Saturday, April 20, 2013

Doing the Happy Dance

Are you doing the happy dance when it comes to your writing? I am doing the happy dance because I have sold more Amazon Kindle books. I love it when I'm out and about, busy living my life, and I come home and find that I have sold more books!

I realized a long time ago that I would not sell any Amazon Kindle books if I did not publish those books on Amazon. This is not so profound, it's obvious, yet many writers can't do the happy dance because they are not selling books and they are not selling books because they have not published their books!

E-publishing is here to stay and even well-known, accomplished authors are seeing the need to e-publish in some form or another.

And you will be doing the happy dance, too!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You Should Write

The three little words in this blog title perfectly sum up the start to my writing career. I was in college and had just turned in yet another research paper. I did my best work on the paper, turned it in on time and sighed with relief as I went on to my next class. I had no idea that the paper I'd just finished would change my life.

Upon getting the graded paper back from my professor, I noted that he'd written a note at the top. It said, "Reading your writing is just like talking to you. You should write." The words were simple, their impact far-reaching. Three little words. I took them to heart for a number of reasons.

First of all, I was not used to hearing positive feedback or any sort of compliment. Being raised in an abusive situation didn't lend itself to my siblings and I being built up in any way. I simply had never heard much positive reinforcement in my life, thus it was incredibly pleasant.

Secondly, the professor was a professional, giving his words more weight in my life. Had I gotten the same compliment from an acquaintance or friend, I might have thought they were just being nice to me. The professor didn't have to be nice in that way; he could be, and was, totally objective.

Third, I had gotten a A on the paper. Because I was in Bible college with little history of ever going to church or even reading the Bible, I was struggling academically for the first time in my life. I'd breezed through high school. This was like learning a new language while learning facts in that language. I was overwhelmed, then got that A, which boosted my confidence.  An A on something I'd written was like a mega-horn shouting, "WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!"

A few years later, I started writing for Regular Baptist Press on a fairly regular basis.
A few years after that, I started getting published in other places, Family Circle magazine to name one.
A few yeas later, I wrote my first book, Victory Over Violence.
A few years later, I started teaching writing on a formal basis and saw success in the success of my students, one of which was Amanda Hocking.

Three little words that I have never forgotten. "You Should Write" Thank you, Professor Glen Crabb. You impacted a young student in a deep and very positive way.

Writers, realize the impact of your words.
Choose them carefully.
Tell the truth.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Book Review, A Suggestion

Today, I'm reviewing a book for you and making the suggestion that you buy it. This book, Rainbows in the Storms, is by a friend of mine and it's the poignant story of a young wife and mother of four who faces the terminal illness and subsequent death of her beloved husband and father of her children. The author, Ann Asprey Erdmann, tells how each and every step of his illness affected her and their family as they journeyed through the storms that rolled over them again and again.

I was privileged to be one of her first editors and, let me tell you, this young woman is the real deal. Any time I told her that the message of God's power in seeing them through was not coming out in her writing, she was willing to change it up until it told the story right. The story is heart-wrenching, yet filled with hope. This hope is only found through God and His saving grace through Jesus Christ. That is the author's clear message and clearly the message of her husband, even as he lay dying.

I recommend this book. You will see how one young family not only survived the storms that swelled up around them, but how they thrived even while staring down the ultimate enemy - death.

Ann's willingness to take what some might consider harsh criticism has allowed her story to shine and be a beacon to others looking for hope. What if she had not listened? What if she had not been willing to take criticism and dug in her heels instead? She was not afraid to take criticism, not afraid to hire an editor and do it right and not afraid to face anything that came her way as she sought to tell her story in the best way possible.

Kudos to Ann for getting her book published!
Kudos for her humble spirit!
Kudos for her ultimate desire to honor God through all her writings!

Writers, learn from her. Take criticism. Hire editors. Work hard.