would see fewer acts of self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and even love. Now, maybe you don’t think this discussion applies to you because you don’t see yourself as writing stories about heroes. But what if every story is ultimately a hero’s story? As Edgar Watson Howe says, “A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.” 

Friday, September 24, 2021

1,061 Reasons Not to Quit Writing


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

One thousand and sixty-one posts. This is how many blog posts I’d written. Ten years of blogging. On a really good day, I get two or three comments on each post. A few loyal readers email me from time to time to share how the Lord used a particular post to speak to their heart.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

For Writers: Finding the Right Word, Part 1


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

It seems to me the more writing I do, the more I find myself looking for the right word, the perfect word to convey what I want. Maybe it’s the color of a character’s eyes, or the fury in the sky as a thunderstorm scuds across the sky. It might be the clamor of city streets or the stillness of a forest at sundown. I become a perfectionist, seeking the best word to engage the reader in the story at that moment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Could Binge-Writing be Right for Me?


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Are you a candidate for binge-writing? Does the thought of adding thousands of words to your manuscript thrill you from head to toe? Maybe you have no clue what binge-writing means or how it could help you move forward with your dreams and goals.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How to Write a Blessing


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

My word for the year 2021 is “blessing” and my focus has been to seek to become a blessing to all I encounter. And, as of the ninth month of this stellar year, of course I have failed at that goal. But I do continue to learn so much about the spiritual practice of blessing others, one that has been around since the beginning of time and eternity. God’s Word is full of blessing and I, for one, believe that this practice is needed today more than ever.

Monday, September 20, 2021

How to Connect Your Marketing to Special Dates


by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Every day is a special day, but the ones that relate to your book or ones that can add pizzazz to your posts and memes provide more marketing possibilities. Calendars available online include today in history, holiday calendars, 100+ social media holidays, inventions today in history, science history on this day, this day in literary history, religious history on this day, and more. That’s a lot to connect with in your marketing, so consider all the ways to use the information to promote your book. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Let’s Write to Change the World


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

At the beginning of each year, I write down a question in my planner above the list of writing goals: How will you write this year to change the world?

Saturday, September 18, 2021

What to Do if You're a Perfectionist Writer


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I don’t know if there exists a Perfectionist Anonymous, but if one did exist, I would slink into one of the meetings, hide in the last row and when I couldn’t put off the inevitable, stand up and confess in a soft shy voice, “My name is Emme and I’m a perfectionist.”   

 

My computer files have more than a few works in progress as well as a completed novel and another one that is taking way too long to complete. Some agents have actually dangled the hope of publishing my novel at me, but then pulled back with the words we all hate to hear, “It’s not quite ready yet.” Instead of hope, those words to a perfectionist tell us, “Why did you ever think you could do this? Just give up and save yourself more embarrassment.” 

Friday, September 17, 2021

How to Be Sensitive to Your Readers


by Crystal Bowman

As a children’s author and former school teacher, being a guest author at elementary schools is something I enjoy, plus it’s a great way to market my books. Whether I’m teaching a poetry lesson in the classroom, or speaking to a large group in the gym, I try to engage the children by asking questions they can relate to. For example, “How many of you have pets?” or “Does your mom make you eat vegetables you don’t like?” I enjoy the back-and-forth interaction, and love watching the children respond.

Be Aware
A few years ago, after I spoke to a group of students, a second-grade teacher came to me. She was very kind and asked if she could make me aware of something. She shared that a boy in her class recently lost his mother to breast cancer and there is no “mom” in the home. She cautioned against using “mom” exclusively and suggested I say parent, grandma, aunt, baby sitter, or grown-up. I thanked her for bringing this to my attention and told her it would make a difference not only in my speaking but also my writing. 

The traditional family unit with a mom, dad, three kids, and a dog, is not as common as it used to be. As writers we need to be sensitive to the ever-changing family profile, which may include stepparents, single parents, half-siblings, and blended families. Some children spend week days with one parent and the weekend with a different parent. Some kids have two sets of parents, some have only one parent, and some live with their grandparents. In one of my recent rhyming manuscripts I wrote: 

A grandma and grandpa can be family too.
Who are the people living with you?

Another realization is that not all kids live in a house, so I often say home which is more inclusive. And some kids live in apartments, which is implied in this verse:

Your neighbor can be the lady next door, 
or the grandpa who lives on another floor.

Sensitivity Readers
Many publishers today have sensitivity readers. These specialty readers are qualified to notice words or phrases that may be offensive. This is beneficial to writers who may not be aware that something they wrote could be interpreted as a racist or offensive comment. 

Since I do not write novels I am wondering if fiction writers have a little more wiggle room when you write in the POV of a flawed character, or someone who is rough around the edges. Perhaps a certain time period or cultural setting makes inappropriate language more permissible? (Help me out here fiction writers). 

The beauty of writing for the Christian market is that God’s Word never changes, and it never goes out of style. However, the way I try to reach my audience with God’s Word may change as the needs of today’s families change. Parents today want to see a greater emphasis on God’s love rather than a list of dos and don’ts. I will never water down the message of the Gospel to please my audience, but there are ways to deliver truth with a less-preachy approach. 

