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Hard Work to Hard Copy: The Publishing Pros and Cons

In the midst of all your book preparations, there’s a very important decision you have to make: how to publish. Now, in the midst of all your revising and editing, is the time to decide and start. You don’t need to wait! Although if you’re anything like me, you’ll be somewhat inclined to put off the decision given it’s a pretty big one.

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Thursday Thought: Moses and Midian

I’ll tell you something about myself. I absolutely loathe the idea of staying in one place for too long. It eats me up inside and I get downright antsy. Every time I watch a nature documentary that comments on sharks and their constant need for motion all I can think is “Sounds good to me!”. Let’s just say fear of missing out runs pretty strong in my veins. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Tips for Successfully Editing Your Book

It’s no small thing, the moment you get your book back from an editor or beta reader. You feel a lot of things: excitement, anticipation, curiosity, nervousness. Definitely a lot of nervousness. Did they like your book? Did you get enough feedback? What if they hated it? What if they don’t even think it’s worth editing? You know, the usual rabbit trails of nervousness. 
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Thursday Thought: Dependable Failure

The concept of trying is plastered everywhere in our society. You don’t have to go far to find a motivational picture with some variance of the words “Keep Trying!” calling out to you. It’s inescapable. And yet, for all the pithy slogans, we still get gummed up in the sheer weight of what it means to try.
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Hard work to Hard Copy: Three Tips for Finding Great Beta Readers

In the midst of all this editing your book, there’s another, less well-known step. A step that can not only really improve the quality of your book, but also give you a great deal of reassurance and confidence as a writer. That step is using beta readers. 
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Thursday Thought: When Your Best Isn't Enough

There are some things we just don’t like to think about. When we’ll die, squished cupcakes, embarrassing things we did when we were thirteen, and so on. Standing proudly on that list is the fear of coming up short.
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Thursday Thought: Jonah and the Art of Running Away


Jonah. I don’t even know where to start with poor Jonah. If there’s any book of the Bible that I find myself avoiding from sheer discomfort (besides Revelation, of course), it’s the book of Jonah. Besides it being more of a downer of a story, I’m all too often left feeling uncomfortable with how familiar it all feels. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Overcoming Writer's Doubt

I had glorious plans to write another blog post about editing and proofreading this week. But as I reflected on my time on that stage, I skipped down the memory lane of that period, and what I remembered from that time was suddenly front and center in my mind. 


Writer’s doubt. 

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Thursday Thought: Between Salvation and Heaven

No one likes the idea of living a life dogged by hardship. I can pretty much guarantee no one wakes up in the morning and says “Hurray! Today’s going to be really difficult!”. It just doesn’t happen. So instead we actively look for ways to relieve life’s hardships. The disappointing thing is that we do so with very little relief. Life somehow just stays hard. Even when we accept Christ and find the answers to life we’ve been looking for, we’re still followed by hardship and struggle. I have sat with people who have asked (and more than once have wondered myself) if I’ve accepted Christ, why is my life still so difficult? Am I doing something wrong? Did I make a mistake somewhere? Am I not doing enough?
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Thursday Thought: Lessons from Peter on Failure

There’s a story in the Bible that just about everyone knows. Everyone knows it to the point it’s jumped into worldly vernacular with the phrase “walking on water”. Obviously, I’m talking about Jesus strolling across Galilee to meet his disciples in their boat. There are not many other instances of walking on water that I know of…
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Thursday Thought: Three Lessons from Fear

The other day, I was walking along the beach here. It was a windy day, and the water was crashing relentlessly against the sand. I was just about eating my hair it was blowing into my face so much. Into this weather, I watched a mommy duck lead three little babies charging into the water. They were splashed about mightily, and once or twice a duckling capsized before they righted themselves and made it past the break. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Strategies for Effective Editing

Editing. Just the word alone is enough to make most writers shiver. It conjures up all sorts of terrifying images of red ink, scratched out lines, crumpled up pages, and raised eyebrows. As writers, it’s all fine and good editing someone else’s work until it comes time to ours. Then all bets are off. 
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Thursday Thought: Expecting Hardship in Christian Life

I don’t think anyone will disagree with me when I say that there are a lot of things wrong in the world today. I think a few people will start disagreeing with me when I say it’s always been that way and we don’t really have much of a right to be surprised by it. I’ve heard people bemoan the state of current events and that they can’t believe things would ever get like this. With love, I want to suggest that they absolutely should believe it and they should have been anticipating it.
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Thursday Thought: The Art of Vulnerability

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks “You know what I want to do today? Be incredibly vulnerable!”. It’s not exactly the top, desirable priority in anyone’s life, and yet time and time again we see how important it is. At some point in your life, you’ll have to open up with someone about what’s going on and deal with whatever hardship that’s becoming too great for you to handle all alone. But this post is not about the value of being vulnerable with those who care about you. This post is about some of the harsher realities of vulnerability that may keep you holding back from engaging. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: The Next Chapter of Your Book

