Friday, September 30, 2016

BECOMING AN AUTHOR | 4 ROADS TO PUBLICATION


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
 (Jeremiah 29:11)



I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of being an author. I've penned short-stories and articles for many years, but always considered myself a writer. Not an author. To me that title is reserved for those who've battled their way through writing hundreds of pages of a novel, put in countless hours of edits and rewrites, and have stayed the course through to publication.

This week, I'm thrilled to say I signed my first book contract! It's been a long road, but soon, I can finally consider myself an Author! The Lord be praised for bringing me to this point!

We're blessed to live in a day and age where there are more than one avenue to publication. In fact, there are four ways to become an author. Each has its benefits as well as it's drawbacks. If you're a writer seeking to become an author, find which method suits your needs.

1) Self-Publishing - Many writers today are choosing to self-publish. If you have a good public platform and are great at social media, this might prove the way to go.
    Benefits: Complete control over print/cover options, quickest way to publish, 100% of profit.
    Drawbacks: 100% of expenses, publication falls solely on your shoulders.

2) Subsidy Publishing - If you're eager to publish, but don't have all the knowhow of self publishing, this option might be for you.
    Benefits: Quick, lower expectations, some control over print/cover options.
     Drawbacks: Share expenses with publisher, often must buy many books and sell on your own, expensive.

3) Small Traditional Publisher - Small publishers may not possess the selling power of larger companies, but they do have some great attributes.
    Benefits: Allows more input on cover design/edits, personalized treatment, no expense falls to you unless you choose to purchase books at a discounted price.
    Drawbacks: Must be willing to put forth effort to publicize & sell books, not as much exposure as large publishing company, only get a percentage of profits.

4) Large Traditional Publisher - It's every writer's dream to land a spot in this category. Competition is high and it often takes an agent or a memorable appointment at a writer's conference to make it happen.
    Benefits: Greater exposure to readers, on bookstore shelves, greater sales/income, publisher does much of the publicizing.
    Drawbacks: Often a much longer wait to publication, more effort on author's part to make necessary connections, often requires an agent, competitive, high-expectations, less input on design/edits.

I hope laying these options out has been helpful. Whichever path you as a writer choose, the most important aspect of becoming an inspirational author must be prayer and following the Lord's lead. God has a plan for our lives, it's our responsibility to seek it out.

If you've moved from writer to author, I'd love to hear your story in a comment below. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/


View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


                         https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer


    

Friday, September 23, 2016

WRITER'S BLOCK | GETTING PAST THE EMPTY PAGE





“Come to me,
all you who are weary and
burdened,
and I will give you rest."

(Matthew 11:28)





Every writer faces dry times, when the words just won't flow. That blank page (or screen) can seem like an insurmountable barrier, especially when moving from one project to the next.

For months--years for some of us--we've held our characters firmly in our minds, spilling their stories out onto hundreds of heartfelt pages. When we finally reach "the end", satisfaction pours over us. We've made it! Now what?

If you're like me, the thought of starting a new novel venture both excites and overwhelms me. Writing a three-hundred page novel can seem a daunting task. There are new characters to develop. New plots. New settings. And if you're a Historical writer like me, new time periods and surroundings to research.

So lets look at some simple ways to make transitioning from one project to the next a bit easier. Following are some suggestions to stir those creative juices just waiting to be released.

Give yourself a break. On completion of a project, give yourself a few days to relax and rejuvenate. Writing is exhausting work. Spend some off time doing something you enjoy. You'll find yourself more ready to start again, once you're refreshed and eager to get back to work.

Brainstorm with other writers. One of the best designs of God, is that He made us all different. Group activity fuels creativity. Find a few trusted writer friends, whether it be your critique partners or a writing group, and share your inspirations. Mix and match ideas, then weave the best ones into a storyline. No telling what great works will come of these pooled thoughts.

Eavesdrop. Now, this is not to say we should be seeking out gossip or infringing on others' privacy. But if you should happen to overhear an interesting conversation, listen with your creative mind's eye. Some tidbit of information may just spark an idea for a story question or plot. Put your creative energies to work by fictionalizing reality.

