An Inspirational Pep Talk from Author Rachel Muller!

OK… shoot me. I was supposed to post this on Monday but anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo this year knows just how crazy things get!

Rachel Muller has been through an intense couple of years and she has a unique outlook on how writing and publishing works…

Every obstacle in her path, she has found a way around, under or through it – so I thought it would be a great idea to have her write a little pep talk for us too!

 

So here it is…

 

Rachel Muller_Headshot

Wow! If any of you feel like I do, I’m sure you’re saying right now, “Where did November go?” Thanksgiving is very swiftly coming upon us. Soon we will find ourselves scooped into the arms of loved ones and counting our blessings from the last 12 months.

As the air around us turns colder and daylight lessens, I not only find joy in family gatherings, but I also find this time of year most inspirational in my writing. While I have never participated in NanoWriMo, I know plenty of authors who have. I know the personal deadlines and quotas can become grueling as Thanksgiving approaches and the end of the Nano draws near.

You’ve passed the 50% mark in your novel, now you’re whizzing by 85% and probably about 90% through your rough draft. Way to go! Grab your favorite chocolate bar and reward yourself for sticking to it and getting this far! Your novel is nearly complete!

But maybe you’re exhausted. All this seasonal planning, and Autumn cleaning, and housing in-laws is distracting you from typing out those 1500 words or sitting down for one hour intervals of writing time. I know. I feel it too. My book due out in January is still under content edit and still needs to go through final edits before January 1st! Now we’ve hit a slump.

How do find strength and inspiration to finish that last 10%? I have a few ideas and encouraging thoughts that may help:

  • The end of Hebrews 12:1 and beginning of v. 2 tells us, “…let us run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”

If the burden to write has been placed on your heart, it wasn’t by mistake. Divine appointing has gifted you with the talent to write. Use it for God’s glory and don’t ignore the calling placed on your life. Somewhere down the road, someone will receive a blessing from your story. You’ve started the “race” for November, cross that finish line and look back on what you are capable of handling.

  • You may be hitting that slow spot in your novel and you’re ready to speed things up a bit. You’re ready to have everyone kiss and make up, and your fingers are itching to write “The End.”

Whoa! Hold the reins! Slow down just a tad. Remember, this is YOUR story. These are the lives of YOUR characters. Allow them to develop. Allow the plot to untangle itself. Take one chapter at a time and let those characters and scenes have the spot light.

  • Maybe you’re feeling uninspired. If you’ve written faithfully every night this month and dried up all those creative juices, you’re probably sitting at that white screen in front and…

          STARING.

What does character X say now? What should happen to Mrs. Y?

Well, there are a few different avenues to help get those creative juices flowing once again.

  1. Walk away from the screen. Give yourself a little break. Find your happy place. It may be a nice walk in the woods. A drive in the mountains. A trip to the local zoo. Maybe even that book with the great cover that’s on your To-Be-Read pile. (and here’s where I put that plug in for my WWII novel, Letters from Grace) 😉

Wherever that happy place is, embrace it. Allow your mind to settle and relax. Some of my greatest lines comes to mind when I lay down for the night. I keep a handy notepad and pen at my bedside at all times for moments like those.

  1. Bounce your ideas off someone you trust and whom you feel comfortable taking advice from. Sometimes outside situations and friend-to-friend conversations will help you think outside the box.
  1. Pray.

John 14:14 says, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

As a new and emerging author, I have committed to start each writing session with prayer. I pray that the words flowing from my imagination and onto the screen in front of me will find that someone who will find strength encouragement through not just the words I’ve written, but the words God has given me to write.

I want to thank Rachel Miller for inviting me to guest post today. I wish every participant of NanoWriMo the best in your writing endeavor. It is an exciting, frustrating, mind-boggling, and fulfilling accomplishment to come this far. Never give up.

For those first-timers out there: Find the strength to write those last few chapters. In just 6 days you will be able to look at your computer screens and say, “I just wrote my first novel!” Be proud of yourself. You have accomplished what few people have in life.

For those who may not be able to finish by November 30th: It’s okay! Don’t stop there. You’ve come this far already. Get right back to it on December 1st and pen that next chapter. Give yourself a new deadline. We’ll all be cheering you on!

