Thursday, November 23, 2017

This Year I'm Changing My Please to Thanksgiving


I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

We live in the midst of a material world. Everywhere we turn, someone is trying to sell us on the idea that things and circumstances lead to happiness. If I just have the perfect, house, car, kids, husband, wife, agent, publishing contact, etc., then I’ll be content. The list just keeps getting longer. And If something gets crossed off, three more things take it’s place.

So often my prayer is a reflection of this. It’s a laundry list of things I desire.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How Many Times Did I Use That Word in My Writing?


by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Last week I finished a book and sent it to my publisher. Celebration time! Relief and satisfaction soared through me for completing the writing project. As always it was difficult from the time I researched my story idea until the editing stage.

But if a project is easy to revise, how can it possibly be dynamic?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Writing Devotions that are Short and Deep!


by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel


I couldn’t believe the assignment was to write ten devotions, using only 250 words. I knew I couldn’t do it—why it takes me almost 250 words to say Hello!

But I did. I completed that assignment and was thrilled to see my entries in a compilation book that arrived in today’s mail – Just Breathe.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Social Media Is So Much More Than Just Numbers


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


On the surface, social media appears to be all about amassing numbers, increasing reach, and generating sales. Everywhere we look we’re being told how to get more hits on our blogs, generate new followers, and strengthen our web presence. After all, the higher our numbers, the more valuable we are. Right?

The truth is, that couldn’t be more of a perversion of the truth.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Three Blessings of Being a Writer


by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

For years I’ve taught the importance of counting our blessings. I’ve written that thankfulness must be a lifestyle not just a one-day event. I know these things. I’ve practiced thankfulness. I know its life-giving power.

But lately I’ve been deep in the mire of studying (again) about platform and social media and all those things we nonfiction writers must constantly work on. And I confess, I’ve been a little conflicted.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Lessons for the Writer from Michelangelo


by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

When I first saw Michelangelo’s Pieta at the Vatican in Rome, I was filled with awe at the beauty and perfection of the marble image of the mother of our Lord holding the body of Christ just after his crucifixion. Michelangelo claimed that the block of Carrara marble he used to create this magnificent piece was the most perfect block he’d ever used. He would polish and refine this piece more than any other sculpture he created. When the artist’s work was complete, the clothing of the two figures looked less like stone and more like actual cloth because of natural-looking folds, curves, and deep recesses.

Friday, November 17, 2017

As a Writer, Whose Fame are you Seeking?


by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

Almost ten years ago a woman got very famous very fast with her indie publishing. The name Amanda Hocking was on the lips of every indie in the country. Readers loved her and she made a million dollars on the ten books that had previously been gathering dust in her drawer.

Of course I’d trade my experience for hers. I’d be a fool not to. But as I started my own journey I watched her and was determined to do it a little differently. I didn’t want my name to be famous. I wanted my characters to be famous. I wanted people to be talking about Mitzy Neuhaus, not Traci Tyne Hilton.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Look for the “Lean” in Publishing


by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

The most arduous of being a published author is actually the “process” of becoming a published author. Aspiring writers have to jump through so many hoops—writing conferences, writing retreats, endless platform building, elevator pitches, critique groups, and workshops.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tips to Help Maximize Your First Five Pages


by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

One of your greatest marketing tools as an author is the first five pages of your book. Once a potential buyer looks at your title, cover, back cover copy, and Table of Contents, they’re likely to look at your first five pages. If the first paragraph wows them, they’ll keep reading. If the wow factor is missing, you may miss a possible sale.

So how do you maintain the “wow” factor of your first five pages and maximize the appeal of your book?  Here are five ways to keep the wow factor going.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finding Contentment in Writing


by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Is there contentment in writing? We’re a people of instant gratification. If others don’t give us what we want, when we want it—we simply take matters into our own hands and make it happen. 