Utilize spin-off Characters. You've spent so much time getting to know your characters, you don't want to sweep them aside, never to be thought of again. No one says you have to. I love when a character from one book or series makes an appearance in another. It's like revisiting an old friend. That's the fun of fiction writing--having the chance to create and touch the hearts of readers.

If you're facing a blank page, I hope these suggestions have fueled new ideas to try. Or perhaps you have another way to get one's creativity flowing. If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
(Matthew 7:13-14) 

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/

View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


                         https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer










Friday, September 16, 2016

OBEDIENT TO GOD'S CALLING | WRITING WITH PURPOSE


"Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things."

(Matthew 25:21)





Every novel writer dreams of making it big, landing a contract with a large publishing house and selling millions of copies. Unfortunately, very few writers realize that dream. Most of us will travel a more subtle path, one that likely includes less recognition. But that doesn't mean we've failed.

God has a mission and purpose for each of our lives. Sometimes that plan may look different than what we perceive it to be. Yet, He is the potter. We are the clay. We can kick and scream our way through life, trying to be a goblet when the Lord intends for us to be a bowl. God gives us the choice. We can spend our days striving to achieve our own goals and agenda, or we can yield to His promptings and fulfill the purposes He has in store for us.

Having aspirations as a writer is important. That drive to achieve can see us through many a discouragement and setback. But, more essential than the desire to succeed, is having the desire to fulfill God's purpose for our lives.

Keep the following thoughts in mind as you travel through your writing journey.

~Am I glorifying God through in what I write?
~Am I staying open to the Lord's leading?
~Is what I write consistent with God's calling on my life?
~Are there areas I need to adjust or draw to a close?
~What specifically is God wanting to accomplish through my writing?
~Is the Lord closing one door and opening another?
~What audience would benefit most through my writing ministry?
~Am I seeking my dream, or God's?

I hope you'll take time to pray about and ponder these questions. I know I need to. When we're faithful in the seemingly small things, the Lord will bless and multiply our efforts. Only when we submit to His will can we know true contentment and peace.

I'd love to hear how the Lord is speaking to you. If the Lord has redirected your writing journey, I'd love to hear your story. God bless you for your obedience.

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/

View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/


                         https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer






Friday, September 9, 2016

FINDING TIME TO WRITE | EVERY WRITER'S STRUGGLE



"There is a time
for everything,
and a season for
every activity
under the heavens."

(Ecclesiastes 3)







No doubt about it. Our lives are BUSY! If we aren't careful, we can run ourselves ragged just trying to keep up. If you're like me, you can find yourself pulled in every direction, trying to balance family activities, work responsibilities, church and community functions, and household duties.

And I have to wonder, WHEN CAN I WRITE?! To be serious about writing, one has to be intentional these days. So, if you're struggling to find time to let your creativity flow, here's some suggestions to better manage your time.


START YOUR DAY WITH PRAYER - Begin each day by asking for the Lord's blessing. Taking a few precious moments to pray can make all the difference. When you submit your day and your writing to God, you're placing it in His hands, and He's sure to honor your request.

SET GOALS - As a writer, it's important to set goals. Small goals as well as larger ones. On the larger scale, you may have a goal to complete a novel in a year, six months, or even three months, depending on your capabilities or time allowance. But smaller goals are also important. Try setting a word count goal for a week, or a day. Make it one that will require you to work to reach it, but one that is within your grasp to complete. Each time you achieve a goal, give yourself a pat on the back, and set a new and higher one.


BE FLEXIBLE - While goals are important, writers need to be able to bend schedules as situations require it. While you may feel it necessary to protect your writing time from minor interruptions, some simply can't be avoided. In offering up prayers for my day, I often pray the Lord will allow me to accomplish all that He has in mind for me to accomplish. If I'm honest, that may sometimes differ from what I wish to accomplish. So when interruptions arise, take a deep breath, reassess, and adjust your plans accordingly. Perhaps the Lord has someone in mind for you to encourage through that change in plans.

DEVELOP A ROUTINE - Like it or not, we're creatures of habit. Most of us do well to have a set schedule to work with. Setting up specific hours to write keeps us motivated and creates a standard of expectation to go by. When we're organized, we make better use of our time.

