Monday, May 12, 2014

10 Things Writers Need to Hear - Missy Tippens

Kate Conner and Missy Tippens
10 Things Writers Need to Hear
Missy Tippens


Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers out there! My daughter and I attended an Anchor Club mother-daughter banquet last week—an annual event that hit close to Mother’s Day this year. Very fun!

At the dinner, my daughter’s friend’s mother introduced me to her pastor’s wife’s daughter-in-law (did you catch all that? :) ) who was our speaker for the event, and is also a writer. Kate Conner was an amazing speaker, and has quite an amazing story!

Late one night, Kate wrote a blog post geared toward teen girls she’d worked with in youth ministry. She titled it “Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls.” She poured out her heart, and you can read the post by clicking here. (But be sure to come back.) The post apparently hit a nerve, because it went viral. Two million hits in two weeks! And, long story short, she ended up getting an agent and a 3-book contract with Broadman & Holman. So, so exciting!


Book to be released in August 2014

I told Kate it took me over 12 years to sell my first book, so my journey was much different. :) She was sweet and gracious, saying she knows that her story is certainly not the way it usually happens. It was so fun to see her excitement. I’m excited for her!

I was inspired by Kate’s talk to the girls at the banquet (she spoke about #2 and #10 on her list). And I decided I wanted to write 10 Things Writers Need to Hear. I based it loosely on Kate’s 10 points. These are things I would like to say to those who want to make a career of writing, especially new writers. They’re also things I wish someone had said to me. Some of these are things I still have to tell myself daily.


1. Write what you need to write or feel led to write. And do your very best work. Don’t chase the market, and don’t compromise your values just to make a sale. Don’t write something you wouldn’t want published and read by your grandma!

2. Don’t try to be something you’re not. I could never write romantic comedy about cowboys. As much as I wish I were, I am not hilariously funny like Mary Connealy. And I don’t live on a ranch like Mary. I am not Mary, with her life experiences.



Mary and one of her baby cows

But I am Missy Tippens…born and raised in Kentucky, grew up in a college town. Moved to Georgia for graduate school, married a man in seminary who would become a pastor, and have lived all around the Atlanta area in different sized towns while raising three amazing kids. I love small towns, love church folks and church activities, love the laughter of teens hanging around our house, love music and singing, love my pets (be sure to see Myra’s post tomorrow!), and love cooking (be sure to visit The Yankee-Belle Café blog). So I write about those things—and then enjoy reading Mary’s books and enjoy her daily doses of laughter from emails and the blog. And yes, I still sometimes envy the funny things she says. (I’m the type who thinks of funny things to say hours later!)

But what I want you to hear is this: You’re special just the way you are and have a lot to offer the world with your own personality and your own experiences. Bless us with YOUR stories. The ones only you can tell.

3. Don’t vent or over-share online. I mentioned this in a previous post (click here) so I won’t say more here. Just remember those words are out there forever. FOREVER.

4. Don’t get sucked into the hype of feeling like you have to be doing such and such promo or such and such social media, or that you have to do the exact same marketing plan as XYZ author. Sure, publishers may ask you to do something to help promote your book. But try to figure out where you feel comfortable. Then...write the books. And above all, don’t compare yourself to others, which is always a losing battle. Jealousy in this business can eat us up if we let it. We need to be rooting for each other and boosting each other up.

So find your own niche. Of course, this may involve some trial and error. But you’ll eventually find your comfort zone. This writing career is about balance. Just remember writing good books comes first and is the best marketing we can do.


Photo credit: Crestock/aerial6

5. Sure, many of us have started or written what we call the book of our heart. But unless you want to be a one-book wonder, you need to get that book on paper and out of your system, then move on. If it doesn’t sell, don’t re-work it for a decade (unless you’re writing new stories as well). One of my regrets is that I didn’t move on quicker in the beginning. I spent three or more years on my first book (it never sold, and I just kept revising it over and over). I wish I’d had more to offer my editor after she bought my first book.

And one more thing. I’ve decided that each and every book can and should be the book of our heart. Our readers deserve that.




6. Use your emotions on the page. Don’t hold back. Nothing’s worse to me than a perfectly written contest entry that makes me feel NOTHING. Writing is catharsis. Let 'er rip while you’re writing! I love when I bawl like a baby while writing the end of a book (or while reading it back when it’s time for line edits). The opposite is true as well. If you’re falling asleep while writing (ummm…guilty—and yes, I went back and fixed it), then chances are the reader might feel the same way.

