Saturday, October 31, 2015

Don't Forget to Set Your Clocks Back an Hour

I thought I'd post a friendly reminder you can share on social media.

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Face Your Writing Fears—9 Tips to Keep from Becoming a Scaredy-Cat Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The season of spooks is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we can give in to the fears we face as writers. We must face our writing fears and keep moving.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and this person confided that she was afraid she didn’t have what it takes to be a writer. “I’m just not good enough to get a book published, and I don’t know if I ever will be.”

“Welcome to the club,” I told her.

My answer wasn’t what she expected. She had forgotten something we had heard together at a conference many years ago. We’d been listening to an established author talk about his own fear and inadequacies. He told the audience that every time he sits down to write a new book, the fears resurface and he’s certain he no longer has what it takes to make it in publishing.

Hearing him confess his own fears gave me hope. Beyond that, it brought home an important fact. Being published—no matter if it’s a single book or a hundred—won’t necessarily make the fear disappear.

So what’s a writer to do?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Author Roadmap - Learn to Navigate the Social Media, Marketing & Branding Super Highway

Edie Melson & DiAnn Mills
I’m excited to announce a new partnership between author DiAnn Mills and me. We’re combining our expertise to provide an easy-to-follow road map for authors seeking to navigate the social media, marketing and branding super highway.

As writers we need to connect with our readers—but we also need time to write. DiAnn and I have discovered when she and I combine our expertise, we can accomplish our goals without sacrificing valuable writing time.

We teach more than just the basics of social media and branding. We also explain the whys and the whens. By filtering these techniques through the viewpoint of the author and the social media expert, we leverage the power of when as well as the power of how.

In the weeks to come, we’ll be releasing a book, videos, screen casts, and seminars. The debut of The Author Roadmap last week at the Blue Ridge Novelist Retreat went beyond any of our expectations and we’re excited to build on that success.

So we invite you to visit our new site and sign up for updates so you don’t miss any of the upcoming excitement!

But before you click away permanently, take a minute to comment and let us know what you’d like to see included in this new venture.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

The Author Roadmap, anew way of navigating #socialmedia & author marketing –@DiAnnMills &@EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Inside Your Character's Head?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

I’d like to introduce you to a few of my friends.

This is Anna, the younger sister in Frozen. Sincere and optimistic. She’s full of love and a sense of adventure. But caring for her sister causes her to attempt a dangerous mission. A strong heroine, but avoid telling her no.

This is Elsa, the older sister in Frozen. Kinda hard to get to know because she’s afraid, mostly of herself. Rather stiff. Isolated. High maintenance when you consider she thinks she prefers the cold.

This is Woody, a nice cowboy kinda guy from Toy Story. Easy going. Takes life slow unless an emergency rises. Walks like he was born in the saddle. Dresses pretty much the same everyday. Low Maintenance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Brainstorm Your Way to NaNoWriMo—Idea Sparking Style

Edie here. In honor of NaNoWriMo, I've convinced my writing buddy and fellow My Book Therapy team member to share some tips. Michelle Lim is a writer who knows how to make ideas spark when it comes to brainstorming. Her newest book, Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month is available today for only .99 cents on Amazon. So join me and get inspired for NaNoWriMo!

How to Brainstorm Your Way into NaNoWriMo Success!
by Michelle Lim @MichelleLim24

Brainstorm your way to NaNoWriMo success!
National Novel Writing Month is one week away and many of us have taken the plunge, committing to write a novel in a month.

How about you? Have you taken the leap? If so, you’ve likely stockpiled a stash of caffeine and chocolate to survive the next millennium on sugar alone.

Before you empty the chocolate aisle at your grocery store, perhaps it’s time to get a carefully developed brainstorming game plan.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blogging Success is as Easy as ABC - Blogging Basics for Writers, Part 7

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As Easy as ABC
Today I’d like to give you 26 tips for success with your blog. I’m calling this my ABCs of Blogging.

