About Mindy

I'm a sinner saved by grace who loves to write, read, eat chocolate, and drink coffee, sometimes all at the same time. Writing is my passion, hobby, therapy, and ministry.

Why We Created a Shareable Image for Each WriteTech Conference Workshop

A  shareable image was created for each workshop to be presented at our  WriteTech Conference to give our social media campaign serious wallop and an extended reach.

A one-page flier is a great place to start your conference promotion, but it’s only a starting point. There are many reasons to put the extra effort into making individual images.

WriteTech image blog

  • To draw in attendees interested in a specific topic.
  • Give each presenter some well-deserved limelight.
  • Make it easy for presenters to promote through their own social media channels.
    (hey, they’re busy creating awesome content for your conference!)
  • Images draw more shares, likes, retweets, and traffic than text-only posts.
  • Daily posting was always fresh with a new image.
  • Images double as door signs during the conference for continuity.

NCWA no longer buys newspaper ads or mailing lists, so social media is our primary publicity vehicle. Besides, social media is where all the cool people hang out all day, anyway.

Let’s face it.

Instead of #amwriting we’re actually #amFacebooking!

NCWA is blessed to have a talented Publicity Coordinator, Kim Vandel, who used Canva to create the eye-candy for our January 24, 2015 WriteTech Conference.

Canva has a lot of free “elements”  to use in creating, but if you do buy an image or element, they’re only $1 each. Canva is great because they’ve already figured out the size for you. If you want an image for a Twitter post, you pick that template, without worrying about how wide or high it’s supposed to be.

If people aren’t creative, there are pre-made images to customize, and Canva also has plenty of tutorial videos available on their site. Canva makes it pretty easy to look professional.

These are the twelve workshops we’re offering at the WriteTech conference. You can read the full workshop descriptions  on the NCWA website. You can see that the images had great reach by being shared first by NCWA on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and blogs. The reach is increased when you combine the following of each person who posts the images in their individual circles.

Cool Tools

To see these images used on Twitter, find NCWA at @NWCWriters. Dennis cloud technologyDennis Scrivener From Frantic to Fierce- To see this image displayed on Kim’s blog sidebar, go to kimvandel.com.lasting impression (1) Maria tweet like a proThese images were also pinned to the board called Writing Conferences on Pinterest.

Feel free to follow all the boards from NCWA where we hang out as The Christian Writer’s Coach.
Maria twitter 101 MSWord Uncensored-Marlene McCurley used this image on a blog post and on her Facebook fan page. Since she has an editing business and is the Editors Connection Coordinator for NCWA, she will have some wisdom and experience to share.
sandwich Blog About BookTo see this image hanging around the sidebar of a blog, visit mindypeltier.com.So You Want to Indie Publish-!-!

Lynnette Bonner posted this on her Facebook Author Page to show her followers her latest event. As a successful indie publisher, often in Amazon’s top lists, and founder of Indie Cover Design, she already has a following of readers and fellow indie publishers.

#WriteTech2015 workshop "Get Good at Goodreads and Gain a Hoard of Raving ReadersThese visuals were created and given to each presenter to use in their own social media circles. In a smaller version, they could be used on a blog sidebar or in an email signature.

These shareable images were combined with the TweetSheet Kim designed, a Twitter cheat sheet with click-to-tweets, to create a social media package that was easy and enticing to use.

Creating a shareable image for each conference workshop gives your social media campaign greater reach, makes it more attractive, and draws in people by highlighting specific topics or presenters.

And now that you’ve seen all these images, don’t you want to attend WriteTech?

Thought so.  You can register here.

 

Mindy Headshot smaller

 Mindy Peltier has a passion to conquer the digital world, despite growing up in the years before computers. Born in 1964, she is officially one of the last Baby Boomers. She’s been blogging at “In the Write Moment” since 2007 and has spent years trying to finish a historical Christian fiction novel.

She’s the president of Northwest Christian Writers Association, Director of the WriteTech conference, and is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband Scott are blessed with six kids and four grandkids.  @MindyJPeltier

 

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Technology Skills Help Land WriteTech Keynoter New Job

by Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

Ever since he taught his first web-design class at 16, Thomas Umstattd Jr. has been helping authors conquer the world of technology.

thomas collage 2And he is still proving to the Christian publishing world the value of his technology skills.