Blessing to everyone and have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Yeah… shoot me! We all could have used that a week ago. Oh well… These WONDERFUL words will help me get to the end. And for those who are not participating in NaNoWriMo… or those of us who will continue writing when November is over and no one is counting our words anymore – Rachel’s words will help us keep going when we really want to quit!

I know when I read them the first time, I felt so inspired and just in awe of what a wonderful message Rachel wrote out for us! God has truly blessed her!

THANK YOU Rachel! You are such an encouragement to me!

 

Rachel writes beneath the belly of B-29 Superfortress, one of the many inspirations radiating from her World War II-themed office. Her debut novel, Letters from Grace, released September, 2014, and became an Amazon Top 100 Best Seller. She resides in Central Maryland with her husband and four children. Readers can learn more about Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads. She also write for the Modern Belles of History Blog!

You can purchase her most recent release: Letters From GraceHERE!

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An Inspirational Pep Talk from Author Jennifer Beckstrand!

Any of you who are doing NaNoWriMo this year will have seen the Pep Talks. And as much as I appreciate them, there’s just not a lot there for those of us who write Inspirational Fiction…

Let’s face it, Inspirational Fiction authors rarely end up on the same level as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Oh every once in a while we have one – Karen Kingsbury comes to mind but it’s much rarer for those of us who infuse our work with God’s Love than for those who write pure fiction.

So I figured we could use a little extra encouragement! And Jennifer Beckstrand has written a wonderful Pep Talk for us!

 

So here it is…

 

How to Get Through NANO by Jennifer Beckstrand

I love it when people ask for my advice, because 1) no one ever asks for my advice, and 2) it means they think I actually have something to say that’s worth hearing—either that or they are just humoring me to make me feel good about myself. This is why I love helping my kids with math. They think I’m smart by the time we’re finished.

My delightful online friend and faithful street team member Rachel Miller asked me to pen some advice for inspirational authors during NANO.

My first disclaimer is that I have never personally tried Nano. November tends to be one of the worst months in my life to try to write a book. January would be much better.

My second disclaimer is that I’m not an expert—like Stephen King who wrote a book about writing or J.K Rowling who wrote a book on a napkin—but I have completed 11 books, and I spend several hours a week pursuing a writing career. For what it’s worth, I am happy to pass on what I’ve learned.

First, some general pieces of advice to help make your writing better

  1. Read. Good writers are good readers. When I get in a rut with my word choices or characterizations, there is nothing like a good Orson Scott Card or Jane Austen to inspire me.
  2. Read about writing. Story by Robert McKee is one of my favorite books. Self-editing for Fiction Writers changed my life. There are dozens of blogs out there about everything from grammar usage to plot development. These can be extremely helpful.
  3. Get an education. Attend writer’s conferences and writing workshops. This is a great way to meet other writers and learn about the craft.
  4. Enter writing contests and/or get a critique partner. These can be scary because people actually read your stuff and give their opinions about your writing. It’s always a risk to put yourself out there. Unflattering comments about your writing can be painful, but they are also very helpful. How do you get better if nobody ever points out what you’re doing wrong?

Now on to Nano specific advice

  1. Most importantly, remember from the outset that YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH. You don’t have to write one more word EVER. To God, you will always be enough, just the way you are. Sometimes the anxiety about plotlines or word choice or character development can overwhelm you. Take a deep breath and remember why you are writing a book. Did God call you to do it? Do you enjoy the satisfaction of sharing your talents? Do you love to write? Remember the why. It will help you conquer the how. But God will always love you. You don’t have to prove anything to Him. As long as you remember that, you’ll be okay.
  2. God loves you just the way you are, but I think one of the reasons He gives us His grace is because He wants us to stretch and grow. Jesus’s sacrifice was not only a gift He gave to us, but an investment He made in us. Use that enabling power of grace in every aspect of your life.
  3. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Just like lifting weights makes us stronger, struggling to write thousands of words a day makes us better. We wouldn’t improve if it wasn’t hard. Nobody wants to stagnate. You have to push through the hard times. Write junk on the page if you must, but WRITE.
  4. Remember that writing is work. HARD WORK. I had hoped after I wrote my first book that writing would get easier, that I could sit down at the computer and jot off three thousand words in a matter of minutes. This is not the case.
  5. Writing isn’t like cleaning toilets. Cleaning toilets isn’t fun, but at least you know exactly what you have to do to get the job done. With writing, I might put in three hours and have a paragraph to show for it. That’s the nature of the creative process. Ideas don’t flow all the time or even most of the time.
  6. So, even though it can be painful, it is important to sit in that chair and write, even if you can’t think of anything to write. Even if you know that most of what you write is going to get deleted. No writer has a book handed to her on a silver platter by the Muses or by God.

