Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Writer’s Life’ Category

reading newspaper pexels-photo-404976

Yes, I believe our writing is a ministry! But if we want to reach the most people possible with the message Father has entrusted to us, we can’t ignore the business aspect of our ministry. Especially when it comes to social media, we need to learn the most effective ways of connecting with our audience and with influencers.

So . . . below is some “news you can use” that will hopefully help you to expand your ministry. But one word of caution. Be careful to guard against getting so caught up with numbers and the world’s way of doing things that you leave the Lord out of the equation. He is able to make things happen that you could never do on your own.

God can pour on the blessings
in astonishing ways
so that you’re ready for anything and everything,
more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
2 Corinthians 9:8 MSG

The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan

Rob Eagar, www.startawildfire.com, announced: “I’m giving away an incredible new 10-part email course called the Ultimate Book Marketing Plan for FREE at Reedsy.com. Reedsy is a new global online marketplace for authors that I encourage you to visit. It’s like AirBnB or Angie’s List for the needs that authors face, such as finding a book cover designer, editor, or a marketer like me.

“This new email course officially launched January 26. You get to be one of the first authors to access it for free. It’s a perfect complement to the Ultimate Book Marketing Template that many of you have downloaded. Click here to take the free email course at Reedsy.”

A Writer’s Best Friend 

A helpful and humorous blog by author and literary agent Bob Hostetler about a tool every writer needs to use. I won’t tell you what it is. 🙂 You need to read Bob’s blog. Click the link above.

Connect with Influencers in Three Sentences

If you need to secure endorsements for your book, you need to read this helpful blog post from Mike Loomis who has served on the faculty of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

What Facebook’s 2018 Change Means for Authors  

This blog post from Thomas Umstattd Jr. (another former CCWC faculty member) explains Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. One important change: “Reactions (like laugh, heart, and crying face) are now weighted more than likes. So if somebody gives you a heart emoji, that’s more than if they just give you a regular thumbs up.” Let’s remember to do this when responding to posts of those who need our support.

Read Full Post »

Lord, when doubts fill my mind,
when my heart is in turmoil,
quiet me and give me
renewed hope and cheer.
Psalm 94:19 TLB

You try, really try to be positive, to not doubt your ability or your call.

You affirm His promises. “He is able to do far more . . .”

But you may be feeling stuck – blocked. Words are not flowing. You may fear that your creativity has dried up.

And you feel alone. Friends and family who are not writers don’t “get” you. Why do you keep banging your head against a blank computer screen or tossing it (the screen, not your head!) out the window?

computer airbag 781

(Used with permission.)

Yes, writing is a lonely task. And yes, disappointments, doubts, discouragement (the “Deadly Ds”) will nip at your heels. But I’ve searched the Scriptures. Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. And it is definitely not easy to “write His answer” to those who are lost and so wounded by life they want to give up.

But I believe, really believe, that God can use the words you write to impact lives now and for eternity. That’s why, despite the disappointments, doubts, and discouragement I also face, I choose to affirm my call

to encourage and equip you
to write about a God who is real,
who is reachable,
and who changes lives.

It’s why I said yes to direct the Write to Impact Lives Conference February 9-10 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and why I didn’t cancel the conference when the sponsoring organization had to back out. The workload has been daunting in the midst of also planning the May 16-19 Colorado and July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers ConferenceBut I’m praising God that the 16-page brochure for the Colorado conference is at the printer a week earlier than last year! Amazing, but then we serve an amazing God!

I know it’s been a cold winter, and it’s tempting to stay warm in your cozy home rather than venture out to a February conference. And I know budgets are tight, and it may seem wiser to save your money for a conference where you can pitch your ideas and manuscripts to editors and agents.

But the Write to Impact Lives Conference is about sharpening your writing and marketing skills so you will be better prepared to create interest in your work at future conferences. And it’s about fellowship with other writers and the encouragement we need to receive and to give.

I believe Father is asking me to “sweeten the deal” and give you “more bang for your buck.” My words, not His! And so, for new registrants and those who have already registered, I’m including three books that support the purpose of this conference.

New WHA cover

 

My Bible study for writers that addresses the struggles we face and must overcome.

Communicate Change Lives

 

Jim Watkins’ book that I believe every Christian writer needs to read.

CWMG 2018
The info you need to find markets for your work as well as literary agents, writers conferences and seminars, writers groups, editorial services, publicity and marketing services, and contests.

The three books sell for $44.97 on Amazon ($37.99 through the Write His Answer Bookstore), but if you register for the entire conference, you will receive them free of charge (or the equivalent value in other books we’ll have for sale).

The price increases February 1 so don’t delay. Again, please do not let the cost prevent you from coming. Ask Father to make the way possible. If friends, family, or your church are unable to help, email me (mbagnull@aol.com) or call me (484-991-8581) to request scholarship help or time payments.

Click here for more information and to register for a conference that will help you not to feel alone, strengthen your call, and equip you to write to impact lives.

Read Full Post »

Faith rocks no backgroundSo don’t lose a minute in building
on what you’ve been given,
complementing your basic faith with
good character,
spiritual understanding,
alert discipline,
passionate patience,
reverent wonder,
warm friendliness,
and generous love,
each dimension fitting into
and developing the others.