As scary as it sounds, we need to open ourselves on the page. It makes us vulnerable. And sometimes it feels kind of like those nightmares where you show up at school in your pajamas. But good writing requires honesty. If your stories touch hearts, you’ll have devoted readers who’ll wait expectantly for each new book.

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com/yenwen

7. Take care of your health. Sitting on our rear ends so much of the time can take a toll. That and the munching on junk as deadlines approach (please tell me some of you do this as well!). I’ll admit here, that with each of my first two books, I gained 5 pounds as the deadlines approached. Thankfully, I haven’t continued that trend! But exercise is a struggle.

My husband just told me he read an article about how walking helps with creativity. We need to keep moving. And take good care of our bodies.

8. Think about your reputation in the industry. I know we’ve all heard it said before: the writing community is small, don’t burn bridges. And I agree. But take that a step or two or three further. Keep your word. Meet deadlines. Turn in blog posts you’ve promised to do. Judge contest entries you’ve committed to judge. Don’t talk behind people’s backs. Be kind. Be generous. Be respectful. Be honest. And when you mess up, which we all do, then apologize. And do so sincerely.

When I was a kid, it about killed me to apologize, especially to my sister. My mom would tell me to do it, and I would barely mumble, “Sorry.” Oh, the pain of it! To admit I was wrong (heaven forbid I be wrong!). Nowadays, I’m much better at doing apologies (I can actually say TWO word apologies: I’m sorry), probably because I mess up so often and have lots of practice. The flip side of this is, if you mess up and apologize, then move on. Don’t get hung up on your mistakes.

9. Be strong and courageous. Take responsibility for your actions. When you have failures (which we all will), don’t play the victim or try to blame others. Share your gift, your stories, with the world, and then learn to deal like an adult, like a pro, when you get nasty reader letters or bad reviews. On the other hand, learn to deal maturely and wisely (humbly) with praise and success as well.

Nothing’s more humbling than a rejection letter or disappointing royalty check. But oh, how quickly we forget those humbling moments when we win an award or get a really nice royalty check. Either way, we must remember the glory, ALL the glory, goes to God. Without Him, we would be nothing.

My well-worn necklace from I AM MARYANN

10. I loved Kate’s #10 for teen girls. It really resonated with me because this is something I have always dealt with. In fact, a couple of years ago, I bought a necklace that had the words I Am Enough engraved on charms to remind me. My kids were surprised when I explained it. My son even said, “Why didn’t you get one that said I am more than enough?”  :) I shared with them that if I could have afforded another gold charm, I would have had customized a third one that added Through Christ. You know, I think maybe it’s time for me to go order that last charm.

I am enough through Christ.

Yes, we are.

You are unique, and God can use your experiences, your personality, your hurts, your joys…your voice…to touch readers. To change their lives. To change YOUR life. So don’t give up when the writing gets tough. Don’t quit when rejections pile up or sales are dismal. God has something to say through you. Let Him use you and your words.

What words would you share with writers today? Please stay a while and chat to let us know!

GIVEAWAY! I'd like to give away a pre-order copy of one of Kate Conner's books to one lucky commenter! (I'll order it now, and it'll be delivered to you once it releases in August.) Please LET ME KNOW if you'd like to be entered.

******
Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest and a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A House Full of Hope was a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA® Nominee. Her most recent from Love Inspired, Georgia Sweethearts was an April 2013 release. Coming in October: The Guy Next Door. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com, @MissyTippens on Twitter and
  

116 comments :

  1. Here's the coffee!!

    Excellent tips, Missy. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Great tips!! :)
    a.f.washburn(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. I AM ENOUGH THROUGH CHRIST

    That's so wonderful, Missy.

    I might get that charm, too.

    Maybe in something less expensive than GOLD so I can get it right now.

    What are dog tags made out of?

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  4. PS Missy asked me for a picture of my calves with ME in them. That was the best I could do. It's really HARD to take selfies with calves. THEY RUN AWAY BAWLING!

    (by the way the book of Missy's heart will be titled "She Ran Away Bawling.")

    She's a sweet, sensitive soul.

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  5. My advice would be to keep on writing through setbacks. There are many times when a person will get discouraged and the important thing is to just keep writing. Sometimes, that can be a difficult thing to do.
    Enter me for the book, please.

