Monday, November 28, 2016

Do you know what you don't know by Jo Wanmer


     I didn't know that I didn't know how to write. English was never my favorite subject but I wanted to share my story. Surely it can't be too hard, I thought. So I set goals, timelines sat at the keyboard and started this adventure. I typed for hours, re-read, adjusted and produced ninety thousand words. I was surprised how good they were. Remember...I didn't know what I didn't know!

     About that time, looking for a publisher, I walked into an Omega writers meeting and discovered that I was Unconsciously Incompetent about writing. In the chart (See below), I was catapulted from the comfortable position at the bottom left to the agony of the top left corner. Reality checks open us to previously unseen possibilities but is always tough to swallow.

     My next challenge was to become Consciously Competent. The process requires work and determination, research and a teachable spirit. But I wanted to get this book published. Deep hunger forced me to overcome the endless hurdles. 

    Over the last six years, some of my writing skills have become Unconsciously Competent - I can do it without focusing on the skill. For example I can write shorter sentences without counting words.  My fingers have stopped abusing the '!' Adverbs rarely hit the page. (Unless I allow them!!)

     Now I know that I don't know, the list of topics waiting in the 'Consciously Incompetent' box is overwhelming. They keep slipping from the box below. Every time I manage to master a skill, I discover more I didn't know I didn't know. 

     Two important areas I have learned to focus on are 'Hunger to Learn' and 'Practice and Determination'. The other two arrows seem to trigger without any effort from me. Lets peek under the lid on two of the boxes.

Consciously Incompetent.

     This box seems to be jammed full. I can see Scrivener, Self-publishing, time management, blogging, webpage construction...On the top of this pile is Characterisation. Its eager and alert, hand extended, begging me to lift it up, out and make it sparkle. My books are pleading for me to develop competency here. But, I argue, I have a good story. Whats wrong with my characters? To date there hasn't been enough hunger in me to do the study, make the effort, find the keys to consciously make heroes and villains jump from the page. 

     My book El Shaddai is stalled at this road block. Two things recently have fed my hunger to push forward. I realised in every book,  movie or TV series I can recall, I remember the people, not the plot. Memorable characters are...well, memorable. Secondly, at Omega conference last month, Hallee Bridgeman taught on three dimensional characters . If one dimension is missing our characters deflate. It was a light bulb moment for me. Every character must have physical, intellectual and Spiritual dimensions. Focused study and effort will develop my skill and move this topic towards competence.

Consciously Competent.

     'Show, Don't tell' sits in this box. I know the theory but have to concentrate to improve all the time. Other disciplines glare at me, suggesting they are feeling neglected. But I've discovered that to be consciously competent on too many things at once reduces everything to a grey blah. I've tried fixing multiple areas in one re-write but after a few chapters I lose focus.

     To master Characterisation I'm ignoring all other topics in this box at the moment and working on one character at a time. The other things are jockeying for position and demanding attention. Their turn will come but for now I must focus. Maybe one day I'll know my characters so well that they'll come to life under my fingers without so much effort.

    Thankfully 'Staying in POV' has slipped to the Unconsciously Competent box most of the time. But having said that I know that any day now I'll learn of something I didn't know and it will slip back through the bottom left and join the pile in the top left.

     What about you? Does this chart help you?
     What is waiting in your Consciously Incompetent Box?



Jo Wanmer loves to write real life relationships, bringing Light of Christ to the hard places. Preacher, Pastor, grandmother, bookkeeper are roles that fight for her time. Her first book Though the Bud be Bruised asks the hard question - 'God, where you when...?'  She lives with her husband Steve on the northern outskirts of Brisbane in Sunny Queensland. For relaxation they love to drive in his new/old BMW

Thanks to Action Coach for concepts used in chart.





Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Body and The Book


by Linsey Painter


Last week I was reading in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ. As I was reading, I was thinking, this is like writing!

Just as the body has many parts, so does a story. It is made up of structure, characters, plot, pace, tension etc. Some parts are smaller than other parts but all are needed to make a story complete, understandable, enjoyable and worth the time of our readers.

As I write I need to remember that each part is of significance. I can’t skimp on something because it’s not my passion or my strength. 
For me, I struggle, among other things with punctuation and grammar.
If I write well but don’t worry about using the right words or, where I, put my commas will people, want to read my work? Will people understand my work?
If I write an incredible life-changing story and yet fail to edit it properly or poorly encase it in a cover that turns people away, who will read it?

