The Write from the Deep Podcast wants to thank you! We’ve reached a milestone, and you’re a big part of that. It’s our 100th podcast! To celebrate, we’ve asked proven authors from across the states to share with our listeners their very best advice for the writing life.
But first, a reminder that our newest Going Deeper Workshop: Overcoming Damaging Self-Talk is now available!
As writers, we understand the power of words. We want the words that fill our hearts, our minds, and our pages to sing God’s truth. Yet too often they don’t because we struggle with lies, unrelenting negative messages, and imposter syndrome.
But you can learn to stop those damaging messages in their tracks and replace them with specific truths to set you and your writing free.
That’s what this resource is all about! Learn more about Overcoming Damaging Self-Talk.
Welcome to our 100th podcast!
We’re so excited to reach this milestone, and so grateful to all of you for listening.
This podcast is all about equipping you—heart, soul, and mind—to be the best writer you can be, so to celebrate our momentous 100th podcast, we contacted established authors and asked them to share their best advice for writers.
“The best piece of advice I ever received was by Colleen Coble….she told me that writing was a business and I needed to invest in my business. Meaning, get the programs I needed to write in, take the classes from legitimate resources, attend writers’ conferences to learn and meet industry professionals and network, and join legitimate writing organizations to keep up with what’s happening in the industry as well as to keep learning and growing in the craft.” – Robin Carroll
“Start saving now for a writer’s conference. Conferences can be expensive, but they’re an investment you’ll never regret. Besides invaluable workshops and a chance to get your work in front of editors, agents, and publishers, the contacts you make with other writers—people who get you!—are priceless.” – Deborah Raney
“Here’s my advice: Keep your butt in the chair. Perspiration beats inspiration hands-down.” – Bill Myers
“As a full-time writer and a full-time administrative assistant, I’ve had to learn how to be disciplined about my writing time. That means setting manageable goals. Instead of being overwhelmed by a deadline and the sheer volume of words needed to meet it, I break the manuscript up into monthly, weekly, even daily word counts that are much easier to swallow. For me, one thousand words per day translates into about an hour and a half each evening. On the weekends, I try to double or even triple that. Using this approach has made me a better communicator and a much more prolific writer.” – Elizabeth Ludwig
“To quote writer Norah Ephron: ‘Everything is Copy.’ For the believer, this means that nothing is wasted. Not one tear. Not one celebration. Not one wrong move. Not one right one. Every moment is precious. Golden. Worthy of capturing in a snapshot. The breathtaking, agonizing, seemingly unimportant moments we go through on a day to day basis aren’t just potential copy for future books; they are also copy in the great story God is writing in and through us. They shape, mold, and define us, and carve us into the image of our Creator. They also make us better writers. No matter what you’re facing today, God will use it to His glory.” Janice Thompson
“I think I’ve learned that the writing journey is full of the unexpected – because God often is. He’s more interested in shaping us, than concerned about the books we write. That means we might have twists and turns that can be hard – but they are for our good. Even if we can’t see it in the moment.” – Sarah Jeffrey
“Dare to go to the places you are asking your readers to go to. Superficial writing makes for superficial impact.” – Mary DeMuth
“Embrace being a beginner! No one expects beginners to be experts, and there’s a great deal of freedom in that. Instead of faking it and praying no one notices that you have no idea what’s going on, own the fact that it’s new, that it will take a while to figure it all out, and that you need some help. Then be prepared because after you get past being a beginner writer, you’ll publish a book and you’ll be a beginner all over again, this time as a first-time author. And again, you’ll benefit from embracing your beginner status and not being embarrassed to ask questions, learn from those with more experience, and accept that there will be a few bumps along the way.” – Lynn Blackburn
“Writing is a creative passion; it’s also a skill that must be honed. Be patient. Take the time you need to learn the craft and the business side of writing before you take the next step, finding an agent to represent you to publishers. You only get one chance at a first impression.” – Lori Benton
“God created us for community, and we shouldn’t try to do any part of life alone. I believe all writers need a group of like-minded friends with whom to share the journey. Some will have more experience and insight than you. Others will lean in to hear the lessons you’ve learned that they haven’t yet. You should seek critique partners who’ll help you craft your words, maybe brainstorming partners to help you develop your ideas. When you neglect to build a community of Christian writers, not only will you miss out on all you can learn from them, but they will miss out on the wisdom and knowledge God has given to you. We were not created to do life alone. If you don’t have a community of writer friends, start praying for one now.” – Robin Patchen
“My best writing journey advice is aimed straight back at me, because it’s so HARD for an introvert! Stay connected to the real world by loving and serving people outside your writing cave. This will ensure that you have something worth writing about.” – Beth White
“Don’t be afraid of a terrible first draft. It’s OK if you hate it. That doesn’t mean that you’re a bad writer, or that you should delete the work. On the contrary, it means that you see room for improvement, and that’s a good thing. I have more confidence in a writer who’s embarrassed by their first draft than I do one who is proud of it and thinks it’s ready for publication.” – Regina Jennings
