Friday, December 31, 2021

Evaluating My Writing Path & Moving Forward in 2022

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s path is a journey of a lifetime—one fraught with discovery and discouragement. We can avoid some of its pitfalls if we define that path early on. Today, I want to share some insights into my writing journey and the markers I look for to help me stay at least in the vicinity of the path.

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.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

What Writers Can Learn From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love all the Christmas specials that come around every year during the holidays, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has always been one of my favorites. I identify with his lack of self-confidence, his heart for his friends and especially his gumption when Santa called on him to step up and guide the sleigh that night. 

And it occurs to me that, as writers, there are a lot of valuable lessons in this holiday tale. 

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.