We are a body within a body. We work together with other writers, editors, publishers and artists. Everyone is striving to make a whole body of work that is aesthetically pleasing, is a pleasure to read, is easy to understand and impacts deep within.

1 Cor 12:18-20 (The Message) “What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own.”

I hope you are having a great week of creating whole stories that are made up of many different parts.


Linsey Painter loves to write stories that draw on her rich heritage of growing up overseas. She and her husband work with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and live in Cairns with their two rambunctious boys. Linsey grew up in Indonesia and is an expert at rolling her ‘r’s and eating nasi goreng. She has since lived and worked in Papua New Guinea— yes she has seen a bird of paradise and Arnhem Land— no she didn’t encounter any crocodiles. She has had a series of short fiction stories published in Thrive Connection online magazine for women in missions as well as non-fiction stories about living and working in remote communities with MAF. Linsey is now enjoying focusing on writing for children. www.linseysusanne@blogspot.com

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pointless Beauty




by Christina Aitken

This is not the post I started out writing for my first contribution to CWD. I wanted to write about hope, despair, about where God is or isn’t in the hard times, and what that might mean for us as writers. You know, one of those ‘how do we tackle the big questions in our writing’ posts? But the words came out stilted, and it turned into a long computer session where hundreds of words stumbled onto the page but few survived the edit. Then it occurred to me: not all words need to make a grand point. They may simply create cracks in the world where, as the late Leonard Cohen wrote, ‘the light gets in’. Words can create respite and beauty in the midst of chaos, despair, and in plain ordinariness. And beauty does not necessarily demand purpose.

Some years ago I blogged about one of my favourite Tim Winton novels - Breath, released in Australia in 2008. A screen adaption was filmed earlier this year to be released sometime in 2017. The novel pays homage to ocean and surf, and Winton paints his devotion masterfully. After reading the novel, I was struck by the way Winton finds beauty in the fleeting, the untameable; in purposeless, finite moments. He does so through the eyes of a young male protagonist, Pike, who lives to catch the perfect wave. Set in the 1970s, Breath examines social attitudes and roles of the time. Looking back on his boyhood, middle-aged Pike reflects on 'how strange it was to see men do something beautiful. Something pointless and elegant, as though nobody saw or cared.' Winton plays with the idea that surfing is not just about adrenaline and thrill-seeking; it can be about searching out beauty for its own, pointless sake. For the complex characters of Breath, spiritual connection with the sea allows ‘light to get in'.

While cultural expectations and norms have changed somewhat since Winton’s take on the 1970s, the promotion of profitability and purpose over the aesthetic remains. The financial marginalisation of the arts in Australia’s education budget suggests a continued devaluing of creative expression. As writers, we can lose ourselves in the purpose-driven aspects of the craft, as we chase word-counts and contracts, publicity and sales. I am not suggesting that we do not need these things; they are a necessary part of the journey for writers who want to share their work and make money. But we need to keep our eyes open, so we do not miss the pointless but beautiful moments that feed our souls and inspire our writing - even if they do not translate into publishing contracts.

In a way, it is about not losing sight of first love. Imagine a surfer who knows everything about the sport but never paddles out to experience the serenity of hanging out the back to wait for a glossy left-hander - it wouldn't happen. There is a kind of beauty in the writing process itself, reflecting synergy between us and the creative essence of God-within-us. Let's be open to the beauty in small things; the comforting weight of a dog’s head on our feet; the soft palette of a sunrise; the feel of a child’s hand holding ours. These moments nourish us and our writing, and perhaps, they create cracks where light gets in.


Christina lives by the sea with her husband and two children, cat and seven chickens. She has published a handful of stories and poems and contributes articles to a local magazine. Christina draws extensively from real life for her poetry and is working on a verse novel.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

When words don't seem enough

I'd like to share two thoughts from Moses' life that I've been thinking about lately.

In Numbers 20:7-11 The Lord told Moses to speak to the rock so that water would pour out. But when Moses gathered the people, he became impatient and struck the rock twice with his staff. God was gracious and water gushed out, but because he disobeyed, Moses lost the opportunity of entering the Promised Land.

Moses biggest problem was he did not trust God enough. God had told Moses to bring his staff (v. 8) and Moses expected to use it to produce a miracle like he had done in the past. Just speaking to the rock didn't seem enough.

