Saturday, December 31, 2022

Do You Know the ABCs of Writing?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Lately I've had a lot of folks ask me what it takes to become a writer. 

The real answer could be easily become a very large book, but today I decided to just boil it down to the basics. 

I’ve done several of these ABC posts here on The Write Conversation and today I’m adding one more. I just can’t seem to help it, they’re so much fun to do.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Conferences in 2023 for Speakers, Writers, and Leaders

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Save your money and make plans for 2023 for a conference that is live, virtual or a combination of both. I am listing only those that offer both a speaking track and a writers track with both traditional and indie publishers with some sessions that can fit in either track.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

End of Year Thoughts on Writing and Moving Forward

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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Emotion: The Core of Story Intimacy in What We Write

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Story intimacy occurs when the writer successfully bonds a character to the reader in a relationship that defies the fictional realm. Emotion lies at the center of their attachment by igniting emotions in varying degrees of positive and negative responses—whether conscious or subconscious. The complexity occurs when motivation triggers feelings, behavior, and personality into expressions of specific actions. These unique truths can be subjective or objective but real to the character. The value of understanding emotion means a writer successfully connects the core of our humanity to a character walking through the pages of a story and shows how life’s happenings affect him/her.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Dipping the Quill Deeper—One Writer's Thoughts about December 2022

by Eva Marie Everson

Accompany me to-day, O Spirit invisible, in all my goings, but stay with me also when I am in my own home and among my kindred. Forbid that I should fail to show to those nearest to me the sympathy and consideration which thy grace enables me to show to others with whom I have to do. Forbid that I should refuse to my own household the courtesy and politeness which I think proper to show to strangers. Let charity to-day begin at home. ~John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer

Scottish-born theologian John Baillie (1886-1960) wrote his highly praised book, A Diary of Private Prayer almost 100 years ago, yet the words of this one prayer ring as true today as they did when he penned them. To me, especially during this Advent season, they hold special significance. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Fall and Winter Festivals—a Writer’s Smorgasbord

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Fall festivals have their origins in pagan times. Known as Harvest Festival, it’s one of the oldest and most traditional festivals, taking place at the time of the Harvest Moon or when the harvest is over. Prior to Victorian times, farmers would lay on a harvest feast, where a corn dolly might be given a place of honor and hung up in hope of a good harvest the following year. Some harvesters felt it was bad luck to cut the last stalk of corn standing. Farms would compete, racing to finish first. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

It Really is a Wonderful Life

by Dr. Craig von Buseck @CraigVonBuseck

Like many of you, one of my favorite Christmas movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We all know the classic tale of a talented young man named George Bailey who dreams of adventure in exotic lands. He sees himself going to college and becoming a great architect and builder. These hopes are shattered when his father dies suddenly and George is forced to take over the family business.

George postpones his own dreams due to a feeling of love and obligation for his family. This becomes painfully clear when a crisis arises and in a fit of anger he kicks over a model of a suspension bridge and a high rise building—the remnants of his dream to be an architect.

It’s in these dashed hopes where we often see ourselves. You may desire to be a revered best-selling author and speaker. Yet the reality may be that you work a job which you only endure—or worse, despise—and you write when you can, early in the morning, at night, or on the weekends.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Top Ten Truths for Writers About Feedback

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

One of the hardest things to learn as a human being is how to take constructive criticism with grace. It's difficult to hear negative feedback about things we've said or done or written without being defensive in some way. Years ago, I read a description about a character that struck me to the core. I can't remember the book or character but I remember the words. They read simply: "There was no knee-jerk defensiveness in him." I so badly wanted that to be true about myself. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Why Every Writer Needs the Gift of Artificial Intelligence for Christmas This Year

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I gave myself the gift of artificial intelligence this Christmas.

I’ve toyed with free version of ProWritingAid for years. I recommend it at writers conferences and workshops. This year, I finally plunked down the money to use it for a lifetime (whatever that means).

Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Meaning of Christmas

by Henry Mclaughlin @RiverBendSagas

It’s that time of year when I think many of us ponder questions like:
  • “What’s it all about?”
  • “Why do we do all this decorating and buying and cooking?”
  • “Why do we put up with relatives and others we wouldn’t spend a minute with at any other time of year?”