This attitude is one that grieves me. I’m not sure when it began to happen but somewhere along the way, understanding the importance of working hard and receiving success has gone by the wayside. These days we just “do it ourselves” regardless of the impending consequence.

Monday, November 13, 2017

5 Last Minute Blog Post Ideas

Don't ever get caught without a blog post idea again.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


We’ve all done it. Waited until the last minute and we’re rushing to come up with a blog post idea, write it, and get it up. Sometimes it’s because life has gotten in the way, sometimes it’s just because we haven’t planned well.

The reason why we’re scrambling isn’t as important as what to do when it happens. Now is definitely not the time to beat ourselves up or panic. Instead, here is my list when I need a blog post fast.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What is Art?

God  is glorified when we put words on paper.
by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest


“In the beginning, God created . . . .” Gen.1:1.

On my plane ride home from Switzerland this week, I sat by an artist. She showed me recent drawings in her sketch pad and photographs of her paintings. I was in awe. Her work went beyond realism and into an expressive realm of profound artistic mastery.

“I found my voice last year,” she said. That’s what she called it, her “voice.” We use that same term in writing, but I didn’t realize painters and other artists of all types used it, too.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Are You Living Life Revved Up or Relaxed?


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I experienced the whole “stuck in overdrive” ordeal  for real yesterday.

I was driving on the highway when my car started revving up and, even when I tried to brake, the car wouldn’t slow down. I was coming up on my exit — and a red light — in a minute or less, and praying my car would stop even as I imagined my car driving straight into the intersection and oncoming traffic.

Friday, November 10, 2017

How Personal Little Stories Become Big Bestsellers


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Okay. We’ll re-situate the elephant in the room right away: It helps to have contacts and clout when you’re writing personal narrative. That being said, it still took more than money, influence and a gregarious personality to make the anecdotes and life experiences of the following writer leap off the paper, into our hearts and onto bestseller lists. 

Last month, I addressed some of the things I learned about writing from other authors, notably, Rick Bragg. This month I’m sharing writing tips I’ve gleaned from Bob Goff ’s book Love Does. If you’re listening Bob, “Put your humble hat on, because I’m gonna praise you” (as I heard one preacher say).

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Writing Conference Etiquette—From the Director’s Perspective

One writing conference director shares a list of what not to do.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve been on both sides of the writing conference scene—for a long time. I attended conferences for 10+ years before I took a position on a leadership team. I’ve now been in leadership for almost that long. And I’ve seen a lot of things.

Some good.

And some not so good.

Today I thought I’d let you peek in the window at my unique perspective ad take a look at some of things we should never do.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tips for Writers—When Deadline Madness Descends


by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

I’m coming down the home stretch on a book deadline. A book that I have loved writing. A book that has consumed my life for a month. A book that I will be able to proudly share with you sometime after Christmas.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Making Memes with iPiccy


by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyADict

Reviewing iPiccy, a free online photo-editing tool.

I’ve long been a fan of PicMonkey and Canva’s photo-editing websites, but when PicMonkey changed to a fee-based service in late September, I looked for other options. Don’t misunderstand—I’m still a PicMonkey fan. I just prefer to share tips about free tools whenever possible. Enter iPiccy.com, a robust and still free online photo-editing tool.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Streamline Your Social Media Now for Less Holiday Stress

A Little Planning Now Makes All the Difference During the Holidays
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I know it's just the beginning of November, but the holiday season is just around the season. It only takes a little advance planning to cut down on the marketing stress that can come during the holidays. 

Now is the time to get your social media ready for the holidays.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

When Writing Rejection Redirects Us Toward Gratitude


by Danetta Keller @DanettaKellar

He led them in a right way. Psalm 107:7, NIV

I was still a newbie, attending my second writers conference. This year I was more prepared. I came wielding the one-sheet for a book I’d had on my heart for the past four years. I had even launched it on friends and family, homemade. I was ready to present my baby to editors and publishers to see if she had a chance.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Writing Book Reviews—A Door Into a Publication

Use writing book reviews as a road to publication
by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

One of the problems with being a new writer is. . . you’re new. Like a new employee, you haven’t established that you can show up, advise the customers, be on time, or are able to run the cash register. (Ugh, I still have nightmares where all the keys are blank.)