 

I don’t know about you but WOW! Just WOW! That was great! I know it gave me such a boost of confidence. THANK YOU Jennifer! You are such an encouragement to me!

 

For more information about Jennifer and her writing, You can click the links below.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK   TWITTER   GOODREADS   KENSINGTON

WHO IS READY FOR NANO! Anyone?

So, the person who mostly writes this blog has been essentially MIA since the ACFW conference. I’m sure you’ve noticed…

Anyway, she’s basically a sleep-walker at the moment but she’s trying to rejoin the land of the awake by consuming massive amounts of caffeine because HEY! Tomorrow NaNo STARTS! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Anyway, since she’s not really awake yet, she is leaving a little funny for you to enjoy until tomorrow!

NaNoToon courtesy of nanotoons.net (Image is clickable)

 

HAPPY WRITING!

 

NaNoWriMo, Writing and a Very Personal Ministry.

For years I have worried that I would never find the right ministry.

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I thought it might be writing but I am beginning to see that my writing might only be a small part of God’s plan for my life and my ministry.

My mother and I felt a calling to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year, despite our experience last November.

And I felt called to start this group.

I applied to be an official ML with NaNoWriMo but I kept feeling like I wasn’t done yet so I prayed a bit and I waited and I listened.

When I saw the Facebook page for the current Nashville regional group, I felt compelled to start one for our group. Then it was a blog and finally a twitter profile. And once I had all of these things in place, I realized I still wasn’t done yet.

Then I finally began to see what God had been trying to tell me. It wasn’t enough to reach out ONLY to writers who do NaNoWriMo… I have to reach out to ALL authors – and when I say all, I mean all. Not just writers of inspirational fiction (although that is still our group’s main focus) but ALL writers of any genre.

Jesus went out and talked to the people – ALL of the people. That was one of the biggest reasons the Pharisees had so many issues with him… because he associated with the “wrong sort”. 

Yes, we need more support for writers of Inspirational fiction and non-fiction.

But we also need to reach out to those around us who do not. The saved don’t need to be saved again. They just need fellowship.

It’s the lost who really need us. And if that can be done by reaching out through a writer’s group, then that is how I will do it!

God has called and I WILL ANSWER!

 

Blessings!

Have a Blessed Evening!

~ Rachel

It’s NOT too late!

We started this blog/group with the intention of encouraging writers of Inspirational fiction within the confines of NaNoWriMo but now that we have had a day to think about it and discuss – we think it is better to use this group/blog to encourage Inspirational Authors everywhere ALL THE TIME!

There is simply not enough support for Authors of Inspirational fiction! And there should be – there are a lot of us out there! PRAISE GOD!

So watch our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages for news of events coming SOON! And watch the BLOG for encouragement and for tips and hints for your writing journey!

 

Now…

 

That being said, if you want to participate in NaNoWriMo, there is something called Camp NaNoWriMo that is going on RIGHT NOW! And…BONUS… you can pick your OWN Word Count GOAL! So, if you decide to participate – starting NOW, you can STILL WIN! All you have to do is ask yourself how much you WANT to write in the remaining days of July!

You also have the option of revising a novel – which is what I am doing. And I want to add at least 10,000 words to my novel so that is my goal. If you would like to connect with me there, click HERE.

 

So, watch for news and encouragements COMING SOON!

And head on over to Camp NaNoWriMo and join in! You can sign up anytime! I did! You can have fun while you’re writing! And you get to pick your own word count. You can’t lose!

 

Plus you get all these Great Banners and Buttons and Avatars!

Participant 2014 - Facebook Cover

2014 Participant - Vertical Banner         2014 Participant - Facebook Profile         2014 Participant - Square Button

Participant 2014 - Twitter Header 2
2014 Participant - Twitter Header 1 

 

Happy Writing and GOD BLESS!