• Writerly Wednesdays

    Write Bravely: Dare to Live Your Dream

    “Writing begins and ends with loving Jesus.” Gregory Coles Idahope Christian Writer’s Conference taught us to write bravely. We learned we can break the industry formula or master writing forms with conviction. We not only write bravely but also edit and market with confidence. Greg Coles offered six powerful thoughts on bravery. To write bravely, we must remember that our vulnerability as writers is a gift to believers and ourselves. Our writing comes from the heart; thus, it begins and ends with loving Jesus. Write bravely! Not all views expressed are those of every member of ICW.

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Writer’s Rendezvous: How to Get the Most From a Writer’s Conference

    Idahope Christian Writer’s Conference is on the horizon! All the behind-the-scenes work is about to come to fruition, and we’re so thankful to those dedicated to ICW who put on the conference so we writers can stumble from our caves and socialize for a short time. Even the most hardened writing hermit joins other scribes to fellowship and connect at conferences. I’m glad you’re going to be there with us. Here are a few tips writers have learned to maximize your conference experience over the years. Before You Go When You’re There After the Conference Writing conferences are an inspiring time for writers. I hope you enjoy Idahope’s conference as…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Values and Doubt: The Writer’s Glory

    My daughter searched her purse, pulled out her phone, and glanced through her messages. “Ah, here it is. I wrote it down last night.” I set down my fork and sat back. “Lay your wisdom on me.” “Okay. It just seemed like something you might need during hard times.” “Interesting. Sure, let me hear it.” She glanced over her screen. “I’m not sure how helpful it is.” “Won’t know until you tell me.” “Because sometimes thoughts that come at night aren’t always brilliant.” “And sometimes they are.” I sipped my iced tea. “But we’ll never know until you tell me.” “The trouble is, I don’t know if anyone will like…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Generate Your Author Voice: The Wordsmith’s Feud

    At a writer’s conference, I spotted a famous author who had five minutes before attendees joined her at the dinner table. In her hands, she clutched an E-book reader. I peered over her shoulder and saw a vast array of titles. She snatched a few moments to read a couple of pages. I’m happy to report I didn’t interrupt her. However, she was reading her colleague’s work, her competition’s book. Interesting. At another conference, I sat at a table with famous authors whose combined sales were over 50 million copies. No, I didn’t dare speak. However, their conversation circled books they’ve read and writers who know their craft. All were…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Fuel the Writer: Confidence from a Conference

    I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “Isn’t that the best book you’ve ever heard about?” I read the Optimist’s first chapter and, well…not so much. I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “I know it’s not very good, but I wrote it and decided it would be a shame if no one read it, so could you maybe take a peek at the first chapter? You will probably loathe it, though. Detest it. Abhor it.” I read the walking Thesaurus’s entire manuscript and couldn’t put it down. Both kinds of people were looking for feedback, and both…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Build the Heart of a Writer

    On my property is a miniature barn. In the darkest corner, an old chest sits. If someone found the chest, the hinges would creak as they opened the lid. Inside are stacks of papers. Each document is covered in secret codes. Except they’re not codes. That’s my handwriting.  Those pages record the secret paths to publication and writing success, all the information I gathered from writing conferences. In hindsight, the research wasn’t a hidden path, and the information didn’t give me writing success. I needed the information for context and scope. Through the conferences, I learned the language of the publishers. So, what is the secret to publication? What is your journey…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Truth About Authors’ Characters

    We’re writers, so, characters are important. In fact, our characters are so real that our spouses are jealous, parents are confused, children are impatient, and siblings avoid us in the hallway. Characters hold immense significance. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the absurdity of our situation. Our imaginary friends, while captivating, should not overshadow our real relationships, which are equally, if not more, important.  Here are a few practical tips for managing the coexistence of the real and imaginary worlds within your mind. Stay calm, especially when you’ve had a eureka moment for your character. Jumping up in a church missions meeting and yelling, “So that’s why your promiscuous behavior…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Real Cowboys Don’t Share

    In the early days of ICW, my first novel attempt included a scene where two cowboys met in a café. They each ordered coffee but decided they didn’t need a whole cinnamon roll, so they split one. Peter Leavell’s pithy reaction? Real cowboys don’t share cinnamon rolls!!! Years later, that line still makes me laugh. But there you have it—six words that explain why we writers need critique groups. Thanks to my husband’s job transfers, I’ve participated in several critique groups around the West. I’ve reviewed all kinds of raw writing and submitted my share. In the midst of the good, the bad and the ugly—my submissions included—I have learned…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Envy: Destroyer of Worlds

    The writer’s journey is an individual path. Comparing your career to other writers is dangerous because envy creeps into your heart and threatens to hold you back. Here are three warnings and three points of encouragement as you travel your writing path. Don’t:1.  Compare careers. Writing journeys vary. Your unique experience is yours alone, and your trials and circumstances show in your work, creating a work of passion that only one person could write—you. Comparisons are entirely fruitless, for if the experience is different, then the outcomes must be distinct. Of course, you will have different characters and stories, a unique book cover that doesn’t look like theirs, and various fans.…