Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Your Bluebird Cafe Discovery

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

Malcolm Gladwell has written several books one of my favorites is TheTipping Point. It was about the small changes that brought people, products or government to a point of success or change. A recent trip to Nashville and The Bluebird Café reminded me of a tipping point.

The Bluebird cafe is small 90 seat music club which will usually have 4 composers or singer/songwriters present their talents. It is a great way to see new or established talent and experience a step along the way in the music business. I was fortunate to be able to attend a benefit there for the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy. In the middle of the show   one of the artists which was experiencing her first performance at the Bluebird stopped, pointed to a spot at a table in the back and said, “Garth Brooks was seated right back there when he heard The Dance for the first time. The Dance was written by Tony Arata and Brooks recorded it as the 10th and final song on his self-titled debut album. It remained at number 1 for 3 weeks. Quite a success story for both the writer and the singer. Why was this noted in the middle of her performance?
This young hopeful was saying this was possibly one of the steps, changes she must go through if she is to achieve success. It has happened for others this way. It could happen again. But she must experience this. This is also true for authors and I want to share two of my favorite examples.
·        Andy Andrew’s book The Butterfly Effect was shared with Good Morning America host Robin Roberts. Roberts showcased it on “Must-Reads”. Not long afterwards it was a #1 Bestseller.
·       Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were brilliant motivational speakers and great marketing men. Their new book Chicken Soup for the Soul had sold many copies. They wanted more. They had given away thousands of copies but they needed to get it into the hands of what they called “big mouths”. Big mouths are celebrities with access to the media. They sent books to the O. J. Simpson jury. The jury was sequestered so this was one thing they could have. The jury were seen arriving each day with the book under their arm. The media asked about it and they received national attention.

“Three simple rules in life:  If you do not go after what you want, you'll never have it.  If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.  If you do not step forward, you'll always be in the same place.”  

You never know when, where or how the right person will discover your work but if you know of things others have done you too can use that to get it out there in front of people. Not everyone that performs at The Bluebird Café becomes a “success”. But your odds are much greater if you do. It is a step, or one of the changes that must occur to increase your odds. 

Discover what others have done and put it into motion. Southern Writers Magazine with its input from authors is a great place to start learning.     

Monday, September 17, 2018

Looking For Authors Who “Get It”

By W. Terry Whalin

Editors and agents are blasted with submissions every day. I know because I’ve been one of them for years. Authors are frustrated receiving form rejection letters with no information or no response at all. To many authors, it is a mystery how their submission is “found” and published.     

For the last five years, I’ve been an acquisitions editor for a New York publisher who receives over 5,000 submissions a year and only publishes about 150 books. Yes there is a selection process for every author and every book. Here’s the encouraging news for authors: every day I’m actively looking for authors. Also I understand every day over 4,500 new books are published. This large number includes the self-published books which may only sell 100 copies during the lifetime of the book. This statistic helps authors understand the massive amount of new material constantly entering the marketplace. It also explains why you as an author have to be promoting and marketing your book. 

How can you get the attention of an editor or agent? I want to give five ways to show you are an author who “gets it.”
1.      Submit an excellent proposal or manuscript. Editors and agents can recognize excellent writing. The old saying is true, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” Every author needs to pour polish and storytelling into their submission. Yes it is easy to reach people via email. Before you hit send, your submission should be excellent. Use my free book proposal checklist at: http://terrylinks.com/bookcheck It works for nonfiction and fiction.
2.      Follow proven author practices. While there is not a bestseller formula for success, there are proven author actions. Every publisher and literary agent is looking for authors with connections or a platform. Pick up my free eBook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author at: http://terrylinks.com/pb
3.      Take action every day to learn more about publishing and build your market connections. Join a writers group or organization and get involved.
4.      Understand the various types of media and do not build your platform on “rented” media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are examples). Start and maintain your own blog and email list to reach your readers.
5.      Diversify your writing business. Write and sell information products. Learn about affiliate income. Write for magazines. Don’t put all of your efforts into one type of writing. As a writer, there are many different possibilities. Get ideas from my first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams at: http://terrylinks.com/JYPD If I can help you, reach out to me. It’s why my personal email is in my Twitter profile.
As an author, I’ve been inside some of the top publishers and literary agencies. Every professional is actively looking for the next bestseller. The path to your success is out there. Take steps every day to show you are an author who “gets it.”
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free EBook, Straight Talk From the Editor. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Friday, September 14, 2018

So You Want To Be A Writer?

