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by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

While I was beseeching our Lord to-day that he would speak through me, since I could find nothing to say and had no idea how to begin to carry out the obligation laid upon me by obedience. ~St. Teresa of Avila


She was a noblewoman who lived in the 16thcentury. She chose the reclusive life of a Carmelite nun over a life of privilege and ease. She was a mystic. An author. A religious reformer. A theologian. A woman after God’s own heart. A rare beauty. And she penned lines such as those above that can take my breath away.


I don’t know about you, but there are truly times when I sit at my desk, staring at a blank screen, wondering how in the world I’m going to do that which I believe God has called me to do. Not just write and not just speak but write something or say something that has true value. A lasting effect for the kingdom of God. 

So, what do I do? 


Sometimes I take a walk. Sometimes I watch a movie … or clean a sink … or read a book … or wash a load of clothes … or listen to a majestic piece of music. Because I am … me.


And, apparently, I am not St. Teresa of Avila. When Teresa of Avila faced the same problem, she prayed. Okay, she did more than that—she beseeched our Lord. 


Beseeching is greater than a request or a simple one-liner with our eyes closed and so much more than a dramatic pounding of the fist against the table or your desk. Beseeching is asking fervently. With zeal and passion. With urgency. 


Writing for the Lord—that which we have been called to do by obedience—is serious work. Having a day or even days when the words seem stuck or an idea won’t stir isn’t unusual, so if that sounds familiar to you—about you—do not be dismayed. 


But don’t do the dishes … or read a book … or wash a load of clothes … or listen to a magnificent piece of music …


… until you beseech the Lord, knees bent, asking—pleading—“Give me your words, Lord. What shall we write today?”

TWEETABLE

Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.
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by Any Mulligan @AneMulligan

I can’t juggle. Oranges, lemons, it doesn’t matter. They all fall to the floor. I tried grapes, erroneously thinking since they are smaller, I could catch them easier. Wrong. Believe me, I’ve practiced, until the dog started chasing after the grapes. Those are bad for dogs, so I gave up my bid for a career in the circus to focus on something I can juggle.


Writing projects.


I discovered working one either one feeds my muse for the other. And all three are works of fiction—one is a script, one a novella project and the third, a full-length novel.

My “normal” is one writing project at a time. That doesn’t include blog articles. I can write blog posts or magazine articles in the midst of fiction. But when I first added a second fiction project to my already full schedule, I wondered if I could keep the characters straight and in their own world. 


Besides the writing, there is research, editing, plotting. And I had to keep them separated for each. But I did it! Even when I tossed a third project to the juggling act. 

Here are a few tips on how to keep them straight.
  • Keep simultaneous projects different if possible. I’m writing a script for an old-fashioned medicine show. It’s silly, funny, filled with alliteration and giggles. The novella is pure contemporary romance, and the novel is women’s fiction set in 1929-30. That gives me plenty of difference to keep them out of each other’s worlds.
  • Have character photos and a bullet list of personality traits handy. Using an actor’s resume as a pattern, I printed out a character’s photo with their main personality profile items on the back: past wound, the lie they believe, their GMCs and a few other defining facts about them. 
  • Assemble your cast before beginning that project. While I write in Scrivener and keep everything there, I have a physical story board for each project. I use small bulletin boards, and switch them for each project. Having their faces before me grounds me in their story.
  • Have some time of activity between projects. Fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, take a walk. Anything to close the door on the previous work before starting a new one. That allows your mind turn off one project and prepare to switch between the stories.
  • Set your hours so you have specific amounts of time to work on each project.

And always give yourself grace to change your schedule when life interrupts. That simple phrase, give yourself grace, I learned from my good friend Edie Melson. It changed my life. 


TWEETABLES



Ane Mulligan has been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. Years later, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her websiteAmazon Author pageFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestand The Write Conversation.  

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by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

It was the allotted time to sit down and write. You have perched yourself in front of the computer screen or notebook with a pen and written your fingers numb. As you wrote the piece, whether it’s a blog post, article, devo or part of your book, did you given it your best effort?


