Showing posts with the label writing

NaNoWriMo is here.

It's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), that special time of the year when some folks think it'd be fun to crank out a 50,000 word novel (that's about 3,000 words a day) in a busy holiday month sounds like a great idea.

Back in 2005, I was in a writer's group and we had five people that actually completed the challenge. That's actually fairly amazing, because lots of people start but not that many finish. To have so many in one little North Dakota writer's group finish was stellar.

I finished a 50,000 word novel, and it was a real dog. But I was pretty proud to have finished the thing, so I displayed a winner's badge on my blog for several years.

At the core of it, NaNoWriMo a word-count competition, not a reader's delight competition. There are some skilled writers whose NaNoWriMo novels end up a successfully published book. Mine was basically a word-count winner in which, technically speaking, the words were actual sentences that could be const…

How I research.

In a recent incident, people kept telling me I didn't do my research, or that my opinions have been formed out of ignorance. So, I'll tell you how I do research for my professional writing (online articles, a 500-page book, and magazine articles), and how that habit is now how I do all of my research when I want to know something.

I make a list of the questions I have, and use that as a springboard. These are questions that encompass basic general knowledge of a subject (such as the time I was hired to write about purchasing property in Thailand, which I knew nothing about) to things I wondered about but was not finding the answer to. Sometimes you have to get a basic knowledge of the topic just to know how to ask the deeper questions. You can't ask questions if you don't know what to ask. So, if I'm writing something and I feel a question in the back of my head, it means I haven't answered it and I need to go find the info.

I use a basic browser search. You type…

"Breaking Free" From Beth Moore, And Women In The Church

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
-- 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (ESV)
Women, you are a treasure.

That verse isn't talking about just women, obviously, but there are times where women in the church feel like, as a jar of clay, they are getting broken to bits not by God but by man.

In recent months, I've started the process of writing another book. This will be my third, and will be tentatively about my experiences blogging for twenty years, the stories that arose from that experience, and so on. Part of that will be about theoblogging (faith blogging), which unfortunately contains some of the ugliest stories and experiences of the lot.

In preparing and researching for this book, I've been reading books (many about women and the church, as that is a key issue in th…

Why Self-Published Authors Ought To Reconsider Amazon

I'm a self-published author. My understanding, from every writer's convention or publishing forum I'd participated in was that I could not make it as an author without Amazon. For some who have found significant success, particularly due to the ebook format, perhaps that is true.

But let's be realistic: most of us aren't going to be that smash self-publish success story. Some of us are writing simply because we can't not write. Because of that reality, I want to tell you why you should rethink as a "must" for how you sell.

First, let's get a few minor things out of the way from what I've learned from a pretty standard self-publishing experience in which you get a little local PR, make some sales, get your book in the local bookstores, and are mostly satisfied because you simply have a book of yours finished and on the shelves somewhere.

Minor: Readers who refuse to pay for shipping.
When I published my book, a few people wouldn'…