Just for Writers

Writing Like Everyone Else

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By nature, writers study other writers. We yearn to figure out the key to success. We fret over what makes us “good”. What can we do to get better? What book should we read? What software should we use? What publisher should we send to? Should we self-publish? Do we need an agent? I’ll stop right here before I cause myself some unwanted anxiety.

 

I’ll just do what they’re doing. Yeah, that’ll work.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read comments from writers about the best writing software and how everyone should try it because they love it and it works for them. The same can be said for how-to books on writing. I’m not talking about craft of writing books. Those are a necessity. We all need to learn the mechanics of writing and writing well. I’m talking about method books. Write from the middle, snowflake, etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong—they do work—for some people. Just not for me. I find that I inevitably go back to “my” method. Which obviously no one else wants to know about because I’m not a bestselling author by any means. Then there’s that popular writing software that seems to be making everyone a great writer except for me because I can’t understand the encrypted thing. It’s obviously written in a way that only real writers can understand because I’ve spent countless hours watching video, poured tons of money into the books for Dummies (which I have no shame in admitting I am one of) and googled and YouTubed every comment and link ever put out there so that I could be like everyone else. And…it didn’t work. At all. I ended up with a corrupted file, an empty box of Kleenex, and had to dig my way out of Hershey Kisses wrappers so that I could go back to work at my real job and earn a paycheck. Because I also had to accept that the last royalty check wasn’t even going to buy me a cup of White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks. No, not even a tall one.

Acceptance

After all the research on how to be a great writer, how to use the best software ever invented, how to market my book, promote with social media…inevitably, I’m still me. Still writing by the seat of my pants. Still using “another” writing program because I can’t figure out what everyone else is using. Still working a day job and still trying to carve out a few minutes a day to write something. Anything. Some days I feel proud just to write my grocery list in an order that makes sense after I get to the store. At the end of the day, I am who I am and my strengths and weaknesses belong only to me. This writing thing will either make or break me. Since I’ve been doing it for a very long time, I’m pretty sure it won’t break me but it hasn’t made much of me, either.  I truly want to be better. Wanting to be better is a great thing. Fretting over it isn’t. There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, but comparing yourself to others is not going to get you very far. Sitting angry, broken and jealous under a pile of chocolate wrappers is not how I want to go out. So how does a writer stay motivated? How do we stop comparing ourselves to others? How do we accept the talents God has given us and find peace and comfort in it?

Leaning on God, letting go of the world

Christian writers have it so much better. We have God. My favorite verse hanging in my office is Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

I don’t have to be jealous that other writers are being amazingly successful with their choice of writing software. Let’s be real. That software didn’t write their book for them. Those how-to books helped them but it didn’t put them in front of the computer day after day and make them build a successful career. We can’t compare ourselves to others so often that we begin to feel inadequate in our own talents. We shouldn’t constantly seek what other writers have as if it’s the secret to our own success. I find that in times when I feel I am inadequate as a writer it helps when I do things to build up others. Promote an author’s new release, help a new writer with something I’ve found that once helped me, offer to review an author’s book, or simply write reviews for books I’ve read and enjoyed. When I build up others, I’m also building up myself. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Write for Him

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When we let go of our own failures, inadequacies and insecurities and write for Him, our writing will flow. Find joy in your talents and do everything in your power to keep from comparing yourself to others. Learn from them, but respect that we’re all on our on path and that God knows better than we do where our paths will lead us. It doesn’t mean I can’t still try to learn that ominous software everyone else seems to love or buy the latest and greatest how-to book hoping to find some secret way to write a novel faster. Learning to improve on our talents is what God wants us to do. Comparing ourselves to others…not so much. The simple truth of the matter is that we’re not all meant to be a bestselling author—but you won’t know unless you try. Don’t listen to that negative voice inside you that tells you not to write because you’ll never succeed or be as good as everyone else. Go write! Write with joy. Write with conviction and a purpose. Write for Him and you can’t go wrong.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven

Friday’s Feature with Tanya Stowe

Mojave Rescue

By Tanya Stowe

Electronics engineer Drina Gallagher has created a powerful weapon that will protect soldiers’ lives—and it’s put her own at risk. Kidnapped and locked in a desert shack, she’s desperate to stop her plans from getting into enemy hands, but whom can she trust? Especially when the security expert who rescues her isn’t who he seems.