I have to confess, that there have been times in the past that I would wait until the last minute or unfortunately my mood was not conducive for productivity but I would be at a due date. I needed to finish the piece for submission and I hurried through it to catch a deadline. I threw some words down on the paper, rearranged the order to make it somewhat flow and pressed the submit button. 

Then I agonized later for the error of my ways. 


At the beginning of this year, one of my prayers was over any writing that I would do. I prayed that God would show me when my best wasn’t in a piece I felt entitled to type The End on. I asked Him to give me an unsettling about it. 


And man has He! They say, be careful what you ask for, and this applied here. There have been times where I was about to hit the submit button and my computer froze or the piece wouldn’t transfer. I was living in answered prayer. 


In order to get a handle on making sure my best work is what I published, I have come up with three checkpoints that I’ve been using this year. Maybe they will give you some help so you, too, can do the same. 


Three Checkpoints for Excellence
1. Plan your writing schedule better. What I’ve been doing is backing up my deadline for something one week earlier than when it is actually due. I guess I’m playing a little mind game with myself, but it’s working. By building margins in the deadline dates, it allows time for the words to roll around in my mind. Have a piece due on the fourth Tuesday of the month? Put it on the third Tuesday in red bold and then a different color on the true due date. This will allow time  to write the post, do what ever extra is needed—photos, references, etc.—and then read it again a day or two later. Does it feel right? Have that peace I gave it my best effort? Perfect, hit that submit button.


2. Make an attitude adjustment. Are you rehashing a snarky comment made directed at you? Family member say something hurtful? Bitter about something you don’t want to admit? This could be blocking your entire thought process, which could cause you to be writing with a sour attitude without even realizing it. Time to get up and walk away. Take a breath. Say a prayer. Maybe even make a needed phone call. 


3. File it for later.When you complete a writing piece, sit back and ask God to show you if you really applied yourself to it. If you get the feeling it’s not your best piece, do not hit delete. Make yourself a file that says, “Needs Work.” File the piece there. Pull it out on another day. Let it brew until the words start pouring into again. 

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” 
Colossians 3:23 ESV

My prayer for each of us is that we always present or post our best work wherever we have placed our words. Because remember—we want all things to be pleasing to God. 


What about you? Do you have a tip to add to those above?

TWEETABLE
Give it Your Best When You Write - @TickledPinkTam on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog:http://www.tammykarasek.com  Email: tickledpinktammy@gmail.com
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by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme


How often do we sit at our computer, ready to write, but are blocked by faraway thoughts—mindless wanderings that pull us off subject into an unfamiliar abyss. This often occurs when our world is jolted by change. Life is good. Comfortable. Then God moves us to a new place. Unfamiliar. An unknown world bereft of our knowledge and control. Life tilts away from the familiar and we become emotionally off balance. We can’t concentrate. Our mind becomes mush. We doubt our calling.


Research tells us that the average person has between 60,000 to 80,000 random thoughts per day, of which 80% are negative. Negative thoughts are often accusatory—reminders of a bad choice or a situation that we deem hopeless. They could be musings of a dream that failed to occur, despite our best efforts. Or what-if thoughts that project a scenario of darkness that has the potential to render us defenseless. Truth is often hidden by a self-imposed wall, guarded and held in place by fear. For the writer, negative thoughts have the potential to be scene stealers, in a bad way.

These spontaneous reflections are chaotic and can be repetitive. They produce inner congestion that often stands in the way of our ability to connect with the world. It is believed that this is a rather recent phenomenon that began to occur after the advent of our modern technological age and has only increased with our dependence, and often misuse, of social media. As we become glued to our computers and cell phones and our minds explode with information, much of it negative, we can take on mindless wandering.


