Friday, April 30, 2021

Prayers and Writers: A Perfect Match!

by John Riddle

Prayer has played an important part in my writing career ever since I prayed and asked God to bless me with the gift of creative communication. In my senior year of St. James high school, my family was living in a public housing project in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Vietnam War was still taking place, and I was a few months away from graduation. I didn’t know anything about college scholarships at the time, so I knew I had to pick a career and get ready to do something with my life very soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Writing a Journal from your Character’s Perspective

by Kathleen Neely @NeelyKneely3628

I’m sharing tips with you on a strategy that I’ve only just begun using—character journaling. I know—journaling sounds like an age-old tool, but here’s how it differs. It’s not me writing the journal, but my character. I’ve discovered that the input of time is well worth the output. When I sit down and create a journal from my character’s perspective—what he/she is thinking, feeling, wishing, and doing, my writing dips deeper. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

10 Ways to Keep Your Writing Passion Burning

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writers are encouraged to wrap themselves in passion for their projects. And rightfully so. The definition of passion is enthusiasm or zeal that places something as a priority. The passionate person is willing to make sacrifices, and in the religious sense, to die if necessary, for their commitment or belief. We might not be ready to die for our writing, but we certainly want the zeal and enthusiasm needed to complete our calling.

What does that mean for writers who have lost interest in their craft? How do they regain their passion? 

Look at the following ways to keep a writerly fire burning.

1. Recognize if your desire to continue writing is trending toward burnout and choose to do the work to find out why.

2. Take a break. Yes, step back from the writing. Give yourself permission for a vacation. A writer doesn’t create his/her best when operating on a weary body and mind.

3. Let your mind wander. There’s wisdom in kicking down the doors to our self-imposed box. Do new ideas spark your attention? Has your interest in the subject matter taken a new direction?

4. Journal your contemplations. Record the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of your thoughts. Does your writing need a fresh vision? Are you bored? Is time management an issue? Do you feel your writing is merely repetition of what you’ve previously done? Do you need a sabbatical? Would a class addressing a specific aspect of the writing and publishing industry rekindle your enthusiasm?

5. Spend time praying, thinking, and reflecting on what you listed in numbers 3 and 4. What thing or things do you perceive as the root of the problem?

6. Confide in a trusted friend or family member about your dilemma. Sometimes talking through a problem brings about valid solutions.

7. Decide the best course of action for you as a person, your personality, genre, style, voice, and stage in life. Contemplate the decision(s) for at least a day before taking action.

8. List solutions for your lack of passion. How can you implement the one(s) that serves you best? Do you require professional assistance?

9. Locate the resources necessary to help you move forward. Strive for balance.

10. Do the work. Courageous writing means finding answers to problems.

Have you ever lost your enthusiasm for writing? How did you regain your passion?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson. Connect here:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: From Conquered to Conqueror

by Eva Marie Everson

John Wesley (1703-1791) the English cleric who became a leader of a revival movement known as Methodism, once wrote these words:

After my return home, I was much buffeted with temptations, but I cried out, and they fled away. They returned again and again. I as often lifted up my eyes, and He “sent me help from his holy place.” And herein I found the difference between this and my former state chiefly consisted. I was striving, yea, fighting with all my might under the law, as well as under grace. But then I was sometimes, if not often, conquered; now, I was always conqueror (Journal of John Wesley, “I Felt My Heart Strangely Warmed”).

As we writers prepare for upcoming conferences, whether we are new to this writing thing or not, we often find ourselves returning home with a source of positivity pulsing through our arteries and veins that declares, “I can do this! I can write a book . . . an article . . . a blogpost . . . a devotion . . . a poem.” We have everything we need now. Someone told us we canwrite. Someone else showed us how to beef up the weak areas. Someone pointed out where our strengths lie. We sat under the masters of the craft and took copious notes. We returned home and pored over them and, then . . .

Monday, April 26, 2021

When a Creative is Dogged by Doubt

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan 

An engineer doesn’t doubt her calling. She’s a left-brained mathematician with a formula for every situation.


A fisherman doesn’t doubt his calling. He’s a left-brained strategist who can outsmart any fish.


A company CFO doesn’t doubt her calling. She has left-brained-focus on the bottom line.


But creatives, right-brained as all get out, are dogged by doubts. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Are You a Reluctant Writer? So Was U.S. Grant!

by Dr. Craig Von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck

Military memoirs were the rage in the decades following the Civil War. Some were credible, making a helpful contribution to the history of the war, like the memoirs of William Tecumseh Sherman, James Longstreet, or Philip Sheridan. But many were self-serving vanity pieces that minimized the faults of the commander, embellished his accomplishments, and took potshots at political enemies.