I understand how Moses felt, often it seems like my words are not enough – whether I say words, write words or even pray words. Sometimes it doesn't seem enough. I become impatient and want to do something, anything really, maybe even hit a rock with a stick.

We are like Moses in that we want to repeat something that we had success with in the past. Maybe write a similar book, maybe use the same marketing plan that worked previously or maybe enlist the same people to help us again. However God might be asking us to do something completely different and it just doesn't feel like it would work. It doesn't seem enough. Yet if we don't follow through we might miss the opportunity God is opening up for us.

~~~

Later in Moses' life we see him speaking out against the men who had begun to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women and had started sacrificing to their gods. Moses' leadership was ineffective at this point - an Israelite man brought a Midianite woman into the camp right in front of Moses. So Phinehas (Aaron's grandson) took a spear, entered their tent and drove it through both of them (Numbers 25). It is both a violent and sexual image that many Christian fiction readers would not be comfortable with.

This incident tells us that the younger generation were stepping up into spiritual leadership but they were doing it in ways that might make older people feel uncomfortable. Likewise as writers we need to encourage a new generation to step up, even if it means they are writing scenes that make us feel uncomfortable or expressing truth in ways that are more confrontation than we would like. God rewarded Phinehas' actions because he was zealous for God's honour.

The longer we are writers the more our responsibility moves towards encouraging the next generation to write and speak whatever God has put in their hearts.

And if they communicate the words that God gives them, it will be enough.

*****

Susan Barnes likes to write devotional thoughts on Bible passages, book reviews and inspirational articles. She loves to challenge people's thinking and regularly blogs at abooklook.blogspot.com.au. She is also a school chaplain and pastor's wife.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ride 'em in, Rawhide!

The other day, as I walked into my lounge room to relax with some Netflix and a nice hot cuppa, my eye caught something on the wall...my heart jumped, and an expectant cold shiver ran down my spine. 

A spider.

A big spider.

A HUGE spider!  

Okay, it was a medium sized huntsman. But it was there. And its presence affected my ability to unwind.

I stood there for a few minutes and debated my options; kill it, trap it and release it, or live with it.

Over the years, the choices I've made have definitely changed. As a child, the sight of a spider sent me into a screaming mess of tears; I would call for my parents to come and deal with said spider, and no amount of fly spray was enough to ensure it was dead. I wanted it squished and removed!

Once married, it was my husband's job to deal with my fearsome enemy.

Now, I have realised that I must face my fears alone; I can either allow them to control me, or I can control them.

So, what did I decide to do? I thought about trapping Freda, (yes, I name them, it makes them seem less icky!). but she was far too high for that. And I don't like spraying huntsmen; they aren't dangerous, just really creepy! So, I reasoned with her; you can stay inside, but no suprising me! 

I spent the next 5 days living with Freda inside my house. We got a bit close at times, but generally, we co-existed nicely. 

And then my 6 year old, Josh, saw her! 

"SPIIIIII-DEEEERRRR!"

By this stage, I was so comfortable with Freda, that I was able to tell my boy, she's okay, she won't eat much, (and actually believe it!); but she was sitting on the roof, right over Josh's head!

So I grabbed a long, blossomy ornamental branch thingy and waved it near Freda, to try and have her move along. It worked nicely. So I moved her along a little more. And a bit more. Soon, we were at the back door; Josh quickly opened it, and I calmly encouraged Freda to walk out through the back door, and into her own world again.


We just herded a spider out of our house!

Now, I'm no psychologist or behaviour analyst, but...that is a far cry from my previous reactions! 

So what changed? The fear was still there; why could I suddenly handle it? 

I think there are two key things; firstly, there's no "super hero" to fly in and save me from my enemy. I must be the hero!

Which lead me to my second discovery; my fear was actually unfounded. I was totally overreacting to the situation, because I had allowed myself to do so. The situation was not ideal, but was it really worth all the stress and angst?


No. 

Do I still pray when I see a spider?! You bet I do! But I also pray for wisdom on how to handle it, and to give me clarity of mind, and the ability to relax in the face of the fear. 

As a creative, and in my spheres of writing and photography, I have had to overcome overwhelming fears; doubts that I am any good, that what I have to offer will measure up, feeling overwhelmed with the hugeness of what God is calling me to do. Many - MANY - times I just want to curl up in a ball under my blanket and cuddle my cat and not face what he's called me to.

But...I know that there is a greater purpose to my calling. Fear says, "I am not good enough!" whilst faith says, "Yet I will trust God to take my talent and make it grow exponentially." So I'm learning to live with the fear - of failure, and even of success, and the unknown nature of it all. For if I allow the fear to be in control, I will do nothing, and will just hide my talent away for no one to see; and how sad it is to know that someone could achieve something truly remarkable, had they but the faith to step out. 

