Thursday, December 30, 2021

Tips to Help Writers Start the New Year Refreshed & Renewed

by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

I sat at my laptop looking at my file of memes. I couldn’t bear to open social media and post one more promo. I was tired. I knew my passion had waned. I loved writing, but I played the ‘if only’ game. If only I could write and not engage in marketing. If only I didn’t have to waste time on the summary. If only I didn’t have to pitch the book. If only I were more tech savvy. I had a bad case of writers’ burnout. 

Thankfully, God’s mercies are new every morning. Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” God created order in the universe. That order includes changing seasons. We can trust that after the passing of four seasons, it starts all over again. A new year. A fresh start. Exactly what I need.

I don’t want to set aside my passion for writing. I want to renew my passion for writing. I’m working on that goal. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A Writer's Self Worth - How Writers Can Overcome Performance Based Value (Part 2)

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

It’s that time of the year when Christians celebrate the wonderful birth of our Savior, who came to deliver us from the just punishment of our sins. While I cannot compete with the magnitude of this event, I, too, come bearing glad tidings of great joy. Namely, that if you’re an artist who suffers from recurring cycles of crippling self-doubt and existential crisis, behold, I say unto you, there is relief to be found. This post is for anyone who wants to put a stop to these never-ending spirals of despair—or at least find a better way of dealing with them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing Out of Our Grief During Christmas

by Eva Marie Everson

Ask me to name my favorite Christmas hymn, and I will find it difficult to answer. Perhaps “Angels We Have Heard on High.”[1] Not necessarily because of the lyrics, but because of a memory I have of being about ten years old, dressed in a white choir robe, along with the other children in my hometown church. As our “children’s Christmas cantata” opened, we strolled in near darkness from the back of the church, down two red-carpeted aisles, toward the choir loft, each of us carrying a flickering candle, each of us singing our little hearts out. Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains . . .

Monday, December 27, 2021

An Author's Inspiration from the Resolutions of a Curmudgeon

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

It's that time of year again … when we all think about making New Year resolutions. I'm lousy at deciding what to resolve and worse at keeping any I might misguidedly make. 

So, this year, I'm resolutely sticking my tongue in my cheek and offering a few … from the perspective of a curmudgeon. After all, every family has that relative somewhere in their tree. You know him … Uncle Grumpy.

Friday, December 24, 2021

“I’ve Come to Save You” – Why Writers Need to Write

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Don’t stop writing. The world needs to hear your story.

September 11, 2001 began as just another day at the office for Port Authority worker Genelle Guzman. She grabbed a bagel from a kiosk on the first floor of the World Trade Center tower, rode the elevator to the 64th floor, and chatted with her friend and co-worker, Rosy.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

How One Author Creates Through the Birth of a Character - Part 2

By Henry McLaughlin

Once your character is born, she begins her journey into the story. To follow her on the trek we need use the pieces of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual knowledge she shows us to understand her motivation and to learn how she reacts to the story. Our story events should be realistic and unpredictable. She will reveal her character as she lives through them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Tips for Creating the Perfect Fiction Title

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

It’s been said, “A book’s title is its most important marketing strategy.” We shouldn’t be surprised when we consider how long it takes to create the best title for our books.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Can One Writing Assignment Change the World?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

As the end of the year draws to a close, perhaps you are thinking about your writing life. Specifically, what you didn’t write this year. That lead or request you never pursued. That idea you failed to give attention and care, so it just sort of fizzled.

Friend, 2021 is done. It’s time to move on. We are given a fresh start in 2022. The question is, what will we do with these blank pages of days?

Monday, December 20, 2021

Networking Tips to Increase Marketing Ability

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Start the New Year with strategies to networking for maximum results, especially for marketing.

First list your objectives and pray about them
You’re more likely to hit the mark when you set specific goals. It’s great to meet people, but better to make the most of each connection.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Gifts for the Writer

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Christmas time. As a writer, you may be tapping the keys on your laptop to send off those last words to meet a deadline for your editor. Maybe you’re finishing off your December newsletter, or those last posts for 2021 to be placed on your website.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

A Writer Looks at C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

While recently retreating from manufactured noise, I picked up my copy of C.S. Lewis’s book, The Abolition of Man. Aside from the Bible, Lewis is my go to when I need grounding from the often insane whirl of modern thinking. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Direct My Writing Paths

by Crystal Bowman

Fresh out of college, with a math-science degree in education, I pouted as I drove into the parking lot of Little Angel’s Nursery School. Teaching preschoolers was not what I had in mind while challenging my brain in calculus and chemistry classes. But it was the only job I could get. At twenty-two years old, it was the first time I questioned God. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

How a Writer Can Perform an Annual Life Audit & Why it Helps

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

There are many aspects to our life, since we are multifaceted beings with a body, mind, soul, and spirit. A diamond has many facets too, and when the diamond is clean, it sparkles. Doing an annual assessment of all the parts of our lives helps to improve the clarity of our priorities. That is when we understand what is most important to us and what area of our life needs attention. We don’t want to be discontent with our lives—we want to sparkle.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Five Tips for Writing about Scripture with Personality

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I just couldn’t get it right. The first draft of my first book needed help. The introduction sounded so factual, like the beginning of a dictionary or commentary. I had used those in Bible college, and while they helped me to understand Scripture, the ones I read needed some “oomph.” That’s the technical term for “schmooze.” They needed some personality.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Critical Importance of Truth in the Stories We Write

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Research always turns up "head-scratchers," and my recent research was no exception. As I prepared to teach a class on adding Christian worldview into the general market writing, I ran across that head-scratcher.

Monday, December 13, 2021

21 Twitter Strategies for Writers in 2022

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Yes we’re barreling headlong into the holidays, but it’s never too early to begin compiling a strategy for next year’s social media. 

Below is a list of 21 tips that will help you start the new year off strong in the Twitterverse!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

What to do When We’re Empty

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

When my stomach talks, I listen. Sometimes, too often. 

When I wake up early in the morning, it’s talking. About two hours later, it speaks again. Then we carry on another conversation around 11:00 that morning. A couple of hours later, and we’re at it again. Then again around 6 p.m. And yes, before bedtime, it’s yelling again. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Choose to Celebrate Your Imperfect Writing Life

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” 
John Wooden (1910-2010), American basketball player & coach

I want to tell you one thing today: You did a good job this year.

You—yes, you!—did a good job this year.

I realize you’re probably in the middle of all the holiday rush, but may I ask you to stop for just a moment?

Thank you.

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Promise of Christmas for Writers

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

As many of us toss our normal writing routines aside like the wrapping from a toddler’s Christmas present this month, let’s be sure we take time to reflect on the Christmas story in our lives.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

How to Wait Well as a Writer

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

I’m not a patient waiter. How ‘bout you? 

As writers, we’re often in a state of waiting. Waiting for the next conference, so we can fellowship with our like-minded comrades and meet new author friends, too. Waiting to hear back from a query. Waiting to hear from a publisher. Waiting for just the right agent to give us a nod of approval. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 4

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

The best way to avoid problems when initiating a collaborative partnership is to make sure both parties know from the very beginning what is expected of them now and in the future. And the best way to do that is to have everything in writing. Yes, a written contract can avoid a lot of misunderstanding and hard feelings between writing partners. If you have everything in writing with a signature from each party, then you have already agreed upon the way things should be handled both now and in the future. And if one party questions that, you just refer to the contract.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Tips to Create a Worthy Opponent in Fiction & Nonfiction

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Story happens when a character faces a seemingly invincible opponent standing between the character and his/her great need. Opponents can be human or nonhuman, a person, place, or thing, or combination of these. 

Side note: Writing nonfiction? Use these essentials to share the event in story form. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

5 Safety Tips to Prevent Writer Burnout this Christmas

by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

Artificial or real tree? It’s one of the many choices we have during the “most wonderful time of the year.” I’ve been in both camps, and while most of us focus on the beautiful decorations, we can’t ignore the potential fire hazards our trees present. 

The holidays present a related hazard for writers: burnout. Let’s walk through a checklist for Christmas tree safety that also applies to writers, and learn how to enjoy the holidays without going up in smoke.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Gift of Possible for Writers

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

What is impossible for mere humans is possible with God (Luke 18:27).

There are so many reasons camels couldn’t possibly walk through the eye of a needle. For one, they are clumsy and awkward. Even if the eye of the needle was the sizem of aedieval city gate, the gangly camel would have to be cajoled, pulled, and coaxed to make it through the opening. And then he would probably just stand there, impersonating a stubborn mule.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

4 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block When Your Characters Go Silent

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Lately, I seem to be going through a case of writer’s block. Not like when I can’t decide where to set a scene or why my characters are gathering for coffee/tea/burger/ballgame. But life has taken me away from my writing for a while, and now I can’t get back into it.

I asked our pharmacist. There’s not a vaccine. (She wasn’t smiling.) And supplements don’t seem to be helping.