A is for Accessibility—Make sure your blog is easy to find, easy to navigate, and easy to read. And don’t forget to make it accessible to those who are visually impaired

B is for BasicsWhatever you’re doing, make it excellent. That means take time to check for typos and readability, in your posts. Also be sure you’re using giving accurate links. There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link that takes you nowhere.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How Do I Finish Writing a Book?

by Brenda McGraw @BrendaMMcGraw

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

How do I finish writing a book?
“How can I help you?” Those have been powerful words to me on this writing journey. We need each other, and realizing we are not alone is important to our growth.

We need people on the path towards being an author.

Do you have a dream to be an author one day? Have you envisioned what that journey will look like?

I’m not sure exactly how I got here, other than taking one step and then another. Living in the writing world has changed my life. I’ve met some amazing people whom I might not have had I never pursued my calling to write a book.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Write with Abandon

So often with pick our writing to pieces before it has time to mature. This post and quote from Alton Gansky reminded me that there is a proper order to things. 

"Write with Abandon, Edit with Discipline." -Alton Gansky

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Do You Pray about Your Writing?

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

“It seems easier to go to a consistent extreme than to live at the center of biblical tension.”

These wise words from Robertson McQuilkin, president emeritus of Columbia International University voice the struggle we face every day as writers—finding the balance between working and praying. Last month I challenged you that prayer (for opportunities, inspiration, book contracts) is no substitute for not working hard (Write Hard, Pray Harder). Today, I’d like to challenge you that working hard is no excuse for not praying.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Writers Facing Criticism

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. Psalm 13:18 NLT

One of the hardest things for writers is facing criticism.
One of the hardest things for a writer to learn is to receiving criticism and correction. Unfortunately, some never do.

James Scott Bell refers to it as growing a rhino skin. Jerry B. Jenkins advises authors to develop a thick skin.

This doesn’t mean we make ourselves immune to criticism.

It means we make the time to develop the attitude of receiving criticism without personalizing it. We look at criticism and correction as ways to improve our work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For Non-fiction Authors: Tips for Choosing the Right Story

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Tips for Choosing the Right Story
Stories are powerful tools for the non-fiction writer. They grab the reader’s attention, add personality to your writing, and illustrate the point you’re trying to make. Whether you’re writing a blog post, an article, or a book, how do you know which story is the best to use?

I don’t how many times I’ve spent hours researching details for a story, only to end up choosing a different angle. But the time was well spent. Writing is a process of trying and failing and finding what works. The five hours it can take to write one article becomes five minutes of inspiration and encouragement for the reader, inspiration that impacts their daily living. So perhaps I can help you streamline the time it takes to pick the right story. Ask yourself 5 questions when you find a good story online or recall one from your own life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Good Writing is All in the Details

by Lucinda S McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Just because you write non-fiction doesn’t mean you can’t be a good storyteller.

In fact, I heartily advocate using all the elements of fiction in your writing. This is often called “narrative non-fiction” and employs good storytelling in order to offer an important takeaway.

While strong characterization, dialogue, and context are important, the key is in the details. Details are what help a writer to heed the advice of “Show, don’t tell.”

What does this mean to a writer?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Three Ways to Connect with Your Readers

Edie here. Today I'm so excited to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Bethany Jett. This young woman is doing some amazing things for writers! She's created the Serious Writer Academy, a place for writers to study, be encouraged and hang out. In addition, she's also developed an AMAZING planner for writers. She sent me one, and I'm absolutely in love with it. All the links for these opportunities at at the end of the post. So drop over and see what she has to offer!

Three Ways to Connect with Your Readers

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

“I feel like I already know you!”

Best. Praise. Ever.

In today’s ever-crowded online space, your message can easily get lost among thousands of other blogs and sites yelling for attention from readers. With all the noise, readers have quickly tuned their value-meters to high volume, and it’s becoming harder to capture their attention.

