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 
@GannonEmme


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.

TWEETABLE
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: http://amzn.to/2f9avhI. Explore more at www.warrenadler.com 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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Book to Help Writers Persevere

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I recently read a fascinating book, Grit - The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Dr. Angela Duckworth has studied successful students, athletes, soldiers, and even spelling bee champions in an effort to determine why some people succeed and others, well, don’t.

As you might guess from the title, the difference is grit. Grit is that intangible combination of passion and perseverance that ultimately trumps talent (your natural ability) and even skill (ability developed over time with practice). It’s the idea that someone less talented and less skillful could someday be on par, or even eclipse the achievements of their more innately talented and skilled peers because they were willing to put the effort into getting better.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How to Edit Your Book – Four ways to look at it

by Sarah (Sally) Hamer @SarahSallyHamer


Okay, you’ve finished the book. Kudos! It was hard, time-consuming, and agonizing, but you finally got it done.

Next step? Send it out to all the agents and editors you’ve been courting, because one of them is going to snatch it up and make you a millionaire.

Right?

Wrong!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pinterest for Writers—Marketing

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict


Today we’re talking about the dreaded “M” word. No, not marriage—marketing! Specifically, how writers can use Pinterest to market their books.

Pinterest pulls together two critical things writers need: an interested audience and a place to share your book. The trick is to create boards that appeal to your readers. Then, include pins featuring your book with a link to where they can buy it.

You already have a feel for what your readers like. Now, it’s time to put that knowledge to work in your marketing. Here are three board types with plenty of examples to get you started.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Facebook Groups...For PAGES!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Yep, you read the title of this post correctly. Facebook has finally given professional pages the options of starting or linking to a group. 

In the past, there was only one way to start a group or join a group—from the Facebook personal profile. Now that has changed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Are Our Devices Making Us Fat & Sleepy?

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

How many of you love to snuggle up in bed with your Kindle and read a bit before you fall asleep? 

And since I’m talking to writers, how many of you will occasionally pull your laptop into bed to work on a few more pages of your WIP until you get sleepy? Have you noticed that you sometimes have a hard time falling sleep after these nighttime sessions? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Is Your Hero Pursuing?

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

We’ve all heard story is about conflict and tension. And that is definitely true.

Stories about happy people living in Happy Valley don’t excite readers. Frankly, they can be boring.

The story becomes a story when something disrupts the status quo. As John LeCarré once said, “The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the dog’s mat—now that’s a story.”

Here’s another way to look at it: Stories are about the pursuit of happiness. It’s even in the Declaration of Independence.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Lies Our Characters Believe & Why It Matters

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Our characters can be stubborn. Just when we think we know them inside and out, they toss us a wrench. We struggle to push them into a storyline that forces them to change and grow—or slide downhill as in the case of antagonists—then they behave contrary to how we sketched them.

We work hard at shaking them inside out to ensure they are unique, memorable, and fit the plot and genre. Our goal is to achieve the proper balance of complexity in an unpredictable story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Avoid These Writing Conference Faux Pas

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson


We’re nearing the end of conference season, which begins in February (to my way of seeing it) and ends around September. Every year, I attend a great many of them, and enjoy each and every one. Some for one reason. Some for another.

I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. When we gather at writers conferences, we talk about which ones have the best editor and agent selection . . . the ones with the best freelancers . . . the best beds . . . the best food . . . the best praise and worship (for Christian writers conferences), the best social time. We mention the ones where we laugh the hardest. (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard in my life as I did at St. David’s Christian Writers Conference this year.)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pinterest Basics & Insider Tips, Part 1

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

We’ve spent the last few months covering the Instagram platform, and now it’s time to move to Pinterest!

Pinterest isn’t really a “social media” platform. Instead, consider utilizing Pinterest as a search engine for your audience. After all, there are times when I choose to search Pinterest instead of Google. And if you’re a Pinterest-user, I’d guess you do, as well.