By Leslie Hachtel

Are you sure? Because you need to know at the beginning that it's a marathon. Not a sprint. You may never make the bestseller list—but, then again you might. But that can't be the reason you decide to sit down at the keyboard and pour out your heart. First, you have to ask yourself if you have a choice. 

Because a writer doesn't.

So, you make the commitment and decide, yes, this is the journey I must take. Pack your 'bags' and fasten your seat belt. It will probably be a bumpy ride. Let me tell you about my (continuing) journey.

Years ago, I was in Los Angeles and I wrote a treatment for a TV show. I thought it was pretty good. I showed it to some of my friends (some who were actually in the industry). They suggested I should submit it to a very well-known (at the time) producer. A few weeks later, I got back a letter from said producer saying I had no talent and should actually get a real job. Ten months later, my idea was a TV show produced by said producer with, of course, her name on the credits. After the anger passed, I realized I was good enough to steal from. And so I took that as a sign, so to speak. After that, I was hired to write an episode of a TV show (my credit this time) and had a screenplay optioned. But, I wanted to write novels. And more specifically, romance novels.

It's hard to work all day and come home and muster the energy to sit down and put words 'on paper'. But I persevered. I was a writer. I had to write.

I wrote my first novel and sent it to a million publishers and another million agents. Nothing. So, I wrote a second novel. At the time I had a critique partner who had a mean streak. She told me, basically, the book sucked. So, I curled up into a fetal position until my husband said "Don't quit". Because I would certainly fail if I gave up. If I kept going, I might have a chance at actually being published.

And sure enough, after submitting novel number two to a million publishers and another million agents, I got The E-Mail. Followed by The Contract.

After that, I wrote more books and signed more contracts. And along the way, I decided to self-publish, too. And so, to date, I have published eleven books, (both traditionally and self-published) and a series bundle (The Dance Series). And I just signed a contract to be part of an anthology. Oh, and last week I made the Amazon bestsellers list in romantic suspense for Once Upon a Tablecloth.

The moral of this story: writing, as with any creative endeavor, has its ups and downs, days when you want to just stop and days when you can't get the words down fast enough. Days when the muse goes out for coffee. But you can't not write. Not if you're a writer. It's too much a part of who you are.

So, let me leave you with the two words that keep me going on the bad days:

Don't Quit.

As if you could.

Now get back to writing.
Leslie Hachtel was born in Hamilton, Ohio and has lived all over the United States. She started writing years ago when she simply decided to sit down at a typewriter and she was transported to another world. She realized then a writer writes because there is no other choice. Her genres include historical, contemporary, romantic suspense and historical/paranormal since she loves them all. Leslie lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her fabulously supportive husband, Bob. And of course, with Jakita, the terrier. Found out more at: www.lesliehachtel.com

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Writing with 9/11 and Hurricane Florence on Your Mind

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

I saw these statistics on Facebook the other day, and they struck me. “As a reminder, 17 years ago, this past Tuesday, 246 people caught morning flights. 2,606 people prepared for work. 343 firefighters prepared for their morning shift. 60 police officers prepared for morning patrol. 8 paramedics prepared for the morning shift of saving lives. None of them saw past 10:00 AM on Sept 11, 2001.” In one single moment life was never the same for those souls and the world. Something I can never forget when 9-11 rolls around each year. I will never forget.

My friend Nancy is a high school school teacher. She posted on Facebook this post. “In my class today,(9-11-18) my “Do Now” was simply, list 10 facts about 9/11. This is what I got from one student:

1. got up
2. I took a shower
3. I brushed my teeth
4. I got dressed
5. I got on the bus
6. I ate breakfast again at school
7. I went to my first period class
8. I took a test
9. I came to 6th period
10. I’m now in Ms. Stephenson’s class.
Earth to students. I simply told the child I was sorry for not being more specific. I told him I needed the facts from 09/11/2001. He complied. I re-graded his paper.”

