Monday, April 29, 2013

Ten Steps to Developing an Internet Presence

I met Laura Christianson at The Christian Writer’s Conference at Redwood Chapel a few years ago. She was the featured speaker. Here are some great tips she gave for growing your Internet presence. 
  1. The top social media tip of the day is “Simple Works.” Write clear and concise. Cut the adjectives, adverbs and clich├ęs. Jesus’ simple message was/is “Come and See.” Invite your readers to come and see.
  2. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world: listen and engage, best sellers, top blogs, political issues, faith issues. We need to know the world we hope to change.
  3. Did you know that 20% of the people calling 411 information are looking for churches? Did you know that the number of 411 information calls for palm readers has risen 217%. Our world needs to know the clear and simple  truth about God’s amazing love.
  4. Since we find free wi-fi everywhere, it’s important to have an Internet presence. Whether our readers are waiting in a doctor’s office, having lunch, or waiting at the airport, they need to be able to find us. We must be easy to find and give away great content. Readers want to know “What’s in it for me?”
  5. Use videos as much as possible. We remember 10% of what we read and 50% of what we see in videos. Create an account on YouTube, Facebook,  and/or Twitter. If you do not have a website or blog, create them.
  6. Consider the possibilities of print on demand publishing. More and more readers prefer reading books on electronic readers. The business doubled in 2010.
  7. Did you know you could publish with Kindle? It’s called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Upload your book. No need for an ISBN. Sell your books for $2.99 to $9.99. You get 70% royalties. Is that incredible or what?
  8. Do you know about SmartPhone technology? These phones can read bar codes. You can have your own Quick Response (QR) code linked to your blog or website and print it on the back of your business cards.
  9. Laura Christianson is the blogging pro. Visit her blog at
  10. Your Internet presence is a step in the right direction toward building your platform. A first step for you might be creating a blog. Sunrise Christian Writers is starting Blogging 101, a four part training, on May 2, 2013. We look forward to seeing you. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dealing With Writer's Block - Part 2

Last week we started discussing how to deal with writer's block from the 18th Chapter--"Writer's Block," in Donna Goodrich's A Step in the Write Direction. Today we will discuss Part 2 of the same chapter.

You're Stuck in Your Writing:
Donna says the biggest reason for this happening is that you haven't planned in advance what you're going to write. She uses outlines. The more detailed the outline, the easier your writing project will go. This works for fiction and nonfiction.

Too long with my bottom in chair wears me out and I have to get up and go for a walk. Getting out in the sunshine is great for gaining a positive perspective. Other times I need to read or pick up my knitting needles and work on something totally different. It's amazing to me that when I am reading or knitting, fresh ideas come to mind about my writing project.

One way to avoid writer's block is to hitchhike your thoughts while your writing by jotting down related ideas when you're working on your current project. While searching for a Bible verse for one devotional, you might see and idea for another devotion in a nearby verse.

You've spent a lot of time researching for an assignment. Use the research to write another article with a different slant or write a short filler article for different publishers. Sell reprints when the first contract has expired. This works if you've sold first or one time rights, but not for all rights.

What do you do when you struggle with the blank page? I'd love to read your comments.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dealing With Writer's Block - Part 1

Facing the blank page is difficult for writers, but it's something we have to deal with. Chapter 18, "Writer's Block" (reasons and solutions), in Donna Goodrich's A Step in the Write Direction is so good I wanted to capture some of the main points for you. I have divided this information into two posts. One today and the next to be published on April 28, 2013.

Sometimes life gets in the way. We may suffer from personal or family health issues, loss of job, home or someone we love. During times like these, I've found it hard to stay on track, but I try to at least write in my journal--facts, prayers or things I feel during the pain.

A Difficult Assignment:
I've had the overwhelming assignment that caused me to procrastinate, wondering how to handle the subject. Breaking the project into manageable pieces encouraged me to write a little every day. Now before I accept an assignment, I consider its complexity and if I'm really qualified to write it or if I can research it. This has saved me a lot of grief.

Too Many Assignments:
I apply for assignments and pray to receive them. Earlier this year I received several within a short period of time. It seemed daunting to me until I wrote down what was required of each one and the deadlines. Then I mapped out what I had to do each day and week to meet the deadlines. Working on two or three projects at the same time inspires and motivates me to keep writing.

No Inspiration:
Runners run, bikers bike and writer's write, right? Runners and bikers have to train every day whether or not they feel like it. Many times I don't feel inspired to write but write is what I have to do. I don't have a full time job to go to anymore, so I write. The most challenging times for me are the times between projects or assignments. During these periods I use writing prompts or market research to get me writing again.

Look for more ways to deal with writer's block next week. Meantime, if you have something that works for you, I'd love for you to leave it in a comment.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Conference June 5-7, 2013

The whole earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Will you write words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that cause the hearts of the nations to burn for Jesus? Join us for three days of training, impartation, worship and encouragement as we answer the call to penetrate every domain of society with the Word of truth.

933 College View Drive
Redding, CA 96003


Plan now to attend and follow this link to register:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

On Writing Memoirs

Many writers who attend workshops and critique groups are writing the stories of their lives. They want to share the wonderful things they have learned over the years so others can learn from their experience. My cyber friend, Terry Whalin, has an excellent article for you if this is your desire. Visit his blog,The Writing Life.

I also found a couple great books that will help you: 

Writing & Selling Your Memoir: How to Craft Your Life Story So That Somebody Else Will Actually Want to Read It, and Writing Your Memoir.

Check out Cec Murphey's blog series on biography vs. memoir. 

Have you thought of writing little snippets of your life journey? You could earn a little compensation by taking time to write personal experience articles for magazines and blog posts. By doing these two exercises, your writing will become tighter and better, and you'll build a platform for yourself.

Are you writing your story? What do you think about capturing snippets into personal experience articles?