My characters have left the building. And they don’t seem to want to return unless I promise to pay them more attention.

Maybe writer’s block boils down to a lack of trust.

Friday, December 3, 2021

What to do When You're an Exhausted Writer

by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

Being creative is fun, isn't it? Inventing characters for stories is an exercise in stretching our imaginations. Building worlds that only exist on paper, using only words to breathe them into being, is a time-intensive process that can absorb all our focus. Developing the individual voices of multiple unique people so clearly that readers can identify them by what they say or how they say it requires intentional research.

But isn't it amazing?

As storytellers, we use words to frame and create a whole world, a host of characters, and captivating cultures. And readers? Readers take those words and understand them, hook up their imaginations to your vision, and dream along with you. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Advent for Writers

Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Advent is the season of preparation for and anticipation of the coming of Christ. Depending on your faith tradition, you may have grown up observing this season with candles, specific liturgies, particular colors, and themes for each of the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. 

While the specifics vary somewhat by denomination, one thing seems to be consistent.

Advent always begins with Hope.

I’m doing an Advent Bible study this year, and as I’ve worked on it I’ve found myself thinking about how the hope of Advent can encourage us as writers. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Six Ways to Write Strong Stories

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

How does a great story grow? Through tension patterns. Tension isn’t the same as conflict: conflict is opposition between two or more things (usually two people in a story). Tension, on the other hand, raises questions in our stories which the reader will ask and the author must answer throughout the book. It’s completely based on the conflict we set up from the very beginning and, one step at a time, tension grows.

Monday, November 29, 2021

10 Ways a Writer can Give This Christmas

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We all treasure giving Christmas gifts that are meaningful and personal. In the season’s busyness, writers too often become overwhelmed. We love every moment from November through December . . . parties, shopping, cookie swaps, family time, church programs, decorating inside and out, and the list goes on. But sometimes our ideas hit zero in the gift department. On Christmas Eve, we have nothing to wrap because we lost sight of our richest gift—the art of writing. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Writer's Self Worth - How Writers Can Overcome Performance Based Value

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

One of the things I’ve noticed about artists is that most of us experience intermittent bouts of “Existential Funk.” Call them crises if you like, but the gist of it is that we regularly enter into times of intense emotional turmoil where we basically question everything about our lives. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Five Reasons to Be Thankful for a Writing Critique

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I’ve been a Word Weavers International member for almost seven years, but I still hold my breath when my turn comes around to be critiqued. Will they like it or hate it? Have I made a grave theological error that could cause someone to be spiritually confused or did I explain the Bible clearly? Will they get my humor, or will it fall flat?

Because I want to produce writing that engages the heart, mind, and spirit, I continue to subject myself to the exquisite torture of critique. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

How One Author Creates Through the Birth of a Character - Part 1

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

People have asked where my characters come from. My response frequently is, “I don’t know. He just showed up one day and said he had a story to tell.”

That’s how Michael Archer, the protagonist of my Riverbend series, came to be. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Are You at a Writing Crossroads?

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to share a guest post from an author I've admired for many years - Dr. MaryAnn Diorio! Be sure to check out her latest books and give her a warm TWC Welcome!

Are You at a Writing Crossroads?
by MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. You may remember its closing lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Often in our writing career, we come to a fork in the road, as described by Frost in his magnificent poem. One fork I call the High Road and the other fork I call the Low Road. The High Road is the road of integrity and virtue, the road marked by obedience to God’s way of conducting our writing career. The Low Road is the road of compromise and rebellion, the road marked by disobedience to God’s way of conducting our writing career.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Light (and Victory) in the Darkness

by Eva Marie Everson

When I was a child, I had an acute fear of the dark. So did my brother, younger by three years. When we were about seven and ten, we wrote a contract together that stated if one of us ever woke in the middle of the night afraid, we had the right to get into bed with the other, no questions asked. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Memories—and Books—Are Made of This

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Cloudy Fall days call to me with a nostalgic song of … what? I hadn't stopped to examine why I love them so much. But this morning, as I set out to run an errand, that feeling of well-being and happiness overtook me. Today I realized why. 

It takes me back to my childhood.

I was, as most writers are in their youth, an avid reader. My mother had been a teacher, so at a very early age, she taught me to read long before most children. By first grade, I read at a fifth grade level, and I read every book I could get my hands on.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

5 Tips for A New You for a New Writing Year

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

We have been taught as writers to always have an online presence in some way. Most of us aren’t particularly fond of having to do so, but it’s something that comes with the writing gig. We press on and do the best we can. 