2 Peter 1:5-7 MSG

Where are you at in your faith walk? Are you on a growing edge spiritually, or just kind of going through the motions?

 See that you go on growing in the Lord,
and become strong and vigorous
in the truth you were taught.
Colossians 2:7 TLB

Scripture also says, “Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you?” (2 Cor. 13:5 TLB)

These are tough questions. Important questions, especially if you have been called to “write His answer.”

I’m praying you will take a day and a half apart from your normal routine to gather with other Christian writers at the new Write to Impact Lives Conference, February 9-10 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. You’ll learn tons and make new friends. Most important of all, together we will be encouraged to go deeper in our walk with the Lord. Then, and only then, can we expect to “write so that eternity will be different.”

Those were the words my writing paper, Lee Roddy, used to challenge me and countless others through his many years of ministry. He’s now home with the Lord, but I know He is cheering me and you on.

Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
Hosea 6:3 TLB

The price for the conference increases February 1, but please do not let the cost prevent you from coming. Ask Father to make the way possible. If friends, family, or your church are unable to help, ask me for scholarship help or time payments. Click here for more information and to register.

Read Full Post »

Barb Haley apr 2016 croppedGuest blog from Barb Haley

Have you EVER done something impulsive and been SO GLAD afterward?

Years ago, I decided, on the spur of the moment, to attend a 3-day Christian writers’ conference.

I had nothing ready. I just wanted to learn how to write.

I wanted to run my ideas past seasoned authors and editors. I wanted someone to recommend the best books on the craft.  I wanted to meet writing friends I could stay in touch with between conferences. And, most of all, I wanted to know, for sure, that God was calling me to write.

Did I have to scrape to find enough money to cover my expenses? Sure. We had two kids in college at the time and normal family expenses. But my husband encouraged me to take a leap of faith, and I’ve never regretted it!

My first surprise was that every conference day began with worship and praise. In fact, that’s when I relaxed and realized I was at home with other believers. We were all at various levels of our writing journey, but it never mattered. The subject rarely even came up. And my meeting with faculty members? Wow. I learned SO much and headed home excited to apply all the information I’d gleaned.

Now, I want to encourage you to follow my lead! Click below to sign up for Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10.

http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/writetoimpactlivesnewconference

This shorter conference with a smaller faculty offers all the things I looked for at my first conference, but at a reduced price. Teaching tracks include Indie Publishing, Fiction, Nonfiction and Marketing. You also have the opportunity to meet individually with faculty members for twenty-minute sessions. Plenty of praise and worship. Fellowship with other writers. A great assortment of craft books and books written by faculty and conferees. Oh, and a lot of laughs!

God has given us each a specific message to carry to our world.

Will you do it? Trust me, you’ll never regret it. I’ll be there, and I hope to meet you, hug your neck, and support you in every way possible!

Blessings!

Barb Haley
Registrar – Write to Impact Lives Conference
haleybarb@yahoo.com

P.S. Please feel free to write if you have any questions.

And a P.S. from Marlene:

Barb continues to learn the craft of writing and I am so proud of her. Her latest books:

Lord Get Your Needle

 

Barb Christmas devotional

 

 

Read Full Post »

Write from the DeepGuest post used with permission from Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young’s website, www.writefromthedeep.com.

Karen will keynote at the February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA. Her topic:

Write From The Deep
God’s call to us is clear: come away with Him, let His words sink deep into us first, then take His truths to the world. This session, based on Ezekiel 2:1-3:22, will challenge writers to go deep with God in their call and their craft, for it is in the Deep that writers find refreshment, renewal, and restored passion.

Erin will present a continuing session at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference on “Write From The Deep.” She says,

“In these interactive sessions, writers will be challenged to go deep with God in their call and their craft. We’ll explore what it means when God calls us to the deep, and we’ll see how God uses the deep to help us find our story, hone our message, and understand our audience. Finally, we’ll talk about how to equip ourselves to face down obstacles—external and internal.”

To view a list of the 58 agents, editors, and authors on faculty at the Colorado conference, click here.

And now, here is an excerpt from Karen and Erin’s podcast. I urge you to subscribe.

Did God Really Ask You to Write?

Have you ever sat back and wondered if you heard wrong about being a writer? If God really did give you the task to write, then why is it all so…difficult? Frustrating? Disappointing? And why isn’t He confirming that He gave you this task?

Most of us are doing this task of writing because we believe God has given it to us. So why do so many writers struggle with doubt? Why do we wonder if we really did hear God correctly? Or struggle to know what He’s leading us to do right now?

The good news is that you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for writers to wonder if maybe they heard God wrong. Or to want, down the road, some sense of confirmation that God really said what they thought He did. . . .

This issue really isn’t about hearing God at all. It’s about knowing Him. As well as—or even better than—you know your closest friends and family. Think about it, when your best friend calls you on the phone, do you recognize his or her voice? Of course, because you know that person so well. You know the inflections in his words, the sound of her laughter and weeping. You know her as well as you know yourself. That’s how well you need to know God.