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  6. Thanks, Helen! I'll have a cup of decaff before heading to bed. :)

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  7. Alyssa and Christina, thanks! I'm glad you stopped by.

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  8. Mary, YEP. That book of the heart will be my first romantic comedy with cows! :)

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  9. Cathy, I love that advice. It's SO true! I nearly gave up writing several times. I'm so glad I didn't.

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  10. Powerful post!

    I love your necklace charms. So beautiful. It reminds me of something I read the other day: "If religion makes you feel bad, there is a reason, and it's not because you are."

    I really had to stop and think on that. But I think what the person meant was that so much of the terrible feeling some people get from "religion" is external, outside our relationship with Jesus. Maybe an authority figure makes them feel less-than, or a faulty view that they picked up in childhood is still stuck in their thoughts.

    God delights in us, His children. We are enough.

    A beautiful reminder and a great list!

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  11. Great list of reminders.

    I wrote a verse about how I am fearfully and wonderfully made around my bathroom mirror and saw myself framed in it daily.

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  12. So, I popped over to the "no venting" link because to make sure I'd read that one and I saw a comment... from myself. From July 2013! Wow, I feel like I just found Seekerville but I think I've been here awhile.

    With a few blogs, I feel like 6 months or a year is my limit because everything starts to seem recycled. Here, I never feel like the posts get old. There are always new authors and new subjects. (Or, wait, I'm turning forty so maybe my memory is going??? I'll pretend that's not the case.)
    Seekerville rocks!

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  13. Great post, Missy! I love that every book should be the one of our heart. That seems to be true for me (so far) and I hope it doesn't change!
    Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  14. So much great advice here Missy! Thank you for posting these tips! I'm not going to isolate any one in particular, but a lot of it goes back to "I am enough through Christ." If we keep our eyes on that, and behave accordingly, then the rest will fall into place.

    I remember seeing comments I made on an old Seekerville post. I was so goofy and shy back then...:) Have a great day everyone!

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  15. Hi Missy,

    What a wonderful post. And I love your son wanting to defend you and say you are more than enough. Even thought the beginning of your post focused on daughters, you're son's comment got me!

    Thanks for these ten wonderful tips.

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  16. Mary, I just realized I didn't comment on your dog tag comment last night. :) I would have bought something more like that, but I wear gold jewelry, and I got a Good Morning America half price special. :) That's how I discovered the necklaces. I love a good deal!

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  17. Amen, Virginia! Tina Radcliffe once quoted that to me, talking about praying confidently as children of God.

    Thanks on the blog compliment! I sure hope that's the case. We try to make it that way. And hey, 40 is YOUNG!! So it's not you. :)

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  18. Tina P, I LOVE that!! What a great way to start each day. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  19. Jessica, I'm glad you agree on the book of the heart. I wondered if people might disagree on that, especially if they've had a really strong book of the heart.

    But I realized I have a very hard time picking a favorite book. Some about kill me when I'm writing them (and I hate them off and on). But in the end, I get over the trauma and grow to love them. :)

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  20. Piper, I do remember you being a little shy, especially when I first met you. But I've never thought you were goofy! We're so glad you're here!

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  21. Jackie, his comment got me, too, when he said it. Gotta love our kids coming to our rescue!

    That same son is home from college now (his freshman year) and made me dinner last night! He's a thoughtful sweetie.

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  22. I read your post and Kate's. Both are just excellent! Wise women.

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  23. Hello seekers!
    It's been a while since I've been able to stop in and say hello. How's everyone doing over here?

    This is a great post full of things we all must be reminded of, probably on a weekly basis. I should print these out and hang them on my wall!

    Thanks Missy!

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  24. Thanks, Tina! I modeled mine on Kate's and had a good time doing it. :)

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  25. Amber, it's great to see you!! I'm glad you dropped by again! I hope you're doing well.

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  26. Morning Missy and what a great post. These are all things we wished we knew. In fact, that is why we started Seekerville because we wanted to share what we were learning. Remember those days?

    We've all learned so much in the process of writing in this business. And we have learned so much from all of you.

    And I think we need to give God the glory. He has been with us all.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! You're right. We all need to learn from each other. That's a great thing to add!

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  27. What a wonderful post -- both of them. I hopped over to read Kate's. What great advice. Really puts things into perspective. Both of you!

