Writer, Will You Go Anywhere God Calls You? The Problem IS the Path to the Solution

Thanks to Warning: This post is for Christians only.You can read it if you want to, but don't get mad if it's too religious for your taste! Now, for those of you who are still reading, here's the question that's on my mind: Are you willing to go anywhere God has called you?  ( Tweet that. ) I've been reading Erica Wiggenhorn's Bible study of the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts titled  The Unexplainable Life (Moody, 2016). In Acts 8:26, an angel tells Philip, who was one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, to: "Go South to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza" ( Acts 8:26, NIV ).  About this, Erica writes: For Philip to take the route the angel suggested meant heading into the middle of the desert. With no means of transportation, this could easily mean death. Once Philip obeyed this unexplainable request, he now became led solely by the Spirit. God is so merciful, isn't He? Ask

New Year Planning to Get Your Writing Done This Year

I was talking with my friend, Sherry, recently when she asked me if I make goals for the new year. She's a home-schooling mom with fewer kids to school for the first time in many years and she was planning what she wanted to accomplish with her writing this coming year. As it happened, I was just thinking along those same lines, so we had a conversation about what I do which seemed helpful, and even fun, for Sherry. So I thought it might be helpful to you too, or at least inspire some new ideas and fun ways to keep your writing goals ever before you this year. ( Tweet that! ) New Year Planning Her original question was: "So do you plan out a writing schedule and what projects you want to complete each year? That's what I'm in the process of doing." Yes, at the first of the year I plan what I want to accomplish during the year. I don't so much make a schedule, just a to-do list. Back when I was freelancing more magazine articles, my annual goals loo

2018 Challenge: Mature as a Writer and/or Storyteller

Image On January 1, 2016, I challenged writers to "Go Rogue" and use our power as writers to push the envelope for good. This year I've been thinking about how I might challenge writers for 2018. What's on my mind this January 1, 2018, is for each of us to mature as a writer and/or a storyteller. ( Share that. ) I'm thinking about this because recently I've seen comments from writers, people who wish to write, writers who wish to get their books or articles published, as well as screenwriters who'd like their scripts produced, that reveal their work might not quite be ready. I can tell by what they say that their writing has not yet matured to a place where it is publishable or producible because of comments that reveal the don't understand genres or the differences in what publishers publish or producers produce. Discovering we're not "mature" in what we do is hard to take. I know because I've discovered myself the

Holidays - A Writer's Interruption?

Thanks to  It's that "wonderful time of the year" again. December. Christmas is crowding in and crowding everything else out. I used to get frustrated with holidays - any of them throughout the year. They are such an interruption to writing and usually come when I'm on a roll. I'm changing my attitude. Holidays are good. God gave us holidays for a reason. (For you purists, yes, I know God didn't give us Christmas in the same way he gave the Israelites Festivals and holidays . But he gave those holidays and set the example.) Holidays are a time to slow down. Or stop. To think. Remember. Remember what is important. Be thankful. Re-evaluate. Re-focus. Without holidays time just spins past and we risk not even noticing. ( Tweet that! ) So December is a time to analyze what we've done this past year and where we're going in the next one. Are we going to get done the goals we set at the beginning of the year? Or is it another year to

3 Magic Questions for Writers that will Strengthen Your Story

Image This past summer I had the opportunity to take an online workshop called "The Master Screenwriter" from Derrick Warfel ,  a film producer. In the workshop he shared some wisdom from Paddy Chayefsky , a three-time Academy Award winner for Best Screenplay. This is about STORIES - so it's not just for screenwriters but also for novelists, short story writers, or whatever story you're writing. Chayefsky kept three questions taped above his typewriter. Derrick Warfel said it's amazing how many scripts he sees that don't answer these basic questions. ( Tweet that! ) He said if writers would answer these three questions, they'd be a long ways ahead of most of the other writers out there.( Tweet that! ) If you are participating in National Novel Writing Month , check your story now and see if you're answering these questions.( Tweet that! ) Whatever story you're writing, maybe you need to stop now and consider these questions to ma

Be Intentional in Your Writing

Someone once told me there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide people into two groups and those who don't. Okay, well, if we can have just a little fun with that, based on my observations, I wonder if we can divide writers into two groups:   ( Tweet that! ) Those who write because they love to write. These are the writers who say they "can't not write." And those who write because they have something they want to say, a message, something they desperately want to get out to the world. Two Kinds of Writers Sure, there's definitely some overlap here. Perhaps there is some of both in most of us. But there are definite differences too. Those who write for the love of writing say they would write even if they never got published, even if nobody else ever read what they write. They write because they love to write. Maybe it's the story creation. Perhaps it's the discipline of thinking out loud, having to capture thoughts in co

Grow as a Writer in One Week During the Coming 168’s “Write of Passage” Contest

You're familiar with NaNoWriMo and its benefits . Writers spend a month writing a 50,000 word project. Have you ever taken the challenge? For me it has been a wonderful exercise that accelerated my learning curve — because of the relatively short deadline. The challenge packs a lot of learning into a short amount of time. One week  Well are you ready for another similar challenge? How about writing a short screenplay in a week? ( Tweet that! ) Mentored writing exercise Not up for a one week challenge? Well what if I sweetened the pot by adding a mentor to journey through that week with you? That's right, for the price of entry you'd get a writing mentor who would look at your story and script several times throughout the week. ( Tweet that! ) You'd get feedback from your mentor, someone with experience. They would make suggestions and give advice. Wouldn't that be worth the price of admission? But wait. You're thinking you have no interest in screenw