Monday, February 19, 2018

Be Fluid With Your Social Media Brand

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Who are you, really? Are you just a God-loving, cat-cuddling, coffee drinker? Or is there more to you, more to your writing? Maybe your manuscripts are full of prose you want to share with the world, but you also enjoy baking for your family and neighbors.

My point is, there’s not just one, two, or even three aspects of you. The many people in your world see the many facets of you. Like a diamond, shining in all your hard-pressed glory. The viewing angle determines the color and intensity reflecting what’s inside.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

When Writing Love Scenes—the Eyes Have It

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

Ah, February. Somewhere between January’s frigid days and March’s warming trend, nature stirs from her winter rest, and our hearts turn to love. Store windows lure us in with dangling red hearts. Men of all ages line up at grocery store check-outs waiting to purchase a bouquet of flowers. The pull of love is so irresistible that it has the power to compel a level-headed person to step out of the ordinary into it’s charming embrace.

Just how does a writer describe this phenomenon called love?  I contend, it has to start with the eyes.

Friday, February 16, 2018

How Authors Can Build An Indie Empire—How You Advertise Matters

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

*Disclaimer from Traci. This series is about following rules. I know that indies don’t have to follow rules. That’s the whole point of being indie. But indies who pay attention to what rich and famous authors do, have a much better shot at fame and riches.*

Have you ever heard of a loss leader? The grocery store has 18 eggs for just 75 cents! Limit 3! You would never pass up that deal, even though you are clever and know it’s just a trap to get you to come into the store and buy a bunch of stuff marked up enough to make up the difference in the cost of the eggs.

This is what you have to do with your books. But how do you do it?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2018 Emerging Publishing Trends Aro/Ace

Edie here. This is a difficult post to share and was difficult for Cyle to write. However, we cannot hide our heads in the sand when it comes to these issues. How we choose to address them (or not) in our writing is a personal matter. But we must stay informed. Please read this post with this in mind and share your thanks to Cyle for being brave enough to address this issue. 

2018 Emerging Publishing Trends Aro/Ace
by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Following the overall cultural sway of 2017, the publishing industry-at-large made a heavy push for LGBTQIA+ characters and authors. This trend was a continuation of 2015-2016 initiatives that began at a large number of publishing houses and imprints.

But every trend doesn’t last forever. Companies are still searching for diversity amongst their stories and authors, but 2018 has seen a significant foray in Aro/Ase characters, plots, and authors. This is not a new concept as some favorite characters in popular culture and media are generally recognized to be Aro/Ase.  Some of the more well-known characters associated with Aro/Ase are Queen Elsa (Frozen), Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory), and the doctors from Dr. Who. Many of J.K. Rowling’s character in Harry Potter also display some Aro/Ase characteristics.s

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

3 Tips for Faith-Based Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

“12 Markets for Faith-based Writers.”

The title of the article drew me in. I am always looking for new markets to write for, particularly magazine markets.

I quickly followed the link, which took me to a site that, indeed, listed markets for faith-based writers. But it didn’t take me long to find that I was unqualified to write for any of them. Why?

Looking down the list I discovered opportunities to write for five different faiths. The problem was none of them were my faith.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tips to Keep Your Readers Reading

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

J. R. Ewing heard a noise outside his office door. He walked into the hallway and BOOM! Shot. Twice. This was the season ender for the 1980 television show, Dallas. America was taken back when they realized two things.   1) Was J. R. Ewing dead? 2) Who shot him?

That closing scene was every writers dream come true . . . having the viewer/reader hungry for more.

Fiction is the most read genre in the country. Not only do authors vie for a spot on the fiction shelves of a bookstore, bigger yet, they vie for the reader’s attention. Thanks to the world of technology and media bumping up a viewer’s expectations, writers must step up the pace to draw the reader in.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Use Social Media to Get More Value From a Writing Conference

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

That time of year is upon us. Writers everywhere are making plans to attend writing conferences. But in the midst of your preparation, not miss out on valuable connections that can more than double what you get out of these events.

Many writers have the mistaken idea that social networking is only beneficial online. Or that it only helps when you can’t be at an event. Not true.

While it’s true that social networking can help you plug in when you’re not at a conference or event—many miss the benefits of networking online before and during the conference.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In the Shadow of Words

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

It’s been a while since I’ve written—since I followed words across the page as they made their way to wherever they were headed. I’ve missed their shadow and walking in it. They break ground for me, sheltering me from the hot, harsh wild of uncertain terrain. My place behind them is cool and smooth, a place of comfort and security.