Our thoughts have three inputs: sensory information from the world, sensory information from the body, and self-generated thoughts from our minds. That means that messages from either of these inputs affect all of our choices, from what we eat to how we spend our day, including what communication our brain sends to our body. Fight or flight. Or peace and calm. Each input competes with one another and the information most pronounced survives. If thoughts drive feelings, and we know they do, then we have the potential to self-destruct. Or overcome.


However, we need not fear. There is help. And hope. None of this takes God by surprise. Before the beginning of time, He knew us and chose when we would arrive on planet earth, and where. We are here for such a time as this. His goal is to make us into the image of His Son. That always requires yielding of self. Letting go of the picture of what you thought life would be and learning to find joy in the story you’re living.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive.” We are admonished to allow God to tear down the barriers that exist apart from His truth. And take every thought captive.


This is not always easy. But the Lord never asks His children to do the impossible. We can start by being conscious of what we are thinking. Reject any thoughts that lie about who you are, who others are, or who God is. Thoughts that make us feel hopeless, worried, or afraid are not from God and will steal creativity. Take such negative thinking to God in prayer and let Him replace your thinking with His.


By directing our minds to go deeper—to the place where God speaks, and by yielding our thoughts to God and allowing Him to harness our senses, our minds are free to explode with the creative gifts He has uniquely placed within each of His children. As our minds de-clutter, our stories go deeper, our characters become more believable, and we are bold to dwell in the place where God whispers. His words. His story. Told to us so that we can write from a heart uncluttered by time and space and yielded to the One who creates all things new.


TWEETABLE

Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.
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by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Despite news to the contrary, I believe this is the best time ever to be a writer. Writing for a living isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but it is possible to make a reasonable income. Becoming a professional writer takes hard work. But if we’re willing to learn the industry and the craft of writing, we can find success. Today I’m going to share my tips that will help you find that success.

10 Foundational Tips to Become a Professional Writer
  • 1. We must realize that it’s a journey and not a destination. This industry is constantly changing. There’s new technology to keep up with, new trends, and even new grammar rules. We do get more experienced, but we never arrive at the point where we know everything.
  • 2. We need to be ready to make writing a priority. As I said, in the early stages of becoming a professional writer, we do a good bit of writing for free. Because we’re not getting paid, it’s tempting to think what we’re doing isn’t valuable. We let other requests and commitments get in the way.
  • 3. We must invest in learning. This means we commit to spending time reading books and blogs. We also need to invest in classes, workshops, and conferences.
  • 5. We have to recognize that learning to write is just part of the equation. Just like any other profession, the publishing industry has a specific way of doing things. It’s important to learn how things are done and the standards that are expected from industry professionals.
  • 6. We must not neglect networking. Networking is vital in the publishing industry. We get to know editors and agents because they may one day buy and sell our works. We build relationships with other writers because we need the support and encouragement of those who know our struggles and our joys. Beyond that, other writers are a valuable resource for publishing leads.
  • 7. We cannot rely on talent to get us where we want to go. Talent CAN be a starting point, but it isn’t the most necessary component of a successful writer. Diligence, determination, humility, and a teachable heart are things that will get you where you want to go.
  • 8. We have to have the courage to try new things. To earn a viable income as a professional writer, we’ll have to step outside our comfort zone. We’ll need multiple income streams and be willing to change as the industry changes.
  • 9. Learning new technology is mandatory. Technology isn’t an enemy, it’s a tool. And it’s one that we must each learn to use.
  • 10. The path to success is different for each of us. Falling into the comparison trap can be fatal. Becoming a professional writer takes time and hard work, but there’s no magic formula.

These are the things that I believe can put you on the road to becoming a professional writer. Many of you out there also have some valuable insights. I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Blessings, 

Edie


TWEETABLES


Build a Solid #Writing Foundation with These 10 Tips from @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

10 Things that can help you become a better writer - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
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by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock (Isaiah 26:4 NASB). 

Everywhere we turn we’re being urged to find balance. In advertising we’re given soothing images of candles, yoga, exercise, places to get away, etc. etc. etc. In my life, I try to balance writing, marketing, family, friends, church . . . all good activities, but too much is still too much. No amount of scented candles or stretching can help a writer who is struggling to find time to write. 