    Love your necklace, Missy. We are enough in Christ. Amen. You need to get that third charm. Such a simple truth, and yet we have way too much trouble embracing it, don't we?

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    1. Kav, I went to her site to check out the charm. There's an 8 letter limit. I'll have to email her to see if she can squeeze in 2 words. :)

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  28. WOW, MISSY ... WHAT A TIMELESS AND TIMELY PIECE FOR WRITERS ... A DEFINITE PRINTER-OFFER, MY FRIEND!!

    I resonated with each and every item on your powerful list, especially:

    1.) Don’t chase the market!!

    I learned this lesson well ... to be true to yourself and God's vision for you!!

    2.) Bless us with YOUR stories. The ones only you can tell.

    Yes, yes, yes!! They are as unique as your fingerprint or your DNA -- run with them!!

    4.) Don’t get sucked into the hype of feeling like you have to be doing such and such promo or such and such social media, or that you have to do the exact same marketing plan as XYZ author. - And above all, don’t compare yourself to others, which is always a losing battle.

    Oh, AMEN AND AMEN!!! Different DNA, fingerprints, stories, and methods of promo with which we feel comfortable, so NO COMPARISON ALLOWED!!

    6.) Use your emotions on the page. Don’t hold back.

    LOL ... could you expound on this point a wee bit, Missy, not sure I understand ... ;)

    7.) My husband just told me he read an article about how walking helps with creativity. We need to keep moving. And take good care of our bodies.

    If I am stuck on an idea or piece of the plot, I get on the treadmill because as soon as I do, BOOM!! Ideas start coming to me so fast that I keep a notebook and pen on the treadmill. :) DEFINITELY true that exercise makes a better writer.

    10.) You are unique, and God can use your experiences, your personality, your hurts, your joys…your voice…to touch readers. To change their lives.

    AMEN AND AMEN -- PREACH IT, MISSY!!

    GREAT POST!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Julie, I'm cracking up about your comment on emotions on the page!! I guess you do know a little about that. :)

      Thanks for sharing that scripture!

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  29. The only thing I would add is EXPECT A ROLLER-COASTER OF EMOTIONS AFTER YOU GET PUBLISHED!!!

    WOW, how I wish I’d known what an emotional roller-coaster it would be AFTER I got published. Like a lot of unpublished writers, I thought all the anxiety and self-doubt would dissipate after I signed on the dotted line. I mean that would validate me, wouldn’t it? Give me confidence as a writer? But I discovered (AGAIN!) that true confidence is not in accolades from your editor or a really good review, but instead in where your heart is with God. HE is my confidence when my sales rankings on Amazon.com are high or low, which is why I CLING to the following Scripture from 2 Corinthians ll:3, praying it almost every day: Do not let my mind “be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. Good morning, Missy.

    Thank you for such an inspiring post to begin the week. I love how everyone seems to have a favorite item, but most of us focus on the same part: "I am enough through Christ."

    This line particularly struck me:
    "God has something to say through you. Let Him use you and your words."

    What a powerful reminder that, however it appears to the contrary, this is never really about us. Because of what we've chosen to do, it's all about being open to God working through us and it's all for His glory. I find that thought to be inspiring and humbling at the same time. Hopefully it will allow me to get out of my own way and let God's way shine.

    Have a great Monday everyone.

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    1. I loved your post - great advice! Please enter me in your drawing

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    2. Mary curry, I love your wise words. It's not about us. That's something we need to remember every day in our non-writing life as well. Thanks for your comments!

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    3. Loves to Read, thanks! I've got you entered.

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  31. Very well said, Missy! I agree with all but one of my lectures to beginning writers is, "Put the book you've ben rewriting for 3 years down and try something new."

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    1. Jane, I wish I had taken your class many years ago!! :)

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  32. Fantastic post, Missy! Although I am not a writer (just love to read), I find your post just plain good for "life"...lol.
    Thanks. Can't wait for your next book!



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    1. Jackie, thanks! I've seen the cover but can't share until it's finalized. I'm excited!

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  33. Great tips Missy.

    I jumped over and read Kate's link. Lot of great advice for guys and girls.

    5 pounds with each deadline??? I can easily see that happening. As fun as writing is, it's also stressful.