Do you see your words this way? 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Beautiful Things and Joy

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

You’ve heard the saying just as often as I have: Stop and smell the roses.

This week I stopped and looked at the roses sitting on my kitchen counter … over and over and over again.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Self-Publishing—A Way to Preserve Those Family Stories

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

For many of us, it’s not until after our parents, grandparents or elderly friends have died and taken their stories with them that we think of all the things we wished we’d asked about. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Enjoyment of Writing

by Del Duduit @DelDuduit

When I put my thoughts down on paper, it makes me appreciate any moment or situation better.

I can understand circumstances in a different way I never before considered. At times, I even change my mind on a few issues, or at least I see the other side from another perspective.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Reach Your Writing Goals Using Creativity

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

It’s February. The bubbly optimism of “This year I’m going to succeed at _________ because I have the perfect plan” has worn off. Whether it’s snow days with the kids, pressure from a job, family obligations, or one of a thousand other life happens moments, the road to our goals in never smooth. This is when we face a choice: give up or get creative.

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Different Perspective on Social Media for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that’s involved in being a writer today. Not only do we have to write well, we’re also responsible for making sure we have an audience for what we write.

We’ve been told it's important to:
  • Have a platform
  • Keep the numbers growing
  • Build valuable connections
  • Schedule webinars
  • Share memes
  • Start podcasts
  • Blog every week
  • Stay active on social media

The list goes on and we get buried deeper under the weight of all our responsibilities—especially with social media and marketing.

Before we give in to weariness and discouragement we need to stop, and think about why we’re here.

Why do we do what we do? Yes, we want to earn a living, but money isn’t the main reason the majority of us have chosen to be a writer.

We do this because we heard God speak…maybe not in an audible voice…but we heard and answered His call.

Because of the avalanche of expectations, some of us are in danger of missing His voice. We want to honor His call, His willingness to issue an invitation to join Him in His work.

We find ourselves in a miserable no-mans-land between ministry and marketing.

But maybe we’re not as far from God’s call as we think we are.

I challenge you to take a look at social media from a different perspective.

I propose that we might have been looking at things upside down. We’re not doing social media to promote our message, or sell our books, or even build a following.

What if social media IS the call… or at least part of the call. What if this isn’t all about us, but about opening ourselves up, putting ourselves out there, taking chances and building bridges BECAUSE GOD HAS A PLAN?

What social media isn’t:
  • Mass marketing
  • A running commercial
  • A chance to toot my own horn

Instead, social media is a chance to connect with like-minded people WITHOUT the barrier of location.

It’s a chance to share value, spread truth, show love. It’s God’s way of building bridges, meeting needs, and changing the world…one glorious update at a time.

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

God is perfect with His Plan, Preparation, and Place
  • in His plan for us
  • in His preparation of us
  • where in time He has placed us

It’s no mistake that we were born in this place and time. We have a responsibility to learn how to use the tools that surround us.

Beyond that, God’s word is clear that we are called to be a light in the dark. There’s no place darker than social media. We know that, we’ve seen that through past few years.

He told us to go out into the world. Folks, that includes the World Wide Web.

He warned us that the world hated Him and it would hate us too. Is there any wonder that social media is hard?

The important thing for us to focus on the is the fact that for the first time ever, we can reach the world without leaving home. No wonder the enemy wants to convince us it’s too hard, too meaningless, too much work. He’s scared of what God can do with a few committed believers willing to make a difference through the tools He’s given us.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Beware How You Yourself

\by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

As a writer, I love words. In fiction, I love finding just the right words for my character to use when they speak to each other. 

But one thing I discovered.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

5 Things a Writer Can Dig Up in an Obituary

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

One morning, while I was in college, back in the day when phones hung on walls, I joined my father at the breakfast table for our daily ritual of reading the paper.

He looked over and gave me a smirk. “You’re still reading the comics?”

I looked at his section, the obituaries. I wanted to say, See your name? Instead, I said, “It’s better than being depressed from reading that.”

Oh, the folly of youth.

Friday, February 2, 2018

3 Ways to Put Creative Processes for Writing Into Practice

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

Yesterday, Lynn Blackburn reviewed Light the Dark…Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process. If you missed it, here's the link to A Book For Writers to Challenge & Inspire. 

