Sunday, January 31, 2021

A Time of Spiritual Molting

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

If you're like most of us, this past year has left us feeling stuck in one place. Forward momentum has been replaced with chaos, detours and roadblocks. Perhaps we can take some inspiration of how to cope from God's creation.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Mini Memoir Moment: Looking back—How You Changed Along the Way from There to Here

Edie here. I absolutely adored Marcia's first book and now she has a second that just debuted! Going South: with the God of Jacob's and My Mistakes is a book you're not going to want to miss. I inserted more info at the end of the post. Be sure to congratulate Marcia!

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

The interest in any story, yours included, is not so much what you did, but what you made of it—what you learned, how you changed. That’s not to say if you walked across that bridge in the photo, you wouldn’t have a story to tell. But more than just the fact that you did it, how did you do it? What did you experience when you first saw it? Why did you decide to tackle it? If your feet bolted to the boards halfway across, how did you manage to make it the whole way? How did you feel after you accomplished it? Did it change you in any way?

Friday, January 29, 2021

Digital Soul Care for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers in this day and time, we combat a specific kind of stress—digital. Because of that, I've discovered there are certain things I need to build into my life to stay healthy—spiritually, physically, and emotionally. So below are my tips, along with helpful Bible verses for each one, and a short resource section of other places to go for Soul Care.

17 Digital Soul Care Tips for Writers

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Beta Readers: Friend or Foe?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Who is a beta reader and why should we use them?

In a nutshell, a beta reader is someone who reads our manuscript before we send it out to a professional editor or submit to an agent. 

Their role is to focus on the story itself and to help us prepare the best manuscript possible before we send it out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tips to Plan Your Writing Career in 2021

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Our family celebrations often involve a game of dominoes. Me? I like lining them up (not the family members) and watching them fall one-by-one. 

Unfortunately, if writers don’t plan out their writing career for the year in January 2021, their publishing dreams may fall flat. Every writer is motivated by something, and when we lose track of why we embarked upon this wonderful journey, our dreams and ideas never hit a winning mark. In fact, they are destroyed. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Creative Exercises for Writers

by Eva Marie Everson 

As far back as I can recall, I have looked at old paintings and photographs and tried to find the story within them. As a literary artist, the creation of them sparks the creativity within me. A few years ago, I found myself not looking so much at the obvious, but at the not-so-obvious. In other words, looking around the edges and into the distance, then pulling forward so as to see the work from a different perspective.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Dwelling - in Life and in Words

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Do you choose a word for each year? This year, my word chose me, and it's an odd one. One I had to think about for a while. But it fits. My word this year is "dwell."

As I digested the word, (to remain for a time. 2a: to live as a resident; b: exist, i.e.,lie where the heart of the matter dwells), I realized how very well it fits in both my writing life as well as my spiritual life. It would have fit all of 2020, too. My greatest hope for 2021 is we begin to be able to dwell in restaurants and theatres again.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Power of a Patient Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:25

I’m not a very patient person.

There, I’ve said it. I hate to wait for something—especially if it’s something important to me, like anything to do with my writing.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

2021 Strategic & Spiritual Planning for Writers

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

The dawn of a new year fosters time for reflection and planning. It is a time to look back on last year, evaluate what you did, and plan for the next year. The new year is the perfect time to meet with the Lord and meditate upon his will for a writing ministry. Have you taken the time to plan for 2021?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Layers of Felt Need as You're Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I heard that phrase so much at writers’ conferences. “Know the felt need of your target audience, and write about it.” Great advice. But the phrase “felt need” seemed fuzzy in my brain. What exactly is it, and how do we discover what felt need our audience has? Better yet, what are the many layers of felt need they are facing?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tips for World Building When You Write

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As authors, we all create worlds. It doesn’t matter if we write speculative, contemporary, historical settings or some combination, we all have to transport our readers to a place beyond where they are sitting.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Organize Marketing with Spread Sheets

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

I’ve mentioned my spreadsheets to keep organized and have received questions on how I create and use them, so let me share my method. For marketing, spread sheets are so valuable for keeping information in one place and tracking progress. It provides, at a glance, information on plans for media, print, social media, articles and more. It can also keep track of links to work and interviews done and contact information for upcoming interviews. These can be created to track marketing for each book or brand or to build databases of media contacts.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Grace for the Writer

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As we know, 2020 gave us more unscheduled time than we thought possible. I don’t need to tell you how many things were cancelled and stay-at-home orders placed on us countrywide as well as some countries around the world—you lived it. 

Often last year we found ourselves sitting around the TV waiting to hear when we could return to normal. We started this routine in March. I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting to hear we’re ready to return to normal. Though I no longer sit by the TV news for that. We’ve slowly created new routines to get us by.

However, back in the spring I stopped writing. My critique groups and writing buddies couldn’t meet to work together. I became lazy. With no deadlines, or time schedule to meet with writing partners, my urgency—and desire—to write slowly flickered away. The candle flame went out and took all my mojo with it. I couldn’t string a sentence together, let alone an entire paragraph. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

My American Idol Ah-ha Moment as a Writer

by Crystal Bowman

In the early seasons of American Idol, I was a faithful fan. From the first auditions to the grand finale, I watched every episode to see who would make the top ten and eventually win the singing competition. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Collateral Blessings for Writers: Unexpected Surprises from God

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Don’t you love when God totally surprises you with a blessing you didn’t see coming? 