I sincerely pray for anyone reading this today who is bound by fear; that God's gentle yet powerful hands would slice through the bindings and release you into your God-given and ordained potential! That you would catch a glimpse of all the things God has in store for you, and that you would take that first step to being in control of the fear, through faith in Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine!

Blessings,

Helen

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Inciting Event

On June 14th of this year I received two phone calls. Both came via Bluetooth while I was driving. I answered the first during morning peak hour traffic and the second on a gravel road on my community nurse circuit. Not good momets to receive unnerving news.

The first came from the hospital informing me that the surgery I was scheduled to have at some time in the unknown future, would occur early in the following week. The surgery was major and should improve my quality of life but came with a catch. I would have to learn to live with an inconvenient medical condition afterward. My lifestyle was about to change, never to be the same.

The second was my employer asking myself, along with my small team of colleagues, to meet to discuss our contract. With 2 weeks to go before the end of the financial year, and with the contract due to expire, my reaction was immediate anxiety.

Fiction writers refer to this point in the creation of a novel as the 'Midpoint', or even the 'Second Inciting Event.' Everything up to that moment is 'Back story'. I like awarding winning K.M. Weiland's description so I will quote her directly:

'Like the first inciting event, it directly influences the plot. It changes the paradigm of the story. And it requires a definitive and story-altering response from the characters. The largest difference is that the character’s response is no longer just a reaction, but the moment at which he begins to definitively take charge of the story and act out against the antagonistic force.' 

There is one vital difference between the plot in a novel, and the plot of our lives. We are not the author. And we have no idea of the Resolution, potential twists and definitely not The End.
We are the story. And we are in the hands of the best known Author of all time.

The outcome of the first phone call was a straight forward surgical procedure. The Conflict was over. Except that as writers we know that resolving the Conflict at this point in this story will result in the reader skipping a few chapters out of boredom. So He threw in a complication.

In less than a week I was back in hospital with a major, and potentially life threatening, complication. I say, potentially because this was my first moment of grace. In Australia we have an amazing health care system that can diagnose and if not cure, at least manage, almost every possible health scenario.

A few days later I was discharged and on my way to recovery. Boring! Why not throw in another couple of 'thorns'? Back to work sooner than anticipated I got stuck into the pile of work that had grown steadily in my absence. However, living with this medical nuisance wasn’t as easy as everyone said it would be. And once again, thanks to our great health care system, we discovered the cause of the problem, found a solution and off I went, back to the daily routine.

This couldnt have happend without a second moment of grace. My work colleagues were amazing. They did what they could to support me as I adjusted physically and emotionally and for that I will be forever grateful.

Omega Christian Writers Conference Blue Mountains

The second point of conflict was the threat of unemployment. The first moment of grace for that conflict arrived in the form of a small reprieve. The contract was not due to expire at the end of that financial year, but the next. An improvement, but not ideal. But who likes a boring story?  As Welland states above, the midpoint is the moment when the main character takes control of their life.

A new career pathway had already begun to unfold before all this had happened. It was time to give it a kick along. Once again, the story is too boring if the problems go away too soon. I won't bore you with the subsequent details except to say that the result is that I now have a new job, in the field that I was working towards anyway.

So what has this to do with writing? That is a story in itself and I'll leave you longing for the sequel. The only teaser I will give here is that at the recent Christian Writers Conference in the stunning Blue Mountains I experienced another Inciting Event...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Indie eBook Pricing


By Narelle Atkins

The pricing of eBooks is a popular conversation topic among indie authors. A big advantage of independent publishing is the author has control of the price of their print and ebooks. Indie authors set the price for their eBooks, and can adjust the price at any time.

Print Book vs. eBook Pricing

The prices of print books tend to be similar, irrespective of whether the book is traditionally published or independently published. There are costs of production for print books that must be factored into the selling price. Retailers will mark up the price of the print books they sell.

In contrast, there are fewer costs to factor in when determining the price of eBooks. There are fixed costs in terms of book formatting, cover design, editing, etc. The per unit cost of selling an eBook is smaller than the per unit cost of selling a print book.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Pricing Model

