Tag Archives: goals

Call-Out for Kudos & MoGo7000 & Who Won Crickett Keeth’s Book?

Megaphone announce Pixabay

(I’m sorry for the delay. I created this the week of Christmas and was shocked when it wasn’t delivered to my Inbox Tuesday morning! I finally sat down to rewrite it, but the more I thought about it I KNEW I had written it.

I was write, I had written it. But guess where I found it . . . in the bowels of the archives, dated January 3, 2016!)

It’s Time to Share Kudos of Your First Successes of 2017!

Hey there, writing friends. We want to know what you’ve been up to. Has something exciting happened recently to start your new year off right? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!


Who MoGo’d in December?mogo

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in December, you will receive one last entry for the 2016 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your December results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in December. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2017 challenge has begun! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. But remember, this week’s reporting is for the month of December 2016 only.

All words written beginning January 1 will apply to the 2017 MoGo7000 Challenge, so get started now and you could have 12 chances to win next January!

Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner of the 2016 MoGo7000 cash prize of $100!

The Gift of Rest cover Crickett Keeth~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And who won a copy of Crickett Keeth’s new book, The Gift of Rest?

The winner is . . .

Judith Robl!

Congratulations, Judith! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Crickett will get your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, you know you still need this book. And as I write this, it’s on sale for only $8.38 or $2.99 for Kindle! So here’s a direct Amazon link to The Gift of Rest. Enjoy!


New year’s blessings as you face the blank canvas of 2017. What will your canvas show at the end of the year? I pray mine will show only what was God-led. Nothing more. Nothing less.


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New Year. New Goals. New Purpose?

Goals 2017 PixabayHappy New Year, dear Christian Writer’s Den friends!

I can’t believe I just said that. It seems only a few months ago that I wrote last year’s greeting and yet, 2017 is here. How did that happen?

Let’s face it, in reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new one, it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to focus on all the things we didn’t get done that we had planned. Some of those unfulfilled plans are because of our own failures or distractions. Others are the result of changing seasons in life. But regardless of the reason, when another year dawns and we haven’t reached the previous year’s goals, it’s easy to feel like a failure. The focus is on what we didn’t get done.

That’s not what God wants us to focus on. If we’ve given our lives to Him and are seeking to serve and obey Him, He has a plan for our lives, our ministries, and our businesses. Sometimes it’s the same plan we have. Sometimes it isn’t.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

His plan is the right plan for us . . . every year.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts in 2017.


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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences

newspapersHere it is–your monthly writer’s opportunities, contests, & conferences. Nothing can hold you back now!

Here’s your October list of opportunities and contests!

1.  Write2Ignite Writing Contest for writers of children’s and YA literature is open for submissions. Deadline is November 30, 2016!

2.  Brain Teen is looking for personal essays on parenting teens or being a teen. Deadline is December 30, 2016.

3.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is always looking for stories. Current needs include cats, dogs, dreams, military, and teachers.

4.  The American Gardener is looking for articles.

5.  Babble Magazine (by Disney) is a parenting website looking for articles on parenting, relationships, entertainment, beauty, food, and more!

6.  FundsForWriters.com has a huge list of writing contests here!

7.  Blue Mountain Arts Greeting Cards seeks contemporary prose or poetry written from personal experience. Does not need rhymed poetry, religious verse, one-liners or humor. Pays well for all rights.

8.  Oklahoma Today focuses on the best of Oklahoma’s people, places, events, and culture.

9.  New Mobility Magazine focuses on the active wheelchair lifestyle, covering relationships, recreation, travel, people, health, and more!

10. Bible Advocate Magazine focuses on the authority of the Scriptures and the Lordship of Christ.

So what will you be doing over this next month to move forward in your writing? Be sure to let us celebrate your successes with our kudos!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~workshop sign Pixabay

And here’s an updated list of conferences…

I hope you find one in your neck of the woods!

1.  Heart of America Christian Writers Network Conference: October 20-22, 2016, Kansas City

2.  Classeminars Writers Contreat: November 10-12, 2016, Albuquerque, NM

3.  Asheville Christian Writers Conference (AKA Writers Advance Boot Camp): February 17-19, 2017, The Cove, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

4.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 22-26, 2017, Leesburg, FL

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 10-11, 2017, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 18, 2017, Collierville, TN

7.  Blue Lake Christian Writers Conference: March 22-25, 2017, Andalusia, AL

8.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 24-25, 2017, Tigerville, SC

9.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: April 7-11, 2017, Mount Hermon, CA

10. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 21-15, 2017, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll be there as a conferee this time, and I can’t wait to take a bunch of classes!)

11. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 21-25, 2017, Grove City, PA

Remember, if you’re serious about writing, you’ll be serious about getting to a writing conference.


Thank you for praying for my mother after her very serious fall. She has made a lot of progress, but she still has a long road ahead. Please continue to pray for healing, comfort, and peace for her and for us as we care for her. I praise God that none of this has taken our Father by surprise and we’re confident that something good will come from this for His honor and glory. After all, He promises us that in His Word!

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your heart,


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Parting Words From the Word…Trust His Plan

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.


How do you feel as we begin the first week of 2016? Did you accomplish what you had hoped last year? Maybe you’re like me and you can see progress, but also see the things that didn’t get done.

So what do we do now? As for me, I think I’ll simply toss anything that whispers of failure and rest in Him and His great mercy.

And then trust His plan for my life…again.

…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,


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Parting Words From THE WORD…Starting Again

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.


How do you feel as we end this first half of January 2015? Did you accomplish what you had hoped? Maybe you’re like me and you can see progress, but also see the things that didn’t get done.

So what do we do now? As for me, I think I’ll simply toss anything that whispers of failure and rest in Him and His great mercy.

And then trust His plan for my life…again.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,


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Welcome to 2015: Pie In the Sky Dreams or Real Goals?

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of cuteimage/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, can you believe it’s 2015 already?

It seems only a few years ago that we teens of the 60s were dancing to the lyrics of Zager and Evans’ futuristic, pie-in-the-sky song, In the Year 2525. When it released in 1969, it was pure sci-fi, frequently assumed to be the result of a drug-induced bad trip.

But today, as I read their prophetic words of babies coming from test tubes, mind-altering drugs, and technology ruling our lives, I realize the song carried more truth than we ever thought possible. And way ahead of schedule.

But this post isn’t created to generate a discussion about the 60s or the prophetic reality of Evans’ lyrics. Instead, my goal is for us to face the truth and determine our response to this question: Will we look forward to the future with a pie in the sky attitude, dreaming big, then sitting back in our office chairs to watch them come to fruition? Will we make a plan and then whine when things don’t go as planned? Or will we do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed to see those goals accomplished?

Unmet Goals

I have to admit, for the past few years I’ve backed down from some of my goals. I’ve run into conflicts of time, opportunity, and responsibilities…and sulked in the corner of defeat. I’ve tried and failed and given up, always eager to point to the reasons I didn’t reach that goal–again.

But this year is different. Oh, I still have many responsibilities beyond writing and speaking–responsibilities beyond my control–but this time I’m committed to doing the work, putting in the hours, and taking the training needed to see those goals through. Please understand, that doesn’t mean I’m determining the outcome. After all, only God is in control. But this year, instead of giving up because my schedule was interrupted–again–I’m committing to simply picking up where I left off and moving forward, in whatever time frame God allows.

I’m accepting the fact that I can’t make anything happen. He’s the One in control of day. I’m only in control of my response to it.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 NIV

So, would you join me? Would you stand beside me, raise your right hand, announce your goals, and then say, “I’ll do the work, put in the hours, and take the training needed…and then trust His will for my life.”

Lord willing, we will write that book, get that agent, finish that article, and see our goals achieved. But know this: Publication is not the be-all and end-all of writing. It’s only one of the MANY ways God can use us and our words for His glory.



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Did You DREAM or DO in 2-0-1-2?

Photo courtesy of sdmania/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here it is, January 1, 2013. Can you believe it?

First of all, I want to say thank you. Thank you for coming back week after week, sharing your successes and frustrations, your highs and your lows, your acceptances and your rejections. Thank you for learning with me, laughing with me, and yes, sometimes even crying with me. Thank you for your encouragement and your challenge to keep doing what we’re doing here.

In looking back over 2012, I can see that we’ve been busy. This year, The Christian Writer’s Den:

  • Celebrated 72 of your writing and speaking successes (and I know there’ve been many more that weren’t shared).
  • Had over 311,255 words written and reported by followers in the MoGo7000 Challenge, and we still have December totals to go!
  • Offered 158 writing opportunities with direct links to guidelines for most of them.
  • Gave away at least 20 books.
  • Shared advice from at least 17 authors.
  • Gave away $100 in cash in the MoGo7000 Challenge and will do it again in another week!

Quite a bit, huh?

But during that same time, WE (you and me):

  • Encouraged one another when we were down, frustrated, tired, and hurt.
  • Heard first hand the frustration with trying to fit writing time into the chaos of interrupted life.
  • Prayed with one another through hard times.
  • Learned how to be better writers together.
  • Pondered His Word together on Fridays and shared how God was speaking to us personally.