Especially after more than two years of all this Covid junk, of violence in the streets, of the very foundations of our nation and our freedoms attacked, of elections that are part Three Stooges bungling and a major exhibit of fraud, cheating, and stealing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

4 Things Angels Can Teach Us about Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Angels have a lot to teach us about writing. 

For thousands of years, they waited. The angels of God saw it all—the first bite of a forbidden apple, the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, and the human race struggling with sin and self. 

They never forgot God’s promise of a future Savior, and they did His will until at last the King left His heavenly throne, and a virgin and her betrothed found shelter in Bethlehem. With a newborn’s cry, the angels knew Hope was alive on earth, and He lay wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. Hope became reality. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

5 Gifts for Writers this Christmas

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Well, yes, I do actually realize it’s too late for you to ship a Christmas present to me here in Connecticut unless you have already done so, but I finally came up with my Christmas list. And, as a fellow writer and speaker, perhaps you might want to consider some of my ideas on yours as well.

5 Gifts Writers Need this Christmas:

1. God’s Presence

The first gift is “I need Thee every hour.” God’s presence in my life, through His indwelling. I want to always acknowledge that I am never alone. No, it is not all up to me. Because of the cross, I have access to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The question becomes Will I practice the presence of God every moment of every day? And if I do, serenity may become my default countenance.

2. A Grateful Heart

“Lord, you have given us so much, give us one thing more—a grateful heart.” (George Herbert) I want to keep listing the gifts I already have, counting the blessings one by one, and choosing a spirit of gratitude in the midst of every situation. Especially when the road is hard, and the answers aren’t the ones I hoped. And if I do, joy may surround and spill over from me.

3. Grace for the Past Year

I am aware that grace is God’s gift I don’t deserve and could never earn. As I contemplate the many “do-overs” I’d love to have to try and make up for those many times I chose my way, not God’s this past year, I am sobered. But God. He stoops and lifts me up and gives me yet another chance. A gift. And if I receive grace with both hands, I look around for those whom I can lift.

4. Guidance for the New Year

What now, Lord? If I’ve learned anything at all in 2020, 2021, and 2022, it’s that I have no knowledge or control over what is ahead of me. I stand in need of resilience, perseverance, and wisdom simply to put one foot in front of the other. And so, I shall do the next right thing as God reveals it to me. And if I do, 2023 may just become an amazing adventure of faith.

5. Glory Living 

I don’t just want my life in 2023 to be good, I want it to be full of glory! And I’m absolutely convinced this is also what God chose for me when He sent His best Christmas Gift. I want exactly what Paul promised in Ephesians 3.20-21:

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

And if I receive His power to work deeply and gently within me, all I say and do will glorify God. 

Do you think I’ve asked for too much this Christmas? Oh, dear friend, not nearly enough. Will you always remember God’s lavish love towards you?

Every Blessing to you in this Holy Season and into the New Year.


Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 17 books and contributing author to 36+ books. Her award-winning books include Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices, Dwelling Places, and The Courage to Write. Lucinda, a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for ‘The Write Conversation.’ 

Whether pouring into young mamas, leading a restorative day of prayer, or coaching writers and speakers through “Encouraging Words Consulting,” she is energized by investing in people of all ages. As a communications teacher, she co-directs “reNEW—spiritual retreat for writers & speakers” and has served on the faculty of Speak Up Conference, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Florida Christian Writers Conference, Asheville Christian Writers Conference, and She Writes for Him. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, McDowell shares words from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at WWW.LUCINDASECRESTMCDOWELL.COM

Monday, December 19, 2022

One Author's Journey of Persistence

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

You attribute your success to persistence. Why is persistence important?
  • It keeps you focused on the goals and helps you to not focus on rejection or negative feedback

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Writers Can Be a Blessing When We Use Our Words Well

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

We writers have the opportunity to share a message for any who would come across the words we’ve tapped out on the keys. Whether we write a blog post, article or book, our written words can be read by somebody, somewhere over and over and at any time. With this opportunity also comes the responsibility of what words we share. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

How Setting and Characterization Intersect in the Books We Write

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA @DrMaryAnnDiorio

Just as a brilliant diamond needs the perfect setting, so does a story need its perfect setting. 

So, what is setting? The setting of a story—also known as backdrop, or, in theatrical terms, the set—is simply where and when the plot of the story takes place. Authors often create settings from their own imaginations, but just as often, they use real settings and embellish them with original characteristics. For example, an author may choose a real New England town in which to place her story, yet she will add a restaurant that does not actually exist there.