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    1. Connie, thankfully I got a grip on it! No more M&M's or crunchy chips near the computer as the stress level rises. :)

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  34. Great tips, Missy! I especially like the one about not compromising our values in order to be what the world considers successful. It's so easy to look at other authors' paths and want to have a career like theirs. But we have to trust God to direct our paths and hold fast to His truth.
    I want one of those necklaces! Just saw Mom's Night Out and that was one of the things the mom struggles with-being enough and meeting her own high expectations.

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    1. Karen K, I'm dying to see that movie! I can't wait.

      BTW, the link to the necklaces is under the photo.

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  35. Loved the 10 Things for teens girls AND for writers. Great advice all around.

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  36. This is an AMAZING post, Missy!!! I needed every single one of those points!

    I especially loved "every book should be the book of our heart." If we don't care about the story we're writing now, how can we expect our readers to care?

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    1. You're right, Myra. I don't know why it hadn't hit me sooner. The thought just flowed out of my fingers while I was writing. I need to remember it.

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  37. Thanks, Pam! She also has a link for boys. I need to go read that as well.

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  38. MIssy, I loved this post. And I have to tell you, I love your I am Enough necklace. Enough is my One Word for this year. And I'm blogging on this tomorrow. I guess great minds think alike, if I can dare, compare me to you. :) Oh, and you have to see Mom's Night Out. :)

    I loved your post. You brought up so many important points. Especially the exhortation to write the book of our heart. And then keep on writing. I've found I get snagged on revisions of my books. And then, I move slower and slower. After taking Tina's class last month, I am determined to come up with a better way to move more quickly through this part of the process. Not revise over and over. Not get hung up on making it perfect.

    Thank you also for the exhortation to take responsibility for my actions. Always important to remember.

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    1. Jeanne, I love it when great minds think alike! Enough was my One Word a while back. Probably the year I bought the necklace. :)

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  39. Some great ideas here Missy, and I wish there was a 'like' button to add to many of the comments here. ;-)

    Like others commented, I think I need to print this out and keep it next to me, while writing.
    I would love to win one of these books--please throw me into the drawing as well.
    Vicki

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    1. Vicki, thanks for "liking". :)

      I have you entered.

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  40. Well, my son is wanting to go to brunch at Waffle House, so I may be out for a little while. How can I resist?? :)

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  41. Missy, I loved your post! First of all I have a teenage granddaughter so I'm excited by Kate's list! I think I met Kate at M&M. She's gorgeous and has such an important message to share! Love how the Internet brought her a contract!

    Thanks for your list for writers! No matter how long I write, I still struggle to get that emotion on the page. I also need the reminder not to take less than steller reviews personally. Readers bring their pasts and struggles to our stories that impact how they react to our work.

    Love your point that God is using who I am for His purposes. So I can relax in that knowledge that I'm working for Him. Indeed I am enough through Christ.

    Janet

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  42. Missy, I loved your post. I was reading them to my mom who is an unpublished writer. She agreed with me that it is excellent.

    Please consider me for the book.

    I am enjoying a few days with my parents.

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  43. Thank you for sharing, Missy. This was so inspirational, especially the "I am enough through Christ." Perfect. And it lines up with yesterday's sermon. Okay, Lord, I get it. :)

    Please drop my name in the giveaway hat.

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  44. Loved this post, Missy! This list is so true! Please enter me in the giveaway.

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  45. Missy, love your post! A wonderful pep talk. The kind we all need more often than we may realize! :-)

    I'm working in the yard today and you just gave me something to 'ponder' on while digging in the flower beds.

    Put my name in the pot, please, I'd love to win a copy of Kate's book!

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  46. These ten things are so encouraging! And good advice, too!!

    Thank you for sharing with us, Missy!!

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  47. Your post today is yet another reminder of why I LOVE Seekerville so so much. Thank you, sweet Missy - - your list is excellent and is going to the front of my Keeper File. Exactly what I needed today (actually, I need this all the time, LOL).

    I have to add the only one I do the opposite of is the "apology" thing---for some reason, I tend to go overboard on apologies--to the extent of apologizing for things that I have no control over. (True example: A friend was driving us to lunch one day last year, and we were stopped at a railroad crossing while a train slowly chugged by. I turned to my friend and told her I was "sorry we'd gotten caught by a train" - -and of course she immediately frowned at me and shook her head, as she reminded me that I had NOTHING to do with that train. LOL!!) My sisters also tease me about all my apologies, so it's something I'm working on.

    And I agree about Mary Connealy's wonderful humor - - I was laughing after reading some of her comments on today's post!