Raised by his Methodist mother, Hannah Grant, to carry himself in humility, Ulysses S. Grant found many of these memoirs distasteful. So when his friend, Mark Twain, tried to convince Grant to write his memoirs for his new publishing house, Charles Webster and Company, the general rebuffed him like he did every other attempt by publishers to secure his book. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Avoid This Way to Confuse Your Readers

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

One of the things we don’t talk about enough in writing is how easy it is to accidentally confuse the reader. Have you ever been trucking along, totally engrossed in a story, and then all of a sudden, you stumble across a paragraph or a sentence that makes you go, “Huh?” When this happens, it immediately yanks the reader out of the story. And that’s a bad thing. Of course, sometimes this happens because we have made the error – perhaps we’ve been reading too fast and so we missed a key word or clue. If this is the case, it’s easy enough to correct. But if the problem resides with the writer/writing, well, it’s another matter completely.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Time for Fun – Three Favorite Word Games for Writers

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Are you sick of COVID (no pun intended), Cancel Culture, politics, shutdowns, shortages, quarantine, isolation, social distancing, and MASKS?


Me too. It’s been a weighty, serious, fun-stealing year. 


During Week Five of the lockdown, friends from Louisiana texted my husband and me to ask if we’d like to play a game on Zoom. Through an elaborate set up that included two iPhones, an over-the-table light fixture, and several pipe cleaners, they had figured out a way to display the gameboard of a new game so socially-distant family and friends could play the game “together.” 


We had so much fun playing with them that we ordered the game, duplicated the setup, and invited friends and family from all over the country to play with us. Having a social and creative outlet brightened our otherwise dreary isolation.


Social restrictions are easing up, but we still take the writing life way too seriously. I thought it would be fun to take a break from all the platform-building, agent-finding, contract-seeking, social-media-wrestling aspects of the business and just have fun.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

What To Do When a Writer is Discouraged

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

One given in the writing world is writers will get discouraged. 

An area where I’ve been discouraged is when a story doesn’t work. My fingers are like stones on the keyboard. What seemed like a great story idea flickers like a dying fire. The plot is what my Italian friends call a frittata. The characters are flat and couldn’t inspire or engage a tree stump. The dialogue puts me to sleep and I’m writing it. And the setting has all the excitement of a square room with floor white walls and a bare floor. One way I deal with this is to put the story aside and write something more meaningful, like a grocery list or a to do list.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Writing Bible Studies with Punch, Zip, and Wow

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

“God is boring.” Three words that have subconsciously shaped my desire to write Bible studies. 

A fourth grader in VBS uttered those words. We were trying to settle the kids down for the Bible lesson, and a little guy in the middle of the room objected with this statement. Everything within me cringed when he said it, and the teacher proceeded to tell him that God was the least boring person ever. His innocent question was, “Why?”

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Can a Writer Ever Have Too Many Books?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Tidying up guru Marie Kondo once wrote that after one particular purge, she ended up with only thirty books in her home. 


Why, that’s practically the number on my nightstand to-be-read stack alone!


My books are not just cardboard and paper. They are my friends. Each book contains not only unique stories and life lessons, but sometimes daring adventure, tender comfort, radical transformation, or courageous challenge.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Take Your Book Launch Team to the Next Level with Pizzazz & Power

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Launch teams also called street teams or scream teams encourage members to spread the word about the new book everywhere. Start asking people to sign up several months before the release and include people who already love your writing. Checkout to learn about starting a team. Let’s add pizzazz to make it fun and power teams up with effective strategy.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Invite God into Your Writing

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

At one of my writing meetings in March, a friend shared with the group some interesting facts she’d come across in a recently read book. Often our devotions or book reports shared in our meetings stick with me for a few days as I keep going over them in my mind. But this time, something that was shared has impacted me greatly. It’s still on my mind more than a month later. The friend has no idea. 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Reflection, Fellowship, Inspiration—Writer's Tools

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The tall iron gates lay open like welcoming arms. We entered and trudged slowly along the wide pathway, the only sound the crunch of gravel beneath our feet. As we rounded the bend, the sprawling eighteenth century stone villa came into view and looked to be perched on a cloud of gentle sloping hills. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Writers Are Seed Planters

by Crystal Bowman

I’ve been involved in volunteer ministries ever since I was a high school graduate. Summer mission programs, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, vacation Bible school teacher— and for more than 20 years I’ve been a mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). 

