Write!

Texas writers: GREAT conference to attend

I’m excited to be keynoting for the Roaring Lambs Writers Conference on July 19th. It’s chock full of amazing information and terrific speakers. If you live anywhere near Dallas, this conference is comprehensive AND a bargain. Make plans to attend. Click here to register. Cost is $79 and it includes lunch. Yay!

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Why Writers Should Think Like Plumbers

I recently wrote this on my Facebook page:

I think a lot. (Does this surprise you?) And one thing I can’t seem to resolve is this idea of good ambition and selfish ambition. I know a few people who tend toward Me-Monster-ness, and, because of that, I fear I’ll become that too.

The stress is this: I am an author. I am a speaker. I have to market, let others know I’m available to teach/write/encourage. And I do this. I’ve framed my marketing by using Seth Godin’s tribes metaphor. Instead of always talking about me, I view it more…

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Dream of publishing your book?

Hello writer-dreamer! You’ve had this book in your heart and head for years, and you’ve finally spilled your guts on paper (or better said, in pixels and bytes). Perhaps it’s been stuck in a cyber drawer for years, knocking to get out, but your fear has kept you back. Or maybe something more practical like boring old money.

Because, yeah, it costs money to produce a book–even in today’s favorable self publishing climate. To give your book baby the best birth, you need a few things:

  • An awesome, non-dorky, professionally designed cover.
  • A substantive edit by a real-live editor whose job it…

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10 Things New Writers MUST Know

The pun is intended as you look at my latest writing royalty check. It cost someone nearly the same amount of postage to send the $0.70 check.

But I DID deposit the less-than-a-dollar sum. Because I earned it.

So many new writers I meet are wide-eyed and have great dreams of being published and make a living with their words. Many have no idea the journey it takes to become a successful writer, meaning you earn a living as a writer.

I’ve been at this occupation well over twenty years, but have only earned income for the last 9. And even then,…

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13 Quotes that Changed the Way I View my Writing Career

The Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom is a must-watch for every struggling writer. I promise you will be inspired.

The first time I watched it, I nodded my head, said a few amens, and felt understood as an artist who doesn’t always feel like a success. Watching these background singers walk such a similar journey as mine gave me hope. I am not alone in this artistic/fame/success/money struggle, and neither are you.

Then I watched the documentary a second time. And I feverishly wrote down quotes. Because these quotes are GOLD folks. Not only…

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Ministry Fear: What if What We Want Isn’t What God Wants?

Last weekend, I rested. Oddly, resting to me involves digging in the dirt, cleaning out the yard, hearing the birds chirp as I messy myself with soil and worms and plants.

This rest involved pruning back dead wood.

I realized something quite startling as I clipped dead branches: the dead ones were easier to snap than the live ones. The dead is easier to prune than the alive. And when you prune back the dead, the alive has the best chance to flourish.

In that moment, I remembered Jesus’ words in John 15 about pruning, how the Father prunes back our…

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The Typos that Humiliate

So, yeah.

There are typos in Not Marked.

This happened in my other books (traditionally published!) so I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does. I wracked my brain over this, had hired editors and went through the book with what I thought was a fine tooth comb. To no avail.

The good news is that they are fixable with the next printing. The bad news? I feel a bit small and dorky and dumb.

Ever felt that way? That your mistake is what will define you? That others will judge because you didn’t get that task just quite right? That…

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I couldn’t believe one note would mean so much.

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I wrote it last fall as the leaves tinged yellow and red. A hunch of a word from Jesus. I made an observation about a family, how well their children seemed to marry well (in the longevity sense), stuck with their spouses in thick and thin. It was such a simple thought.

You were great parents to have such faithful children.

I could have dismissed the thought, could have relegated to the trash can in my mind, deleting it forever. But it niggled me. Stayed with me.

Why don’t you tell them?

I decided to…

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Uncaged Words of the Week

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 Excited to round-up some of my favorites from this week to share with you!

My Favorite Blog Posts:

CHALLENGING READS:

A terribly sad, but beautifully wrought post about a church, a sex offender, and the aftermath. Shawn Smucker writes, “I will plead with God that peace rains down on the family who has entered the nightmare, and I will pray that they will find their way as best they can. I pray that they still know, deep down, that they are good parents. Because they are. I will pray for my friend,…

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What I Love and Hate About Fiction

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Have you ever picked up a book and put it down? Why? Have you ever read a novel passage over and over again, relishing the language to such an extent that you cry of the sheer beauty of it? I’ve done both.

Why I put books down:

  • The book is boring or over done. (Why is it that I seem to pick up the same book, only it has a different title, different author? While formula might be blessedly predictable, I am weary of it. Give me a Life of Pi or…

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