    But I know we're each unique and need to be the best we can be---so thank you again for this post, Missy. Can't wait for your October LI to be released!
    Hugs, Patti Jo (who wishes our Georgia towns were closer together!)

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  48. Janet, thank you.

    Wilani, I appreciate you sharing the post with your mother!

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  49. Wonderful post Missy. So much to learn from these tips. I'm really relating to writing the stories of my heart. That's what I've vowed to do because it's the only thing that makes sense for me. I agree with you about emotion in a book...when the writer hits it just right there's nothing like it. And I agree about oversharing on social media. Sometimes people get carried away and you can't take it back, even if you wish you could.

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  50. LOL, Anna! Isn't it funny how God tends to reinforce lessons for us? :)

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  51. Crystal and Mary H, thank you!

    Mary, enjoy your time in the garden! I just watered my pots of flowers. Now I need to get them planted!

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  52. Natalie and Belle, thanks for reading. I'm glad it was helpful!

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  53. Patti Jo, you're so funny. And sweet and kind! I can just see you worrying over other people like that. :)

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  54. Thank you for this lovely post, Missy. I can use all ten tips. I went out with my family to dinner yesterday. No one got their devices out. Everyone was telling me about their plans for the summer, getting jobs, summer camp, plans for the future. It occurred to me that all those prayers I sent up for my family was coming to fruition. While I was worrying about the small stuff, God was working it all out. That's the way it'll be with my writing. I am truly blessed.

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  55. Well said, Missy! Sharing this one.

    Love that I AM ENOUGH THROUGH CHRIST necklace.

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  56. Missy - love your necklace. So often we feel we aren't enough and writing is a tough business. It can fuel those beliefs.

    Thanks for the encouraging tips.

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  57. Elaine, what a wonderful thing! Thank you so much for sharing that. I love how God works.

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  58. Anita Mae and Terri, you should head over and get you a necklace! (and no, I get no commission). :)

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  59. Great advice, Missy. I hope I get the opportunity to meet you one day. You seem so sweet and wise :))) My daughter gave me one of those charms with my grandsons name on it for Mother's Day yesterday. Love it.

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  60. Pat, you're sweet to say that. I hope to meet you!

    What a great Mother's Day gift! I know you'll treasure it.

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  61. Missy, I forgot to ask you to enter me in the drawing for your book. :) Still pondering your wise words.

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  62. I'll add you, Jeanne! I've got everyone who said they wanted to be entered (even if I didn't acknowledge you entered). I just re-checked through all the comments. :)

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  63. Awesome post Missy. One for the printer and posted for me to remind myself. Like someone else mentioned in the comments, this is why I love Seekerville so much. Encouragement and exhortation gallore.

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  64. DebH, I'm glad you were encouraged!

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  65. This was such an inspiring and comforting post, Missy. Just what I needed as I'm struggling with trying to keep up with all the social promo that I 'should' be doing with a book coming out this summer. Blessings!

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  66. Chris, new book release time can be really overwhelming! The whole month will probably be a blur. Hang in there and try to enjoy!

    I'm excited for you!

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  67. I needed this, so thank you, Missy :)

    One thing I like to remember is that God put me - and each of us- on this earth for a purpose. There is something you are meant to do that no one else can. Goes right along with your necklace quote which I love.

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  68. I'm heading out for a while. Taking my kids shopping. I hope you'll all hold down the fort while I'm gone!

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  69. Missy, what an encouraging post. I like what you said about each book should be the book of our heart ... and I appreciate #4 more than words can express. I know people mean well when they tell us we MUST utilize certain social media or promo, but it does seem what we must do is write :-)

    Also, this is a timely post for a friend who has become discouraged and is talking about not continuing to write. I hope these words of yours will encourage her: "You are unique, and God can use your experiences, your personality, your hurts, your joys…your voice…to touch readers."

    Thank you!!

    Nancy C

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  70. Missy, wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you.

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  71. Missy, what a wonderful post. Great advice that we all need to heed.

    Love your necklace too.

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  72. Love the photo! You two are a pretty pair! :-)

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  73. Fantastic post, Missy. It makes so much sense, but they are tips that are so easy to forget under the stress of getting something finished. I think I will have to print them out, keep them close to my computer, and remember that "I am enough" and the right piece will be accepted by the right reader. As long as I write from my heart, I know it has meaning.
    Please enter me into the drawing.