And like all new career seekers, we scream, “How am I supposed to get experience if I can’t get a job?” (Ever heard that before?)

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Tribute to a Friend

Bruce, we're all better because you were our friend.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Today is the post I have dreaded writing for over a year.

Our writing comrade, fellow believer and close friend, Bruce Brady, is no longer with us. He was one of the small percentage who knew time was short, so many of us had the chance to say goodbye. My husband Kirk and I were privileged to be with him and Candice and their family at the end.

It doesn’t lesson the immense loss I feel.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How To Write When Everything Goes Wrong - a Book Review

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn


A book review from Lynn Blackburn
Ah . . . the writing life.

When we’re pursuing publication, our imaginations paint a picture of a world where we can always write during our most productive and creative hours, where there is plenty of time for refilling our creative tanks, where everyone around us is supportive and where there’s plenty of coffee and chocolate.

Maybe that last bit is just my ideal, but you get what I mean.

Even when we try to be realistic, we don’t usually imagine any worst case scenarios. When we think of how we would handle our writing in times of trouble, we tend to think of curve balls.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Editing Your Book, Part IV—Line Editing, the 500 Foot View

Learn the process of editing your book.
by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer


There are four basic types of editing:

Developmental Editing
Substantive Editing
Line Editing
Copy Editing

Each type of editing offers an opportunity to look at a manuscript from a different place. Today, we work with Line Editing (LE).

LE is where, finally, you make it pretty.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top 20 Scariest Things Ever Said to Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In honor of Halloween I thought I’d dust off this old post and share it again. It truly is scary what people will say to writers without thinking! 

I’ve also added my rebuttals to these thoughtless observations, and I’m happy to report that I’ve yet to give into the temptation to utter them aloud, no matter how badly I wanted to.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Engage the Five Senses to Boost Your Writing

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to announce a new addition to our blogging team here at The Write Conversation. Please welcome Cathy Baker as a permanent part of TWC!


by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker


Fall offers up a feast for our senses—pumpkin lattes, the rustling of leaves, and fuzzy sweaters—refreshing us spiritually, physically, and emotionally. When we intentionally engage the senses our mind is energized, leading to fresh ideas and solutions for our works in progress.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Writing Crossroad


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

“Take my life and let it be, consecrated all to Thee.”

I heard the words to that old hymn recently and found myself transported back in time. Twelve years ago I hit a crossroads with God. Even back then I knew He’d called me to writing—in my heart I knew—but all around me everything was rejection and heartache. I’d been so thrilled when God called me to write. It just felt . . . right. I already had my future mapped out. I’d write Bible studies and teach and speak—bringing His Word to His people. I didn’t see anything except the glory.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Exercise Your Writing Muscles

Use blogging as a way to grow as a writer!
by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock


If you wanted to run a marathon, would you ever just strap on a pair of tennis shoes and go out to run 26 miles without any prior training? Probably not. If I did that I would likely kill or injure myself, and long before the end I’d probably swear never to run again.

In much the same way, I hear about prospective authors who want to write a book sitting down and trying the write the whole thing, all at once from scratch. It’s no wonder that they become discouraged and disillusioned with the experience. They haven’t been exercising their writing muscles!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Why It's Better for Writers to Savor than to Strive


by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2


“I’m four now,” my granddaughter announced as she came down the stairs on her birthday. “What comes next?”

Oh, I am so like our little Lauren. And you are too.

We writers are an ambitious lot. We set word count goals, create a career map, and plot the rise of our first Amazon bestseller. And our second. And our third.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Testing Of a Writer's Character


by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas


Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Psalm 105:19 (NLT)

In the Old Testament, God tested Joseph. A lot. Mistreated by his brothers. Sold into slavery. Falsely accused of rape. Thrown into prison. Forgotten by those he helped.