The keynote speaker for the January 24, 2015, WriteTech Conference in Kirkland, WA, has just been hired as Sales and Marketing Director for Enclave Publishing. The publishing company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, specializes in science fiction and fantasy for the Christian market.

“Umstattd has been a successful entrepreneur,” company president Steve Laube said in a recent news release. “He founded Author Media in 2008, which became one of the premier web design and technology firms for authors. He is the designer behind MyBookTable, the most popular bookstore plugin for WordPress, and he co-hosts the Novel Marketing Podcast with best-selling author James L. Rubart.”

On his blog Novel Marketing, Thomas says he is excited about his new job because of Enclave’s strong and focused brand, along with the support of passionate fans. However, he is honest about challenges the small company faces, such as a recent name change (from Marcher Lord Press), a limited budget, and never having had a marketing director before.

But Thomas already has a plan of action. He says he will clean up the company’s website, get his WordPress plug-in MyBookTable fully operational, prepare GoodReads giveaways, and set up an e-mail campaign.

Did you notice that all of those tasks require technological skills? Now you can take advantage of Thomas Umstattd’s expertise by signing up for the WriteTech Conference hosted by the Northwest Christian Writers Association (NCWA). This year’s theme is Writing and Technology: Conquering the Digital Divide. And if you register by December 2, you even get an early-bird discount.

TweetLearn from Thomas Umstattd of Author Media and Enclave Publishing at #WriteTech2015

In addition to the keynote speaker, nine other presenters will also give valuable instruction on such topics as blogging, branding, cloud technology, indie publishing, social media, and the word-processing software Scrivener and Microsoft Word, along with voice-recognition software Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Workshop presenters include Lynnette Bonner, Dennis Brooke, Maria Dykstra, Athena Dean Holtz, Marlene McCurley, Gigi Murfitt, Mindy Peltier, Kim Vandel, and James L. Rubart—yes, the same Jim Rubart who co-hosts the Novel Marketing Podcast with Thomas Umstattd Jr. What a great line-up of tech talent!

The good news is that taking advantage of such a wealth of knowledge at this value-packed one-day conference is not just science fiction or fantasy. You may well discover that it’s a writer’s dream come true.

______________________________________________

Diana Savage
Diana Savage
, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she also directs the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference near Seattle. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

25 Ways to Procrastinate on Your Writing

Have you ever planned to write diligently, only to get swallowed up by the Procrastination Monster? Maybe you decided to finish an article, chapter, or blog post,  but found yourself in a whirlwind of other important activities.

Procrastination pm

  1. Facebook
  2. Clean the toilet
  3. Text friends
  4. More Facebook
  5. Shop on eBay
  6. More Facebook
  7. Shop for shoes at Macys.com
  8. More Facebook
  9. Walk the dog or cat. Or if you don’t have one, buy one. Or a turtle or slug
  10. Chat with Twitter friends about the weather. Rain, rain, rain
  11. More Facebook (or Fakebook, as my pastor says)
  12. Clean your belly button. Lots of fuzz these days
  13. Practice selfies. Again and again. And…again
  14. Text your mother to say how much you love her. Add a few ideas for birthday or Christmas gifts
  15. Make a banana split. If you don’t have the ingredients, go to the furthest store in the next city for ingredients. Take a cooler though.
  16. Call a friend and tell her how you don’t have enough time to write and wonder how people crank out books every year.
  17. Make plans to TP the houses of any writers you know who meet the criteria for number 16.
  18. More Facebook
  19. Text a friend from NCWA and ask her to go to coffee
  20. Meet the above friend at the Mother Ship (Starbucks) and complain about how you don’t have time to write.
  21. Play with your new phone or tablet or other device.
  22. Wash your bed skirt. Or if you don’t have one, shop for one – even if you’re a guy and hate bed skirts.
  23. Take pictures with your new device, while texting your writer friends about how you have so little time to write.
  24. Just a wee bit more Facebook. You may miss an hour of that one person you met twenty years ago at a candle party but didn’t like because she ate all the chocolate.
  25. Go online to find a Facebook Anonymous 12-step group for people addicted to Facebook.
Tweet25 Ways to Procrastinate on Your Writing

Cherrie Herrin-Michehl pic

 

Cherrie Herrin-Michehl is a licensed mental health therapist practicing in Woodinville, WA. Her ebook “Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit” was published June 2014. The book is a collage of humor, faith, and psychology.