You have within you the very spirit of the living, Almighty God. If you don’t know Him, or His spirit, as well as you do your friends and family, you need to focus on getting to the point where you, the sheep, are so well acquainted with the Shepherd’s voice that your response to it is immediate. That the sense you have when He speaks is one of trust and obedience. And you don’t doubt that you heard it, because you know it too well to do so.

The way to hear God, to know it’s His voice speaking to you, is simply to take the time to build relationship with Him.

Doubt isn’t an issue of not hearing, it’s an issue of not knowing and, as a result, not trusting.

If you don’t really KNOW Him, then of course you’ll start to doubt that He put you on this path when it doesn’t go the way you think it should. The key is knowing, deep in the fabric of your soul, that how the journey goes isn’t a validation—or invalidation—of God’s call.

We’re called to follow a suffering Savior, so you can be sure there will be difficulties and suffering. But we endure because He’s there with us. And we don’t take a detour unless it’s clear, deep in our soul, that He is the one telling us to do so.

Click here to read on for solutions to doubt and much more.

 

Read Full Post »

Obstacle # 4 – Self-doubts

This is a biggee for me and for most writers.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!

― Walter D. Wintle

The  bottom line? It’s normal to have self-doubts. In fact, it’s far better to doubt our abilities and thus, hopefully, to be teachable than to have an inflated ego.  But it’s critical that we not doubt the One who has called us and who promises:
Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:7 (TLB)

Nurturing our doubts not only can cause us to give up before we even begin, we grieve our Heavenly Father when we focus on our self-doubts rather than Him.

I’ve written a lot about self-doubts in my book, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers and on this blog. See my June 2013 post and the link you’ll find in it to an interview with best-selling author Joel Rosenberg and his battle with self-doubts.

Obstacle # 5 – Lack of fellowship with other writers

I will always be grateful for the pastor who paid the way for me to go to my first writers’ conference about 45 years ago. Little did I know that conference would change my life and lead to a 35 year ministry directing the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and 22 year ministry directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Both 2018 conferences are in the planning stages with registration scheduled to open February 1 for Philly and April 1 for Philly. I’ll begin posting info on the websites soon.

TCC ad 2018_Page_1

But a once-a-year conference isn’t enough! Check out the new day and a half Write to Impact Lives Conference February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA.

Feb banner

Beyond going to conferences, you need to be part of a critique group. A morning group meets one Thursday morning a month in my Lansdale home. An evening group for advanced writers also meets in my home every other Thursday evening. For info go to http://writehisanswer.com/critiquegroups. Sorry men. Both groups are for ladies only.

CWMG 2018
You’ll find info on critique groups around the nation in The Christian Writers Market Guide 2018. This 578-page must-have resource is available through the Write His Answer Bookstore for $19.99 (retail $22.99). It’s also available through a monthly subscription.

I also encourage you to subscribe to The Christian Communicator to keep your Market Guide updated and for helpful articles.

I’ve been writing for the Lord for 45 years, so I’ve got more obstacles to address and how to overcome them. That’s the key – not to be blindsided by them. We need to remember the Girl Scout motto, “Be prepared!”

Click here for a Goal Planning Chart that includes columns for expected obstacles and how you will overcome them along with Scripture promises to claim.

I’d love to hear what obstacles you are facing and to pray for you.

Read Full Post »

Christmas tree lg 2017
Dear friends –

We are praising God for His presence in our lives during the blessings and challenges of 2017. He is so faithful!

A springtime blizzard in Colorado that dumped 41” of snow during the Colorado Christian Writers Conference was an unbelievable challenge. I’m so grateful many conferees heeded my email to come early and attend the Wednesday afternoon workshops free of charge before the roads were not passable.

The time pressures that go with directing the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conferences were more intense than ever thanks to events beyond my control.  A slow recovery from surgery prevented one of the Colorado keynoters from coming. I knew Father wanted me to bring the message. I’m grateful for the new handicapped bathroom at the Y where I hid Friday afternoon to prepare a rough outline and PowerPoint slides. As someone has said, “I could write a book.” Having directed over 50 conferences, I definitely have a lot to share. It’s on my never-ending to-do list!

Paul’s fishing trips resulted in several fish dinners this year. His help around the house and running errands enables me to be in full-time ministry.

We’re thankful to live within walking distance of our three grandkids – well, walking distance for them but not for us. It’s becoming obvious that I’m not going to be able put off the replacement of both knees much longer. Paul’s arthritis makes walking difficult for him too.

September 30 we brought home an eight-week-old puppy. Emmy is a Labradoodle and the most energetic and strong-willed puppy we have ever had. She is definitely keeping us and our nine-year-old Golden active.

Emmy & Lady & tree 2017

Our oldest daughter, Sharon, and her husband, Howard, are both finally getting disability benefits. Please pray for them and the health challenges they face daily.

Our son, Rob, Nicole, our daughter-in-law, and their two dogs moved out the same day we got Emmy. We miss them but are so happy they are  in a beautiful new home of their own.

Deb, Rob, and our three grandkids have had an exciting year of travel including two weeks in Europe.

As another year draws to a close may you know His peace and joy because He came and is coming again.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »