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My hubby is home!

Oh, how grateful and thankful I am
to the Lord because he is so good.
I will sing praise to the name of the Lord
who is above all lords.
Psalm 7:17 TLB

Paul in chair
Yes, I know his hand should not be down, but I didn’t want to wake him. There is so much to think about and do!

Thank You, Father, that Paul is home! And thank You for family that helped get him in the van and then the house. And for Laura who spent the night and helped me get him in bed.
 
She’s only 14, but I asked her last night “When did you grow up?” Much as I hate that Paul is going through all this, I think this will be an incredible learning experience for her since she is interested in a PT, OT, or PA career.
 
I confess to feeling really overwhelmed when Laura had to leave today for a party. For the first time I transferred Paul from the lift chair to the commode without someone for backup. And then I got him up again from his chair so I could put a gel pad that had just been delivered on his chair. (His bottom gets so sore from sitting.)
 
The home care nurse was here for an hour this morning. I’m very impressed with her. She’s knowledgable, thorough, and good at explaining medical terminology. And the PT who came several hours later is great. Both will continue to be the people who will work with us I trust for as long as needed. Father, please give us favor with the insurance.
 
For the first time I got someone from our insurance who was really helpful, supportive, and encouraging. She gave me needed info on his blood thinner that was a huge relief. Good RX priced a one month supply at over $400, but after today’s purchase (for one week) of $195, he will be only $5 away from meeting his $200 deductible. Then one month via mail order will be $47 or $98 for three months. She checked about reimbursement for the wheelchair since their suppliers didn’t have what we need, but sadly they will not reimburse anything not purchased in network. She agreed with me that “it’s not fair.” The same as the PA at the hospital and the cardiologist, she said “You’re doing a good job!”
 
I’ve created a spreadsheet for all the stuff I’ve got to be certain we do each day. Hopefully it won’t seem so overwhelming once we get into a routine.
 
Father, You are good. While you have not promised to save us from life’s challenges, You have promised to be with us in them. Thank You for Your faithfulness.
Yes, I know his hand should not be down, but I didn’t want to wake him. There is so much to think about and do!
 

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Prayer Needed

I really intended to regularly blog after the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference the end of July but first it was the needed conference mop-up and then the four books I edited including Michael Gantt’s Cry Mercy based on his keynote in Philly. (Yikes, that was a long sentence and I still want to tell you about Michael’s book, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Paul & MarleneI’m blogging today to ask for prayer for my husband, Paul. He tripped over the curb going into church September 30 and fell – hard. He broke his knee cap and tibia and severely sprained his wrist. After two days in the hospital, he went to a rehab and now, since this Monday, he has been back in the hospital and we discovered he also broke his elbow. Paul wasn’t eating or drinking in rehab and was getting weaker to the point where we could barely get him to stand with the walker for more than 15-20 seconds Monday morning. And I was supposed to take him home on Tuesday.

I’m so grateful I made the decision to send him back to the hospital. Turns out he has blood clots in both lungs and has been going in and out of afib. And there are some other possible complications. I’ve been on a roller coaster all week dealing with six different doctors.

We hope Paul will be released today with a heart monitor. His 76th birthday is October 28 and our 55th anniversary is November 9.

Your prayers will be deeply appreciated as he recovers and I take care of him. I definitely need to depend on the strength God promises for my weakness since nursing skills are way outside my comfort zone.

I’m putting planning for the May 15-18 Colorado and summer August 1-3 (tentative date)Cover Oct 26 new TOL Greater Philly conference  on hold until I finish typesetting and republishing the first book I wrote. It’s the one that took 5 years and 42 rejection slips until it was finally accepted.  It was not good timing back in 1983 when we didn’t want to address the issue of incest. We raised my half-sister for five years because her father, my step-father, sexually abused her. How Our Family Coped with Incest has a new title, #MeToo – Too! and a new cover. I hope to have it back in print in the next several weeks. It’s a good thing for me to work on right now because it’s a reminder of how God carried me and what He taught me during those difficult five years.

Thank You, Father, that I know You will carry Paul and I through this latest challenge. Thank You for Your promises.

But I have trusted in thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the LORD,
because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:5-6 KJV

 

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Without a doubt I KNOW the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is going to be a powerful and life-changing conference!
How can I be so certain?
  • Our outstanding faculty of 40 agents, authors, editors, and other professionals. Almost half (18) have never been to GPCWC; 5 were not with us last year.
  • New three-and-a-half-hour Learning Labs on Thursday afternoon:

    Build Your Author Platform with Sarah Bolme, Director of CSPA
    (The Christian Small Publishers Assoc.)

    The Making of a Nonfiction Book with literary agent Diana Flegal

    Focus on Fiction with bestselling author Dan Walsh

    or three hour-long workshops from 1:00 – 4:30:
    Mining for Stories, Get the Most Out of Your Appointments,
    The Care and Feeding of Editors.

  • Six keynotes that will address the critical need for us to “Write His Answer” and will encourage us to grow closer to the Lord and not give up.
Launch Your Writing Ministry
The Successful Author of Nonfiction
Brave New World of Indie Publishing
Hook that Editor!
Speaking and Writing
Take Your Fiction to the Next Level
Writing Narrative Nonfiction
  • Thirty-five workshops in 7 tracks: Writer’s Life, Craft, Fiction, Nonfiction, Get Published, Marketing, and Issues.
  • Catered meals – Friday and Saturday dinner and Friday lunch; Honey Baked Ham box lunch on Saturday. Yum! No one else will be using the cafeteria, so faculty will have a name card on their table and you can sit with them.
  • Our new location at Dock Mennonite Academy – lovely campus just five minutes from the Lansdale Exit of the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike (I-476).
  • Lodging at the Holiday Inn just off the turnpike exit and five minutes from the conference. You can cut your cost in half or by a third if you share a room with one or two friends who write. Our block has been released and the price slightly increased, but there are still rooms available.

I’m excited and praising God for all He is doing, all He will do, and for how He has carried me through the countless obstacles this year’s three conferences have faced. They’ve been over the top! You may have read about some of them on my blog. Things have happened for which there is no explanation other than the conferences must be a threat to the evil one.

 

A week before I left to direct the Colorado conference Outlook crashed and deleted all the emails in my 2015-2018 Colorado and Philly conference folders. Strangely, emails in more than a hundred non-conference folders were not touched. Six hours with tech support did not recover the emails but did intensify the time pressures and stress I was under. For the first time since delivering my three babies I ended up in the hospital for a day with symptoms of a heart attack. PTL I did NOT have a heart attack, but with all the time lost I was unable to get the Philly brochure to the printer before I left for Colorado.

 

The same evening Outlook crashed the latest copy of my 13,000 name mailing list in Access also mysteriously disappeared. When the Philly brochure finally came off press (a month late), I thought I had found an earlier copy of the mailing list that included everyone who came to last year’s GPCWC. Sadly, I later discovered the names of over 70 writers who attended the last two conferences were missing from the list.

 

I’ve never forgotten what my friend, Jim Watkins, said a number of years ago. “You can’t get hundreds of Christians together and equip them to write for the Lord and have the devil say, ‘Isn’t that nice.’”

 

So . . . I want to encourage you to pray about coming. If you can’t make the entire two-and-a-half-day conference, you’re welcome to come just for a day. Time payments can be arranged if needed, but don’t delay if you want to order meals. We MUST get the count to the caterer Thursday, July 19. And the conference registration fee increases July 22.

 

I know Father is going to use GPCWC 2018 (our 35th conference!) in Ephesians 3:20 ways. I’m praying you’ll be able to come.

 

God bless you and your writing.

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 Memorial day

Father, there are so many grieving this weekend for loved ones who gave their lives for our country. Others are struggling with “what if” fears as their loved one serves in a country far from home. And still others daily face the pain of seeing a son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother cope with a physical disability or PTSD.

Thank You, Father, for the assurance that You will not forget them or their families – or us.

 I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)

 

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This morning the Bible program that is always open on my computer crashed. I could have gone inside to get a Bible, but what if they had all been confiscated by the government because of the “hate language” they contained? What if it was a crime, punishable by death, to share my faith in Jesus Christ?

 

ostrich 2
Sounds far-fetched? Not really unless we’ve buried our head in the sand and refused to recognize the growing hostility toward Christians in our nation. Not unless we’ve chosen to ignore how our brothers and sisters around the world are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

 

I got home at 1:00 am Wednesday morning from directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for the 22nd year. As I left the YMCA of the Rockies, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the last year for the conference even though I’ve already paid the deposit for 2019 and 2020.

 

I’m NOT quitting and I’m NOT retiring even though I am 73. But I can’t assume that next year Christians will be free to gather or that our nation will even exist. When, not if, our economy collapses, we’ll have anarchy on our streets. If an EMT destroys our electrical grid, we’ll be back in the middle ages. Or if enemies intent on destroying America and Israel unleash another 911 . . . But as my friend Michael Gantt says, it is Almighty God we need to fear.

 

The sad fact for America is that
our sin has made God our enemy.
Because of the rejection of God and His Word
and because we have exchanged
the God of Life for the gods of death
and perversion,
America is already under
the Hand of God’s judgment.

If there is no national confession of sin
and if we cannot find a heart of repentance,
a Holy God will complete his judgment;
either by the complete annihilation
or subjugation of what was once a great
and godly people or by rendering it
completely irrelevant on the world stage.

 

And so with a growing urgency each year the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference strives to “encourage and equip Christians to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.” Whether through fiction or nonfiction, articles, poetry, or screenplays, we must “Write His Answer.”

 

Yes, I trust You have heard that the Philly conference is continuing in a new location (Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale,PA) and a slightly different format. GPCWC is now 2.5 days instead of 3.5 making it more affordable and not as challenging to get time off work or find needed childcare. We still have a faculty of more than 40 agents, editors, authors, and other professionals. You can find out who is coming at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

 

Online registration is open and I’m working this holiday weekend to finish our 16-page brochure. Serious issues with my new laptop computer made it impossible to complete it before I left May 14 to direct the Colorado conference.

 

Outlook crashed ten days before I left for Colorado. Seven hours on the phone with Microsoft technical support intensified the problems rather than resolved them. My nephew, Peter Burek, who is a brilliant computer consultant, worked two days to try and recover thousands of critical emails that were lost including the itineraries for 29 faculty members flying into Colorado and over 150 emails in “must answer” folders. He said he’s worked on a lot of bad computer problems, but mine was one of the worst he has seen.

 

As you probably know, the stress landed me in the hospital overnight with symptoms of a heart attack. It’s the first time I’ve been hospitalized except to deliver my three babies. I’m so grateful that all the tests confirmed it was stress and not a heart attack, but I’m appalled that the cost was over $17,000! I’m not yet certain how much our insurance will cover.

 

I’m sorry this blog has gotten so long. To recap:

 

  • If you emailed me and I have not responded, please resend. Your email may be among those that were deleted when Outlook crashed or it may be buried in the more than 2,400 emails presently in my inbox. Please put CCWC or GPCWC in your subject line to catch my attention.

 

 

  • Please pray for me as I work this weekend to finish the 16-page brochure and to somehow get the faculty and bills paid for the Colorado conference. Please pray for His provision financially since the conference checking account is almost $20,000 lower than last year at this time. (Please, Father, help me not to be discouraged or to panic. I know there has got to be more money somewhere.)

 

  • And please pray for the staff of the Colorado conference who worked so hard. Barb Haley, Laura Shaffer, Eric Sprinkle, Tabatha Scheffler, and Roy and Chris Richards will also be at the Philly conference. Thank You, Father, for the great team You have provided and for Darcie Gudger, David Shaffer, and Marti & Tom Pieper who were also on staff in Colorado.

 

  • Since I’m over a month late finishing the Philly brochure, please help spread the word about the conference. Here’s a logo you can post on social media.

2018 GP Banner

As for my Bible program that crashed, here’s the Scripture Father reminded me of this morning:

Not by might, not by power, but by Spirit

somewhere in Zechariah

 

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Underwood tpewriterI’ve been writing for publication for over 40 years. So much has changed since my first devotional was published in The Secret Place in the 1970s. Well, I’m not as ancient as this old manual typewriter, although I do remember my grandfather had one in the basement. I had to press really hard on the keys for the letters to print clearly. And I often had to untangle the keys.

Selectric
In high school I learned QWERTY touch-typing. By the end of the year I was typing 60 wpm on a Royal electric. That was faster than most in my class, but it wasn’t until I was introduced to an IBM Selectric on my first job after high school that my speed topped 100 wpm. I loved my Selectric and was fascinated by the little typeball that spun around.

Never did I imagine how far technology would take us. Truly these are exciting days filled with opportunities for writers to reach the world.  “For such a time as this” the Lord has provided the technology to do what we could have never done in the past. Because I am so excited about indie publishing, in my latest seminar, Grow Your Writing Ministry, I devote a good portion of time to the why and the how-to. The entire seminar of approximately 5 hours is available as MP3 files along with detailed handouts for only $18.

I’ve also made it a priority to include sessions on indie publishing at the two conferences I direct.

At the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference Dan Walsh, the bestselling author of 19 novels, will teach the continuing session The Brave New World of Indie Publishing. Dan says “Five or six years ago, almost no one considered indie or self-publishing as a worthwhile path to pursue. Now all of that has changed. After successfully publishing 13 novels the traditional way, in 2015 I joined a large number of my fellow authors who were all starting to publish their books on their own as indies. I’ve done 5 now and absolutely love it. I’ll cover the ins-and-outs of the publishing world (traditional, hybrid, and indie) and explain how to succeed at indie publishing if that path is the right one for you.” (Important – The faculty and program are almost finalized for the Philly conference. Info coming soon to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.)

At the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conferencein addition to Cheri Cowell’s workshop on Evaluating Your Options (click here for Cheri’s blog)  we are also offering a continuing session on Indie Publishing. 

Bob Ruesch colorRoyHanschke_2x2x600
In the Thursday morning session you’ll discover the pitfalls, snags, and triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company. Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher.

 

 

Ken RaneyIn the next 3 sessions, Ken Raney will address formatting the interior and designing professional looking book covers, business cards, newsletters, blogs and websites, bookmarks, postcards, email signatures, ads, and more  along with accessible online resources for writers such as templates, themes, stock photography, fonts, photo-manipulation programs, etc. Ken has over 35 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. He will provide practical and user-friendly info even for non-techies. The last session features a panel of indie authors.

Shelley Ring Jan 2018
In addition, Shelley Ring will teach a Saturday morning workshop on Back Cover Copy. If you don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. You’ll learn how to write a short, sweet package to woo readers to buy your book. Bring your synopsis or current WIP.  Be prepared to write!

 

 

We’ve also got a track of  workshops on marketing at both conferences since whether you publish traditionally or go indie, you need to commit to work hard at spreading the word about your book.  Does this all seem beyond you? It is, in your own strength. But God . . .

Now you have every grace and blessing;
every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours
during this time of waiting
for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB

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Debbie Hardy for GPGuest Post by
Debbie Hardy

So, you’ve been told that you should write a book, but where do you start? And after you’ve put pen to paper or opened a Word doc, what next? How in the world do you get published?

That’s exactly where I was just a few years ago. In fact, I was so terrified of going to my first writers’ conference that I paid a friend’s way and took her with me so I wouldn’t chicken out and go back home!

Since that time, I’ve attended dozens of conferences, workshops, and seminars and learned a lot about the publishing industry. And I’ve published 3 books, I’m working on 2 others, and I have a literary agent. I’m going to share what I’ve learned at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference in May.

Come join my Wednesday, May 16, early bird workshop from 1:00 – 2:00, “How to Write a Book AND Get it Published,” and learn how you too can become a published author. We’ll talk about how to get that book to come out of you, how to not appear to be an amateur, and how to get your book into the hands of your target audience.

I’ll also give you a glossary of publishing terms, so you can understand the industry lingo and feel at home.

The CCWC conference has 8 continuing sessions, 4 hands-on clinics to have a professional work on your WIP (Work In Progress) with you (deadline for applying is April 16), and over 50 workshops (including 16 early bird workshops on Wednesday) covering anything you could want to learn about the industry.

Probably the most important feature of this conference is the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with authors, editors, agents, and publishers to discuss your writing dreams.  (Click here for info about CCWC’s appointments.) That’s how I met my agent, my publicist, and my first publisher. (If you want to know the difference between a publicist and a publisher, come to my workshop. I’ll let you in on the secret!)

See you in Estes Park, May 16-19.

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Guest post by James N. Watkins

If you have children, nieces and nephews, or younger siblings, you know that a three-year-old’s favorite word is why.

“Johnny, hold my hand while we cross the street.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want you to run out in front of a car.”

“Why?”

“Because if a car hits you, you’ll be hurt or killed.”

“Why?”

“Because if it’s a contest between a thirty-five-pound boy and a three-ton SUV, the truck is going to win every time.”

“Why?”

“Because the laws of physics state that mass plus momentum equals . . . Just take my hand!”

And on itgoes-right into adulthood!

“Why didn’t God heal my friend?”

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“Why do I still have acne at 50?”

I’ve worked up way too much spiritual perspiration trying to answer why my second-grade Sunday school teacher committed suicide, why I was laid off from the perfect job in publishing—twice—or why bad things happen to such good people as you and me.

I have learned that while why is often a futile question, God is more than willing to answer other questions. But, like the popular game show, Jeopardy, the answers are in the form of a question.

What can I know?

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

So, while I’ve struggled with hundreds—probably thousands—of questions about God’s workings, I have grown in my knowledge of who he is. While agonizing about an estranged relationship, I burst into tears—for God. I had described to a friend my pain: “It feels like my heart has been cut out with a chainsaw, run over by a logging truck, and then fed through a wood chipper.” If I was feeling this excruciating pain for one broken relationship, how was God feeling about billions of heartaches? It was one of the few times I actually felt I understood God.

I can also find the answer to . . .

How can I grow?

I’ve always leaned into Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).

But what is that “purpose”? The very next verse answers: “To be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). So do other verses:

“And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18b).
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1).

That’s our purpose! So ask, how can I grow more like Christ through this difficult time.

Who can I show?

Second Corinthians 1:3-6 has become one of my favorite passages in encouraging me while I’m going through terrible times:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all ourtroubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer” (NLT).

The Greek word translated comfort is paraklesis. It is a calling near, summons for help; a prayer, a plea; exhortation, admonition, encouragement; consolation, comfort, solace, refreshment; or a persuasive speech, motivational talk, instruction. And it’s feminine case. No one comforts like a mother.

We offer our best comfort to those experiencing what we have personally gone through.

So, sorry, we can’t always answer the why questions, but we can answer these three.

Condensed from The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil by James N. Watkins. Browse and buy at jameswatkins.com/asaph/ 

Psalms of Asaph

Jim is a gifted author. Thank you, Jim, for “writing His answer.”

Jim was on faculty the first year that the Greater Philly Christian Writers went from a day-long seminar to a two-day conference some 30 plus years ago. I can’t begin to count the number of times since then that he has served on faculty.  I’m delighted that he will keynote and teach a three-hour workshop at the new Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lancaster, PA, February 9-10. More info coming soon at www.writehisanswer.com.

 

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not facebooking

Just as writers whine about finding a publisher, we’re guilty – at least I know I am – of whining about the need to build a platform. How am I supposed to even get my book written if I’m required to spend tons of time growing my presence – my platform – on social media?

While, of course, we want to reach people with the message we believe God has entrusted to us, it is critically important that we not get caught up in the world’s way and leave Him out of the process.

In my workshop, “Discovering God’s Plan for Your Ministry,” (one of four workshops I’ll teach Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 4 pm at the Stay Focused Christian Writers Retreat in Cherry Hill, NJ), I’ll talk about building your platform God’s way. Click here for more info and to register.

Whether or not you’re able to come, I hope you’ll read the message below from D.J. Williams who served on the faculty of this year’s Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. I know it will encourage you so I’m sharing it here with his permission.

Keep writing and living His answer!

Platform Building Versus Storytelling

D.J. Williams

For months I’ve been working on my next novel while balancing the demand to expand my platform so my novels gain greater exposure. I’m fortunate to have a rockstar publicist, who helps me navigate through the mysterious road of platform building.

Platform Building is the buzz word in today’s world of publishing and the gatekeeper to pitching your next book. How many hits do you get each month on your website or blog? How many followers do you have on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? How many clicks from your Facebook and Amazon ads? But the question most neglect to ask is if all of the effort in building your platform through social media results in more books sold. Sure, we hear about the success stories, but they’re few and far between, unless we’re listening to the platform building guru who tells us how easy it is to do in ten simple steps.