Indie authors who sell their eBooks on Amazon via KDP can select the price they charge for their eBooks. KDP currently offer a 70% royalty for eBooks priced $2.99-$9.99 and a 35% royalty on eBooks priced below $2.99.

A Kindle eBook priced at $2.99 will earn six times the royalty of a Kindle eBook priced at $0.99.

Supply and Demand

The housing market is a good example of how the economic principles of supply and demand influence price.

Demand is greater than Supply

The current Sydney housing market is an example of demand exceeding supply. The price of houses in Sydney has risen in recent years due to demand from buyers being significantly larger than the supply of houses for sale.

Supply is greater than Demand

The US housing market after the Global Financial Crisis is an example of supply exceeding demand. The supply of houses for sale was larger than the demand for houses by buyers, leading to falling house prices.

The are many factors at play in the housing market that influence the supply and demand for housing. These factors influence the price that buyers are willing to pay.

Supply and Demand factors for eBooks

The supply and demand of eBooks will influence the price of eBooks.

We now have an almost unlimited supply of eBooks available for sale. There are no barriers to entry to the eBook publishing market. Anyone can publish an eBook direct with KDP (Amazon Kindle), iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and the other eBook retailers, or they can use a distributor to sell to the various sales channels eg. Draft2Digital and Smashwords.

The book selling statistics, for both print and eBooks, consistently show that the demand for books isn’t falling. The growth in the demand for eBooks isn’t keeping pace with the massive increase in the supply of eBooks that we’ve seen in recent years.

Discoverability

Discoverability is a buzz word in publishing circles. How can readers find your eBook among the millions of titles available for sale?

One way to improve visibility is to discount the price of the eBook and purchase paid advertising eg. Bookbub ads that will reach your target audience of readers. Placing an eBook in a competitively priced multi-author indie boxed set may also help increase visibility. I discussed marketing indie boxed sets in my post last month.

http://christianwritersdownunder.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/marketing-your-book-in-boxed-set.html

According to the law of supply and demand, the demand for a product should rise when the price is lowered. This means that the more competitively priced eBooks at $0.99 will sell more copies than eBooks priced at $9.99.

Certain genres eg. romance have a larger target audience and a higher demand for ebooks by readers. These popular genres will attract authors who follow market trends, which increases the overall supply of eBooks in the popular genres to meet the perceived demand.

Willingness to pay

Willingness to pay is a big factor in the demand for eBooks. How much are readers willing to pay for their eBooks?

Readers are willing to pay more for print books than eBooks

This is a logical and rational decision made by readers. A reader owns the print book, can on-sell the print book and can share the print book with their friends and family. An eBook is purchased under a licensing arrangement. This usually means the eBook can’t be shared or on-sold.

Print books have an intrinsic value because they’re a physical product. It’s harder for a reader to ‘steal’ a print book from a physical store than it is for a reader to ‘steal/pirate’ an eBook online. The value our society, in general, places on books, music, film, photography and art that is sold and distributed online is an area of concern for artists and creators.

Connecting with your target audience of readers

If readers love your writing, and trust your brand, they will be more willing to pay a competitive price for your eBooks. If you’re an unknown indie author in a market where your target audience have Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and Nook accounts full of unread titles, why would they take a chance on your debut eBook priced at $4.99? 

That’s why marketing is important. Word of mouth marketing (where readers tell their friends about the books they love) sells books.

Loss leader eBooks

A loss leader is a product that’s sold at a loss (below cost price) to attract customers to sample and buy from a specific product range. If an indie author has several eBooks for sale, they can select a title as their loss leader eg. Book 1 in a series. A loss leader can be permanently or temporarily priced at $0.99 or available for free to entice readers to sample the author’s writing. Low priced multi-author boxed sets can also work well as loss leaders.

Indie authors teach their readers how to buy their books

If an indie author releases 3 ebooks within a year, and chooses to make every ebook free during the first 90 days after the release date, what is the author communicating to the reader?

This pattern of pricing will teach the reader to wait and not purchase book 4 on pre-order or when it releases. The reader will assume that they’ll probably have an opportunity to download book 4 for free within 90 days of the release date.

Indie eBook pricing strategy

Indie authors can experiment with different pricing strategies until they find a strategy that works for their books. Each book is unique and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution to how indie authors determine the price of their eBooks.

A Question for indie authors: How do you select the price of your eBooks? Are there any pricing strategies that have worked well for your eBooks?

