Saturday, June 22, 2019

Top 5 Tips For Christian Authors

Today I'm thrilled to share with you a guest post from my dear friend, Amanda Tero! And it is for no ordinary occasion. Dive in to read Amanda's top tips for the Christian writer AND a special announcement for June only.

Top 5 Tips for Christian Authors
 By Amanda Tero

I’m sure if you ask any author what their “top five” tips are, you’d get a variety of answers. Even in my personal writing journey, I’ve seen my “top five” change depending on what I’m learning or going through at the moment. But as I was thinking about what I’d tell a new or younger writer, today here are my top-five.

1) Get the foundation straight
As a Christian writer, my goal shouldn’t be to write to please myself, to please my audience, to make me feel productive, to become popular, or to fulfill a perceived need in others’ lives. My ultimate and final goal should be the glory of God (“…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31). I consider this the fundamental basis for Christian writers because if you don’t have your motive straight, it will be hard to have anything else in the process in line. There have been many times (last week, even) when I’ve had to pause and get my focus back on why I write; for whom I write.

2) Write when it’s the season to write
This is something that I wouldn’t have considered even a year ago. I mean, God gave me the passion and desire to write, so shouldn’t I write? Ah, but no. Perhaps it is that writing is meant for certain seasons of life. Right now, I’m juggling teaching piano and violin while obtaining my Associates’ Degree in Piano Performance, and… well, yeah… that doesn’t leave much time for writing (ah, the bliss of summer!!). I could make myself miserable wishing that I had more writing time, or I could be grateful for the time that God has given me now to write and work on the stories I believe He has given me. This can be narrowed down even further, though. Today what is my season for writing? Do I need to use my time to serve others, or is it time to write?

3) Be part of a community
Nothing in the Christian life is meant to be solo. “A three-fold cord is not quickly broken.” I have spent months writing alone, but some of my richest blessings have come when I’ve allowed myself to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to other writers. It can be something as simple as finding friends who write and “talking shop.” Or, you could contact your favorite authors; you never know what kind of friendships will take place—for me, I’m now writing a four-novella set with three authors who I first came to know by their books that I appreciated. In being a part of the writing community, I would give two sub-tips: 1) Work closest with those who have the same ideals, morals, and goals as you, and 2) Don’t be competitive.

4) Always learn
There are so many ways we can learn as writers. Learning comes through reading others’ works. Is it good? Learn from it. Is it poorly written? Learn from it. Ask yourself “why” or “what did I like/not like?” Have some self-control and read non-fiction: research books, writing craft books, business books. Learn from reading. Then beyond reading others’ works, step out on a limb and have others read your work (do not—do NOT—publish until you’ve had more than a dozen sets of eyes on your manuscript!—that tip was free ;) ). The best way to learn from others is to be open to their critique. Does critique hurt? Yes, it sometimes does. Does it make you want to just say, “This is good enough. I don’t care what they say?” Yep, been there, done that. But really listen to what your readers have to say—even if it’s from negative reviews after you’ve published. Sure, you can’t please everyone, but you can definitely learn from others’ comments.

5) Get a good team
Speaking of others’ comments… the more books I write, the more I have come to value “my team.” This team consists of various sets of people:
a) My go-to group. These are my friends who know more about my story than anyone else does from the moment of conception until publication. They’re my brainstorming partners and most often my complaint-hearers (working on that one…). This group consists of 3-5 friends (depending on the day, time, and need) whose vision coincides with mine. They’re the people you usually see in the acknowledgments of all my books.
b) My beta-reading team. These are a handpicked group of 10-15 people who read my stories before they hit the shelves. They give me feedback on content, flow, and readability—and sometimes even help me with grammar edits. Many an embarrassment has been spared because of this team.
c) My social group. These are the larger circle of friends who make up my street team as well as those who follow me on FaceBook and Instagram. I don’t love social media, but it has its perks, and one of those is connecting with supportive and encouraging readers and writers.
d) My friends and family. Then, there is the group who isn’t always intrinsically involved in my writing. They don’t read everything I write. But they still support and encourage me.

Now, ask me in a year, and my top five tips may change. But these are some pretty solid points that have helped me as an author.

What five tips do you have for other authors? Has your top-five changed in the last year?

Thanks so much, Amanda! I can vouch for Amanda's tips as I've watched her live them out in her own writing journey. If you'd like to learn more about Amanda or her Tales of Faith series (non-magical retellings of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Robin Hood) keep reading.

About the Tour
In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. ;) Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

Interested in discovering the Tales of Faith series? Check out "Befriending The Beast" on Amazon for a special deal!

Connect with Amanda!

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

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