So you have a manuscript. Whether you’re a multiple drafts kind of person or a all stages of drafting at once person like me, we all arrive at the same point where the bulk of actual writing is finished and we’re ready to move on to the next stage. Before we talk about the world of editors, beta-readers, edits, publishing platforms and decisions, and book design, I want to talk about something that completely caught me off guard in the process of creating my first book. I so wish I had known this ahead of producing my book, which is mainly why I’m writing about it now. 
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Thursday Thought: When God Feels Far Away

I once had someone ask me: "What do you do when God feels far away?" I wanted nothing more than to give them a straightforward, end-all answer, but I wasn't going to fool myself into thinking that was a possibility.

I wish it was a possibility! There were even things I knew I could say that was definitely true (He's not far away! Just have a little more faith! It will get better, you'll see!) but just like any moment of pain, it wouldn't help to hear those things, no matter how true they are. When we are struggling, we want answers and we want them now. 

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Thursday Thought: The Truth About Pain

Pain and grief manage to do a lot of things to a human being. They change them, hurt them, stretch them, and push them. But one of the biggest things I've noticed that pain and grief can do to a human is confuse them. How can they not? You drop a life-changing event into a person's life that hurts almost every step of the way, and that person will most certainly start asking questions in complete bewilderment, even if that question is just a small and helpless "why?".


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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Why You Should Take a Book Break

It’s one of the best parts of the whole book writing process: the moment you put a period on a sentence and realize it’s the last one of your entire draft. You step back, and holy moly you’ve done it! You have a manuscript! This is the best feeling in the world! 


So what should you do next? Get beta readers? Start editing? Begin the publishing process? For me, I choose none of the above. What I actually do is stop everything relating to that book and take a long break. Full stop. The book goes into exile, but a friendly one! I promise! 

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Thursday Thought: Kingdom Gifts

How many times have you met someone who felt they had nothing really viable to offer in some greater effort? How often have you been that person? It seems all too easy to convince ourselves that our skills sets don’t exactly lend themselves well to bigger picture events. We are professionals at listing off reasons why we couldn’t possibly do something without ever even trying in the first place.
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: How I Free-Flow Write

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t really sure how to write this post. Writing a book is such a unique experience for every writer and know to processes or books are going to be the same. That’s the whole point after all.


But in thinking about that, I recall how long I considered myself to be just a poser because I didn’t write books the same way I was always hearing or reading about. I’d read these articles and posts about authors complex outlining processes, storyboarding, and drafting and my heart would just sink.  I’d slip into a terrible habit of comparing myself to these authors and beat myself up for not doing things their way. I’d sit with tabs open to write my book and wonder what I was doing wrong. It was a vicious cycle.

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Thursday Thought: When God Drafts Your Story

The other day, I was absentmindedly doodling lyrics in a notebook. This is a long-standing past time of mine that I developed in college when waiting for classes to start. Pretty much came as a result of me not knowing how to sketch accurately but wanting the same feeling. So sitting there, I wrote the lyrics to a favorite song out in cursive and then started sketching over them in different colors and playing with the design. The more I sketched, the more refined the words on the page became. They were clear and exact and they looked better and better the longer I worked with them.
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Hard Work To Hard Copy: What to Do When Writer's Flu Hits

So you’re writing your book and everything’s just humming along. Life is great! Your book is going to be publishing ready before the year’s out! You’ve been getting great feedback from beta readers!  You’re going to be a best selling author in no time!
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Thursday Thought: God and the Art of Exhaustion

Not that long ago in a galaxy very, very near, I was having a rough day. It was nothing new and groundbreaking that was wrong, nothing fantastically large, and nothing that a thousand other people were likely dealing with that day. Everyone has those days. Somewhere around the age of eighteen, we start saying “adulting is hard!” and I’ve yet to meet a person willing to contradict that statement.
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Hard Work To Hard Copy: Five Tips for Busting Writer's Block

So you’re writing your book. Things are going well and you’re feeling like you’ve really hit your stride. Every day you smash another goal and it won’t be long before your book is finished, right?


Wrong

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Thursday Thought: Obedience in the Face of the Unknown

Throughout the Bible, we see many figures who reflect ourselves. We see ourselves in their struggles and hope for their same victories from God. In many ways, for those of us who have grown up with these stories, the names and actions of these people can become almost second nature. In that way, the story of Esther is not an unfamiliar one. The teenage girl who became a queen and used her influence to save her people. But the wider implications of the story have a much more impactful legacy of faithfulness in the face of impossible odds.
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