Today we’re going to do a light overview on some Pinterest basics, starting with…

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Unforgetting

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Have I ever mentioned that I have a terrible memory? Maybe I did. Or maybe it slipped my mind. But hey, I remembered to buy all those vitamins that are supposed to help with memory. I’m pretty sure I’ve been forgetting to take them though. In the old days, people tied a string around a finger to help them remember. Guess I could try that.

I’ve always wished I had a photographic memory. Someone told me I actually do have one—it’s just not developed. That’s probably it. I always seem to be a few pics short of a full roll.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Basic Etiquette for Sharing Online Content

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


A lot of people have asked me to share a blog post about the online etiquette for mentioning and/or sharing content online. 

Mentioning and sharing content from sites we find valuable is the ultimate compliment, and a great way to encourage other bloggers and writers.

Before we begin, let me clarify something. Sharing links or a short quote from another site isn’t a copyright infringement. For those concerned about copyright information, here’s a link to a blog I wrote on CopyrightBasics for Bloggers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Is BookBub—And Why Do Authors Need to Know?

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung


As an agent, I often come across authors and industry professionals who have no idea what BookBub is. 

BookBub is currently the single best promotion opportunity for any eBook and it is highly sought after by authors and publishers in the “know”.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

5 Questions to Refresh Your Writing Purpose

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

5 Questions to give you the writing nudge you need.
Writing a book is no sprint—it’s a marathon. A cross-country marathon. 


As you run through fields of modifiers and metaphors, you eventually encounter hills of writer’s block. Ducking distractions and swatting flies of doubt and anxiety, you barrel forward closer and closer to the finish line.

By the time you reach the last leg of the race—the final editing of your book—your energy and enthusiasm reach an all-time low. What’s a runner—that is, a writer—to do?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tips to Meet Those Writing Deadlines

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowell

How well I remember hearing the phrase, "Interruptions are my ministry!”

At the time I was on the staff of a large church and I totally got it—at any given time I was called up to meet with a parishioner or counsel a walk-in or fill in for another teacher. I was also mothering four young children and learning that key parenting moments occur when there's a knock on the bedroom door or a phone call from school or a simple cry of "Mama....." from another room.

In all those cases it was the distractions from my immediate task that propelled me to an even more important task. I get that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Proofread Your Social Media Posts

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Even social media typos can challenge our
credibility as writers.
We see it a lot. Those nasty little things we call typos. They’re everywhere. And *gasp* we’re even responsible for some of them. Oh, call the writing police and throw me in jail!

Folks, that’s why we have editors. Amazing, awesome, hand-holding editors who take the reins and shape our story into what we want it to be. They can see beneath our fast-typing mistakes. They interpret the message from what we mean to what it’s supposed to be.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why I Stopped Chasing the Dream

by Any Lee @WordsByAndyLee

I once had a dream that Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet, throw me on his horse, and we’d ride into the sunset to live happily ever after.

The dream came true. Prince Charming did sweep me off my feet. We jumped into his black 1990 Trans Am, and we rode off into the sunset for a forty-eight-hour honeymoon. There was a war brewing, and my soldier needed to be back to work on Monday, and I had to teach the first day of school. They frown on requesting a substitute on the first day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Memes for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Today I'd like to do something a little different. Summer is full on us, so I thought we'd celebrate the beauty of the season with a roundup of memes.

I took every picture below and added the quotes through PicMonkey, so you're welcome to share them on social media. If you want to learn how to make your own: Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Text to Images screencast is the place to begin. 

Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence. Pythagoras

Friday, July 14, 2017

3 Ways to Kill Your Publishing Career

Edie here. Today I'm excited to welcome back Jennifer Slattery. In addition to being an amazing author, she's an excellent teacher in the publishing industry. Since her new book, Healing Love, is about to release, I convinced her to drop back by with more insight into the writer's life. 

