Saturday, September 23, 2017

Choose To Write

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Tips for when you struggle against sitting down to write.
The Struggle
Sometimes I feel like a petulant child when I sit down to write. “I don’t want to write,” the child complains. “I want to play games and have fun.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

4 Writing Boo Boos You Don’t Want to Make

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Don't make these grammar mistakes!
A writer friend gave me a t-shirt to celebrate my new job as editor of a regional magazine. Its message was short and sweet: I’m silently correcting your grammar.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Finding Unbiased Beta Readers for Your Manuscript

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Looking for Beta "Stranger" Readers for your manuscript.
Last year, I wrote a series of short stories. I wanted to self-publish them in order to build my newsletter mailing list, but I needed to find unbiased Beta readers who could give me “real” feedback.

I didn’t want to ask my friends and family, for fear they would give me the standard pat on the back or false approval.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Enhance the Wonderful in Your Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Use this valuable acronym to enhance your writing.
“Wonderful” sticks to the heart as much as it does to the mind. Memories of fun-filled travels, time with family and friends, and special moments make a home within us forever. Books can do that too.

Wonderful happens when a book speaks to us about a heartfelt need, when it answers a plaguing question or solves a challenging problem, when it refreshes ours spirits and reminds us that hope is alive and God is with us.

Use this acronym as a checklist to enhance the wonderful in your writing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When You Feel Awkward Promoting Your New Book, Remember Glory!

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

"Living so that ordinary graces are not only noticed and appreciated,
but passed along to others. That is our call." -Lucinda Secrest McDowell
As you read today’s blog I am knee-deep in launching a new book. With all that entails. Including the uneasy feeling of “self-promotion” which, frankly, is a struggle for me.

You too? Yeah, it’s that whole tension between being excited about sharing
our words with the world and being embarrassed to keep putting ourselves out there.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Encourage Conversation on Your Blog with These 7 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

7 Tips to Keep the Conversation Going on Your Blog
Blogging is a great way to build relationships with your audience. 

But a lot of people forget that, just like building relationship in person, we have to work at building bridges. It’s never a good idea to talk so much that others don’t have a chance to share their thoughts, and that holds true in blogging. 

There are things we can do to make sure our posts encourage conversation. And there are things we can do that discourage interaction.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Discouragement Can be a Good Thing For Writers

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

"Allow God to turn your writing discouragement meant around into something good ." ~Andy Lee
Discouragement is disillusioned self-love, and self-love may be love for my devotion to Jesus–not my love for Jesus Himself. ~ Oswald Chambers
You might want to read that again. It took me a couple of times. Oswald never tip-toed around the hard stuff. He always called it as he saw it. When I comprehended this sentence above, the words went straight to my human heart.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

How Self-Talk Affects Our Writing

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

"Writers have a mission to change the world, one word at a time." ~Emme Gannon
Have you ever written a scene of great consequence and, suddenly, your mind takes you to an event in your distant past? A sense of place takes over. You write with fervor because you feel what your character feels. You know what she knows. You want what she wants. Except your story had never been resolved. So you try to write the story the way it should have been. While you mourn.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Should an Indie Author Go to a Writing Conference?

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

Writing classes are critical to the success of ALL writers!
I just have to chuckle if anyone is still asking this question As far as I can tell the big conferences all have great big indie tracks full of expert teaching.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Write Like You Believe It

Edie here. Today I have a treat for you. My good friend, Cathy Baker is my guest today. Cathy isn't just an author I admire (have you read her blog, Cultivating Creativity? If not you should!) but she's also someone with wisdom and spiritual insight to spare. She's releasing her second devotional, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains, next week. This is the second in the series and I'd be super excited—even if I hadn't written the foreword for it. So be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

Stop treating your calling like a hobby...
Write Like You Believe It
by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Seven words changed the trajectory of my life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An Opportunity to Grow in Your Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

A special opportunity for writers
Have you ever wished you could sit at the feet of the writing masters and then apply what you learned with them looking over your shoulder? Well, CLASS Christian Writers Contreat can give you that opportunity.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Five Ways to Forge Ahead after Writing Rejection

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Don't let writing rejection stunt your growth as a writer.
When the seeds are planted, you never know what will sprout.

We made a tough decision—to take down a huge 40-foot elm tree damaged from lightening. It towered over our home and with each storm that passed, we wondered if the massive tree would find its way onto our roof. Cutting it down meant cutting away a boatload of beautiful memories with our boys. Pruning.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Tips for Writing Blog Posts People Will Read

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Blogging is both a discipline and an art form.
Blogging is both a discipline and an art form. It’s not—as some have suggested—throw-away writing. However, there is a method to writing blog posts that will increase your reach, engage your audience more effectively, and spur others to action.