I’ve played around on Facebook for a number of years, starting my personal page long ago when my teenagers first asked to join the social media world. “Only if you help your technologically-challenged mother set up an account, too,” I’d replied. “So that I can monitor your activity … somewhat.” I knew my tech intel skills couldn’t rival that of my kids, but, luckily, my teens were more interested in getting to church on time for youth group than they were getting into anything devious online. 

As my writing career continued to move forward, social media became more of a work tool for me than a teenage surveillance device. I paid attention at conferences like Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and learned to sincerely engage with those that might be part of my potential audience for my writing. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

What’s Behind Your Writer's Mask?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Living in unprecedented times brings a lot of new “rules” we must learn to live with. One of the new norms for us today is wearing a mask when we go out. Though not popular with some people, wearing masks is one thing we can do to be proactive in helping restore our freedom of moving about without fear of contamination.

Writers have worn masks for years and in some ways, it is a parallel to our current mask wearing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Writer's Dollar Wisely Spent

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Writers live on pennies. If we’re lucky – dimes. So when conferences roll around it’s our eyes that roll at the pennies we spend. No one will argue that attending a conference is expensive. It is but it is also the one place you will latch on, not only to your dream but to the necessary learning needed to excel as a writer. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Speaking Tips for Writers in 2021

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

We may have decided to accept 2021 as it unfolds. We trust that what God has for us will come about in his way and timing. I sat each evening during the last week of December with a pen, a journal, and a Bible. On New Year’s Eve, I sat alone with God and asked again for direction. Here are open doors for me that may appeal to you.

The first speaking tip for writers in 2021 is to attend a speakers conference.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

God in the Seasons

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. Genesis 8:22 NLT

Only two remained. 

As I sat on my old antique porch glider, I watched as two hummingbirds fought over the one feeder that hung just outside my den window. Just a few days before, I had cleaned all my feeders but only returned one to the backyard. And just a few weeks prior, a dozen hummingbirds had created a war zone in the back and side yards as they fought for nectar from the three feeders placed strategically around the yard. Now, everything was changing.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Choosing to be a Flexible Writer

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

As 2020 wound down, I discovered a quote by motivational coach Tony Robbins: “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

Rather than making a list of New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to choose One Word to focus on each year. But there are still specific personal, professional, and spiritual goals I pray about and plan for in the coming months that help me achieve my writing dreams.

Friday, January 8, 2021

A Biblical Prayer for Writers

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

After the struggles of the last year, many of us are rededicating ourselves to more productive writing schedules, a greater respect for deadlines, and an organized plan for our business. But if our last turbulent trip around the sun taught us anything, it’s that we should focus on the things that are most important and be grateful for the things we take for granted.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Writing Edition of What Worked and What Didn't

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

For the past few years, I’ve created a What Worked/What Didn’t Work list as a way to review the previous year. **

I love this process because it allows me to acknowledge places where I struggled and shine a light on the things I want to change in the upcoming year, but it also gives me room to celebrate what went right.

I make this list for my personal life which includes how things went for my family, in my home, with my health, relationships, etc. But I also make a separate list for my writing life, and that’s what I want to share with you today. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Magic of Motivation in Your Novel

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Why do characters do what they do? Just like real humans, characters have extremely good reasons. Knowing WHY a character does something is essential – they MUST have a reason, even if the reader doesn't get it at first. But that's only half of the equation. Writers must also understand and express the reaction that follows.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Know the (Writing) Rules to Break the Rules Well

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

One day, my daughter practiced music while I mixed together a favorite recipe in the kitchen for scones.

“Mama, was Bach a nice man?” My six-year-old called to me from the piano in the living room. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Get Busy on Your Waiting (Writing) List

Edie here. I'm super excited to introduce you to our newest TWC monthly contributor, Kristen Hogrefe Parnell. I'm a super-fan of her books and so excited to have her sharing her insight and wisdom here in our community! Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

Get Busy on Your Waiting (Writing) List
by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @KHogrefeParnell

For something we writers have to do so often, we aren’t very good at it. Waiting, that is.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Do What is Possible

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth to Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her. Firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping with her their flocks at night (Luke 2:4-8).

It is most often when we are doing what is possible that the impossible happens.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Are You Including God In Your Publishing Plans?

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali

But [Jesus] said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Friday, January 1, 2021

Leave Space for Grace In Your Writing Goals

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

I raised and trained 4-H market lambs for two years when I was in junior high. The profit I made helped me buy my first laptop, yes, but it was hard, exhausting, dirty work. (If you’ve never scrubbed the lanolin out of all a sheep’s nooks and crannies before a show, consider yourself fortunate to not have experienced that particular smell.) 

The second year, I ended up with a lamb who pushed every button I had. She was stubborn and scared of everything. I named her Meg, after a book character who (to this day) frustrates me with her hard-headedness. I couldn’t even train her using the traditional belly-rubbing method we’d been taught. No, Meg the sheep required my knee in her chest to get her to set up properly. It was a constant fight, a constant struggle to get this sheep to behave and perform. But we did it. We made it to the county fair.