I commented to Nancy about her post. “But you know he has a point. The victims of 9/11 did the first 4 things maybe did #5 & 6 and #7 went to work. They had no idea what was going to happen nor did the world. It’s sobering to consider how for the victims 9-11-01, was just another day. Be grateful for each day we have on this little blue planet.”

This year in Minnesota at a 9/11 memorial tribute an eagle landed atop the memorial. It brought a tear to my eye. Amazing. Here’s a link if you missed the video. 

Humans are a resilient species. We may be knocked down by events that occur out of our control. However, we can control how we react and strive to create a normalcy in your routine. If you stop writing after an event, set a time to write every day and just start. Like the student’s list above make a list to get you back into a routine.

Currently, the United States is facing a direct hit from Hurricane Florence. This event stands to negatively affect millions of people. Some of these people in the storm’s path are authors whose books we all read. While fearing the worst, we pray for the best. I do know from the years following 9/11, we humans will return to a new normalcy after this hurricane. 

May God be with those in the Hurricane’s path. While we will never forget any horrific event that occurs in our lives, getting back into a routine can help us move forward.

When your routine stops because of things out of your control, how do you get your routine back?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Need Advice or a good Brainstorming Session?

By Molly Jebber

Author friends are priceless. If you don’t have two author friends to bounce ideas off of, attend or join writing groups and attend conferences. If this isn’t feasible for you, join writing groups on line and interact with the email group posts and subscribe to their newsletters. It’s a good way to get to know members, ask advice, and learn what’s happening in the industry. After you’ve been active with a group, you may befriend a member or two who are writing your same genre who you trust. You can approach them about editing each other’s work in progress.

Another set of eyes as you write the manuscript to edit the story can save you valuable time and much aggravation. You don’t want to have your character petting the sweet cat when you wrote the cat died of old age in the previous chapter! Yes, my critique partners have caught some funny blunders before I edit, and we’ve had some good laughs. You can brainstorm for new story ideas. The conversations will result in a boatload of work, but you’re ready and inspired to write to make your story better.

Support for each other goes beyond the writing. You’ll gain advice on the best resources for research, marketing, and the industry.  Author friends encourage you to plow through the tough times, hug you when you need it, and offer the best advice gained from their experiences in all areas of their writing and publishing process. They encourage you to achieve your writing goals and objectives for each week.

Check your time each day and don’t get carried away with marketing more than you’re writing. My critique partners monitor my progress by how often and how many pages I’m sending. You’re probably better at this than I am. Both are important. Finding new marketing ideas are fun, and I get involved and excited about them. Maybe a little too much!  With information at your fingertips, writing groups are within reach through podcasts, online email groups, Facebook, blogs, and more. Don’t get discouraged. You’ve got a book we want to read, so don’t give up!
Molly Jebber writes Amish Historical Romances. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s HEA column, and “Change of Heart” made Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Ten List, and her books have received 4.5 star ratings from Romantic Times. She’s on Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll and she receives rave reviews in numerous magazines and media across the country. She’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she speaks to many other groups about Amish history and their traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and about her books. Visit her website to view her Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series and more! Her latest book is the first in her new Amish Charm Bakery Series, “Liza’s Second Chance” which released January 30, 2018, and “Ellie’s Redemption” (the second book) will release Jan. 29, 2019. Her Social Media Links are http://www.mollyjebber.com http://www.facebook.com/mollymorrisjebber http://www.twitter.com/mollymjebber https://www.pinterest.com/mollyjebber/ https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00NI1CSVC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1424311352&sr=8-1&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Marketing on Social Media

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine\

There are many social media networks. It seems each day someone is announcing a new social media.

The question becomes which ones to use. Which ones will work best for you? Which ones can you achieve your sales goals?

Trust me, there is no way to use all of them and do service to your marketing efforts.

There are two schools of thought in marketing and it actually depends on the business industry you are in as to what will work best. So, it is with marketing and selling our books. You can use either the shotgun approach or the rifle approach. And sometimes you can use both. The secret is finding which one works best for you.

Shotgun Approach-a method where marketers try to appeal to a wide market of potential customers; thus targeting as many people as possible. (I call that method throwing pasta up against the wall and seeing what sticks.)In other words-mass marketing.