Did you ever wonder why Joseph had to go through so many tests? Psalm 105:19 tells us God did it to test his character. And it sounds like Joey had some stuff to work through.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What to do When Your Novel Falls Flat

Troubleshooting Your Novel
by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

One quarter of the way through my current writing project, I realized the story had fallen flat.
No interest.
No insight into my characters’ inner turmoil.
No excitement about building the plot.
No display of courage and stamina from my characters.
No romantic attraction between my hero and heroine.
No high-stake scenes to keep the reader turning pages.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

First Rules of Critique—“Rule One”

Learn the rules of critiquing for writers.
by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson


I’ve been a part of critiquing written work for over twenty years.

In March 1997, I sat around a dining room table in Longwood, Florida with four other writer wannabes. We were the beginning of Word Weavers International (though we didn’t know it at the time), which is now over 600 members strong and stretches from one end of the globe to the other.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's Not Really a Package Deal

Evening must make their own individual faith decision.
by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Big things come in small packages. I think the person who said that sat beside me in my high school geometry class. And even though I was really bad at geometry, I would never copy off that guy’s paper. Because that would be very wrong, yes. But also because the answer would also likely be very wrong.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Keep Writing, Even When Someone Tries to Sabotage Your Dreams

Don't let anyone steal your writing dreams!
by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

We can’t help it. Whether it be books or people, we are drawn to an attractive and commanding cover. First impressions are often deceiving. In fact, the dictionary defines cover as, “a wrap, cover-up, hiding place.” A quick rejection will often deny us the gift that is awaiting us upon further inspection.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

2 Writing Podcasts You Need to Know (But Probably Aren’t Listening To)

Don't neglect your publishing education.
by Cyle Young @CyleYoung


Do you want to make $100,000+/year writing books? If so, these are two podcasts you need to start listening to today. Podcasts provide a wealth of free information, news, and strategies for helping you achieve all of your writing goals.

But, most people don’t listen to podcasts, or at the very least, they aren’t listening to the right podcasts. The “right” podcasts will teach you in “real-time”. They will give you excellent information, statistics, research, and ideas.

If you want to start or continue on your journey to making a living at writing books, these podcasts will be a great help and support to you on your journey.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Utilize Your Blog as a Powerful Marketing Tool

Tips to help you blog with purpose
by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


Did you know that every blog post you create is a powerful marketing tool? It can draw readers to your website where they can learn more about you and your books. A blog post infused with personality, well-written content, and benefit to the readers can cause them to follow your blog or explore your website. But first, you have to get them interested in your post.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Writers Say About Writing

Inspiration for writers
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I just spent a glorious weekend surrounded by 70 writers and speakers at “reNEW” here in New England -- all of us seeking to be “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him.” (Colossians 3.10) It’s always stretching to interact with other creative Christians and I hope you have an opportunity to do that soon, whether in a large or small gathering. Because one thing we writers love to do is be inspired by other writers!
           
Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite words from some favorite authors – Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

10 Ways to Market Without the Social Media

Connect through more than just social media
by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68


I get it. People are social by nature, but sometimes you just want to remove the media marketing aspect. Am I right? You’re out with your girlfriends and some teen nearly divides your group in half because he’s reading his text messages instead of watching his steps. Or you miss an important piece of conversation with your dinner partner because the group next to your table is loudly observing the newest YouTube video. Folks, we don’t want to be like them, do we? Heck, no! Can I get a holla, holla?!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Write the Hard Stuff

"It's not easy to be a writer, but we must commit to write out of passion." Andy Lee 
by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

I don’t tell God “no” often. When he gives me an assignment, I’m off and running. I’m a faith junky—usually. But the other day that still, small voice whispered something that made me run in the other direction. My first reaction was not, “Here I am, Lord! Send me!”