As I read the book (I confess, I’m not quite finished), I considered ways to personally apply their wisdom to my own writing projects. Today, I’ll share some of those ideas along with practical ways to put them into practice.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Book for Writers to Challenge & Inspire

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’m not sure where I first heard about Light the Dark - Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process. I do know that I thought it sounded great and I popped it into my Amazon cart without much more thought.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

19 Things to Remember When the Writing Life Gets Tough

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

A writer’s journey is full of ups and downs. Sometimes we’re on top of the world—the words flow and the opportunities abound. Other times, well, not so much. 

Everyone who reads this blog knows I preach over and over that we can’t do this writing thing alone. But it’s hard to know what exactly what we need to do when difficult times hit. 

Today I’m going to share some things to remember when the going gets tough.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

February Idea Starters for Writers—Holidays, Special Days & Downright Crazy Days

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. These are just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also a fun writing prompt idea. 

In addition, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially when two contrasting holidays fall on the same date. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Facebook Changes, Terminology, and Best Practices Screencast

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As I've shared in earlier posts, a lot of things have changed on Facebook in the past couple of weeks. This screencast is going to help writers continue to engage effectively on this valuable platform.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Let Us Spray—The Importance of a Good Foundation

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Sometimes I’m tempted to take some time off from hairspray. Sometime when I’m planning to go nowhere. And I mean absolutely nowhere. I think I would call it a spray-cation.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tips for Connecting Your Readers to Your Book

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

Last week I was meeting with a new client, and he asked me a powerful question. “Cathy, I basically know what concepts I want to share in my nonfiction book. But, how do I get my target reader to first buy it, then read it, then use it?”

What a great question! Aren’t those the issues we’re all trying to resolve as nonfiction writers?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Launch Your Writing with an Effective Query Letter

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

You’ve done it—you’ve finished your article, devotion, or poem. Now what? How do you get it out of the computer and into the hands of readers? Second only to excellent writing, the key to publication is knowing how to write an effective query letter.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to Build Exciting Characters into Your Novel

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

One comment I hear frequently from readers is how much they like my characters, especially my secondary characters. I’m often asked how I find them and develop them or what techniques do I use to create them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Evaluating Writing Goals at the Start of a New Year

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Sometimes evaluating our professional writing life leaves us perplexed. We understand the value of analyzing progress, but how do we move forward? 

Do we continue with the same social media, marketing, promotion, and branding strategy as 2017, or do we explore new or enhanced methods that have the potential to raise our visibility? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

When Writers Struggle with Social Media Commitment Issues

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all know it’s important for writers to have a solid presence online. 

But many of us struggle with Social Media commitment issues. We have good intentions, but our follow-through may be less than stellar. 

So today I’d like to share some tips to help you stay on track.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How Authors Can Build an Indie Empire—What You Write Matters

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

*disclaimer from Traci. This series is about following rules. I know that indies don’t have to follow rules. That’s the whole point of being indie. But indies who pay attention to what rich and famous authors do, have a much better shot at fame and riches.*

Russell Blake taught me his guaranteed method to building an audience for your work. It starts very simply: Give readers exactly what they want.

I could end the blog there, but like me, you might need help figuring out what readers want.

What Readers Want

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Battle Against Facebook Engagement Baiting

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Facebook is one of the primary social media tools for authors. It doesn’t matter if an author is self-published or traditional published, Facebook provides significant opportunities for growing and sustaining platform while supporting and launching book sales.

But things are about to change!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

6 Ways to Make PRAYER a Priority in Your Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Our Father God is faithful to hear the prayers of His children. And His writers. Just as God answers prayers about health, income, life’s trials, and daily surprises, He hears the prayers of those who seek to encourage others through the written word.

Do you need some “punch” and pizzazz in your wording? Do you need perseverance to finish a book or create a book proposal? Do you need some help to know how to edit what you’ve written? Do you want people’s hearts and minds to be touched forever by your writing? One of the keys to effective writing, and an effective ministry through our words, is P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Recent Facebook Changes—Breaking It Down for Writers & Authors

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Some birthday present, huh? January 11 (my birthday) will definitely be one for the books when it comes to Facebook changes.

By now I’m sure most of you have heard about the Facebook announcement made that day. Mark Zuckerberg has rocked our social media world with the projected changes that have already begun rolling out.

