Freelance Writer’s Almanac – coming soon!

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Anyone who has written freelance knows that wonderful writing isn’t the only thing our piece needs to get accepted. It also needs to be timely. Write and submit an article about C. S. Lewis in 2014 and chances are editors will reject it, whereas they may well have accepted it in 2013. Why? Because 2013 was the 50-year anniversary of Mr. Lewis’s  death (in November of 1963). You may have noticed the large number of articles about C. S. Lewis floating around in 2013, and the anniversary is why!

In order to write timely articles like that we need to be alert to what’s coming up in the birthday and anniversary department as well as the annual holidays that repeat year after year. Of course it’s also feels good to be in-the-know about fun facts like when it’s National Pie Day or Poem In Your Pocket Day.

I’ve been planning for a while to prepare a list of upcoming dates for myself. One day it hit me. If I could use such a list, probably other freelancers could as well. And so I’ve decided to start a new blog feature.

On or around the first day of each month, I’ll be posting a Freelance Writer’s Almanac  piece, listing the holidays and special days of the month we’re entering. This will be eclectic and include information about history, the arts, faith, science, food, Canadiana, and anything else I find interesting.  (This post will replace the monthly writing prompt of 2013).

Freelance Writer's Almanac icon - violetnesdoly.com
So if you need timely ideas of things to write about in blog posts, articles, even books, come back January 1st for the first installment of Freelance Writer’s Almanac.

Blogging changes in 2013

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Blog button“For many of us, the heart of our home base is our blog. It’s where our best thinking lives, the place where others can comment and interact with us, the nexus of our social network,” says Michael Hyatt in his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

He goes on to advise would-be bloggers, in eight steps, how to set up or restart a blog. His first step is “Determine a theme.”

Now I’ve been blogging themeless (at my personal blog promptings) for years and it’s been a lot of fun. However, in the last few weeks (actually ever since I started  blogging here at my website), I’ve been mulling over whether it’s time to establish a theme, what that should be, and how it would look in blog format.

In a recent Author Media webinar  Thomas Umstattd echoed Hyatt’s advice. “Find your niche,” he said. “Don’t copy the competition.” His explanation of a blogging theme in relation to other writing we do was most helpful. He said something like, “Imagine your book is the DVD. Then your blog would be the extras on that DVD—the outtakes, the extra scenes, the interesting facts that never made it into the main feature, the interviews with the actors…”

And so I’ve been asking myself, what is my niche, and what extra features would be on my DVD?

‘Writing’ seems the obvious answer to niche. It’s what I know best.  But does the world need yet another writing blog? There are writing blogs galore written by people with a lot more expertise and success than I have.

Another blogging possibility comes to mind as I review what I have written about, and love to write about—the Bible. I have found a lot of inspiration in it. I’ve written a year’s worth of Bible-based devotions for kids. I write daily devotions for adults. In 2012 I published a book of biblical fiction based on the story of the exodus with fictional characters inspired by characters straight from the Bible.

What ties all these writings together is what I am attempting to do in them: BRING THE BIBLE TO LIFE. That is:

1] make the Bible come alive for readers

as I

2] apply Bible teachings and principles to modern life.

Lately I’ve been thinking I could blog about that! In the coming year I’m going to try. In that vein I plan to offer you some of these “DVD extras” in 2013:

  • Articles on the history of the Bible and how it came to us. If you’ve wondered how we ever got this collection of 66 books we call the Bible, posts on Bible history might answer some of your questions.
  • An exploration of various Bible study methods and helps. If your Bible study feels stale and you’re ready for something new, stay tuned. We just might explore a method or find books and helps that breathe new life into your study.
  • An introduction to some of my favourite Bible illustrators from the past. The whole realm of Bible illustration is fascinating. For example, how did/do Bible illustrators know what to dress their characters in? Are they always true to history, or do other factors (like interpretation, symbols, contextualizing the scenes so that contemporary readers can visualize themselves in the picture) play a part?
  • Interviews with living authors, translators, illustrators, and others who work closely with the Scripture. Friends of ours are Bible translators. Some of the dilemmas they face as they attempt to put the Bible into the mother tongue of a culture strange to them are fascinating.
  • Stories of the Bible’s impact on people’s lives.
  • Monthly Bible-inspired writing prompts for fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
  • Reviews of books, especially books that bring the Bible to life. In this department I’m going to focus on biblical fiction but I will continue to review other types of books as well.

Of course I’m open to other topics as well. What would help bring the Bible to life for you? I’d love to hear your suggestions (leave them in comments).

If you enjoy the Bible and would like to find out more about this best seller of all time, why don’t you join me? I’ll be updating once or twice a week.