As I try once again to wrest control from the chaos that is my schedule I’ve come to a startling revelation. 

A balanced life doesn’t look like we think it should. 

I’m learning that balance isn’t an exterior stability, it’s an interior poise. I don’t care how strict we are about planning, diet, exercise, even environment, times of chaos will erupt. We know this is true by experience, but more importantly we know it by looking at the life Jesus lived. 

As we march through the New Testament, we see Jesus when the crowds are pushing in, clamoring for attention. We see His followers disappoint Him. We even see times when He is faced with unexpected—in a human sense—death.

Within this outward chaos, we also see a perfect example of living a life of balance. And it has nothing to do with what’s going on around Him, much less planning, diet, exercise, or environment. It has everything to do with His absolute passion for allowing God to direct His steps.

So how do we imitate Jesus? We draw closer to God. It’s that simple and that difficult. In the past, as deadlines crowded in, my inclination was to spend more time writing and less time with God. It’s embarrassing to share that about me, but it’s true. Now, the busier I am, the more deliberate I am about my time in the Word and in prayer. I’ve learned—the hard way—the only way to come through the chaos is at the side of Jesus.

So as I launch full-force into busyness and deadlines, I’m remembering the lessons I’ve learn. I’m looking to God for balance, not at what’s happening around me. Care to join me?

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Thoughts on a balanced life for writers - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitterand Instagram.
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by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


He doesn’t like it when we sit down to write. Our spiritual enemy’s mission to hurt God’s children and keep hearts blinded to the truth, is thwarted when we write for God. We may grow weary with writing and rewriting, but what we’re really doing is preparing for battle. 

Satan delights to hinder God’s work. I’ve experienced his tactics. Have you? Even as my family worked to release a magazine on spiritual warfare, we went through our own version of it. Satan will try to hinder God’s people from sharing the truth. Although we have a skilled enemy, our Lord Jesus Christ is a more powerful commander, and He has called us to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV). Are you faithfully serving at your post? Are you allowing any part of your writing or enthusiasm to diminish because of spiritual warfare? 

In His Word, God has given us an example of how to resist Satan’s tactics and discouraging whispers. Nehemiah had set his heart to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, but certain enemies in the area taunted him and the workers. Nehemiah’s response can be our response when Satan and his forces try to hinder God’s work. 

The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; 
therefore we His servants will arise and build, 
but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:20 NKJV

Do you see the confidence in his words? Not in himself, but in God. Nehemiah identified Who they were serving—the God of heaven Himself—and who they were—His servants. So the enemies of the Jews had no right to hinder what they were doing for God. The principles works for us too.

When our spiritual enemy tries to hinder our work for God, we can answer in a similar way. God Himself will help us, and we are His servants. Satan has no rightful place in our lives to make us afraid and no authority to influence who we are or what we do. So don’t let him win.

When you sit down to write, don’t let the enemy have any place in your mind, heart, or life—in how you think, in your desires and what drives you, or in any part of your relationships, work, ministry, and dreams. Satan can never indwell a believer, but he will do what he can to hurt us and God’s plan for our lives and for others’ lives. Keep your heart close to God, and stay under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4). Remember why you’re writing, and keep fighting the good fight. The story isn’t finished yet. There’s more work for you to do. 

TWEETABLES


Katy Kauffman finds herself writing about life’s spiritual battles more than anything else. She is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations. Her compilation, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, was a 2019 Selah Awards finalist and Director’s Choice finalist. Katy’s writing can be found at CBN.com, thoughts-about-God.com, the Arise Dailyblog, PursueMagazine.net, and two blogs on writing. She loves spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and hunting for the best donuts. Connect with her at her blog, The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and on Facebookand Twitter.
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by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

“Think before you speak!” is good advice.

What about “Think before you write?” Not a bad idea either. And I would add to that, “Pray before you write.”