Today, I’m going to try to help you understand how this affects us as writers and authors.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Guard Your Social Media Reputation

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

We all love to blow off steam and when Friday rolls around, most of us are counting the seconds til closing hour. Then, bliss! Over sixty hours to spend however we want.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Seeing the Small Joys

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt 

I can spend my days so focused on the one big thing that I hope will ensure me happiness … fame … or accolades … or some sort of self-satisfaction that creates an “I’m enough” feeling — however fleeting …

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tips to Start Your Own Cyber Small-Group for Writers

The Light Brigade: Our Own Cyber Small-Group for Writers

by Marcia Moston @MarciaMoston

Many of us would agree with writing greats Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, and Ernest Hemingway in saying “writing is a lonely job.” Some days, apart from the snoring pooch at our feet and a few quick forays into Facebook feeds, the only people we talk to are the imaginary ones in our heads. And sometimes even they fail to show up. Even though we don’t see immediate results, we remind ourselves we aren’t being non-productive. But on those days when all we have to show after hours at the computer is a hundred-word paragraph, we’re tempted to think that person who suggested we should get a real job was right after all. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reduce Blogging Stress with These 12 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Blogging is a valuable tool for writers wanting to grow and connect with an audience. It provides us with the opportunity to go deeper than a quick social media post. It also gives our readers a place to hangout with us in cyber-space. 

But anyone who has done much blogging knows that it can also be stressful. These are my tips for reducing that stress.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

An Invitation to the 2018 Carolina Christian Writers Conference

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

How is 2018 shaping up for you? Even though we are only a two weeks into this new year, I am finding refreshment in viewing a calendar with a little extra space, at least for now. I love feeling like the slate is clean and I have a second chance to meet all my goals and accomplish all the things God has for me.

One of the things I always make sure to put on my calendar is at least one writers conference for personal growth as a writer. Writers need to take the next step in their writing expertise and learn what is new in the publishing field.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Writing with Emotion

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

I still get chills when I hear those words. Something inside me churns. I scoot a little closer to the television. As the stars shoot past me on the screen, I am drawn into the next adventure of the Enterprise. Excitement. Anticipation. A touch of anxiety—all emotions set into play by the author.

The joy in reading comes when an author tweaks the reader’s emotion. It doesn’t always have to be earth shattering—but it does need to spark an element of sensation.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tips for Freelance Writers: Dos & Don't for Conducting a Sports Interview

Edie here. Today I'm excited to be able to introduce you to a man who's become a good friend. Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and a master of the sports interview. Besides the value you'll see in the post below, I recommend you follow him on social media and through his blog!

Dos & Don'ts for Conducting a Sports Interview
by Del Duduit @DelDuduit 

Over the past several months, I have conducted interviews for three projects currently in the works. Each one has required me to gain personal access to famous athletes. This has not been easy, but it has been fun.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Past Failure or Future Triumph?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. Philippians 3:13-14

Publishing is a tough business. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Standing Strong During Writing Adversity

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

It’s the first of a new year. Many of us have spent a lot of time the past few weeks eating too much Christmas goodies and thinking about our writing, looking back at the last year at our achievements and missed goals and planning ahead for new goals.

Friday, January 5, 2018

6 Creative Ways to Boost Your Writing in 2018

by Cathy Baker @CathySBaker

“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.”
Twyla Tharp

Some believe we’re either born with the creative gene or we’re not. Truth is, it’s a moot point. God created us in His image so it seems likely that we all have some measure of creativity pulsing through our veins. The challenge is to transfer the creativity in our veins to paper.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Word Crawl - A Creative Way to Make Your Word Count Goal

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I don’t know what kind of writer you are, but I’m the kind of writer that prefers to have at least an hour, preferably a couple of hours, to focus on my story. In a perfect world this would happen every time I sat down to write.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

No New Year’s Resolutions for Me!

by Sarah (Sally) Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Good-bye, 2017! Hello, 2018!

Are you, like me, being inundated with left-brained people—well-intentioned people!—who want to help you set goals and get organized for the new year? Gosh, my email inbox, and even my post office box, is full of charts and calendars and great ideas for 2018.

I say bah, humbug! Oh, wait. That’s for Christmas, not New Year’s Day. Maybe Doesn’t Work for Me is better.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

12 Quotes to Inspire Your Writing Journey

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

It’s a brand new year, full of possibility and promise. We know that 2018 can be amazing, but how do we harness its potential? How do we make 2018 the year our writing grows and soars?