The foundation of good blogging is laid with the beginning and ending of each post.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Because God is Faithful

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

Never underestimate the faithfulness of God.
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." Revelation 4:11

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Case for Curiosity—A Necessary Tool for Writers

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Curiosity is key for successful writers.
I’m standing in my backyard in the dark before dawn. It’s 5 A.M. but the little dog that’s visiting us must have a bladder the size of a grape because he can’t wait a minute more to do his business. Actually, I’m happy to be out here because it’s time for the annual August meteor showers. My eyes sweep the northeastern sky, looking for the constellation Perseus. Suddenly a brilliant flash blazes a trail above me, then vanishes. Within minutes, another does the same.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Every Writer Needs a Team

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Teamwork for writers!
Last month, I shared what I learned from the book Grit—The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Dr. Angela Duckworth and how it applies to the writing life. If you haven’t read that one, you might want to pop over there first and read the post, A Book To Help Writers Persevere. I’ll wait.

Done? Good. Glad you’re back. :)

That post was already way too long, so I saved something to share with you this month.

In Grit, there are multiple anecdotes about elite swimmers—what makes them so good, what separates the champions from the talented, that kind of thing.

Near the end of the book the author shares an interview with a man who has studied elite swimmers for three decades. After affirming the author’s thoughts on how important grit is he said, “But I left out the most important thing. The real way to become a great swimmer is to join a great team.”

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

6 Steps to Write Through Emotional Pain

Edie here. Today I'm so excited to introduce you to an author I love and admire. Sarah Forgave has a new book of prayers out and it's a resource you won't want to miss. I've convinced her to share a post with us about how to write through emotional pain and I know you'll be blessed by her insight and application. Be sure to give her a warm TWC welcome!

6 Steps to Write Through Emotional Pain
by Sarah Forgrave @SarahForgrave

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

This Ernest Hemingway quote is one of the most freeing yet daunting realities for writers. To be successful, we have to be willing to pour everything out, to emote through our stories and non-fiction works so the reader will feel every last drop of joy and sorrow with us.

This often means revisiting memories we’d rather forget.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An Acquisition Editor Shares 3 Quick Tips for Creating a Strong Voice

by Kat Brzozowski @KatBrzozowsk 

When our team is looking through the manuscripts on Swoon Reads for the next books we’re going to publish, we each have a specific thing to which we’re drawn. Some of us are attracted to characters. Other people look for strong worldbuilding. For other people, the manuscript must have great dialogue. For me, voice is my #1 requirement when I’m looking to fall in love with a manuscript. But how do you create voice?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pinterest for Writers—Blogging Tools

by Cynthia Owens @EfficencyAdict

Don't miss this important info for bloggers!
Over the past few months I’ve focused on various aspects of how writers can use Pinterest. We looked at how to do research, collaborate with other authors, and market your writing. Today we’re going to see why Pinterest is such a valuable tool for bloggers.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Writing as Worship

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Sometimes when we write, we can feel God's presence and His pleasure.
If I say, “I won’t mention Him or speak any longer in His name,” His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in, and I cannot prevail. Jeremiah 20:9, HCSB

I was deep in, down under, immersed in that sacred place with my words and my God. Copies of a revised manuscript lay strewn across the coffee shop table as I paced and prayed, pausing intermittently to fire off sentences on the keyboard like cannon blasts of praise.

Within my soul, inside the most central part of who I am, I knew I was doing exactly what I was created to do. The more I wrote, the more I could feel God’s delight. Immersed in worship, indescribable joy rising, I brought him my gift.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Imagination, Passions, Inspiration – Tools Each Writer Has Inside

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

I’ve been sharing some resources that writers can find helpful: whether they are books, websites, conferences, etc. There are numerous resources coming out each day.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Editing Your Book Part II - Developmental Editing: the 50,000 Foot View

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SallyHamer

Tips for editing your book.
As I mentioned in the Part I of How to Edit Your Book, 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. So, let’s start with Developmental Editing (DE).

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Unusual Skills for Writers: The Ability to Juggle

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I don’t care if you’re a freelance writer, nonfiction writer, novelists or something of a hybrid. The truth is that you have to wear a lot of hats to find publishing success. You have to be able to write on a deadline, plan marketing campaigns, utilize social media, and of course, write.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Improve Your Writing By Becoming a Professional Eavesdropper

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Tips to improve your writing skills
I read somewhere once that good dialogue is a conversation with the boring parts taken out. I completely agree. Just record and transcribe a normal conversation and you’ll see that it isn’t all that interesting to read without a lot of judicious editing.

