Blog on Writing

11 Ways Writing Has Helped Me Grow by Pamela Mytroen

Keep Learning

1. I learned that sometimes you don't go anywhere as a writer until you take a risk. I got hired as a correspondent because I took a risk and pitched an editorial the day after 9/11. 2. I learned that 100-year-old women do not handle long interviews well. They tend to fall asleep. 3. In my contract writing, I learned way more than I ever wanted to about tires, crop lifters, and insurance portfolios, but on the flip side, I can now carry on a somewhat intelligent conversation with the people behind these businesses. 4. I learned that collaborating with other writers and praying with them opens doors. I got the pastors of our community together to suggest an inspirational/biblical type column and pitched it to the editor. I thought she would flick me out of her office like a pesky mosquito. Instead, she welcomed the idea and the column "Pass the Salt" has been running for 15 years. 5. I learned that many people do not read the newspaper in my town and that most people still do not realize that I write for the paper, but the ones who do are very encouraging. And sometimes all you need to keep going is one person stopping you on the street and saying, "Thank you." (more…)

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Seven Ways to Grow Your Writing by Janice L. Dick

Flower Boxes

Writing involves not only good technique but also personal investment. It involves practice and learning. An acquaintance said recently that practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, if we continue to repeat our mistakes, we are not getting any closer to perfection. Michael J. Fox said he doesn’t aim for perfection but for excellence. Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. The key is to do our best at whatever we are doing, and that will always require effort, practice, and time. (more…)

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The Importance of Downtime by Steph Beth Nickel

Relaxing 2

This post first appeared on Janet Sketchley's blog, Tenacity, and subsequently, on This & That for Writers. I’m filling in for our church administrator while she’s on maternity leave. For 30 hours each week, I can’t work uninterrupted on writing or editing. I can’t tend to my volunteer responsibilities. I can’t work around the house—Wait! Scratch that. That wouldn’t be how I spent the majority of those 30 hours anyway. Since coming to work at the church mid-February—which, for the most part, I really enjoy, by the way—I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed by my To Do list. Granted, the Lord had previously been teaching me how to focus on the Now (this very moment), but until recently, it hadn’t been an undeniably necessity for my mental wellbeing. (more…)

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Mrs. K’s Rules of Comedy by Tracy Krauss

Laughing Girl

Break the Tension Humour goes a long way in writing and in life. There is nothing like it to break tension and make people feel comfortable. However, we’ve probably all been witness to a joke gone bad. Either the punch line wasn’t delivered correctly, the timing was wrong, or it was inappropriate for the setting. In any of these scenarios, instead of putting people at ease, the blundered attempt at humour created an awkward moment. Some people just seem to "have it" and some people don’t. (more…)

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Missing the Boat by Brenda J Wood


Call me what you will. I am a Johnny/Brenda Come Lately who missed the boat. I had a deadline on the Inscribe page and I missed it. I forgot to send in my blog entry. I am not a greenhorn, a novice or an upstart. That disqualifies me as a Johnny. I did, however, lose an opportunity, I guess that makes me a boat miss-er. I am shocked, mortified, and ashamed because I rarely (you can even say never!) ever miss deadlines. (more…)

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Take Time to Breathe


Is your To Do list anything like mine? So long you're always moving things from one day to the next to the next? How about your To Be Read pile? Can you never find enough time to read the stack of books that just keeps growing and growing and growing? And then there's you're writing. If you aren't a full-time writer (and even if you are), there are always so many other things clamouring for your attention. Maybe it's time to take Jonny Diaz's advice and "just breathe." https://youtu.be/hnjeMwxFuBA

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So You Want to Write Funny? Don’t We All? by Violet Nesdoly


Admit it, you’d like to write funnier. So would I. After all, who do we love most, next to the computer repairman, but the person who can make us laugh? My confession to you at the outset of this humour writing theme is, I’m not very funny. I did win a contest for a humorous poem once, but I suspect it was a fluke. Be that as it may, I love to read certain writers because they tickle my funny bone. (And I’m still over-the-moon when, the odd time at readings, something I’ve written gets a titter from the audience.) (more…)

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Read Any Good Books Lately? Steph Beth Nickel

Stack of Books Header

Most writers are also readers. Here are some of the books I am currently working my way through. A similar post appeared on Janet Sketchley's blog on January 29 and on my blog February 12. Some of the books are the same; some I've added since then. Do you like how-to books? Memoirs? Novels? Do you carve out regular time for reading or is it hit and miss? Do bookstores and libraries draw you in with an irresistible pull? As you know, I’m eclectically interested. The same holds true of what I like to read. Currently, I'm actively reading the following: A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard In my opinion, this is Sandra's best novel to date. It is her first Serena Jones Mystery and I can see this series about a female FBI agent stretching well into the future. I've just gotten nicely started, but it's so much fun! My only complaint ... I wish I had more time to read it. (more…)

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It Doesn’t Feel Like Spring by Janice L Dick


I’m watching the snow fall heavily outside my office window on this early March day. It’s beautiful. We haven’t had much snow this year so it’s welcome, but it certainly doesn’t feel like spring. (more…)

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Honour Your Love in an Ode by Violet Nesdoly

Coffee Cup (cropped)

Please note that Violet sent this post to me quite some time ago. I (Steph) then promptly lost track of it and didn't post it when it was originally scheduled. My apologies! Regardless, it is always a wonderful time to express our love. Let's learn more about how we can do so by writing an ode . . .  In the month of February, our thoughts turn to love and poetry. Perhaps you’ve lately picked through racks of Valentine cards, browsed the books on your shelves, or asked Google for suggestions—all in search of words that expressed just right sentiments. Of maybe you even wrote an original sonnet—the poetry form most often associated with love. There is another type of love poem to write that’s every bit as old and perhaps even more versatile. It is the ode. Dictionary.com defines ode: “A lyric poem typically of elaborate metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.” “Expressive, exalted, enthusiastic emotion”? Sounds like love to me! (more…)

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