For those who feel overwhelmed by it all, take a step back and remind yourself of why you write. What inspires you to dig deeper into your characters? What wakes you up early in the morning or keeps you up late at night as the story pours out of your imagination onto the page? Answering these questions is where your storytelling journey begins because it’s the cornerstone. Building a platform through social media is an extension, but it isn’t the magical solution to success.

My latest post on my website shares about where my writing journey began on the Zambezi River when a spark of a story was rooted in my soul. Social media. Platform building. None of that was part of the equation. Instead, I was compelled to tell a story that haunted me until I was able to take it from my imagination and write it on the page. That’s why I feel compelled to write. That’s why I’m a storyteller. That may not be what an agent or publisher wants to hear because we’re in a day and age where even if you sign a publishing deal, you’ll end up doing the lion’s share of marketing and promotion. And you could have a great following on social media, but that doesn’t mean your book will become a bestseller.

I’ve met with writers, agents, and publishers who prioritize platform over storytelling. The belief is that if you don’t have a big enough platform, then no matter how great of a story you write, you’ll never get anyone interested. But is that really true? Perhaps a great story builds the platform instead of the other way around.

Let’s look at two examples of books within the last few years that seemed to explode out of nowhere — Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) and The Martian (Andy Weir), as well as a veteran bestseller who’s been around since before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — John Grisham.

Here is their social media reach:

Gillian Flynn – Facebook – 101,625 | Twitter – 1,649 | Instagram – 4,233
Andy Weir – Facebook – 62,887 | Twitter – 30.1K | Instagram – Zero
John Grisham – Facebook – 1.5 Million | Twitter – 19.2K | Instagram – 6,665

While some of these numbers look good, the real truth is these books and authors became bestsellers because of good old fashioned word of mouth. That’s how you sell books! Social media is an extension, not the foundation. So, instead of spending countless hours worrying about building your platform, why not write a story that grabs a reader and doesn’t let go?

Storytelling must always be the priority. If we write stories that resonate with people, then the word of mouth will spread. And you don’t have to build your platform on every single social media outlet. Pick one or two and make it fun instead of stressful. Recently, I listened to a podcast with John Grisham and Harlan Coben (70 million books in print) as they discussed the publishing world. Harlan flat out said that social media doesn’t sell books. I’m inclined to believe him, well, because he’s a bestselling author!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

To find out more about D.J. and his powerful novels, go to https://djwilliamsbooks.com. And click here to check out his Writers Circle where he provides lots of helpful info and writing challenges.

 

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hurricane

The devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey and the fear of the havoc Irma will cause in Florida is overwhelming.

But hurricanes are not the only things that have the power to destroy lives. Are you in the midst of a storm? You can be an overcomer.

  1. Keep a balanced perspective. Do not allow yourself to be swallowed up by nurturing negative thinking patterns, but look for the positive (Phil. 4:8).
  1. Turn your eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2-4), knowing as you come to Him that He really does understand all that you are feeling (Heb. 2:18; 4:15-16; 5:7-8).
  1. Tell the Lord your honest feelings (Ps. 13:1-3; 69:1-3) and your needs (Ps. 62:8; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7).
  1. Look for the “silver lining”—for the good things God can work through what you are enduring (Rom. 8:28). Ask, Lord, what are You trying to teach me?
  • To depend on Him power and not myself (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
  • To be a sensitive and credible witness (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
  • To build my faith and character (Rom. 5:3-5).
  1. Be still (Ps. 46:10). Listen to and claim God’s promises.
  • He is with me (Isa. 41:10,13; 43:2-3; Rom. 8:35-37).
  • Nothing can separate me from His love—feelings are not facts (Rom. 8:38-39).
  • His help is not dependent upon my faith but His faithfulness (2 Tim. 2:13).
  • He will meet all my needs (Phil. 4:19; Rom. 8:32).
  • Peace and the fruit of His Spirit, regardless of circumstances, are His gift to me (John 14:27; Isa. 26:3; Gal. 5:22-23).
  • His power is available to me (Isa. 40:28-31; Eph. 1:19).
  1. Choose to use problems as opportunities to experience and display God’s power  (2 Cor. 4:8-11).
  1. Develop an expectant faith-filled attitude as you learn to wait on Him (Ps. 37:7) and praise Him before, as well as after, He answers (Ps. 42:11; 71:14, 16).

 

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