• 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

    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

    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.…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Show and Tell in Your Novel

    In our novels, we share forbidden secrets and mists of the heart. How? My best friend from high school, Brandon, lived five miles from my house. He was considered a bit of a loose cannon, and his exploits are legendary in my family. His car, The Blue Beast, was as famous as he is. When he opened his car door (the lock didn’t need a key) and turned the ignition (which also didn’t need a key), we could hear the engine roar from our house. One night, I hosted a sleepover, and as young men are wont to do, we craved food at 2:00 AM. Brandon and my brother decided…

  • Monday Meditations

    Move On, Dear Writer

    Recently, I listened to a masterclass from author Dan Brown. He mentioned you can get to a point in the editing process where you edit out the “magic” from the first few drafts. The excitement, and the fire—the thing that made the story special. Similarly, I once heard in a class from Robin Lee Hatcher (February 2024 Monthly Meeting Speaker!) that there comes a point when you need to stop researching your historical and write it. Because you can research forever… especially if, like her, you enjoy research. Participants in critique groups can polish the first 30% of their story for years, even a decade, but never finish a manuscript.…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Change Can Work Wonders

    Change the format you use for your writing, and watch it work wonders. During my writing journey for my first book, I initially struggled with the format. I began with my journal entries, and collaborated with my sister via Google Docs for long-distance editing. I could see her edits, and I made the necessary changes in my manuscript. We spent hours editing the raw material, and then creating the manuscript in the form of dated journal entries. One day, a divine revelation struck: Transform the manuscript into a story. My challenge was to figure out how, especially as my sister continued to edit journal pages. One day, I ran across…