As we prepare for 2022, which is just around the corner, we should take the time before the year ends to make sure we are putting our best and most up-to-date selves out there. After all, you’ve spent the time writing quality pieces—whether that’s articles, blog posts or books—shouldn’t your writer information be quality as well? That's where social media for writers comes in to play.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Writer’s Time Out for Thanksgiving

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In the south, we always have meat and two vegetables for supper, one green and one yellow. Potatoes don’t count. Of course, no meal would be complete without something sour. Pickled beets, peaches, or watermelon rind will do nicely. On Thanksgiving, however, our repertoire expands like our bellies. On that grand day diets are ignored along with my brother’s corny jokes and Uncle Ferd’s unpopular political views.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Tips to Judge Whether a Writing Contest is a Scam or Legit

by Crystal Bowman

Many decades ago, when I first started writing in hopes of getting published, I entered one of my children’s poems in a contest. I was beyond excited when I received a letter congratulating me for placing fourth in the children’s category. I was invited to attend a weekend conference in New York so I could receive my trophy at the awards ceremony on the final day.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Schedule Your Bookstore Holiday Author Event

Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Most bookstores enjoy hosting author events. If the author has a following, they can bring more customers to the store, and the author becomes exposed to a new set of readers already in the store. These events are a win-win for both the author and bookstore. It is wise for writers to take advantage of this superb opportunity. Getting to know bookstore owners and managers is beneficial for an author’s long-term marketing goals. Here are some tips to get your author event scheduled during the busiest time of the year. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Why I’m Thankful To Be a Writer—My Top Twenty List

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

With Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie just around the corner, are you thankful to be a writer? Even though so much hard work goes into writing and promoting, I would like to share twenty reasons why we can be thankful to be writers. (I was going to share just twelve, but the list kept growing.) 

See if your reasons are the same as mine. (These are not in any particular order.) Even if we write in different genres, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Would a Book Giveaway Help?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I wanted more interaction on my social media accounts and was especially hoping to build up my followers on Instagram. I had seen some Book Giveaways and decided to try one. Let me just say here, that I would much prefer to actually be writing than talking about it on the socials. But interacting online is simply a necessity, so I’m game.

Monday, November 15, 2021

More Christmas Book Marketing Ideas

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Twenty-five percent of print books are sold during the holiday season, so it’s an important time to promote books. Consider who might want each of your books and what ones can be bundled. Create a gift catalogue if you have lots of titles plus special bundles.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Working like a Well-Oiled Machine

Edie here. I want to congratulate Martin on his newest book, Don't Just Live...Really Live! All the info is at the end of the post, so be sure and give him a shout out!

Working Like a Well-Oiled Machine
by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 NLT

Their schedule worked like a well-oiled machine. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Counting on Numbers for Your Writing Success

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Writing success seems to be driven by the numbers, doesn’t it?

Author life 
  • How many books have you written? 
  • How many awards have you won? 
Sales numbers
  • How many books have you sold? 
  • How much money have you earned?
Social media numbers 
  • How many followers do you have? 
  • How many likes do you have? 
  • How many shares do you have? 
  • How many subscribers do you have?
I’ve always had an aversion to numbers, going all the way back to elementary school math. As an adult, I realized there’s no dodging numbers in my daily author life.

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Fruit of the Spirit in a Writing Career (Part 2)

by Joshua J. Master @JoshuaJMasters

“If God has called me to write—if His purpose in creating me is crafting words to glorify His name, then should I not experience the Fruit of the Spirit in my writing career?”

That’s the question we asked in last month’s column.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Royal Treatment & An Audience of One

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

My beauty treatment didn’t entail twelve months. In fact, the studio make-up and hair touchup activity probably lasted less than half an hour. Yet, while sitting in a chair tucked in a back room, I couldn’t help but feel a bit like Esther from the seventeenth book of the Old Testament, preparing to go before an audience of one. Her one? King Xerxes, ruler of 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 3

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

While working with a co-author is usually a rewarding experience, there may also be some difficult situations. Troubleshooting may not be a word you have associated with collaborative writing. But if you are aware of possible problems, you can keep your eyes open so you do not see them looming on the horizon. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

You are a Word Artisan

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

It was 2004. Eva Marie Everson stood on the stage at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She lifted her hands for everyone to stand. We complied. Then she said, “Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I. Am. A. Writer.”

Monday, November 8, 2021

3 Questions Speakers Should Ask Before Signing a Contract

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Ask the right questions before you say yes to a live event. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in acceptance or rejection of the opportunity after you've asked enough questions.