I’ve seen far too much writing launched out into the world these days with nary a thought or prayer as to whether or not the words are true, helpful and gracious.  

Paul exhorted the people of Ephesus to “ lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church.” (Ephesians 4:15-16 TLB)

When you write a blog, post, story or book, do you ask if your words reflect a person who is becoming “more and more in every way like Christ?” Don’t you want your writing (and living) to be a reflection of God’s truth?

Then stop taking for granted what media shares as “truth” and be selective in your own platform.

The original New Testament Greek word used in this Ephesians passage is alethia which not only refers to ethical truth, but truth in all its fullness and scope as embodied in Christ. Paul’s passion was that people would not only understand who they are in the vertical relationship with Christ, but also express their new identity in their horizontal relationship with each other.

How we address controversial issues is important. There seems to be a steady digression into judgment and self-righteous bantering online lately. May I raise my hand and declare that I am so tired of current events being viciously argued over social media?

Recently I learned two new words: “Crowdpounding” is when the online community rages against someone or something that was said, tweeted, or blogged, with an avalanche of vindictive words is spewed on the screen and no real person has to take responsibility. 

“Crowdaffirming” is the same sort of thing but in a vehement positive way that also can get weirdly out of control. But who wants to be part of a “crowd-anything?” We are called to be individuals and to answer to God as such.

Timothy emphasized that our words are a huge reflection of our walk. “Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.” (2 Timothy 2.16 MSG)
           
I believe that we communicators are to be salt and light in the world. Our voice must be heard. But may it never be a strident, judgmental voice. May our compassion and kindness be the ‘tact’ that accompanies truth.

In his new book, “Fool’s Talk,” Os Guiness says “God’s truth requires God’s art to serve God’s end. Any Christian explanation or defense of truth must have a life, a manner and a tone that are shaped decisively by the central truths of the gospel. We Christians must seek to communicate in a way that is shaped by the One who sends us, and therefore by the pattern of the Incarnation, the Cross, and the Holy Spirit…it should always be evident that any power and persuasiveness in our communication comes from Him and not us.”

“Pious nitpicking” chips away at the faith and wears everyone out! Let’s make sure our words – both written and spoken – reflect the One we represent.

We can handle the truth in a winsome way!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—[WRITE] such things.” (Philippians 4.8 NIV)

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The Importance of Thinking Before You Write - insight from @LucindaSMcDowel on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping you Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 13 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her books include the award-winning Dwelling Places (2017 Christian Retailing BEST Award for Devotional)Ordinary Graces  (2018 Selah Finalist), Live These Words, and Refresh! Lucinda, a member of the Redbud Writers Guild, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs for The Write Conversation, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog and (in)courage. Whether co-directing  “reNEW ~ retreat for New England Writing,”  pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things.  Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at http://www.EncouragingWords.net/ 
Follow Lucinda on Twitter: @LucindaSMcDowel

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by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

A few months ago, Edie Melson mentioned some great apps including Camcard for organizing business cards. I’ve been using that for a while, and it is very helpful as a marketing tool.

What is the Camcard app?
Camcard (camera card reader) serves as a business card read and manager. Search for it and upload the free app, unless you prefer features of the upgraded one that is sold. Once loaded, it’s ready to use. Start with your own card so you can share it.

Start Using the App
Turn on the app on yout smart phone and take a photo of the card. The app takes the information and organizes it with the person’s name, business, email, address, and more. For people with fancy font it may not scan the information correctly. But you can still hand back the card or toss it out because it retains the photo of the original card. That makes it easy to review and correct the data. The app includes a simply way to share the cared with another person. Simply open the card to share, tap share, and choose the option to pass on the information (email, camcard share, text, or another choice).

Categorize the Cards
Once the card is canned you can choose how to categorize it. Create as many groups as needed. Some people fit a few categories. Make sure to have ones for media, editors, meeting planners, street or launch team, authors, coaches, PR, and other groups that relate to your writing and marketing. That will make it easy when you want to find someone or just check out possibilities in an area where you want to connect with an expert. Add someone to more than one group if they have overlapping expertise (many authors also freelance, coach, etc.). I also use the app to store local business addresses, repair people, and other contacts. It makes life easier.