LEARN YOUR CREATIVE TIME OF DAY - When do your creative juices flow most freely? I find my biggest word counts come in the early afternoon. How about you? Are you a night owl? Do you do your best work in the wee hours of the night? Or are you an early riser who finds inspiration in the promise of a new day? Be attune to the time of day that best suits your creative flare and set that as your focal point.

What ignites your creative flow? I'd love to hear from you.


Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: http://puttingonthenew.com/author/cynthiaroemer/


View Cynthia's full website at: http://cynthiaroemer.weebly.com/

                         https://twitter.com/cynthiaroemer



Friday, September 2, 2016

FINDING THE REAL YOU by Guest Blogger, CHRISTINE LINDSAY


Today, Christine Lindsay shares an unforgettable message of hope and restoration within herself. Thanks for joining us.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” Isaiah 49:15, 16a




How many of us keep secrets from our nearest and dearest—secrets that could reveal the very core of our soul, the real us? How many of us go through life not knowing who we really are?

For 20 years my precious children had no idea they had a half-sister. In 1979, a year before I met my husband, I gave birth to a baby girl whom I named Sarah. Wanting to do the best for my child I relinquished her to adoption. For the next 20 years as God blessed me with a wonderful husband and our 3 kids, I prayed for the reunion with Sarah when she became an adult. But the reunion was not the joyful reunion that I had always envisioned. Our adoption reunion marked the beginning of my long emotional breakdown.

Here is an excerpt from Finding Sarah Finding Me that portrays the beginning of my search for myself.

~Just as I’ve done for the past eighteen years, I lift down the box from the back of my closet, feeling all the stealth of a Cold War spy. The box might as well be marked TOP SECRET. Few people know of the contents: my journals from my pregnancy with Sarah, the two hospital ID bracelets, mine and the tiny one that clasped around her baby ankle, and fragments of dried pink flower petals almost gray with the passage of time. Clues to that secret me, mother of a secret child.

~The reunion with my birth-daughter underscored that I had no idea who I really was. Was I wife to David, Mom to Lana, Kyle and Robert, but not to my firstborn whom I could never stop thinking of as my child? My heart cried out in this next excerpt from my book:

~Dear God, who am I? . . . Hagar dashing out to the desert? Naomi who whines in her alter ego of bitter Mara? Hannah who also gave up her baby and has been blessed with more children? Digging for myself in God’s Word isn’t a bad place to start as I unearth parallels to my own life in those ancient and messy biblical lives.

~*~

Then later in my emotional journey I learned: (Also from Finding Sarah Finding Me):

My love for my kids beats so strong at times I swear it will burst my heart. And I’ve been unable to cut my maternal ties for Sarah, though I tried for a short time. If I can’t forget Sarah, but actually pine for her still, how much less can God forget me? My besotted love for my kids is often marred by my own neediness and grief, but it remains by human standards a powerful, primal devotion that will never cease. Yet this very pulsing of my maternal heart is a smaller picture of God’s great love . . . . We find ourselves in the face of Christ.

Look for the true image of you in the palm of His hand. He keeps it safe there for you to discover.



Finding Sarah Finding Me:

Sometimes it is only through giving up our hearts that we learn to trust the Lord.


Adoption. It’s something that touches one in three people today, a word that will conjure different emotions in those people touched by it. A word that might represent the greatest hope…the greatest question…the greatest sacrifice. But most of all, it’s a word that represents God’s immense love for his people.


Join birth mother Christine Lindsay as she shares the heartaches, hopes, and epiphanies of her journey to reunion with the daughter she gave up...and to understanding her true identity in Christ along the way.


Through her story and glimpses into the lives of other families in the adoption triad, readers will see the beauty of our broken families, broken hearts, and broken dreams when we entrust them to our loving God.

Click HERE to read Chapter One of Finding Sarah Finding Me



Irish-born Christine Lindsay is author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Christine’s ancestry inspires her writing, but it was her experience in relinquishing her baby girl to adoption that inspires all Christine writes and speaks on.



Author’s Website for New Non-Fiction Release Finding Sarah Finding Me