Friday, December 16, 2022

The Gift of Words from a Writer

by Crystal Bowman

It’s the holiday season—a time when we try to find the right gift for the right person. Gifts come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Some gifts are meant to be used for a day or a season, while others last a lifetime. But when it comes to the words we write—they are meaningful gifts that can be given at any time, for any reason. With our written words, we can give the gift of encouragement, inspiration, motivation, entertainment, education, comfort, guidance, wisdom, and more. Whether you write books, magazine articles, blogs, newsletters, or note cards, your words matter. They can be the right gift for the right person at the right time. 

Several years ago, I wrote a Christmas poem that was printed on decorative paper and given as a gift to the women in our Bible study group at my church. I came across it recently, and thought I’d pass it along:


Some give gifts of gold and silver,
some give clothes to wear.
Others shop for porcelain dolls
or a talking teddy bear.

Presents under a Christmas tree,
will make our loved ones smile.
But gifts wrapped up in boxes
only last a little while.

Hugs and kisses don’t wear out.
Kindness never fades.
Words of praise and compliments
come in many shades.

Laughter needs no batteries,
it works in any weather.
And nothing is more comfortable
than spending time together.

When searching for the perfect gift
becomes a great concern.
Why not give the gift of love?
It often gets returned. 

This Christmas season, I pray that you will be blessed by the words of others, and that your words will be a beautiful gift to those who read them.

Merry Christmas to All!


Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She loves going to schools to teach kids about poetry. She also speaks at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and teaches workshops at writers’ conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys going for walks, working out at the gym, and eating ice cream. She and her husband live in Michigan and have seven huggable grandkids. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Excellence in Marketing Awards for Authors

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

The Christian Authors Network (CAN) is delighted to announce the CAN Excellence in Marketing Awards is open from Decmeber 1, 2022 to February 1, 2023. This special, one-of-a-kind contest recognizes and encourages excellence in marketing and promotion skills of Christian authors. Each participant will receive feedback on their marketing campaign. 

Winners of the marketing awards will be announced to 400 Christian media, including several TV networks; press releases will be sent to Publishers Weekly and ECPA. The top three winners will win a publicity packet including a book announcement (book cover, description, buy button) sent to 20,000 Christian readers, 1400 Christian retailers, and 400 book review bloggers. Winners will be featured on the Christian Authors Network blog and several other member blogs. Award trophies and certificates will be presented at at The Well Conference on April 22, 2023. More information about how to enter is at the end of this blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

How a Writer Can Celebrate the Holidays, Be Productive in December, and For The New Year

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

For many those phrases bring to mind trimming the tree and baking cookies whose recipes only come out at this time of the year. But what does that mean for writers?

Yes, we dream of houses with fresh garland on every corner, multiple Christmas trees that are meticulously decorated, brightly colored sugar cookies that you have worked on for hours with your children, presents wrapped well in advance, and December deadlines met in mid-November.

However, that is a dream, isn’t it? Even so, there are things writers can do to make December productive and carry them well into 2023. Here are some suggestions to not only help celebrate the holidays but also feel productive as a writer as well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

All I Want for Christmas is a Book Contract

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

As a child of five, I remember wishing all year long for Santa to bring me a Chatty Cathy doll. We’d had a television for a few years (yes, I’m that old—let’s say I know who Clarabell and Howdy Doody are), so even at that early stage of television, advertising had infiltrated my childhood mind.

Chatty Cathy was beautiful. She stood about 12 inches tall, and her red dress was adorned with a cute white apron. Her blonde hair curled perfectly on the ends like any 1950s mother’s hair would curl. But what made Chatty Cathy so special was the fact she could talk. Pull the string on the back of her neck, and she’d spew sentences like, “You’re my best friend” or “I do love you.” I remember there were six sentences she could repeat, and every time the commercial came on television, I would slide to a halt right against the screen, touch it, and wish. “Is it too early, Santa? I want a Chatty Cathy doll.”

Monday, December 12, 2022

10 Truths about Writing I learned 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.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

God Knows What Writers Don’t

by Martin Wiles @RiverBendSagas

God knows what writers don’t, and I’m glad. 

One day while sitting at my desk, I received a text from my wife. It read, “I want to go to the mountains.” Since our anniversary was in a couple of weeks, I thought of the train—a two-for-one deal. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Writers, One Word Makes All the Difference

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

There are 21 days left in 2022. Three weeks that are going to go by in a blur of holidaze and fa-la-la-la-la.

