Friday, December 19, 2014

Are You Hoarding Your Words?

by Bruce Brady @BruceDBrady

We writers are a pretty insecure bunch.
We writers are a pretty insecure bunch. No matter how accomplished we may be, we always worry about what others will think of our work—especially our family and friends. In fact, I suspect there are at least a few pretty good writers out there who gave up all together because of some cutting criticism delivered by a well-meaning confidante.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Fast Track to Getting Published—A New Conference for Writers

There are myriad educational conferences available to writers of all experience levels. And most are good. But which is the best for you?

While many conferences offer a great number of expert teachers, they most often have a large number of attendees. This type presents at least two major challenges. First, with many class offerings, you can find yourself running from class to class and feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Second, class sizes are usually large, making it difficult, if not impossible for you to spend any individual time with teachers. Yet, they usually offer the most bang for your buck.

There are smaller conferences with a limited number of attendees. These are better for someone seeking a greater opportunity for personalized guidance. However, many of these conferences come with a high price tag.

My own experience taught me that the situation is one that offers a low student to teacher ratio. This gives you the best of both conference types. It allows you to learn from an expert faculty and affords ample opportunities to discuss your individual needs. And I’ve learned of just such a conference.

It’s called Weekend with The Writers, and takes place in Greenville, South Carolina on March 20-21. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s path is a journey of a lifetime—one fraught with discovery and discouragement. We can avoid some of its pitfalls if we define that path early on. Today, I want to share some insights into my writing journey and the markers I look for to help me stay at least in the vicinity of the path.

This time of year, with Christmas and New Year's still looming close behind, my thoughts turn backward. I use this time to evaluate the past year and prepare for the next one. I've given up New Year's Resolutions completely and find the freedom from those expectations (and failures) a major relief. 

But I have implemented something else instead. My husband and I spend some time looking back at our spiritual markers for the past year. We evaluate them individually, as a couple and as a family. I also look at them in regard to my past year as a writer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Social Media Monday—Basic Social Media Strategies for 2015

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Last week my post on Facebook Changes in 2015 caused quite a stir. That really wasn’t my intent. My purpose was to give all of us enough advance notice to make some wise social media decisions while we watch how everything settles out.

Today I’m going to share several social media strategies to deal with upcoming changes. Most are applicable no matter what your specific circumstances.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Voice of Love

by Sarah Van Diest

Making sense of trials often takes time. Why do we feel the way we feel? Is a question we can often only partly answer in the middle of feeling it. And Why can’t we fix what’s wrong with us? Can be even harder to answer. Hindsight is clearer most of the time, if not all of the time.

Not long ago, I basically stopped eating. Each day my caloric intake decreased. My typical daily allowance was somewhere around 1500 prior to this decline, but by the end of the third week I was down to about 300 calories a day. If a banana has 65 calories then that’s where I was at the end of 4 weeks.

A dangerous trend.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Discover What Works for You

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

"Life is trying things to see if they work." Ray Bradbury

I like the freedom inherent in today’s quote:
Life is about trying things … and maybe they work, and maybe they don’t.

Life isn’t about getting it right the first time. And there are some seasons in our lives when it isn’t about getting it right most of the time.

Life is about discovering what works for you.

So here’s a story for you:
I went to breakfast yesterday with a few writing friends. One of those friends was an early writing mentor. This is how my  former mentor  complimented me on Somebody Like You, my latest novel: Beth, I hope it’s okay for me to say this, but Somebody Like You is better than Catch a Falling Star. (Catch a Falling Star is the novel I wrote before SLY.)

My response: I hope so!

I try to up my game with every book I write. I want to discover what is working for me as a writer—and improve on it. And I also try to figure out what isn’t working—and fix it in the next book I write.

I wish I had learned the whole “how’s it working for you?” principle sooner in my life—instead of operating on the “let’s pretend I’ve got it all together and aim for perfectionism” theory. When I allow myself to learn—and leave room for both success and failure—then I grow in an atmosphere of grace.

In Your Words: So what have you tried lately—and discovered “Wow! This worked!” And what have you tried … and it didn’t work? And what did you learn from those experiences?


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’Words.

Friday, December 12, 2014

What I Learned about being a Writer from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I always struggle with blogging balance around the holidays. I want to join in the fun, but I get a little tired of all the non-writing posts I read everywhere. Today I want to share my version of a compromise—Top 10 Things I Learned About being a Writer From Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

I love all the Christmas specials that come around every year during the holidays, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has always been one of my favorites. I identify with his lack of self-confidence, his heart for his friends and especially his gumption when Santa called on him to step up and guide the sleigh that night. 

And it occurs to me that, as writers, there are a lot of valuable lessons in this holiday tale.