Tag Archives | Christian writers

Take Heed!

This month marks the eighth anniversary of my writer’s blog: A Writer’s Way of Seeing. At this time last year, I offered writers advice for the coming year. I was going to offer a new list for 2016, but in reading what I wrote last year, I really think the same advice applies. Also, now that I’m an agent with WordServe Literary, I’ve picked up numerous new readers. So for new readers, and as a refresher for my regular readers, here’s a slightly edited version of last year’s blog called “Take Charge!” Maybe for this year the title should be “Take Heed!” because we’re all a year closer to our real deadline when we no longer will be writing. As we’re in the opening weeks of 2016 I want to offer my yearly exhortation for the new year. We’re all getting older and time’s a’ wasting, folks. If we want […]

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Why I Need a [Good] Agent…and So Do You

Most writers I meet at conferences or who send me proposals or queries are unagented. Right now, so am I. I’ve had two very good ones in the past and I’m sure I’ll find another one in the future (hopefully soon). I’m sure some writers wonder why I need an agent. After all, doesn’t an agent just find the right publisher for your project and then simply help negotiate the contract? Why would an editor who already knows the publishing houses and their editors, and understands the basics of a contract need an agent? That question reveals a lack of understanding about what a good agent does. Yes, he or she helps find the right publisher for your proposal and also negotiates a favorable contract. But there’s more involved than just those two basic tasks. I’d like to dwell on three of the often overlooked talents of a good agent. […]

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Take Charge!

As we’re in the final weeks of 2014 I want to offer my yearly exhortation for 2015. We’re all getting older and time’s a’ wasting, folks. If we want to succeed as writers, we need to take charge of our writing career. In fact, that will be my rally cry for you in 2015: “Take charge of your writing career!” Here are seven suggestions on how to do that. Stay prayed up. Presumably by now you’ve confirmed in your own mind that God has called you to be a writer. Part of that calling is, of course, to write. But for a Christian, that’s only half the calling. The other half is to be writing the things that are within God’s calling of you as a writer. Mostly, we find out those thing through prayer. Expectant prayer. Ask God specifically to guide you in your writing pursuits. Make that a […]

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Questions from Roxanne Henke

Today I continue answering some questions you’ve asked. Roxanne Henke, a wonderful author I’ve had the pleasure of editing, asked three good questions. 1. How can a writer stay motivated when discouraged?   Rejection is always hard. You pour your best efforts into your manuscript and hope for a positive response and instead you get a dull rejection letter or e-mail, often MONTHS after you submitted it. Here’s what I suggest.  First, just know that virtually all writers have faced rejection. You can’t take it personally. Second, if you know that God has called you to write, you must take your confidence from that calling and not allow rejection to rob you of your destiny as a writer. Third, always have more than one project out to an editor.  If one comes back rejected, you can still have hope for the others that are still under consideration.  Finally, remember that you’re […]

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Into the Toolbox It Goes

Do you ever get confused by the sometimes contradictory advice you hear from successful writers? Some may say “write every day!” while others say “write when you have something to say!” Or you may hear “Write the whole thing before you edit. Just get it on paper.” Then you’ll read about a bestselling author who labors over every page before moving to the next one. And we’ve all heard about “pantsers versus plotters.” Pantsers write as they go without knowing exactly what comes next in their story. Plotters outline and then follow their outline with only minor variations. So what’s a writer to do? I think the best way to look at it is to consider the various “rules” about writing as tools in a toolbox. Every time you learn a new “trick” to writing that has worked well for someone else, go ahead and toss it in your writer’s […]

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Thinking (and Praying) about 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about 2014. Maybe it’s because my new book, Power in the Promises, is coming out January 4 and I want to be ready to promote it. I’ll be starting a new blog and will do whatever else God has for me (I would love to some radio). I’m quite excited about the new blog. It will begin in a few weeks, along with new website. Not to worry, I’ll let you know. My thoughts about 2014 prompt me to ask you: what are your plans for next year? It’s not too soon to plan. You simply can’t wait until the holidays and expect to be ready to hit the ground running the first week of January. Here then are some questions I’m asking myself and I want you to ask them of yourself too. 1. How has my mission as a writer changed in […]

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I Hate It When That Happens

Simply because I can’t think of a better topic, I’m going to vent about the top ten [current] things that make me crazy. Editorially and authorially (is that a word?) speaking, that is. The top ten things that drive me crazy personally are better left to a good therapist. 1. I hate it when good books—I mean really good books don’t sell. I won’t name names, but some of the best authors I know have lesser sales (in some cases far lesser) than mediocre writers. At times like this, I want to throttle the entire book-buying public. 2. I hate it when writers with potential won’t listen to good advice. When I say “with potential,” that means they’re not yet good writers, but might be if they would work on their craft. But no, these writers I’m talking about think their writing is just fine and that it’s my poor […]

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What’s an Introverted Author to Do?

Last night on Facebook I posted this follow-up to a previous post I had made about my disdain for long introductions to non-fiction books: A few of you will have seen my post a few days ago about the dreaded 15-page introduction in the book I’m reading. Well, I made it through fine. The book is called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I took the 20-question test and answered 18 of the questions as an introvert would. My fellow writers will get a kick out of this quote from the book: “To advance our careers, we’re expected to promote ourselves unabashedly….The authors whose books get published–once accepted as a reclusive breed–are now vetted by publicists to make sure they’re talk-show ready. (You wouldn’t be reading this book if I hadn’t convinced my publisher that I was enough of a pseudo-extrovert to promote it”). […]

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The Surrendered Writing Career

For Christian writers, it’s almost a given that prayer is vital to success. In fact, if one does pray diligently about his or her writing career, there can be no such thing as failure. This doesn’t mean that publication is a result of prayer, only that success as God defines it is assured. Success to God may be simply that you have written something that, though it may never be published, it was still important for you to write. This surrender through prayer of our writing career can sustain us during the bleak months or years when all we hear is “no” from publishers. Just remember that one “yes” can cancel out about a thousand “no’s.” If you’re in the bleak times now, then take heart. If God has called you to write and you live daily in that truth, God will do with your writing what He intends to […]

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The Tingle

One of the most interesting aspects of the creative life as it pertains to writing books is something beyond craft itself. Let me see if I can explain it. A few weeks ago we asked Harvest House author Mindy Starns Clark how she was coming on her Titanic novel (Echoes of Titanic) and she replied that all was well because she had gotten “the tingle.” The tingle, she went on to explain, is that point (usually several drafts in) at which the characters, the story, and the research all seem to come together and she knows that, yes, this is all going to turn out just fine. A book IS being born. I love the word “tingle” to describe this sensation an author feels. Of course, other authors experience it in different ways or have different names for it. Another great Harvest House author is BJ Hoff. She says: “I […]

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