Wednesday, June 30, 2021

15 Foundational Truths of a Resilient Writer


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There is only one constant in the publishing industry—constant change. 

As soon as we think we’ve hit on the formula for success, the variables shift and we’re back to square one. It can set us up for a life of frustration if we’re not ready for it. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Mini Memoir Moment: Writing About the Relatives


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

If you shake your family tree, you may be surprised at the nuts that fall out. People—both present and past—in your life are a rich source for your personal stories. Even if you are writing a straight genealogical account, try to find an incident, a particular characteristic, gesture, habit, or saying that captures some essence of a person and contributes to the heart, as well as the fact, of your story.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Baking a Novel


by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

When baking a novel, don't forget the important ingredient: experience. To draw your readers into your story, you want to create an experience for them. But that experience is filtered through your POV character. You know that already? Good. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Vital Tool of Observation for the Writer


by Craig von Buseck @CraigvonBuseck

Since journalism school, I have carried a notebook with me to make observations. In the early days, it was a small, spiral bound paper notebook that fit in my shirt pocket. Today, it’s a series of files in my smart phone. Whatever form it takes, a writer should have a place where she or he is taking notes of what is observed as life goes by.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Number One Way to Alienate Your Readers


by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

I recently received a private message from a writer friend who said she needed my help. Keep in mind, this gal is already a competent writer. She’s put in the time. She’s learned the tools of her trade. Nevertheless, people just aren’t resonating with her material on an emotional level. She wanted to know why. What’s the root problem? More importantly, can it be fixed?

Friday, June 25, 2021

5 Important Elements to Include in Your Next Blog Post


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Blogging continues to be one of the best ways to connect with your audience, build a platform, and refine your writing. Whenever I coach new writers who are serious about growing as a writer, I always recommend blogging.

Whether you’re a new blogger or an experienced one, you want to create posts that engage your readers and accomplish your writing goals.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Writing Dreams & Plans


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

2021. 

A year many of us longed for as 2020 dragged on and on and on. Now it’s here, and I suspect some of us are not all that thrilled with the way it’s started out. And it’s too late to reboot. We’re stuck with it.

But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck with our lives. Yes, things seem just as uncertain as they did last year or last month.

We have dreams, and we don’t have to give up or compromise on them. If we’ve been in relationship with God, he has dreams for us. They may be better than what we have in mind. In fact, they are better than anything we could think of. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Taking the Struggle Out of Writing Deep POV


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Every writer wants to take the struggle out of Deep Point of View (POV). The technique allows the reader to step easily into the viewpoint character’s shoes by experiencing every action and reaction through the character’s senses. The reader wants to be that character. He/she has stepped into the protagonist’s or antagonist’s head and emerged as the POV character. Every word is filtered through the POV character.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: The Stories That Shaped A Childhood


by Eva Marie Everson

In the past couple of years, I have given a keynote address at three writers conferences titled “The Three—Make That Four—Books That Changed My Life.” In the presentation, I talk about three books I read in my younger years, one as a young child of about ten, and the other two as a young-to-mid teen. The first book I only recall by its title, Renee. I cannot recall the author’s name or what the book was about, but what I do remember is that this was the first book I found impossible to put down. Renee was what we call a “page-turner.”

Monday, June 21, 2021

Excellence in Marketing Awards for Authors Open Aug. 1-31, 2021

By Angela Breidenbach 
@AngBreidenbach

The Christian Authors Network is delighted to announce the Excellence in Marketing Awards. Formerly known as the CAN Crown Awards, the name change better represents the purpose of this special, one-of-a-kind contest to recognize, educate, and encourage excellence in marketing and promotion skills of all Christian authors.


One area Christian authors struggle with in the publishing world is figuring out what to do with marketing? Think about marketing as engaging, shareable, effective communication about your book, book series, or brand to readers, retailers, and/or librarians. How else would people find the book you struggled over for months to years? Don’t hide your light under a bushel! Shine light on that beautiful work of art through some simple marketing techniques.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

How Writing Conferences Compare to Carrots


by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

You’ve read the title of this post and are convinced this writer has truly lost her mind. While there may be some truth to that—hear her out. And by her, I mean me.

On the two-hour drive home from a recent large conference, I had plenty of quiet time to think and process what I’d encountered the week there. Thoughts about how conferences as a whole have had to change during this past year due to, well, you know­—Covid. Most chose to do an online option, which at least connected us with opportunities to continue to learn more of the craft. As an extreme extrovert, this option was difficult at times, but I still took part as either a conferee or as faculty, grateful to see writers and speak to each other in real time even if throughout computer screens. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Recharge, Replenish, Renew for a Better You


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I move to a different beat. The effects of isolation and lack of human connection brought on by lockdown bit deep. I became inflicted with a self-centered concern about keeping myself safe—of preventing dark shadowy plagues from coming near. My world was now absent of hugs, obsessed with hand sanitizers, and filled with face-masked people devoid of facial expressions. As a result, a new me slowly emerged. Without even realizing the dark cloud had descended, it began to suffocate my life.

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Benefits of Co-Authoring


by Crystal Bowman

No matter what publishing path you choose, it’s a long and bumpy road. And whether you’re an introvert who writes from a quiet corner in your home or an extrovert who writes at a noisy coffee shop, writing can be lonely. One of the rewards of the writing journey is to hold that hot-off-the press copy in your hands while you stare at your name on the front cover. But maybe there is space for one more name. The idea of co-authoring a book may not appeal to everyone, but it has some benefits worth considering. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

How to Get More Book Reviews


by Susan U. Neal
@SusanNealYoga

Book reviews show readers that your book is worth their investment of money and time. The more reviews your book has, the more books you will sell because people believe what consumers say about products. In fact, ninety percent of consumers read online reviews. One of the most critical things you can do for your book’s salability is obtain at least fifty Amazon reviews.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What Can a Writer Use Canva For?


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

I needed a time saver, and Canva became it. More than once. 

Do you need to make a meme or a One Sheet? How about a picture slideshow or video about your book? Canva can do all of these. Even the free version. As writers, we can choose from Canva’s templates, stock photos, and video clips to create beautiful graphics and videos to promote our message and our writing. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

When God’s Ways with My Writing are Not My Ways


Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Here is what I had hoped would happen after I hit “send” on my latest book proposal. The editor would almost immediately respond by email: 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Speaking Tips for Authors at Hybrid Events


by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

This article provides three speaking tips for authors at hybrid events. The hybrid is one in which people can attend in-person or online.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Saying Goodbye


by Martin Wiles @LinesFrom God

We fought to swallow the lumps in our throat, and we blinked away the tears. Then, we said goodbye.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Understanding How Our Emotions Fuel Writing Procrastination


by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Procrastination seems to be a common problem among writers.

If I could, I’d ask you to raise your hands if you procrastinate about writing. I’ll assume the majority of you would admit to ignoring your various deadlines, choosing instead to clean out your junk drawer or to organize your sea glass collection or to read another author’s book that’s languished too long on your to-be-read pile.

I’ll also admit writing this post is an act of procrastination. Don’t get me wrong, I had a deadline to meet for this blog, but I also have a novella deadline. Right now? I put off that project by focusing on writing today’s post.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Book Marketing Secrets Every Author MUST Know!


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Over the course of my career I have published through big publishers and through smaller, traditional presses. Of course there are differences between what support a big and small publisher provides. But—and we all need to wrap our brains around this one truth—our responsibility as the author is fairly consistent. Today I’m going to share 7 book marketing secrets I’ve learned from experience, and some I’ve learned by watching other authors.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The ABC’s of Newspaper Writing, Part One


by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

A wealth of sayings about “old news” abounds, but the truth is, newspaper outlets need fresh content on a daily basis. Or, at least as often as the newspaper comes out in your neck of the woods. 

And that means, as a freelancer, you have many opportunities to gain writing credits by contributing news articles, lifestyle stories, and much more to your local newspaper publication. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

8 Ways to Equip Yourself for the Writing Journey


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Stephen King once said, “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

 

I'd like to go one step further and add that choosing the writing life isn’t a choice for the faint of heart. If you’re serious about having a career in publishing, you’re going to need some tools to equip yourself for the writing journey. Beyond that, you’re going to have to make some decisions about how you spend your time.  I did. And I haven’t regretted a moment of it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

5 Things to Make Your Story Sing


by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

Most everyone has a story and believe it or not, the majority can tell their story beautifully. The problem comes when the translation of the story hits the page. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

3 Media Tools for Writers Working Smarter, Not Harder


By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

We know that the writing life isn’t just about writing. Regardless of the publishing route we choose, we writers are largely responsible for marketing and sharing our books with others.

 

Most of you aren’t graphic designers or degree-holding marketers, and neither am I. Today, I want to share three tools that can help you work smarter, not harder—so you have more time to do what you love: writing.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Overcoming Writer’s Dread


by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster (Proverbs 1:33).

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Staying On the Trail As a Writer


by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

For many of us, this has been an exciting week as we have gathered at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Whether we were there personally, or attending the virtual conference, we were able to attend classes taught by caring and knowledgeable instructors, renew relationships with friends, and make new friends and acquaintances.

 

Just being able to get out and do something ‘normal’ was a great feeling for many of us.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Are You Still A Writer If You Aren’t Writing?


by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

I wanted to be an author since before I knew where books came from. I dreamed of writing the next great novel series, and admittedly I still consider the ultimate mark of achievement to be overhearing strangers at a coffee shop discussing my stories. 

 

But to be a writer, you have to write. Right?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

PreWriting Rituals


by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Do you have any pre-writing rituals? On any given day, I don’t. But when I’m about to begin a big project, I absolutely do. 

 

As you read these words, I am up to my roots in revisions. Some people love revisions, but I have to admit that they are not my favorite (see this post for my thoughts on that process). 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Observation: How Do Your Characters Move?


by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Actors move. They walk, they laugh, they fight. They move because of WHO they are because each character in a movie or play is unique. Also, each actor who pulls the puppet strings of that character adds a little bit of themselves to the mix.

How do actors know what to do? Some of them come by the understanding of character naturally. Many of them have studied the art of acting to learn how to create a version of the character they play based on their own personal set of emotions.

Writers do exactly the same thing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Write to Expire


by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

The first day of the conference, my daughters and I crowded onto the elevator with several other conferees making their way to the morning keynote session. Fifteen-year-old Holly and 17-year-old Leilani were the only teen attendees that year. 

“I just love to see expiring new writers,” spoke up an elderly lady. She nodded and smiled at my daughters. Of course she meant to say aspiring. Not expiring. I think.