They can pick and choose who they listen to and trust, thus the need to connect with your readers is at the heart and soul of your mission as a writer. What sets you apart from the hundreds, possibly thousands of writers focusing on your topic is you. Your voice. Your story.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fruit or Failure?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

For me, this verse is tough. Some of the things listed are easy. Some…well…not so much.

In my travels this fall, I’ve had the opportunity to hear about other the journey to publication from a lot of different authors. I noticed most of us have a similar story. Very few had a direct route. Instead we traveled a circuitous trip full of bumps and detours.

Friday, October 16, 2015

With Indie Publishing - We are the Gatekeepers!

Edie here. I made a HUGE faux pas. I posted someone else's article originally here today. My sincere apologies to Traci, to Vonda Skelton, and especially to all of you, my readers!!!! I have uploaded the CORRECT article from Traci and will leave this up here through Saturday, October 17. What an awful way to introduce a new contributor. Track, please forgive me!!!

Now back to Traci's fantastic article!

I'm really excited to introduce you to our newest member of The Write Conversation blogging team, Traci Tyne Hilton. I've been a fan of Traci's for a while - I love her cozy mysteries. In addition, I've been looking for someone who knows Indie Publishings. Traci is a perfect fit. Be sure to give her a warm, Write Conversation welcome!!!

Last Book Ever
by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton
There’s an old myth going around that the indie-path has no gatekeepers.

Sure, there are no acquisition editors standing between you and getting your book in the marketplace, but there are other gatekeepers, and they hold the keys to your success.

The most powerful gatekeeper is probably the book addicted Amazon shopper. If you don’t catch the eye of that reader right off the mark, while you are still a new release, you can almost say goodbye to sales on that title. (Almost. There are ways to turn things around, but it takes hard work and money!)

Despite the make-or-break power of the reader, the most important gatekeeper is you.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is a Writer an Author or an Artist

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Are you an author or an artist?

These words author and artist are not as similar as they sound. Some gifted individuals can be both, but in actuality, most people are one or the other.

In the writing world, these terms are often mutually exclusive of each other. They don’t have to be, but the majority of writer’s fall in one category or another. The rise of independent and self-publishing has widened the gap between the two considerably. Neither is better than the other. It is important for writers to understand in which category they fall, so the ever-changing and always difficult market does not disappoint or devastate them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Publishing As a Second Language—The On's of Article Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Several terms you will hear that pertain to article writing begin with the word “on.”

ON Speculation
Many times you will hear this term shortened to on spec. This usually follows a query and issues an invitation to send your article on speculation. That is a tentative “yes" meaning that once your article is received they will read it carefully and if it fits their needs, will accept it. Acceptance on speculation leaves the door open for the publisher to reject the work if it is not up to the standards set in the query. If you have studied the publication and its guidelines and have written a strong query letter that shows excellent writing skills, the possibility of acceptance for an on spec article is high.

“I don’t worry about money, this is my ministry.” How many times have I heard these words at Christian writers conferences when the subject of money comes up? Many writers seem to think that talking about making money for your writing is a sin. But the Bible reminds us “the worker deserves his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18). That doesn’t just apply to construction workers, teachers, or bank executives. Writers are on that list as well. No matter what market you write for, secular or inspirational, your time is valuable to you and to those you write for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Encouraging Words for Writers

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

An Open Letter to Authors

Dear Authors,

Publishing is double-edged sword. It brings us great joy and equal frustration. Daily publishers post information about the terrible state of the industry, driving us to ask the question, “Why do we bother?”

It’s this question that prompts my letter to authors, both new and seasoned. Quitting is not an option, but strength, determination, and wherewithal must supersede that which discourages you. Follow this wisdom and know that despite the odds you are called to a task. You are trained to move ahead—groomed to withstand the wait.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Do I Need in My Blog’s Sidebar—Blogging for Writers, Part 6

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m going to break it down and answer the question, “What do I need in my blog’s sidebar?”