A Question for everyone: How much are you prepared to pay for eBooks? Are there reasons that explain why you’re willing to pay more for certain eBooks?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

This post is being shared on the Australasian Christian Writers blog and the Christian Writers Downunder blog.

If you’re looking to connect with writing groups online, you can join the Australasian Christian Writers Facebook Group and the Christian Writers Downunder Facebook Group.

Omega Writers Inc. provides helpful resources and membership benefits for writers who live in the Australasian region.





A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia. 

Her latest novella release, Seaside Christmas, is available in An Aussie Summer Christmas boxed set from Amazon for 99 cents. 

Blog: http://narelleatkins.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NarelleAtkinsAuthor
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What Your Daily Word Count Says About You by Charis Joy Jackson



Yesterday I wrote 2,054 words for my WIP. At first, I was pretty proud of myself, but then I started wondering if that number should be higher for an almost full day of writing. What did my word count say about me as a writer? Was I good enough?

I’ve always wondered if I could actually make it as a professional writer.

I imagine my dream lifestyle - living in some majestic place, full of epic mountains, verdant valleys, crystalline waterfalls and soaring eagles. Someplace I could spend my days sitting in a wing-backed chair with my laptop writing all day long. Even if the “magical place” was just a dingy room and I still had the luxury of writing all day and making a living doing this, could I make it?

The fear that this is just a hobby sneaks in a lot.

Or that even if I do have the opportunity to make it a career that I’ll dry up and have no more words to say. Maybe I’m not alone. Maybe you’ve wondered too.

Well, after yesterday’s success, I was curious to know how many words the professionals write on a daily basis. My goal was to start writing the same word count as they did, because if I could do that, then I'd be a pro too, right? My word count would say so.

Famous Word Counts


Trying to google something like this was actually a bit more difficult than I thought, but in the end, I found one post that had a list of 39 Famous Authors and their daily word count. And it was much more comforting than I’d thought it would be.

Yes, there were authors like, Michael Crichton, who writes an average of 10,000 words a day! But the majority of these famous writers sat from 1,000 - 2,500 words a day. And another handful, Ernest Hemingway among them, sat around 500 - 600 words a day.

All in all, it was encouraging to know that some of the "Greats" sat so low on their daily word count.

But what did it say about them? Were they not as professional as others? Did they not take their writing as seriously as others?

This thought process reminded me of something even more important… It’s not how much you write each day, but that you stick to it and write something every day. Even if it’s only 10 words a day.

AND!

Even more importantly, it reminded me to not compare myself and my writing to other people and their writing. It's an easy game to get caught up in, but it will leave us feeling dissatisfied - even with the good things that happen. Take me for example, I had been proud of myself for how much I'd accomplished in one day, until I let comparison set in and take over that joy.

Every Word Counts


This last month, I took part in a writing challenge. It was simple enough. Write something every day. But with my busy schedule, this had even been too much for me on some days and it was easy to feel discouraged.

One of my friends, who was also part of the challenge asked me how I was doing and I told him it wasn’t going so well. I wasn’t the only one. There were a few others that were struggling too. Each time I complained, my friend James, reminde me of how good it was to at least be writing something. If I said I’d written something but wasn’t happy with the way it turned out, he encouraged me that at least I wrote something. Another time when I said it was going too slowly, he stopped me and said, “It all counts.”

Even something is better than nothing.

Write.

Get it out and on to paper or computer screen, whatever your preference.

So what does your daily word count say about you?

Well, let me tell you. It should tell you that you've accomplished something. You've put something out there. You've taken a step or several steps towards your end goal and you should celebrate that, be encouraged by the process instead of looking at the negative of it.

Be your biggest fan.

I was standing in line at an airport once and the man behind me had just been part of a writing conference in the city. We struck up a conversation about writing and when he asked me what I wrote. I started talking down about what I’d been writing and this man - this stranger, stopped me and said, “Don’t do that.” He went on to tell me how everyone else would critique my writing and tear it down, but I needed to be my biggest fan.

If you write. Do it and be your biggest fan. Enjoy the process and remember that every bit counts, whether you write only 10 words a day or 10,000, it all counts.

Each word you write is a step in the right direction, or to be punny: the write direction ;)




Charis Joy Jackson is working as a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization & is part of The Initiative Production Company. She loves creating stories & is currently writing a novel, which she hopes to create into a seven part series.

Here's to a life lived in awe & wonder.
Welcome to the adventure.

www.charisjoyjackson.com