Rifle Approach- targeting a clearly defined audience with defined promotional strategies.  This involves targeting your audience.

We must reach as many readers as possible and cultivate them into our readers. What does this mean in terms of marketing? It means we will have to invest time and energy into marketing our books and ourselves. Social Media is only one avenue to use.  Let me repeat that––social media is only one avenue to use in marketing our books. You cannot rely just on that venue alone. You have to use other methods also.

The old adage to have a friend you have to be a friend is true in social media. Take some time (not all morning) to like and comment on other users’ posts; always respond to comments left on your posts.

So, how many social media networks should you choose? I would suggest no more than two or three. More than this will spread you too thin. With two or three you can be active and participate and people will get to know you and you them. 

Don’t spend all your time talking about you and your book, selling. People do not like this. Talk about interesting things. Asking questions of them can pull them into the discussion, which is what you want. If you are an historical fiction writer, talk about interesting things in that era–the people, places and events. If you write cookbooks talk about the different foods you choose and why. Again, ask questions. Make them interesting so they will want to respond.

By being smart and scheduling our time and choosing which medias to use we will increase our followers which will become friends and have an interest in what we do, if we have an interest in what they do.

Social Media is nothing more than building relationships. Remember, people do business with people they like.

Monday, September 10, 2018

How to Change in Midstream

By Adriana Girolami

Individual writing style is the hallmark of most authors. There are so many different ways to approach a story line. Some develop an idea a little at a time. Others make detailed research and write copious notes. I usually have a story in my mind, and then I simply embellish it as I write it on my computer. I research the historical facts. Yet, I only write minimal notes.

Recently, a fellow author confided in me with some frustration, her desire to finish a novel she started writing a couple of years before. She never completed it because of a sudden lack of interest. It was distressing to the lady that her exciting idea was now wasted. Instead, it languished on her desk collecting dust.

I was unable to give her any useful advice, since I never had the experience myself. I suggested the usual line: "Read again what is already written, then try to rekindle the original excitement of the story bringing it to completion".

At that time, I had just completed my Knights Templar Trilogy, and was busy writing a new novel. As usual, I had the storyline pretty much developed in my mind. With that, I was writing it down with some enthusiasm.

However, during that period I attended a party. This was where I was introduced by a friend to an interesting subject. It was about the Zamindars of India. They were feudal lords who governed for a couple of hundred years until their fall from power. The premise intrigued me, and I decided to make it my next project. That is, right after the completion of the novel I was presently writing.

However, soon after something strange happened. My pace of writing was slowing down, and my excitement in the story was waning. It was difficult to understand the reason why.  My mind wondered in different directions. I become concerned since it never happened to me before.

As my writing stalled, I began researching online for more information about the Zamindars. Finding great pleasure in reading about them, different story lines quickly flashed through my mind. Fortunately, the original excitement as a writer was back. However, it was not connected to the story presently being written by me.

It should have been a simple choice at that point. Abandon for the time being, the novel in progress and start writing the story that suddenly resonated with me.

At first, it was disruptive to my writing style and proved uncomfortable. Soon it became abundantly clear that creativity is the only guiding light worth following. It should take precedence even at the expense of structure and writing habits. If the enthusiasm dies down, let go of the project at hand. I suggest all aspiring authors to do that for the time being. You will eventually get back to it. I know I will! Follow your creativity to guide you until a happy completion of your newest, exciting novel.
Adriana Girolami is an historical romance author. She was born in Rome, Italy and credits the ancient beauty of her native country for her love of history. She immigrated to the United States and attended The Art Students League in New York City. She is a professional portrait artist who loves to write and express her creativity not only with a brush, but also with the power of the written words. Her debut novel, Mysterious Templar, is now a part of "The Knights Templar Trilogy" followed by The Crimson Amulet and Templar's Redemption, the third book just published. Being also an artist she particularly enjoys painting the covers for all her books. She is a world traveler, and has been privileged accompanied by her husband to visit many beautiful places in the world. Since her work is sedentary, she exercises faithfully, loves to jog, plays racquetball and has a black belt in Kenpo Karate. She always looks forward to a special tomorrow and writing her next exciting novel.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Finding Time

By Laura Vosika

What an appropriate title for someone who writes time travel! Of course, in this case I’m only talking about the more pedestrian meaning of finding time. Many authors, including published authors, are holding other jobs to make ends meet. And thus one of the most-asked questions, from those who also wish to write: How do you find time?