 

Dear Fellow Procrastinating Writers:

As Cherrie illustrates, a sense of humor comes in handy when you struggle with procrastination!

However, more often, I’ve found reasons to feel stressed, frustrated, and guilty about my procrastinating. I’ve even called myself some mean names. Wasteful, foolish, disorganized, chaotic . . . . it hasn’t been pretty.

I’ve prayed about it a lot. I recently heard Holy Spirit whisper this to me:

“You are a faithful person. You want to be faith-full and you are. So, you can stop identifying yourself as a procrastinating person. That is not your true identity. It is a bad habit that you can break out of by remembering who you really are . . . who I say you are . . . and then choosing to live true to your real identity. I say you are faithful and peaceful and grateful.”

That’s how, with God’s help, I’m beginning to realize that I DO have what it takes to stop procrastinating by choosing to change the way I think about myself. I now realize my mistake in judging myself harshly by my performance instead of living out each day in agreement with God’s perspective about who I am.

By God’s grace-enablement, the gift of supernatural capability and endowment from the Holy Spirit to all believers,

I believe I am –

FAITHFUL  – A faithful person desires and is able to be stay true to that which has been committed to them. Ephesians 1:1 (NIV)

PEACEFUL –  A peaceful person is a peacemaker. A peacemaker opposes chaos, disorder, and disunity. A peacemaker brings order, harmony, and peace to their relationships, home, finances, work, environment, and belongings.  Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
James 3:18 (NIV)

GRATEFUL – A grateful person appreciates and takes care of what they have been given, whether it’s tangible or intangible. They acknowledge their blessings and the Blesser and they live with a deeper-than-average awareness of His good Presence with them and in them.  Psalm 100:4 (NIV)   Psalm 107:22 (NIV)

Simply put, the take-away is this:

TweetYou may procrastinate, but that is not who you are.

TweetYou are not your bad habits, your bad choices, your bad experiences, nor your mistakes.

TweetYou are who God says you are. Period.  I Samuel 16:7

 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1

Oh, amen!

Who does God say you are?

 

JJeanie pmeanie Killion, a blogger & pre-published author, shares from the overflow of her journey with Jesus. She’s found Him faithful through many “dangers, toils, and snares.”  With her writing, Jeanie strives to help others draw close to God’s throne and access the Joy of His Presence, the Peace that passes understanding, and the Hope we have in knowing Him.

 

You Have No Hero Like Lenin

Written by Dennis Brooke, pre-published author and past President of Northwest Christian Writers Association.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In 1988, during the waning days of The Cold War, I was a young Air Force Captain attending Squadron Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. One of our guest speakers was a Soviet Union Exchange officer who espoused at length the superiority of the way of life in the USSR.

He went on at length how we could not understand his country because we had nobody in our culture like Lenin, the revolutionary who served as the first Chairman of the Soviet Union. He lectured about what an inspiration Lenin was to his people. That Lenin’s framed portrait was in a place of honor in every school classroom and office. How his statue graced the center of any respectable village. Even Lenin’s body had been preserved in a glass sarcophagus in Red Square and on exhibit for nearly three quarters of a century.

Lenin pm2

The Soviet officer said, “You Americans cannot understand the Soviet Union because you have no hero like Lenin.”

At this point another Captain enduring this talk leaned over to me and with one whispered word blew the Soviet’s argument out of the water. He said: “Elvis.” Unfortunately, Americans worship many things: celebrities, status, and in the case of some, Elvis.