We learned, we grew, we tried, we failed, and we succeeded. And that is all part of the writing life.

2012 was a good year, and I hate to see it come to an end. But what joy to look ahead at what God has in store in 2013! Will this be your year to:

  • Submit your first article for publication?
  • Complete a novel?
  • See your book on the shelves?
  • Start your own blog?
  • Go to your first writers conference?
  • Try a new conference?
  • Take the first steps to starting a speaking ministry?

I look forward to helping you reach your goals this year. What an honor and a joy to partner with you in this calling!

But on this first day of January 2013, would you encourage us all by taking a minute to share an accomplishment, a goal you reached in 2012? Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Whether it was a written goal you started out with at the beginning of the year, or an opportunity that simply fell into your lap, the key is that you took the next step, and the next, and the next. And that, along with God’s blessing, is what turns a dream into a reality.

After all:

Dreaming instead of doing is foolishness, and there is ruin in a flood of empty words.
Ecclesiastes 5:7

So, please tell us something you achieved this year. I’ll draw one name and will give a FREE copy of Cec Murphey’s Unleash the Writer Within! (Be sure to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!)

In 2013, will you dream…or will you do?

I pray God’s richest blessings as you seek to serve Him in 2013!


(Photo courtesy of sdmania/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net

How do you feel as we end this first week of 2012? Did you accomplish what you had hoped? Maybe you’re like me and you can see progress, but also see the things that didn’t get done.

So what do we do now? As for me, I think I’ll simply toss anything that whispers of failure and rest in Him and His great mercy.

And then trust His plan for my life…again.


…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,


(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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A Change in Plans: A Lesson in Obedience

Photo courtesy of Rawich

You may have noticed you’re getting this blog post a little early. There was a change in plans.

It all started when I spent two days last week, setting up a new work schedule for the days I’m home. With my tendency to be unorganized and unfocused, I could see that I needed a plan in order to help me stay on top of the many projects currently going on.

So with this being the beginning of a new year, last week I studied my projects and the time they were going to require. I figured out a system to try to cover each project with a sufficient amount of time each week. I rewrote the schedule and refigured and rewrote it again. Yesterday it was ready. I copied it out and put it right out front where I could see it. I couldn’t wait for Monday morning so I could get started!

Then my schedule got thrown out the window. I got an email from our own Eddie Snipes stating there was a problem with my blog Home Page. A quick check revealed that–of course–it wasn’t anything I could take care of. On top of that, my webmaster was out of the country. But even though he was out of the country, my wonderful webmaster came through with a solution: post my blog early and that should take care of it. (I hope it works. We’ll find out as soon as I post this!)

So my best laid plans for part of Monday was out the window and instead of receiving this Tuesday morning, I guess you’ll get it about midnight on Monday.

It’s not a big deal. It really isn’t. But what I want us to see is that even though I had a really good plan, a well thought-out, all-for-a-good-reason plan…I was stopped from working it.

Paul had a good plan, too. And his plan WAS a big deal. According to Acts 16, Silas, Timothy, and Paul were planning to head into Asia, but verse 6b says they had “…been kept by the Holy Spirit [emphasis mine] from preaching the Word in the province of Asia.”

Then, verse 7 says, “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to [emphasis mine].” It’s clear from God’s Word that Paul and his team had prepared well and were prayed up. After all, they were carrying the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles, to those who were not Jews, God’s chosen people.

But the Holy Spirit stopped them. And not once, but twice. It was a huge change in plans.

That night Paul had a vision of a man telling him they were needed in Macedonia. Some scholars say this was Paul’s second encounter with Jesus, the first being his encounter on the road to Damascus. Others think it was merely a dream, but either way, Paul went, the Gospel came west to Europe, Lydia was baptized, and Christianity eventually arrived in America.

All because of a change of plans. And it was good.

So with the dawn of 2012, as we’re setting our goals and making our resolutions, let’s not forget that God may have a different plan. Yes, we can organize, we can figure and refigure the best route to get wherever it is we feel God wants us to go–and we should! But the truth is, God may change our plans.

And if He does, it will be good.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

(Photo courtesy of Rawich)


Who Wins the THREE Dianne Neal Matthews Books?

Winner #1: Susan Panzica
Winner #2: Vanessa
Winner #3: Lynn Nester

Congratulations, winners! Just Contact Me with your mailing address and you’ll hear from Dianne with directions.

Thanks again, Dianne, for a wonderful, informative interview…and for your most generous offer of THREE books! I pray God continues to bless you and all your projects!


I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,


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