But through these 40+ years of being in ministry and sharing the Gospel, I rarely saw anyone come to know Jesus. However, I am overwhelmed by the number of times someone who was exposed to my teaching came to me with exciting news that they had received Jesus as their Savior. They would tell me that something I said, something I taught, that walk on the beach, that Bible study in my living room, or those weekly two-hour phone calls started them on their journey to find Jesus. And I would be happy for them, but often wondered why I wasn’t the one to be with them during their come-to-Jesus moment. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Differences Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

by Susan U. Neal @SusanNealYoga

Should you traditionally publish or self-publish? Some authors can’t land a traditional publishing contract, so that is not an alternative. Since the pandemic, it has become even more challenging to get a traditional contract. Other authors are traditionally published and could continue to do so but are curious about self-publishing. They may get frustrated about specific aspects of the traditional world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Taking the Next Step in your Article Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Every now and then it is a good idea to take stock of where you are sending your articles. Are they hitting the mark? What part of your article writing business do you want to do better? 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Develop Your Book's Hook With These Three Questions

by Cindy K Sproles @CindyDevoted

Writers hear valued advice daily. Conflict drives the story. Character development is critical. The plot must push readers through to the end, only to mention a few. There is one aspect of our writing that jumps ahead of conflict, characters, and plot. It’s the first thing the reader sees. The line that makes them decide on the spot, whether they will continue to read. The hook—and oh, baby—is this ever important.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Giving an Encouraging Word

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

I ignored the call, imagining it just another spam call from someone who wanted to ruin my Saturday morning with their nonsense. 

Writers’ conferences present a double-edged sword. I hang on every word from speakers, authors, and editors who are more experienced than I. Experts who share their journeys and help me with mine. I hear their instructions and cautions. Be patient. The publishing world takes time. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Choosing Mediocrity to Become a More Successful Writer

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

I’m always looking for encouragement as a writer. Something to motivate me to write. Something to push me through a slump or to challenge me to improve my craft. Sometimes my goal might be to put words on the page, other times I’m searching for a metaphor or simile that will elevate my scene with deeper emotion.

Want to know what motivated me the most in recent weeks?

Thursday, April 8, 2021

7 Newspaper Articles You Could Be Writing for Your Paper

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Conference season is just around the corner. If you’d like to pad your one-sheet with a few more writing credits before an upcoming conference, I have a suggestion for you. Consider writing for your hometown newspaper. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Make Your Characters Come Alive with Visceral Reactions

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Have you ever been told your characters are cardboard? Or have you read a book where you were left wondering why you couldn't identify with a particular character? It could be that the character isn't reacting in a "normal human" way, which includes visceral responses.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

What's the Best Format for Your Writing & Your Audience?

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Once you know your audience and the take-home value your writing will provide to that audience, it’s time to decide on the best vehicle to convey your message. There are myriad ways for a writer to communicate including:

Monday, April 5, 2021

How to Avoid Weasel Words When You Write

By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

By night, I write novels, and by day, I teach English online to ninth graders. One of my joys is when students realize my desire is not to be overly critical but to help them express themselves as clearly and effectively as possible. During one such session, a student thanked me for my detailed comments but said he didn’t understand why I highlighted certain words on his essay. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Writing from the Comfort You Have Received

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).


Each month, we tuck a bit of money back into our savings account. It’s automatic and has been a great help in times of need.


God’s comfort is much like our savings account. When we turn to Him in our struggles, when we trust His promises during suffering, He comforts us. What we may not realize is that in the process, we are accruing a surplus for a later time of need. 


But unlike my bank savings account, God’s comfort account is intended for others. Hurting people who will come into my life needing the comfort God once gave me.


You see, what we receive from God is not only for our good but for the good of humanity. 


As writers, we have a long reach into the world.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Make the Characters You Create Come to Life

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Bob Newhart. Dick Van Dyke. Lucille Ball.


Each of these were real persons. And many of us feel like they are our long-time friends because we’ve watched their shows on TV and in the ubiquitous reruns for decades, right?


But Bob Newhart didn’t really run a bed-and-breakfast, did he? And I am sure, when Mr. Van Dyke took his wife out to dinner, he really wasn’t taking out Mary Tyler Moore. Although I have to admit, that would be who I’d expect to meet.


And Lucy? (Makes you smile just thinking about her, doesn’t it?) Well, it does seem that Ethel was a real friend to her. Only her name wasn’t Ethel, it was Vivian. In fact, when Lucy did a new series in the 60s, Vivian Vance agreed to come back but only if they changed her name.


So, what made the characters so real that they continue to be meaningful for us today? And how can we use those tools to make our characters come to life?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Find Your Writing Community

by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

Writing is a solitary career. Sure, you can participate in critique groups and collaborative projects, but when it comes right down to actually putting words on a page, we write alone. That’s why one of the most important elements of a successful writing career is belonging to a writing community. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Why a Writer Needs Healthy Writing Habits

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Writer, Get Out of Your Chair!

Wait? What? That’s not right, is it?

This is a site for writers. Writers write. 

BICHOK, right? (That’s Butt in Chair Hands on Keyboard). 


Oh, this must be an April Fool’s Joke, right?




Let me tell you a little story. We’ll pretend it’s hypothetical but between you and me it is 100% true.