Monday, August 28, 2017

An Intro to Pinterest Business and Board Covers

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

Last month we discussed some Pinterest basics, like choosing a great username and profile picture, writing a great a bio, the difference between public, secret, and collaborative boards, and briefly touched on business accounts. Today we’ll go a little more in-depth on the business account and how to create great covers for your boards.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

All-Consuming Praises

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

All-Consuming Praises. Not All-Consumed Pastries.

The other morning I woke up thinking…donuts. All thought processes were pretty much completely consumed with all things donutty, sugar-coated, fat-filled and mmmmm. So much so that when I got to the coffee shop, I contemplated eating the top three rows of pastries. Also there were only three rows of pastries. Yes, I wanted all the pastries. All of them.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Writers' Pledge

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

One day I was meeting with a client who told me about the pledge that she and her grandson had written. It was an affirmation they would say together to set a powerful and positive intention for their day.

I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to write my own Writers’ Pledge with input from my writer colleagues and clients. At the insistence of my coaching clients, we say it together at the beginning of every coaching call.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tips to Create a Blog Post that Goes Viral

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Having a post go viral is a blogger’s dream. But much of what makes it happen is a mystery.

Or is it?

On June 15, 2014, I wrote a post called “Howto Know It’s God Speaking to You.” I created a graphic to accompany it that included a photo of my favorite place to read my Bible—on a porch swing at Edisto. The post contained a list of five ways I’ve experienced God speaking to me, so I superimposed the list onto the picture of the porch swing and my Bible. I posted it to Facebook and Pinterest. It got a few LIKES on FB and was repinned 20 or 30 times on Pinterest that week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

5 Questions to Telling a Story

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

There are 5 questions to telling a story. Applying them to fiction will help us write amazing stories. What are these magical questions?

I first heard them in college as they applied to journalism. The 5 questions or signposts or guides to writing great stories are: Who? Where? When? What? Why?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Creating Emotional Distance Can Add Dimension to Your Writing

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Varying degrees of point of view (POV) allows the writer to establish emotional distance between the reader and the character. The distance is set in direct relationship to the role the character plays in the story, the mood, and voice.

The POV character takes the spotlight and has the most to lose or the highest stakes. Every word in the scene and subsequent internal reaction is filtered through the character’s sensory perception and life experiences.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Avoid Writing Procrastination With These 8 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I love writing. And I love talking about writing.

Sitting around with other writers, discussing all things literary is one of my favorite things. It’s one of the reasons I love attending writing conferences.

But there are people we know who like talking about writing so much that’s all they do. They join writers groups, critique groups, even take classes.
The one thing they don’t do is write.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Winning at the Social Media Game

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

If you build it, they will come.
Social media (emphasis on social) is more than just "look at me." It's a mutual support.

When you place your focus on "social", "media" is just the means by which you connect. As writers, we are the first generation to have instant worldwide access. Why wouldn't you want a piece of that pie?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Labor That's Not In Vain

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

We can’t help it.

We live in a culture that applauds the loud, the successful, and the most known. And even though we are writers, and most of us prefer obscurity, it still would be nice to know if our writing affected someone for the good—actually, a lot of someones. Who doesn’t dream of being a best-seller?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Finding Time to Write When You're A Caregiver

Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce you to my long-time writing friend, Emme Gannon. Emme has been in my life for many years and her gentle encouragement has always been a breath of fresh air. I've finally convinced her to share her insight with you as a regular columnist. Her insight as she manages full-time caregiving with full-time writing is an invaluable resource. Please give her a warm TWC welcome!

Finding Time 
to Write When
You're a Caregiver
by Emme Gannon 

One more hour before I had to be home to relieve my husband’s caregiver and I’d not met my writing goal. I’d driven to the park and found a vacant bench where I tried to relax to the sound of the Reedy River as it gushed over boulders and tumbled to rocks below. I inhaled the scent of the nectar-sweet flowers edging the river and silently asked God to de-clutter my mind so that words would come. Today was to be one of those days where thoughts of duties at home would march across my mind and snag my words.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2 New Apps to Help Writers Reach Readers

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Have you  heard of the relatively new chat story craze?

Tap is a mobile phone app that drops you right into a story and you experience the story by reading someone else’s texts. Many of the chat stories fall within genres that are easy to wrap around short snippets of dialogue. Thriller, Suspense, Romance, Comedy, and Horror dominate the app.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

When You Doubt Your Calling as a Writer

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

We need you. Maybe you’re doubting your abilities as a writer. Maybe you’re new to writing and wonder if you can really fulfill God’s calling. Let me encourage you to play your song.

Each writer is like an instrument in an orchestra, and each instrument is needed. A single violin, although moving and beautiful, does not deliver the power of the brass section or the rhythm of the percussion instruments. An orchestra needs all of its instruments and musicians, just like the body of Christ needs all of its members. Just like the book market needs all of its writers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What’s an Award-Winning Author’s Deep Secret?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

So, this summer a miracle happened.