But as writers who serve Christ first, do we pursue the status, fame, respect, and trappings that we believe are part of being a successful writer? Or do we pursue our calling as people of faith who seek to bring people closer to God? Some of us will have the opportunity to influence many people through our writing and speaking. For others, it may be an audience of only a few, or even one. But if we influence only one person, remember that one person matters to God. Christ said that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to pursue that one lost sheep. That one person should also matter to us as we pursue our calling.

So let us write and speak not for our own status, or glory, or false gods like Lenin and even Elvis. Let us pursue it for Christ, the true God.

 

TweetWhether your audience is one or a thousand, write for the glory of the Lord.

 

 

Dennis Brooke

Dennis Brooke is a former USAF officer and the past President of the Northwest Christian Writers Association. He has written for Focus on the Family, Toastmasters, and Combat Crew Magazines. He tells stories at www.DennisBrooke.com

This talk was the meeting devotional at the June, 2014 NCWA Meeting. 

Inventing Story: Writing for the Market

by Kathleen Freeman, pre-published author and Critique Coordinator of NCWA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inventing Story                                        (Picture of early bug zapper)

Some wonderful inventions came out of WWI, the facial tissue, the zipper and the tea bag. They found an eager market, and so changed peoples’ lives. Just after that time, other items were invented—soy sausages, which have a smaller market, but have become part of the vegetarian diet around the world, and a blower to push people out of the way as trams arrived. We’ve all experienced the wonders and frustrations of a zipper and the relief of a Kleenex. The simple tea bag has stayed in use for decades.

What happened to the people blowers, safety devices designed to keep folks from being hit by trams? Certainly, Konrad Aidenauer’s invention would have saved many lives. Its problem was market. The tram companies wanted to reduce accidents, but people, those weaving in front of trams in dresses and by bike didn’t want to be blown out of the way, eggs scattering on the ground, bicycles toppling. They wanted warning, a chance to decide for themselves whether to become trolley fodder or move out of the way.

Story is the same.

We can’t have a pushy agenda, and while Aidenauer’s bug zapper, another of his inventions, was a great idea and things like it are now used with gladness, it was ahead of its time.

The market wasn’t ready.

TweetYour story may be an invention before its time and the market isn’t ready.

So, what about us, as writers? Have we invented a cool product, hoping to force it on the market despite its buggy nature or people’s inability to use it without the availability of a good battery ?

There may be a need for your bug zapper in the future. For now, if the market needs a simple thing like a tea bag, or to blow their noses into something soft and non-chafing, so be it. We can have our part in keeping the bits of tea leaves out of mouths, and catching sorrows across the globe. As for that favorite story, be patient, be hopeful, its time may be coming.

TweetWriter, be patient and hopeful, your time may be coming.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kathleen Freeman 2Kathleen Freeman is passionate about history, the way it allows people to learn from the past, and the connections it helps form. She writes articles for Vista Journal for Holy Living, Clubhouse Magazine, and is a pre-published writer of Historical and other forms of fiction.

 

 

Our Most Embarrassing Moments at a Writers Conference

Writers conferences are a great source of instruction, encouragement, and blessing to the writer, but they can also cause stress.  Writers know attending a conference can be crucial to their success.  They’re told that the agents and editors are the gatekeepers to publication and they usually have less than three minutes to get through the gate.

Shaking voices, trembling hands, and sweat-stained armpits prove writers are aware how  each encounter could fulfill or flounder publication dreams.

embarrassing moments

In the final countdown to the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal April 11-12, 2014,  with Davis Bunn, the proverbial butterflies have begun their migration to registrants.  To relieve pressure with laughter, NCWA members decided to share our worst conference experiences.

 

 

Ocieanna


Ocieanna Fleiss
– An editor from a prominent Christian publisher told me to not be afraid to write a @#$% first draft. LOL! At my first writers conference EVER! I about lost it and the very sweet, conservative older lady sitting next to me almost fell off her chair.

.

 

Roberta-Kehle

Roberta Kehle –  I used to  pick up our speakers at the airport, but often got lost going to the hotel, usually when they needed to go to the bathroom and were in misery.  Another time I was trying to get a Starbucks for an agent and had a minor parking lot mishap. They quit asking my pick-up help. Wonder why? Hmm, this might scare off attendees.

