The Four-Letter-Word Christian Writers Need to Master

Discovering the Secret to Great Conference Experiences

As I prepare for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this year, I’m battling chronic pain.

I’m praising God for helping me maintain a productive writing schedule while meeting deadlines.

But most importantly, I’m practicing a four-letter-word that’s become part of my process of preparing to congregate with other Christian writers.

Over the years, I’ve discovered mastering that four-letter-word is the secret to having a great conference experience every single time.

What’s the secret?

The Ministry of Mingling

Behind the Scenes at the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference

After one of the toughest and most rewarding years in my writing journey, I registered for the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference and asked the Lord to keep my heart open for ministry opportunities. Who can I encourage today, Lord? Who needs to be seen, heard, and loved? Who are You going to use to inspire me, as You reveal the next step in my writing journey?

God didn’t only use the people on stage or in front of the classrooms to speak truth and build up His scribes, although He definitely did that.

5 Reasons to Attend a Writer’s Conference

We writers tend to be solitary souls. We love hunching over our computers, pounding away at our latest and greatest WIP (Work In Progress). Normal people don’t understand the satisfaction we get from writing or typing the words THE END.

What’s an introverted writer to do?

Shower, get dressed in something other than yoga pants and last year’s women’s retreat tee shirt, and head to a writer’s conference. Why?

Flash Sale! Register Today for the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference!

An Author Interview with Susy Flory– Originally Posted January 21, 2017

WCCW conference director, Susy Flory, recently announced a limited-time, special registration price in January for $179 ($149 for Inspire Members). This incredible two-day conference will be featuring keynote speakers Michelle Cushatt, Michael Hyatt’s cohost on This is Your Life podcast, and New York Times bestselling novelist Tosca Lee.

Susy Flory, the New York Times bestselling author of Thunder Dog, has authored or co-authored eleven books. She’s been a reporter, an educator, a wife, and a mom. Now a full time writer, she loves chasing big, true stories with themes of adventure, courage, hope, transformation, and redemption.

The WCCW board includes five talented authors. Collectively, they’ve published over 30 books and have served through ministries such as Focus on the Family and Proverbs 31. The team excels in teaching on the craft of writing, speaking, marketing and social media, platform building, as well as book, proposal, and article writing. But they’ve invited more industry professionals to join them in presenting Bay Area writers with this amazing learning opportunity.

Please help me welcome Susy as she shares why writers will not want to miss the 2017 WCCW conference.

We Need You!

Why Other Writers Want You to Attend the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference

When I interviewed Susy Flory, the WCCW conference director, she announced a special registration price available until the end of January. We’ll be spending two full days enjoying general sessions led by two dynamic keynote speakers, over 30 training workshops, personal meetings with editors and agents, free professional critiques, panel discussions, a writing contest, an onsite bookstore, and worship. The high quality faculty and workshops are great reasons to invest in this conference, but I’d like to share five reasons why your attendance benefits others.

Finding Your Writing Voice

At every conference I’ve attended, the process to find your unique voice has been hammered into my head like a railroad spike. The question is, how do you find your voice?

Great question, fellow writer.

The answer? Write. A lot. Keep writing. Copy other writers until you find your unique voice. Simple? Nope.

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When I started writing my yet-to-be-published novel in 2008 (yup, eight years ago), I wanted to write like Rosamind Pilcher. Beautiful, flowing descriptions. British accents galore. When I read my first few chapters back, out loud, it sounded phony. Definitely not my style. Not my voice.

I tried emulating Francine Rivers. I read her books and copied her voice. That didn’t work either.

It took thousands of words and countless hours to find my voice. Experts say to reach success, it takes ten thousand hours. A quick calculation of ten thousand divided by eight years, yields 1,250 hours per year. Divided by 365 is approximately 3 ½ hours per day. Think on that while you read on.

Below are three examples from some random authors. See if you can determine which one is Anne Lamott:

Example # 1:

People rarely took any notice of the tongue-tied and sadly inhibited Missy Wright, but Una, as the new assistant was named, had seemed instantly to detect in Missy the stuff of a good friend.

Example # 2:

The next morning, Elizabeth was on her knees weeding in the flower bed near Rosie’s window, impatiens and columbine. Rosie discovered this when she threw her window open, her room already hot and bright with sunshine. She said hello to her mother, and her mother answered, “Hello, darling. What are your plans for today?

Jeez, Rosie thought, it was like living with a secret agent.

Example #3:

Monday mornings had never been FBI Special Agent Savannah Barrett’s favorite day. Lawbreakers did their best work during the weekend. She stared at the crime report on her computer. Another Houston church burned during the night. This was her city, her responsibility, and the fourth church torched in the past two months.

Which one do you think sounds most like Anne Lamott? If you picked number two, you are correct. Her voice combines beautiful descriptions, gritty dialog, and snarky undertones. The paragraph is from her novel Imperfect Birds.

Have you grasped the enormity of what it takes to find your voice? Does the thought of 3 ½ hours a day for 8 years scare you? I hope not.

Jane S. Daly, Christian Author

I’ll be teaching an entire workshop on finding your voice at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference, February 17 and 18 in Pleasanton, CA. Hope to see you there!

For more information on my books and my blog, please visit www.janeSdaly.com.

Jane is the author of two nonfiction books, Because of Grace (2015 Hallway) and The Caregiving Season (2016 Focus on the Family/Tyndale). She makes her home in northern California.