My book, Dwelling Places, received an award (Christian Retailing Best Devotional). Woo Hoo!

Oh, did I happen to mention that this is the twelfth book I’ve had published? And my very first book award?

No wonder it felt like a miracle.

Monday, August 14, 2017

11 Things I Love About Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Let’s face it, social media takes a lot of hard knocks and gathers a good bit of bad press. 

I know I’m guilty of thinking only about the drudgery of doing it, even as I acknowledge the necessity. 

But just like almost anything we have to do—or even love to do—there are good parts and bad parts.

Today we’re going to concentrate on the good parts!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

When Life Gets Overwhelming

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

I want to write to encourage you today, if today is a hard one for you. I would love to lift the gaze of your eyes from downward, focused on your path, to upward so you can see the Father’s smile as He looks at you.—So that whatever weight you carry will feel lighter, and so your heart will know the sweet sensation of rest and freedom.

But today I feel unfit for the task.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stepping Out from the Shadow of Worry

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

If I let myself, I could spend a lot of hours worrying.

About people I love.

About decisions I’ve made … or have to make … or about decisions others’ might make that affect me.

About finances. Isn’t there always a reason to worry about finances?

About my writing career.

About the future … in so many ways. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Creative Nonfiction: What About Memoir?

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

We might as well get the bad news out of the way first... 

Many are written but few are chosen.

We are a people fixated on reality TV shows. We are fascinated with sharing each other’s opinions in 140-character bytes, and are infatuated with posting the daily details of our lives on Facebook, along with the other two billion people doing the same.

So, given the popularity of peering into each other’s lives, why is it so hard to sell a memoir?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Face Your Writing Fears Head On With These 9 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Getting a Literary Agent—Am I Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

One of the most frequent questions I get from people getting started in the writing business is “How can I get an agent?” or “Can you help me find an agent?” Three people have already asked me that question this week and it is only Tuesday!

Before I answer those questions, let me say one thing I have discovered. Many people who ask those two questions are not ready for an agent. In fact, the entire publishing business often exhibits “cart before the horse” situations.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tips to Develop Your Own Writing Mission Statement

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I recently began attending an intense writing class. It’s true that a good writer never stops learning, and I want to always present my best work, so you can imagine my surprise when the first comment from the instructor was a question. What is your mission statement?

A mission statement was never something I considered for my writing. We have one in place for our ministry and for our conference, but a personal mission statement for my writing just never occurred to me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting to Know One of Our Great American Novelists, Warren Adler

Today I'm super excited to share a recent video from Warren Adler. Here's a link for those who wish to learn more about Warren Adler and his books.

WARREN ADLER #WRITEON (OFFICIAL) from Warren Adler on Vimeo.

Getting to know one of our Great American Novelists, @WarrenAdler (Click to Tweet)

Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roseshis masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Warren Adler's newest novel Mother Nile, will be released on November 15th and is currently available for pre-order here: Explore more at and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

To Be a Scribe for the Lord

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe. 1 Chronicles 27:32

Since I was a little girl I have dreamed of being a scribe. While most girls my age were playing Barbies and hair salon, I was making a tent with my bedcovers and hiding out with the illustrated Bible my great-grandmother gave me for Christmas.

In my secret place I would read about the scribes of the Old Testament and imagine there was no more noble task than to record and preserve the words of kings. To be allowed so close to the king, to stand in his presence and listen for his every word, decrees which would change the course of nations, bring hope to the oppressed, unleash power over enemies! I was enthralled.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tips to Polish the Opening Paragraph of Whatever You're Writing

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

In the beginning . . . no.

It was the best of times, it was the worse . . . um, no.

It was a dark and stormy. . . definitely not.

The beginning of a devotion, an article, or a book can be the hardest part to write. And if you are writing from cover to cover, it will be the first hurdle you face.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Following Your Writing Dream—When God Says You Can, You Can

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce a good friend and author, Andrea Merrell. She has a new book out, Marriage, Make It or Break It, and I persuaded her to share a post with us to celebrate. Be sure to learn more about her book below. For now, give her a warm TWC welcome.

When God Says You Can, You Can
by Andrea Merrell @AndreaMerrell

I’ve always said that God has a sense of humor when it comes to me, especially concerning my writing. He knows I can’t write or even use a recorder when driving, yet that’s when He chooses to give me a lot of ideas. Most of the time I have to pull the car over or wait until I get to a stop sign or red light to jot down a thought.

When my writing career began about twenty years ago, the Lord gave me a series of poems. Poems? Seriously, Lord? I don’t even care that much about poetry. But God obviously had a plan and purpose.