“My advice is rather simplistic, but it’s so true. A writer must do two things: she must read, read, read and write, write, write. The habit of writing begets writing. When one style of writing stalls, try something else for a little bit. Whenever I need a break from fiction, I write more nonfiction and poetry for awhile, then dive back into writing fiction with a renewed sense of calling. I could also expand it to say a writer writes even when she doesn’t feel like it.” – Darlene Franklin
“Once you have published, remember to take care of your self. Protect and nurture the creative force inside, or as some say, ‘Refill the well.’ It sounds cliche’ but it’s incredibly important. Spend time reading. Spend time with Jesus, with family, with friends. Anything that’s not writing. Make time to recharge. To do otherwise leads to burnout from which you may not ever recover. For new writers, II Timothy 2:15 says to “Study to show thyself approved.” This is true in our Christian walk, of course, but also in our writing journey. Writing is a craft that must be learned. So write, study, and then rewrite using what you’ve learned. Rinse and repeat. Don’t be impatient to get your work out there. You want it to be the best it can be.” – Linda Goodnight
“Persevere and never give up no matter how long you wait and learn all you can from those with experience. When the time is right in God’s eyes, He will open the door for you to enter the new adventures that wait with your writing.” – Martha Rogers
“Don’t make any move in writing or publishing without waiting for that peace from God in your spirit. If you don’t have an answer from Him, don’t take a step forward.” – Misty Beller
“Do not fall in love with winning awards, making money or being published. That part of writing is an emotional roller coaster. Instead, make sure what nourishes you, what gets you out of bed in the morning, is sitting alone in a room listening to the keyboard click while you create worlds, watch characters grow and change and get at some deeper truth that only a story can reveal.” – Sharon Dunn
“Writers have a tendency to procrastinate, then write like crazy near a deadline. That’s dangerous, as it’s highly stress-producing and too easy to miss that deadline. Whether you are a seat of the pants writer (pantser) or an outline/synopsis writer (plotter), it’s good to get a handle on that procrastination. Set a daily goal, even if it’s just 1/2 hour or four hours. Write something. Sometimes stream of consciousness writing gets the juices flowing. If you’re staring into space, think about something creative – preferably about your characters and your story. Write down those thoughts. Make writing something down a habit. Ideas begin to flow when we put our minds in gear.” – Sunni Jeffers
“Write what you need to read, and dedicate your work to the Lord from the beginning. Also, remember that You can’t run a race if you’re looking around at what others are doing. You’ll stumble and fall flat on your face. We have to keep our eye on the goal – pleasing Jesus!” – Francine Rivers
“Soon after my move from the ABA (general market) to the CBA (Christian market), someone asked me how I measured my success. For many writers, measuring success is all about bestseller lists, awards, and/or the amount of money one makes. For someone writing for the Lord, that is dangerous ground. Measuring leads to comparing, and that’s a slippery slope. Back in 2000, I highlighted these verses, followed by a note in the margin:
So Peter seeing [John, the disciple whom Jesus loved] said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’ (John 21:21-22)
“The note in the margin said:
Jesus was saying, ‘Don’t look at what I’m doing with someone else’s life. Don’t look at what I’m doing with their career. All that should concern you is what I’m doing in your life.’ In other words, keep your nose out of John’s business!!“
– Robin Lee Hatcher
“Don’t compare yourself to others. Because if you do, as the Desiderata instructs, ‘You’ll either become vain. Or bitter.’ Run your own race and cheer on the authors running beside you. Truly being able to rejoice with your author buddies when they get a movie deal or a major award or make the #1 Bestseller slot is one of the best things about writing. Because when you realize that God has your writing, your career, in the palm of his hand, it’s easier to let go of the comparison game. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever be tempted to look over at the next lane and think, ‘Wow, I’d sure like to be running her race!’ Hey, the ‘old flesh’ dies hard. But it does mean that you can ask the Holy Spirit to recenter your thoughts on Jesus and on the race that God has specifically set out for you to run (Hebrews 12:1-2).” – Tamera Alexander
“Stay focused on God and on Jesus and on what they’re asking you to do. Don’t worry about marketing. Don’t worry about a publisher or an agent liking your manuscript. Don’t write for that reason. Write out of obedience and just focus on being obedient. All the details of your journey, whether or not you’re published, whatever God is seeking to accomplish through you on this writing journey, that’s His circus and His monkeys. The only thing you have control over is you and your obedience. That’s where you need to stay focused.” – Karen Ball
“Go with God and enjoy the journey. Enjoy with God, and go deep with Him. This is all about what you and God are doing together. What are you learning from Him? What exciting things does His presence hold for you? Do that. Stay there and He’ll give you things to write.” – Erin Taylor Young
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
What’s your best advice for writers?
Thanks to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!
Special thanks to our August sponsor of the month, Bobbi Updegraff! You can find out more about another important cause she sponsors at friendsofrenacer.com.
Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast Production Services for their fabulous editing!
Want the latest news from Karen and Erin? Click here to join our newsletter and get an exclusive audio download.