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Of Puddles and Progress


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

It’s raining here in Colorado. 

I’m not one of those people who love rainy days. A couple of my kiddos do, but not me. Rain interferes with things I want to do, like walking in the morning with my friend Mary. And it steals away those sunny days Colorado is known for. I’m all for the sunshine.

Friday, October 13, 2017

For Writers: One Way To Be Better at Anything


by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Judging by the popularity of how-to blogs and books, we love our numbered lists: Three ways to improve your love life. Seven things to do before you die. Five steps to break a bad habit. (The lists of course are short—no one wants to read about the fifty ways it takes to lose stubborn belly fat.)

Being a fan of the bottom line, I’m going to contribute my one way to learn almost anything. Unfortunately, it’s not an original idea—learning theorists expound on it, and pet owners swear their animals do it. The instructor at the first writing workshop I attended was the editor for our local news journal. She gave us this advice: "If you're going to read one book, read Rick Bragg's news stories, Somebody Told Me."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

10 Tips to Simplify Your Writing Life

Take a look at your routine with fresh eyes.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

So often we make things harder than they have to be. Sometimes we do it because we’re used to doing things a certain way, or because it’s the only way we know how. But things change quickly these days, and it’s always a good thing to take a look at your routine with a fresh eye. 

Today I’m going to share some tips to streamline your writing life. Some you may already do, some you may not have ever considered. Just take a look at the list with an open mind and see if there’s anything on it that can make your life easier.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Do Writers Need to Copyright Their Work?

What writers need to know about copyright
by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


“Well, I’ll be glad to send my manuscript to you for editing as soon as I get it copyrighted. I don’t want anyone to steal my idea.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tips to Help You Find Your Writing Voice

"Voice is who you are on the page." Cindy Sproles
by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

The radio blared in the backroom. A voice boomed through the speakers. Howard Stern. There was no question who the speaker was. His voice set him apart.

When I begin to form sentences on the page, not only my thoughts and ideas land on the page, but something that sets me apart from everyone else, lands there too. My voice.

Monday, October 9, 2017

When Social Media Doesn’t Work – It Could Because of Unrealistic Expectations

Don't let unrealistic expectations keep you from social media success!
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“I’m not getting any traction with social media,” is one of the complaints I hear a lot as I travel and teach writers how to connect.

There are a lot of reasons people feel this way, a few are legit, but most are just unreasonable expectations. Today I’m going to address the unrealistic exception for social media that many have.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Alone

The word, alone, provokes us...
by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

Alone. The compilation of “all” and “one.” All + one. All that there is, is one.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Free Tool for Writers – Valuable Criticism

Feedback is hard, but it can make us better writers.
by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Usually criticism is something we should run from. In most of our lives, we hear enough negative to weigh us down like an anchor. But there are times when criticism and feedback is helpful.

Like when you’ve finished your first draft. First—Yay! Congratulations!

Now what do you do?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Nurture Your Writing Soul

Tips to feed your creativity.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Writing is hard work, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

We spend hours at a computer, neglecting exercise and proper posture. Beyond that, we pour our hearts and souls into the words we arrange into stories, articles, even blog posts. We spend time and money learning how to write, constantly improving our skills.

Then, when it seems like it couldn’t get any harder, we take a deep breath and share our words with the world. So often that world can be less than kind. To face the tumultuous life of writing, we have to take time to feed your writer’s soul.

Today I want to share some tips you can use to nurture the writer within.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thoughts on Handling Challenges as a Writer

"As long as you don't quit, it will get easier—and harder." -Lynn Blackburn
by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn


My family vacations every summer at a small lake house in the mountains of North Carolina.

It’s now one of our favorite places in the world but as I recall, my first trip to the house wasn’t particularly pleasant. My aunt and uncle own the house and they had invited our extended family to come for a cookout. They gave us detailed directions but I think half of us got lost that first time.