Forced to blow his cover after spending two years infiltrating a black market ring, CIA Agent Cal Norwood blames Drina’s recklessness, though he admires her courage. And while his mountain cabin offers a temporary refuge, protecting Drina means outwitting—and defeating—a relentless foe determined to seize the weapon plans at any cost.


Available now at Amazon.com


About the author

TANYA STOWE is a Christian Fiction writer with an unexpected edge.

This Pelican Book Group author fills her romances with the unusual…gifts of the spirit in TENDER TOUCH and spiritual warfare in HAUNTED HEARTS. In NEVER-ENDING NIGHT she explores the horrors of a Civil War battle and unravels a mystery. TENDER TRUST treks to the Old West. LEAP OF FAITH brushes wings with an angel and WHITE CHRISTMAS wraps romance in the traditions of a small town holiday. No matter where Tanya goes…on a journey through the past or contemporary adventures in new lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.

Before settling down to write inspirational fiction, Tanya had an eclectic writing career. Working as a freelance writer, her profiles have featured celebrities such as Fabio and New York Times bestselling authors LaVyrle Spencer, Shirlee Busbee, and Heather Graham. Excerpts from Tanya’s reviews have appeared on the book covers and promotional material of publishers, and her articles have appeared in diverse national publications. She wrote grants, participated in a collection of women’s survival stories and collaborated on a full-length Christmas musical. She also worked as a marketing assistant, and an event coordinator doing a stint with the American Cancer Society.

Under Tanya’s leadership as founding co-president, High Desert Romance Writers of America saw a dramatic increase in membership. She was instrumental in the highly effective promotion and coordination of two sold out-conferences and numerous workshops, including Novel Beginning workshops for the city of Lancaster and Creative Writing Forces for Barnes and Noble. Another workshop led to the creation of a marketing plan utilized by many Southland authors that included tips and techniques for successful tour promotion, advertising and sales. A popular guest speaker, Tanya is often featured on radio and television programs, as well as seminars and conferences throughout California.

Tanya has been married to her high school sweetheart for forty years. They have four children and twenty grandchildren. Her husband retired from government work to take a new position in the Middle East. They spent three years traveling and living abroad. Recently her husband retired full time and now they are embarking on a brand new adventure. Have motorhome will travel!


www.tanyastowe.com

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Friday’s Feature with LoRee Peery

Christmas Trinkets

Hayley Wolfe shares a kinship with the lost and lonely. Growing up without a father taught her that you can’t always count on people. Her strong faith in God taught her that her Heavenly Father is unshakable. When she meets Kameron Kohl at her antiques and coffee shop, she’s immediately drawn to his warmth and charm.

After being abandoned on the steps of a church as a baby, Kameron Kohl has spent his life rejecting God and meaningful relationships. After all, his own mother didn’t care for him, so why should anyone else. But Kameron never expected to meet Hayley Wolfe. Her faith in Christ, her inner beauty and selfless openness towards strangers, has Kameron falling for her hard.

When Hayley notices a connection between Kameron’s keychain and the locket passed down to her from her mother, she wants to investigate further. Kameron refuses. But when a pastor turns up dead, both Hayley and Kameron are forced to discover the truth. As friendship turns to love, Hayley will have to rely on God to soften Kameron’s heart and protect them both from danger.

Will the connection between their Christmas Trinkets lead them to love or peril?

Available now! Get it on sale for Christmas!

Amazon.com

Pelican Book Group


About the author

Christian romance author LoRee Peery writes to feel alive, as a way of contributing, and to pass forward the hope of rescue from sin. She writes of redeeming grace with a sense of place. LoRee clings to I John 5:4 and prays her family sees that faith. She has authored the Frivolities Series and other e-books. Her desire for readers, the same as for her characters, is to discover where they fit in this life journey to best work out the Lord’s life plan. She is who she is by the grace of God: Christian, country girl, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author. She’s been a reader since before kindergarten.

Connect with LoRee through these links:

www.loreepeery.com

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