While we’re juggling everything—visits with family and friends, celebrating the birthday of Jesus, and all the extra stuff that happens this time of year—some of us have writing commitments too, which add another layer of fun (ahem!) to the last few weeks of the year. 

Is anyone also pondering personal or professional resolutions for 2023? 


Friday, December 9, 2022

A Different Perspective this Christmas

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

I’ve always celebrated Christmas as the time of Jesus’ birth. It’s a joyful time—after all, when is the birth of a baby not a reason to celebrate? It’s marked with angel choruses, gifts of the magi, and celebration to end all celebrations.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Using the Memories of Christmas Past to Write More Powerfully Today

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

"For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." –Narrator, A Christmas Carol

My senior year of high school, I was selected to direct the Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Proceeds from the play’s admission would be used to continue funding the honor society that I was part of. As director, I had the privilege of selecting the participants of the play after auditions. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Why and How of Creating Conflict in the Stories We Write

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters and don’t want them to suffer? So you create a story where everything goes right, over and over and over. The boy gets the girl and they live happily ever after. Or the guy catches the fish and everyone has a good dinner. Or the knight (or knight-ess) kills the dragon and everyone goes home. 

How is that working for you? 

The problem is, that’s not what STORY is all about. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

When Setting Doubles As A Character in the Book You're Writing

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Characters in a story think, feel, and act. When a setting acts on the story, the setting takes on a character-like role. 

Settings come in four types: passive, active, like a character, and when the setting is the story.

Setting is
  • Time 
  • Place
  • Surroundings
  • Mood
  • Cultural nuances
  • Historical period
  • A backdrop for a story

While a passive setting is nearly invisible such as 
  • In the cockpit
  • Beside the waterfall
  • Under the table

A setting can be as three-dimensional as a character.
  • The Atlantic Ocean is a force to contend with for the nineteenth century whaling ship, Pequod, in Moby Dick.
  • Wonderland is a perpetual curiosity Alice must survive in Louis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The High Uintas Wilderness is a wildly unforgiving force to contend with in Charles Martin’s disaster romance, The Mountain Between Us. 

Settings that function like a character exhibit moods, reactions, and responses. 

For instance, the novel Chasing Sunrisetakes place mostly on St. Croix. From manchineel trees to hurricanes, the setting continually interacts with the characters, often forcing our hero to decide between two bad choices.
  • As three-dimensional as a character, St. Croix is
  • Moody. Warmer temperatures dictate clothing, foods, and activities. 
  • Reacting. Air pressure, temperature, wind, and the movement of the surrounding sea determine availability of fresh water and the frequency of destructive hurricanes.
  • Limited. There are only two cities on St. Croix, no freeways, and a single airport with few flights.
  • Contained. As an island, there is a clear beginning and end to the area. Depending on weather, distance, and convenience, the island is isolated from resources.
  • Responding. Immediately off-shore is the mile deep wall, and environmental conditions for sea life including coral reefs and an abundance of conch. On shore, the island is one of the few places nurturing the poisonous manchineel tree.

“Manchineel are usually found near the beach,” Jerry intoned. “An attractive tree with shade and apples, but they are very dangerous.”


“Deadly to everyone except a species of land crab.”

Michael thought about the intrepid little crab holed up in the tree stump.

“The fruit is fatal if eaten,” Jerry continued. “Columbus discovered the danger after several of his men died.” 
Michael examined the damage the sap caused to his hand. “If it’s so dangerous, why not get rid of the tree?”

“That’s just as dangerous.” Jerry shook his head. “Maybe more. The tree and its parts contain strong toxins. Standing beneath the tree during rain may cause blistering. Cutting the tree gets the poisonous sap everywhere. Burning the tree causes blindness if the smoke reaches the eyes. Inhaling the smoke blisters the nose, mouth, and respiratory system.”

“Flippin’ nuisance,” Michael groused. 

The islanders call themselves Cruzans and speak a lyrical Creole dialect consisting of English with heavy influences of Portuguese, French, Danish, and Dutch.

Having been owned by six different cultures, St. Croix reflects the styles and customs of their history from the remnants of 200 sugar plantations to the calypso drums and dancing mocko jumbies. 