With not only a job teaching music lessons 25 hours a week, but nine children, five of whom still live at home, and a large dog who likes long walks, it’s definitely the top question I’m asked. My answers are four:

Priorities. Pieces of Time. Persistence. Passion.

To me, the biggest factor is Priorities, which means I don’t find the time, but make the time, by choosing how I will use the hours in the day. This means, by definition, other things don’t get done. I would like to play my harp more often but these days that time usually goes to writing. I would love to be outside gardening. I might take that up when I have the next book done—but probably I’ll start another one right away. When it comes to the house, things get done eventually—but I prioritize my writing.

In short, I have the time to write because I have decided I’m going to write.

The next biggest factor is Pieces of Time. Priorities take care of the big chunks of time: I rarely watch television or movies. I don’t play online games. But I also use the small pieces of time. If I have three minutes while my water is heating in the microwave for coffee, I use it to throw a load of towels in the washer, answer an e-mail, or wash a sink full of plates and silverware. If a student doesn’t come for a lesson, I spend the time writing. My kids like to run into the store to grab things off our list (and they’re well known and loved at our small local store!) while I stay in the car with my laptop and write another page or edit.

I was going with a theme of Ps, but Persistence might be better called hard work and long days. In addition to using the time I have, I typically work long days. I’m often (not always, but often) out of bed well before six and up until past midnight. That work isn’t all writing. It’s teaching lessons, taking care of the house, going to kids’ events, running errands, and more. But when people ask how I get things done, this is how. I get up early and stay up late to get time for the writing.

And that brings us to the last on my list, but perhaps what makes the other three work: Passion.
None of this would work if I didn’t love what I do. But I love teaching and playing music. I enjoy kids—both my own and my students—and am energized by my time with them. And of course—I love writing. I love the interaction between Shawn and Niall as they move from mutual antagonism to calling each other brother. I love watching people change, grow, and learn. I love the research into medieval Scottish history and the amazing stories I’ve found, such as that of the laundress giving birth on a battlefield under the eyes of an enemy army. I love bringing these stories—actual history—to life in the pages of a book where readers can experience them, hopefully as those involved in the event did, and feel what it must have been.

I might add a fifth P to my list: Patience. So far, I’ve taken about two years to write each of my novels, while some authors are putting out one to six books each year. I try to keep my life in balance. I want to take my dog on regular long walks—for her sake and for my own. I want to play instruments and read poetry at open mics. I want to attend my children’s orchestra concerts and wrestling matches. Therefore, I accept that writing, for me, is a longer term game than for some other authors. So, I look at it like the old adage about eating an elephant: one bite at a time. My five book series, the accompanying Food and Feast in the World of the Blue Bells Chronicles: a gastronomic historic poetic musical romp in thyme, and my music record book are the work of twelve years. But they happened because I started with a small step and kept going, step by patient step.
Laura Vosika is the author of the Blue Bells Chronicles, the beloved tale of time travel, mysteries and miracles, romance and redemption. In addition to the Chronicles, she has written Food and Feast: a gastronomic historic poetic musical romp in thyme, and Go Home and Practice, a music assignment book. She has co-authored 221 BC with Dr. Kendall Price and is working on several non-fiction books, including Theology of Music, with Dr. Chris R. Powell. Her writing has been featured on TV, radio, and in print, and she currently hosts the radio program Books and Brews with Laura Vosika in the Twin Cities. Her social media links are www.bluebellschronicles.com  http://bluebellstrilogy.blogspot.com   http://www.bluebellstrilogy.com/

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Writer’s Block and Art

By Chris Pepple, Writer-At-Large, Southern Writers Magazine

A couple of years ago, I interviewed a local artist for a newspaper article. When I sat at my computer to finish the assignment, I had writer’s block and couldn’t put words together to produce a readable piece. While looking at her paintings shown on the artist’s website, I remembered how many times I broke through my writer’s block with the help of art. It started with an art appreciation class that I took at the University of Memphis. I had never studied much classical art—or modern art either, for that matter. A graduate student taught the class which was geared towards non-art majors picking up optional credits.