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  74. love the list and some could apply to other areas of ones life. I love number 10 and need to remember that. At present when I feel so frustrated cos of all I can do due to the health issue I struggle with feeling worthless. Also the feeling that I am wasting my life cos I cant do so much I use to do. I think I am at a crisis point or cross roads where I need to find different things that I can do.

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  75. I'm back from shopping! We had success and not too much pain. :) Oh, and also got to eat at P.F. Chang's while we were out--one of my favorites! :)

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  76. Nancy C, I hope you'll share the post with your friend. I totally understand. I almost quit several times.

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  77. Cara and Debby, thanks! I'm glad you dropped by. I know you've both had a lot going on lately.

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  78. Mary Hicks, thank you. You're sweet!

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  79. Samantha, you're right. Sometimes when we're pushing to finish something we have blinders on. And for getting the first draft done, blinders can be good. :) But we can't be so focused we don't see the big picture and get discouraged.

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  80. Jenny, I'm sorry you're still having such a hard time. Hang in there and know that God has a purpose for you! And that we love you.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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  81. Thanks Missy. I know God has a plan and reason. I have also admitted to myself I am slightly depressed. I need to find a hobby or something I can do which wont cause pain. Scrapbooking and jigsaws which I love both hurt if I try to do to much. I have a couple of stresses happening which are not helping. One I will know more tomorrow if it will be a major issue or not. Admitting I have a problem is the first part to dealing with it.

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  82. Missy, Thank you for your post. I loved your ten tips, especially the second one. I also loved reading Kate's advice about 10 tips about teenaged girls. I will also have to check out her link about teenaged boys. Thank you for your ten tips.

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  83. Missy,
    What timely advice that I needed right now. It's tough to keep pushing through, despite...thanks so much for sharing.. I am enough through Christ.

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  84. Missy, thank you for being available when someone really needed to hear your words of encouragement. Me.

    And I'd love to win the book......

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  85. Absolutely LOVED this Missy!Loved every word! XO

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  86. I loved your points, Missy.

    I especially can agree with getting your emotions on the page. I can see when I'm holding back versus putting it all on the page. If poetry is emotion recollected in tranquility, a novel is emotion edited in tranquility. I love seeing an author's emotions on the page, and try to put my emotions on the page for the reader.

    I love your necklace. I hope you do get another charm for it. It's a lovely reminder of all that Christ has helped us to be. Whenever I go to trials, I like to tell myself that I am uniquely equipped to handle this situation; God certainly thinks so, and He knows much more than I do. If He gives me a story, He'll give me the tools to write it. I need to put that on my laptop.

    Thanks for the reminders. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    SN: I added a picture. *avatar waves hello to everyone*

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  87. Jenny, I hope today is going well.

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  88. Tanya A, I'm glad you found them helpful!

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  89. Jean, I'm so glad this post was at a time when you needed it. I love how God works that way!

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  90. Dee, I'm so glad you were encouraged. We all need encouragement. I'm thankful all of you are here to encourage me.

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  91. Just a reminder that the winner of one of Kate's books will be announced in the Weekend Edition. So be sure to check back.

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  92. Hi, Missy,
    I think we all aspire to be enough, and aren't we blessed to have our Heavenly Father to help us with it! Your tips are awesome...words to live by as we go through our writing journey. Thanks for sharing them. Thanks also for the giveaway.

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  93. Hi Missy! As my stepdad has always said at the least provocation, I am "a day late and a dollar short." :) Sorry I'm coming a day late to the party. Lucky for me this post stays up for more than a day. I really enjoyed reading it, and it did hit home in a lot of areas. Definitely God-driven thoughts that hit where I needed to hear it. Thanks for sharing.

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  94. Hi! Thanks for the wonderful posting. This was so timely for me. thanks again for the insights. Please enter me into the drawing if it is still open.
    Stephanie/Ava Louise

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  95. Dianna and Stephanie, thanks for dropping by!

    Dianna, my mom always uses that phrase, and now I do too. :)

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  96. Enjoyed your blog post - it will go in the "keeper" file for the next time I need to read it! Don't sell yourself short, Missy - you made me chuckle more than once! Blessings!

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  97. Thank you, Kelly. You just made my day. :)

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  98. Wow, nice interview!!! Thanks for thanks for the awesome giveaway and God Bless!!! Enter Me!!!!
    Sarah Richmond

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