The steel drums beat an intoxicating rhythm and four mocko jumbies made their long-legged entrance. Dressed entirely in white, each wore a wide-brimmed hat over a masked face. Below a flowing blouse, loose cotton pants extended for yards from the dancer’s waist to the floor. Balancing on stilts ten feet high, the mysterious entertainers gamboled among the tables. 

“They look like the Ku Klux Klan on stilts,” Bryce observed.

“Mocko jumbies represent a spiritual, ancient African art form,” Elise explained. “They are an icon of Virgin Island culture.”

Towering above their audience, the limber mocko jumbies expertly spun, skipped, and swayed to the irresistible beat of the calypso music. Like a frolicking daddy-long-legs, one of the troupe circled their table. 

Where can you place your story so that the backdrop is so interactive that the setting is as three-dimensional as a character? 

Tropical island votary and history buff, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre Wood in Indiana, Wells is the bestselling author of thirty books including The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Founder of, PeggySue is named for the Buddy Holly song with the great drumbeat. At school author visits, she teaches students the secrets to writing and speaks at events and conferences. Connect with her at, on Facebook at PeggySue Wells, and LinkedIn at

Featured Image: Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

Monday, December 5, 2022

Why Writers Should Celebrate the Pursuit and NOT Just the Product

by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @KHogrefeParnell

We live in a consumer-driven world that revolves around results. That’s no news to any of us. However, as writers, we miss out on opportunities to celebrate when we focus only on the final product of our work.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Gift of Being Known

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

What we are is known to God. 2 Corinthians 5:11

“May it happen to me as you have said.” -Mary, mother of Jesus, upon the news of her immaculate conception (Luke 1:38).

Hidden among the gifts piled high under the Christmas tree of Calvary lies a small package easily missed in the tumult of sparkling paper and silver bows. If you find it, inside you will discover a signet ring, your own name engraved within its golden arc. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

3 Reasons Why It's So Hard to Be a Writer

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Why is writing so hard?

I mean, all you do is string a bunch of words together. Easy peasy, right? My three-year-old niece can do it.

Of course, Red Smith, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning sportscaster (think about that), had a different view. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit down at the typewriter, cut open a vein, and bleed.”

Friday, December 2, 2022

Goal-Setting for Authors and Why It Matters

by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

Authors have all sorts of goals. Have you noticed that? We want to write an impossible number of books and articles. We want to reach massive numbers of people with our social media and email platforms. We want to achieve great success in our speaking and teaching. And we want to have healthy families, healthy minds and bodies, and still have enough energy left to decorate our homes, prepare beautiful meals, travel the world, and spend extra moments in coffee shops sipping lattes.

Let’s be honest now. Do you know anyone (author or not) who accomplished all of that in 2022? I don’t.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Excellent Reasons an Author Would Write a Novella

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

If you’d asked me a few years ago for my feelings on novellas, I would have told you that they were okay, but they weren’t my first choice for reading material and that I wasn’t sure if I would ever write one. 

I had my reasons. I like books that delve into the characters and relationships. I like complicated plotlines and secondary characters who have personality and depth. That’s hard to pull off in 90K. It’s close to impossible in 25K.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

3 Things That Help Speakers and Writers Prepare During the Holidays

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

1. Clean your home and hearth before hanging Christmas decorations

Have you noticed dust on your furniture and light fixtures? Maybe the dust bunnies overtook your hardwood floors or hid in your carpet. Even with an electronic air cleaner, I need to clean more than once a week.

As you race against the clock with speaking and writing deadlines, maybe you can clean one room at a time. That might motivate you to hang up Christmas decorations the same way instead of a marathon at the last minute.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How to Give Yourself a Wonderful Christmas Present—The Time to Write

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

'Tis the season for giving. Today I'd like to suggest a gift you can give yourself. 

Most writers I know are part of a conflicted group. 

We’re driven to write—spending time composing poetry, writing books, researching articles. We doodle titles, character names, and plot ideas on scraps of paper. All the while feeling guilty about the time we spend pursuing our dream. I call it writer's guilt.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Learning to Be Thankful for the Difficult Parts of Writing as well as the Wonderful Parts

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Have you watched HGTV's show The Ugliest House in America? As I watched the episode when they announced the winner, I thought how thankful the owner must have been to have the ugliest house, since they now got a $150,000.00 makeover by a top celebrity designer. 