 

sonjaSonja Anderson – My most embarrassing moment related to a writing conference came after the conference. I had the opportunity to submit a manuscript to an agent and an editor from the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in Seattle. After I wrote a query letter to the female editor from a fancy New York publishing house, I thought I’d save time and cut and paste the letter for the male agent from Chicago.

Big mistake! Imagine my great grief and embarrassment when I looked at the letter more carefully (after hitting “send,” of course, to the male agent ), and saw that I never removed the line about hoping that the rest of her PREGNANCY went well!
Needless to say, I never heard back from that agent. Sigh.

 

LynnetteLynnette Bonner – At an NCWA conference several years ago, I sat in on a pitch session with a big-name agent. She liked what she heard and requested that I send her a proposal after the conference. Later that same day she was chatting with Jim Rubart.

I needed to talk to Jim about something so I approached and was standing off to one side as they chatted. Jim turned to me and in his gregarious way said, “Hey! How’s your day gone? Did anyone request your stuff?”

And I replied that yeah, “Actually she requested that I send her a proposal.”

To which the agent jolted back and gasped, “I didn’t request a proposal from YOU!”

Jim did a double-take between the two of us as I said, “Well, actually you did.” She then apologized profusely and admitted she remembered me. Needless to say, I never sent her a proposal.

 

Mindy HeadshotMindy Peltier – After hearing how volunteering at a conference can impact your ability to get published, I arranged to meet two editors at the airport. They were from the two Christian publishers I dreamed of writing for some day.  I’d rehearsed a line I thought was clever and would prove my passion and need for writers conferences.

Feeling brave as I deftly merged into I-5 rush hour traffic,  I said, “Writers conferences have become counterproductive for me. I’m writing less…

One editor didn’t realize the airspace was meant to be a dramatic pause before my brilliant punch line.

He began defending conferences and instructed me on my need to attend and appreciate them.  I didn’t want to interrupt.  I merged into the carpool lane. The editor in the back seat added to the defense.

Shocked, I was convinced the misunderstanding had crash-dummied my  publication dreams.  I figured my name would be passed around the editors’ circle, along with the guy who tried to pitch his book at the urinal.  I couldn’t even finish my sentence.

The punch line he missed was “… because the more conferences I go to, the worse my writing becomes.

I was trying to cleverly reveal how conferences were impacting my writing life.  I was learning about writing, but on a larger scale, I was understanding how much more I needed to learn about writing and the publishing industry.

I’ve relived that agonizing moment over and over since then, and even in my dreams, I crash before the punch line.

Every year I attend and volunteer at several  writers conferences, and I’ve even taught at a few. But, they’re still counterproductive for me, because the more writers conferences I attend, the worse my writing becomes.


If an embarrassing moment at a writers conference occurs, don’t worry, it won’t affect your publication dreams.  All of the above writers were published after their  blunders.

Brush it off and move on, but only after you send the story to us.  We’d love to use in a blog post next year.

 

TweetEmbarrassing conference moments didn’t hinder chance of publication.

TweetNCWA writers expose most embarrassing conference moments.

Don’t Worry Before a Writers Conference, PLAN!

Does the thought of attending a writers conference make you nervous?

Winston Churchill said, “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”

Instead of worrying in advance, plan in advance by reading past blog posts with valuable advice on preparing for a writers conference.

TweetNervous about attending a writers conference?  Prepare, don’t worry.

Top Ten Reasons pmEdie Melson from The Write Conversation guest blogged “Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Writers Conference.”

 

Prayer Power Tool“Plug in Your Power Tool — Prayer” was written by Lydia E. Harris to provide instruction in gathering a prayer support team for your writing.

 

Terry Whalin 2Pack your proposal, not your manuscript, in your tote bag, because Terry Whalin advises that “Editors Read Book Proposals, Not Manuscripts.”

 

CWC Buy NowThe Northwest Christian Writers Association wrote a book just to relieve conference jitters and help conference attendees know exactly what to do before, during, and after a conference. Purchase on Amazon here.

TweetThe Christian Writer’s Coach book details what to do before, during, and after a writers conference.

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And while you’re planning and preparing, don’t forget to register!