I have been writing for nearly 30 years and as our culture continues to change, my writing needs to reflect those changes. How has your writing evolved through the years? I’d love to know!

TWEETABLE

Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She loves going to schools to teach kids about poetry. She also speaks at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and teaches workshops at writers’ conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys going for walks, working out at the gym, and eating ice cream. She and her husband live in Michigan and have seven huggable grandkids. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

How to Start Speaking and Find Speaking Engagements


Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Would you like to expand your platform and reach through speaking? There are many factors to consider when expanding your influence in this manner. How do you get speaking engagements and what should you charge? The following points are a few of the questions you need to answer before you begin speaking.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Heartbeat of a Good Writer


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

A heartbeat is precious. The heartbeat of the unborn heard in sonograms. The “beep, beep” of a heart monitor keeping watch over a loved one at the hospital. The “thump, thump” we hear when someone comforts us with a hug. 

God’s heartbeat is heard throughout Scripture. Have you heard it before?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

How Will Mental Rest Help Me Find Writing Clarity?


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I’m a skeptic. When new ideas are presented to me, I smile. Listen intently then walk away rolling my eyes. It’s not something I do to be ugly or snide, rather it’s my way of learning to process information. My first instinct is impulsivity, so I’ve learned to suppress impulse, I need to put the breaks on.

Monday, September 13, 2021

How to Keep Technology from Interfering with Your Writing & Speaking Life


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1


As writers who speak, our reliance on technology increases. However, we need to use computers and related equipment with wisdom. Let’s look at two areas where our use of technology may require changes.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Knowing the Why


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

“Why are you here?”

The question penetrated my mind as none other had for quite some time. I could tell by the expressions on the faces of the other teachers that it piqued their interest as well. 

We sat in our first In-Service meeting before the beginning of what we hoped would constitute a normal year after a year of constant change brought by our friend COVID. But this year would prove different than any others—including the one we had just come through. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Find Joy in Your Writing by Remembering to Write in Faith


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

This verse is one of the first verses I learned when I began memorizing scripture. But until today, I had never thought about applying it to my writing. This morning I was texting back and forth with a fellow writer, trying to encourage her to move forward and leave the result up to God.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Write a Powerful Testimony Using These 5 Elements


by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

Writers often bare the depths of their souls in the pages of their work. Every broken character, every tension-filled moment, each non-fiction revelation whispers our life experiences. 

Many authors prefer to keep their own stories hidden beneath the protective veil of another character’s words. But sometimes, the most powerful story is not the one we’ve crafted, but the story of restoration God’s written in our personal lives.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Perseverance For Writers: Finding the Write One When the Others Won’t Work


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Thomas Edison supposedly once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.” Some question whether the statement is based on facts or legend, and the number often waffles between 10,000 and 1000. 

Nevertheless, the inspiring quote motivates the would-be inventor, the wanna-be writer, the aspiring artist. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 1


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

One of the most fun and exciting ways to write a book is to find a like-minded writer and collaborate. Or is it?

At your first thought of co-authoring, you probably immediately make a list of your writing friends. After all, who wouldn’t like to spend hours writing a new book with your best writing buddy. 

Here are several things you may need to take into consideration.

1. Even if you are good friends, friendship is different from co-authorship. Enjoying each other’s company is one thing. But hours editing and picking your words apart is not a party. It is hard work. And sometimes you and your co-author may have different ideas about the importance of specific information or where it should be placed in the book. I’m not saying writing with your best friend can’t work, but you will want to make sure it’s a good fit before you get started on a book project.

2. Do you need an expert as a co-author to give your book credibility? You may have learned something you really wanted to share with others but an important part of your new knowledge is technical, clinical, or medical based. A co-author who is an expert in that field would be a great choice because it would being extra credibility to your words. That is a win-win situation because not only does it bring credibility to your writing, the expert will have a book he or she can share with others.

3. Make sure your personalities will work well together. If you and your co-author have spent a lot of time together, you probably know the positives and negatives of your co-author’s personality. If you are a check list person and your co-author prefers to ponder every word, make sure you both understand that your methods of writing are very different and vow not to get aggravated with the other person’s way of working.

I have had wonderful co-authors and the experience only brought us closer together. But I am sure that is because we knew what each of us would be responsible for before we ever started. We knew each other’s strengths and made plans to capitalize on those strengths. For example, one of us was very strong in organization so she was in charge of making sure the layout of the book made sense. The other had tremendous strength as an editor so much of her job was done once the words were already on paper.

4. Before you start your book, make sure you have everything in writing. Create a contract that covers any questions that may arise. We will talk more about contracts in a later post.

Are you thinking about co-authoring? Choose wisely and ask God to show you the best person to co-author your next book. 

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Linda Gilden has coauthored 11 books with 5 different coauthors and has #12 and #13 coming out in 2022, adding a new co-author to the list. She loves every one of her coauthors and enjoys collaborating on interesting projects with them. She also has written many books on her own and realizes what a treasure and blessing a good co-author is.