We writers give God praise and thanksgiving when we get a fantabulous idea for a book, finish a book, sign a contract, win a contest, become a bestseller. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Free Gift for Writers: The Writer’s Social Media Advent Calendar

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media isn’t a favorite thing for a lot writers and speakers. And for many it brings a great deal of stress. But it IS a great way to connect with those we serve. This year, I’d like to offer you a gift—a way to connect with your readers that’s already organized and ready to go. 

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out something that would help you, WITHOUT adding additional stress. And this is what I’ve come up with—a social media advent calendar for writers to use to bless their audience.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Write Better Heroes When You Know the Top Seven Essential Character Qualities to Include

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

I have been saying for some time that a key hallmark of writing from a Christian worldview ought to be main characters who have all the makings of a hero. Instead of assigning to our characters the types of flaws that currently dominate the anti-hero archetype in secular culture, our protagonists ought to be comprised of different stuff. This different “stuffness” would necessarily preclude our characters from having certain characteristics for their “fatal flaw.” Not to say that they wouldn’t have flaws. They would. But the types of flaws that we would assign to them would differ greatly if only we understood what sorts of characteristics were automatically out of bounds from the start. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

5 Things Writers Can be Thankful For Today

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

When Abraham Lincoln declared a day of thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November, 1863, he instituted one of the most beloved American traditions. But a holiday to express our thanks didn’t begin with President Lincoln. It began, as does everything wonderful, with God. Early in the nation of Israel’s history, God instituted seven feasts or celebrations. In Leviticus 23:2, God calls them “feasts of the LORD” and “My feasts.”

God commands us, as a people, to give thanks. This is why I thought it would be appropriate, on this Thanksgiving weekend, to pause, writer-to-writer, and ponder a few of the many things we have to be thankful for.

A Writer's Gratitude List

1. Laptops 

As much as my laptop vexes me when it shuts off for no reason, locks me out, or hides documents in folders I didn’t know existed, I’m still very grateful for it. Remember when a 40-lb. desktop was our only option? (And yes, I was very grateful for that, too, because it replaced my electric typewriter.) But oh, the convenience of being able to take my computer with me and work on airplanes, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet spot in the woods. No longer am I chained to my desks when the wild wild world beckons. Thank you, Lord.

2. Bible Software

Remember the days when you had to look up a verse in Strong’s Concordance, cross reference it in your King James version of the Bible, and type it, word by word, into your manuscript? Thankfully, those days are gone (except during power outages). Today if we need a verse about forgiveness, we can type the word into the handy dandy search box and every occurrence of the word will pop up. With one fell swoop, we can cut and paste the perfect verse into our document without missing a jot or tittle. Thank you, Jesus.

3. Search Engines

Until recently, if writers needed to research a topic like What did indigenous people in Southeast Asia eat in the 1800’s, good luck. We were limited to the books available in our local library, or, if we were especially savvy, through interlibrary loan. Now, with a few keystrokes, we can learn not only what indigenous people in Southeast Asia ate, we can discover where they lived and what their favorite flavor of toothpaste was. We’re no longer limited to writing about our personal areas of expertise or what we’ve learned by interviewing an expert. We can access data bases from all over the world (even Southeast Asia) and learn everything we need about whatever topic we’d like to write about. Thank you, Father.

4. Critique Partners and Groups

My beloved critique partner (shout out to the amazing Jean Wilund) has helped polish my writing more than any other writer’s “tool.” She and my two critique groups (thumbs up to Lexington Word Weavers and Page 33) offer invaluable feedback, perspective, and suggestions. They provide more than just technical advice, though. They cheer me on when I’m discouraged, share their writing connections, and pray for me. Thank you, God.

5. The Opportunity to Do What We Love

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to do what I love. I suspect you feel the same. God called us to Himself, gifted us with the desire to write, and then gave us an audience who can benefit from our words. Sometimes God uses our writing to reach thousands. Sometimes He intends it for the young mother sitting in the pew next to us or the grieving neighbor on the next block. Regardless, writing in His name is an honor and a privilege. May we never take it for granted. Thank you, dear God.

Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for in this crazy, wonderful writers’ world? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.


Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, writing instructor, women’s ministry speaker, and career dental hygienist. She writes for Our Daily Bread, Guideposts, Revive Our Hearts, and Lori’s upcoming devotional, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God with All Your Heart, will release on January 3, but is available now for preorder. Connect with her at or on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).