Definition: Gadget, Widget, Whatever
Depending on which blogging platform you use, the names of the plug-ins for your blog are different.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Too Far Gone?

For a gentle friend who walks in the wake of tragedy, feels its weight and knows its name… and lives.

by Sarah Van Diest

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself” 2 Tim.2:13.

Am I…
Too far gone for love to rescue,
Too expired for love to breathe into,
Too lost for love to find?

Sadness drapes itself over me. It wakes me by night to remind me of its presence and holds my hand by day, hinging me to the earth, guarding me from messages of hope, and shielding me from the light of the sun. It sings a low song of sorrow and defeat, its beat drumming out my downfall and demise. It claims ownership and demands acquiescence. Its mild exterior covers its wretchedness. Its humble and meek appearance veneers its brash and grotesque reality.

I long to shake it from my shoulders and break its grip on my soul. To rid my body, mind and heart of this overlayment that steals my joy is the desire that pushes me to seek Your love… to grope for You in this darkness.

I push forward past the walls of disbelief and choose to trust Your love over my assessment of my worthlessness. I have not found my own calculations of who I am to render me enough, but I trust You. You say I am enough, and You say You love me. What arrogance is it that trusts my own computations over Yours?

It is a moment, then another, and then another. Each moment I have a choice. The truth doesn’t change, but each moment offers me the chance to believe it or refuse it. Each moment I get to decide to walk with You or to walk with lies.


…that ticks me off. I don’t like that it’s a choice. I don’t like that it’s up to me. I don’t want such responsibility. I want to be idle and submit to the forces that wish to draw me downstream. It’s so much easier and I am tired of fighting against my feelings that remind me of my worthlessness. It is those times, when I float down the river of lies, that I add to my sorrow a sense of expiration. I am too far gone for love to reach me. Too far gone for love to breathe into me. Too far gone for love. Period.

And then the choice emerges again. Do I believe the lies or trust the Father?

But sometimes…

…on those deepest of sorrowful days, the choice is forgotten or muted. The call to look into my Savior’s eyes is drowned out by the waves of pain lapping in my ears. Down the river I go. Down where the current takes me, through the rough waters, over rocks and into whirlpools, over waterfalls. Down into the darkest depths. Submerged in frigid water and sinking to the bottom, my eyes close one final time.

Pulled. Pushed. Turned and pushed on again, water forced from my lungs. Breath engulfing and overtaking. Eyes obliged open and my Savior’s face fills my view. I am saved. I am rescued. The anchor of sorrow, death and pain detach as my body is lifted effortlessly by the One who searched for me and found me; who left the 99 on shore to wade into the icy waters and pull me out.

I don’t understand. I didn’t make the good choice, Lord. I didn’t choose You today. I gave up. I stopped fighting. I lost the will to keep searching for You.

His voice trembles with the overflow of His devotion, “But I chose you! You are my child! I would not let you fall away. I would not let you be lost in the cold water. You are mine, and I will never lose you.”

It is up to us to make the choice to trust Him or not, but our destiny is not in our hands alone. It is not up to us to save ourselves. We are blessed when we choose life, but we are not lost if we fail. And we will fail. If our salvation from the things that threaten to undo us is in our hands only, if always making the right choices is what it means to be saved, then what is the faithfulness of God? What is the love our Father has for us? There are times we are helpless, even faithless, and wholly overcome…

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born…and die,
    …a time to heal,
    …to weep and to laugh,
    …to mourn and to dance,
    … a time to give up….
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-6 with omissions).

…but the One who made us and loves us is the One who saves.

“Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death” Ps. 68:20.

I am never
Too far gone for love to rescue,
Too expired for love to breathe into,
Too lost for love to find.

Sarah has worked in Christian publishing since 2005 as both and editor and an agent. 

Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.