One week, I had two writing assignments due in other classes. I also had to tour a local gallery and answer a few questions about certain pieces of art selected by the professor. I tried to finish my writing assignments first, not wanting to get behind in any classes in my major. I took paper and pen to my quiet work space and to the backyard. I tried writing in the library and in the student center. No words flowed at all.

I gave up and headed to the art gallery. I answered the required questions in front of a colorful painting full of waterfalls and birds and foliage and wildlife. My mind started dreaming up scenarios in which photographers explored the area or conservationists preserved the scene. I wondered what sat just out of view of the canvas.

I took out my paper and jotted down notes about adventurers and writers and photographers. The ideas from this one painting seemed endless. While in the gallery, I decided to write a few notes for my upcoming papers. Ideas for those topics began to flow easily.

Later, when I attended Emory University to work on my M. Div., I rode the MARTA rails to the High Museum of Art, especially on afternoons when I could get in free. I worked on my hardest papers in front of paintings, sculptures, or photography. The art opened my mind. It released the words again. 

Creativity inspired creativity. It still works for me.

Be inspired by the works of others…

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

3 Ways to Be Every Day Brave

By Rachel Linden

As an author I am choosing to be every day brave.

What does that mean, you ask? In essence, it means choosing courage in the face of challenge. Believing that on the other side of fear is something better. It means embracing bravery as a mantra, a habit, a way of life, embracing it every single day.

We authors need tremendous courage, grit and determination in order to succeed, to write the books we hold in our hearts, and to forge a career path for ourselves. Here are 3 important ways we can choose to be every day brave.

1.      Take risks

Five years ago, I took a giant, nerve-wracking step toward my lifelong dream of being a published novelist and sent query letters to a dozen renowned literary agents in the US, asking them to consider representing my debut novel. I said a prayer, squared my shoulders, and waited for their replies. I received eleven rejections, which I was expecting, but one beautiful response was a yes!

Since that first yes, I have experienced a few dozen marvelous open doors, acts of grace, and sheer miracles on the road to my dream career as a published author, but I have also faced many more rejections, disappointments and challenges. With each setback I have a choice. Will I buckle in the face of struggle and opposition? Or will I choose to risk rejection and disappointment for the promise and potential of success? Every day I choose to pursue the yes! What about you? What would taking a risk look like for you? Is anything holding you back?

2.      Let someone see your work

It’s lovely to craft a story in privacy, nurturing it, pruning and shaping it. However, at some point, we have to let another pair of eyes (or two or three) see the words we’ve been so painstakingly written. It can feel so vulnerable to allow others to see the work of our hearts. They might have criticism. They might not like it! We have to do it anyway. Constructive criticism is a powerful tool to help improve our craft.

My husband is my most trusted critic. He reads every story first and then I send it to 3 or 4 trusted literary friends. These ladies are my beta readers, and their encouragement and criticism helps strengthen every book I write. Who are your beta readers? Who can help you craft a better story?

3.      Make connections

Writing is often a solitary task, which is why it is vital that we writers seek out a community of peers and mentors to support us! We can’t write our best work in a vacuum. We need empathy, commiseration, ideas and input from others. Writing groups or a writing mentor, online writers’ forums, and local or national writing conferences are all great ways to connect with other writers. It can be hard work to build relationships and foster a strong community, but it is essential for success as a writer! Ask yourself, who is in your writing community? What connections do you need to strengthen?

So there you go. Three practical and important ways we authors can be every day brave. What does every day brave mean to you? How are you choosing to be every day brave today?
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College and a BA in Literature from Huntington University. Linden also studied creative writing at Oxford University during college. Currently, Rachel lives in beautiful Seattle, WA with her husband and two young children. She enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy. Her first book, Ascension of Larks, released in 2017. Becoming the Talbot Sisters (May 2018) is her second release. Find Rachel Linden online at www.rachellinden.com, on Facebook (authorrachellinden) and on Instagram (rachellinden_writer).