3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me As a Writer

My writing career began as an intern for Christian Retailing magazine. My first published pieces were reviews of books, music, and products in the back of various publications. I spent years honing the craft of writing in segments of 250-words or less.

This slow, humble beginning taught me the basics of writing and publishing.

Don’t miss a deadline.

Be good to your editor.

Make every word count.

Stay within the word limitation.

Earn trust, then spend it to earn more.

Find new ways to convey old expressions.

Study the publications where you want to be published.

Every piece provided the opportunity to learn more and grow in the craft of writing. Here are three things I wish someone had told me sooner:

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Will you join me on a great ADVENT-ure?

If you’re like me, the weeks leading up to Christmas become overloaded with lists and to-dos. But what I really ache for is those moments of tucking away in quietness, in stillness, to prepare for the arrival of a heartbeat, His heartbeat. The longing His heartbeat would overtake ours.

Join me from November 29 to December 24 on an advent-ure as we spark longing for Christ in the midst of this holiday season.

Over the next four weeks, we’re going to slow to a stroll as we meander through 12 stunning verses in the Gospel of Luke.

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No one every taught me that I was supposed to say this word aloud during the holiday season. I didn’t know that one word could mean so much during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. No one told me this one word contained so much power.

How did I miss this one word my entire life?

Not until I experienced severe loss did I begin to understand. As I describe in Fight Back With Joy, I now walk among the fellowship of the afflicted.

Perhaps you do, too.
Maybe you received the news of the diagnosis.
Faced an ongoing struggle with infertility.
Suffered through a painful miscarriage.
Received the crushing financial blow.
Discovered your spouse wasn’t being true.
Experienced a freak accident.
Had someone take something from you that you’ll never get back.
Or something worse.

If so, you, too walk among the fellowship of the afflicted.

Those who walk among the fellowship of the afflicted tend to walk tenderer, speak slower, love more intentional.

Why? Because they know the great unspeakables of pain and loss.

But even if you’ve never experienced severe suffering, you can still enter into people’s lives this holiday season with one word that will breathe life and hope and love.

Do you know the one life-giving word?

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If You’re Serious About Writing, You Can’t Afford Not to Read This

Do you or someone you know have a story to tell?

Do you or someone you love need that extra nudge to make their writing dreams a reality?

What if this year, you or the person you love (or both) give the gift of attending Writers Boot Camp for Christmas?

My friend, Jonathan Merritt, is a guru in the publishing world. He’s an award-winning faith and culture writer who serves as senior columnist for Religion News Service. He has published more than 2,000 articles in outlets such as USA Today, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Christianity Today, and CNN.comBlamo!

If that’s not enough, Jonathan has also published three books, including his most recent, Jesus is Better Than You Imagined, which Publishers Weekly described as full of “winsome writing and absorbing tales.” He has also worked as a collaborator, writing coach, and ghostwriter on dozens of other titles.

I asked Jonathan what makes the difference between people who dream about writing and those who become writers. 

You can’t afford not to read his answer:  Continue Reading...


Every year before Christmas I received a fill-in-the-blank that I didn’t think mattered.

I was so wrong. Continue Reading...