Build Networks
Each group is basically a network. Build on this as you work at promoting. There’s no spot for adding notes but you can use empty fields. I like to use nickname as a place to add a little more about the person, where we met, and intersecting interests. I may find that I have a group of people all interested in American history or crafts for children and end up adding those as groups later. That helps when I have an article to write or need a quote or material as I work on another project. 

I like to go through group on my list and pray for those people. Sometimes I email them a note to ask how they are doing and what they are working on currently. As you chat with someone and discover they might be an influencer for your upcoming book, add them to a group of influencers. Add a note why you think it might work out. That’s how we stay connected, build a stronger network, and build you marketing base. You will also discover books they are writing to share with people wo need what your network friend writes.

Market to the Launch Team and Influencers
Now that you have an organized network make use of it:
  • Contact the possible launch team members and influencers before your next book releases. Share what is upcoming and ask if they are interested. Be specific if you hope the person would be an endorser or a launch team member. 
  • Open the media group and use this list to send a press release. You have a stronger connection since you met up if you received a business card from the individual.
  • Open your list of influencers. Consider sharing information about the book, requesting possible endorsements, or asking if they want a review copy.

It takes a few minutes to scan in the latest cards you gathered at an event but the rewards you might reap are endless in friendships and business connections.

TWEETABLES


Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-five books for women, children, and families. Her newest book, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table reflects her passion for bread and growing up helping at her grandparent’s restaurant. 

She has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She has written more than seven hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. She writes for Leading Hearts, The Kid’s Ark, and BCM International. Connect with Karen on Twitter @KarenHWhiting Pinterest KarenWhiting FB KarenHWhiting
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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I grew up during the 60s and 70s, in a family that loved to travel. Some of my earliest memories are of traveling across the united states, looking at life from the rear view window of a VW bug. When my sister was born, our family went from three to four and our parents traded in the VW Bug for a VW Bus. (And yes, the picture above is family. We're in Big Bend National Park in 1969.)

Oh the places we visited.

I’ve been out west in a blizzard so fierce we had to scrape ice from the inside of the windows. I’ve cooked an egg on the pavement in Death Valley, and spent several nights camping on top of what used to be Mount St. Helens. But only a small percentage of our time on the road was spent on major highways.
No, Daddy’s preferred method of travel was the Scenic Route. It became a family joke. We all knew better than to wonder out loud where a side road went. That was all the excuse our father needed to head out toward unknown adventure. Sometimes that adventure was exciting, ending with amazing vistas and views that my photographer father captured on film.

Other times . . . well . . . not so much.

I remember one afternoon all too well. We’d headed off down a road and gotten stuck in the mud. The road was little more than a dirt path and this was decades before cell phones. All we could do was pray someone else had a taste for adventure. Sure enough, just as the sun was racing toward the horizon, a huge truck, complete with towing package, rounded the bend. He was as surprised to see us as we were to see him.

He pulled us out in no time, refusing the money my dad tried to give him. When mom pushed, asking to know why he’d come down this road, he tipped back his cowboy hat and scratched his head. “I can’t really say. It just seemed like something I needed to do.”

That was one of my first introductions to the power of prayer, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve also never forgotten something else. The joy is in the journey, not just the destination.

Through the years I’ve come to realize God is a lot like my daddy. (I know it’s really the other way around, but humor me. I’m making a point here.) My Heavenly Father also likes to take the scenic route. He’ll drag me places I think are miles out of the way, putting my goal further and further from reach. Then boom, we round a corner and there stands what I was aiming for all along.

Or He leads me down a path that leaves me bogged down for months, and it’s only when look back that I see that time of stillness was what I needed. So often it’s in the mud that my hardest lessons and greatest joys have been realized.


TWEETABLE
God loves the scenic route - thoughts on following God from @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitterand Instagram.

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