3 Ways to Kill Your Publishing Career
by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

Perhaps you’ve sensed God’s call to write, maybe you even jumped in with passion and determination, fully convinced He’d bring your every dream to pass. But that was ten, twenty, maybe even more years ago, and you’re beginning to wonder, “Will I ever get published? Will these thousands upon thousands of words clogging my computer files ever see the light of day?”

I believe when God calls us to do something, He’s got the how and the when mapped out. Though His idea of what our writing career will look like may be different than ours, I fully believe He’s able to perfect that which concerns us and that He always has our best in mind.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Composite Characters: Do They Have a Place in Creative Nonfiction?

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

It was a familiar situation, a mix of writers—some fiction, some nonfiction—coming together for their monthly critique meeting. Michelle was working on a nonfiction submission. She felt she had included too many characters for such a short piece and asked the group what to do.

Sitting across the table, Elizabeth, a solid fiction writer, saw no problem. “Just combine the characters.”

I yelped. “You can’t do that. That’s not a real person.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are Helping Verbs Really Helpful?

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


In school we learn about helping verbs, also called auxiliary verbs, and the support they are to other verbs. That is a good thing. Everyone needs a helper occasionally.

Maybe you have forgotten what those helping verbs are. Is, am, are, was, were, been, being, are the most common. Helping is not the only use of the helping verbs. Other times they are used as a complete predicate. Think of the way you function—sometimes you are a parent, other times you are a friend, sometimes in the spotlight and other times not. The function of the verb makes it a helper or not. Many times these verbs are functional and needed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Importance of Book Influencers

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Ding. The computer chimes and you’ve got email. There’s a nice note asking if you will consider being an influencer. That’s nice. We all like the thoughts of influencing others, but in this case, a number of questions come to mind. Things like influence what? For whom? What’s in it for me?

Let’s take time to learn what an influencer is and then we’ll address what remains.

Monday, July 10, 2017

When Marketing Leads to Ministry

by Lori Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld


When I began this writing adventure, I had an attitude about marketing and sales. You see, I wasn’t going to concern myself with such worldly ideas, because, like The Blues Brothers, I was on a mission for God. I may or may not have harbored some unkind and judgmental thoughts about people who invested significant energy discussing branding, platform building, and target audiences. I was simply going to write and trust God to be my marketer. Boom. Mic drop. Thank you, very much.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Life of Breath

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest


We know this to be true. When we stop breathing, we stop living. There is no life when breath is absent.

It’s allergy season here in Oregon, and other places, too, I’m sure. And because this winter was Portland’s wettest on record, there is now no shortage of growing, blooming things. 

An afternoon doing simple gardening can turn into a night of sneezes and snores. Last night was a perfect example.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Avoiding the Debris of Life


by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Snags and debris. We’re not going to make it through life without running it to one or the other … or both. 

Snags are impediments to progress … irritants, interferences, interruptions … we want to go one way and they push and prod us another, holding us back from our goals.

But debris … that’s another kind of danger that can weigh you down, pull you under, and drown you.

Snags can leave marks — a scratch here, a bruise there. Debris, however, can be lethal. Emotional debris like guilt … regret … shame … fear … they pile up on us and dishearten us. 

Best to heed Anne Shannon Monroe’s words and “Pull yourself loose and go on.” 

How?
  • Ask for help from someone standing on firm ground — someone who sees the truth you’ve lost sight of. 
  • Recognize the debris for what it is: garbage. Nothing more, nothing less. 
  • Regain your focus. Realize you are stuck — remember where you’re headed — and start moving again. 


In Your Words: What snags have you run into recently? How do you avoid debris that stops the forward motion in your life? 

TWEETABLE

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women's fiction novelist with Tyndale House Publishers, Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, as well as a 2016 ACFW Carol Award Winner and a 2015 RITA® finalist. In 2016, she continued her destination wedding series published by Howard Books with You Can’t Hurry Love (May) and  Almost Like Being in Love (June). Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.