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Blog by Ron – Should I take a Writing Course?

Should I take a writing course? That is a question you might be asking yourself. And the answer is: You should consider it if you don’t know much about writing.

Our DNA

It is said that we all have a story in us. But while that may be true, it is also true that most of us are not born with a basic knowledge of writing. On the other hand, you may have been born with a desire to write as part of your DNA.

I believe that describes me. I was born into this world with a DNA that led me first to reading books and later a desire to write books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with the knowledge of how to write.

Later on when I asked Jesus into my heart and was born again, He gifted me with writing talents. But they were innate. That is, I didn’t sit down right after getting saved and begin writing books. I needed to be taught.

Writing Courses do Exist

There are plenty of writing courses available for you and they come at a variety of prices. Some are good and some not so much.

Have you seen the ads for writing courses that promise you four,-five,- and six-digit incomes from writing? Some of these involve copywriting, which we are not concerned with here.

But there are writing courses available.

School of Hard Knocks

Let’s say you google ‘writing courses’ and discover that they  either promise the world or are quite costly. You throw up your hands and say, “No way! I’ll do it myself!”

Well, you just signed up for the School of Hard Knocks, which I am a proud graduate. But I don’t recommend it.

Besides, why should you re-invent the wheel? Or in this case, why re-invent writing?

That is where writing courses come in. And it is why I write this blog and why I am now offering a writing course designed for your busy time and wallet. But before I talk about our course, I want you to be aware of others that are available.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Other Writing Courses

There are some excellent courses available. And there are others I would not touch. I am sure you have seen ads on Facebook and other social media where you are promised or perhaps guaranteed that you will write a bestseller within a very short time.

Consider this:

There are thousands of newly published books every week or two. That means that if you sign up for a course today, there are already multi-thousands of books and authors already out there before you get your first lesson!

What to Look For in a Writing Course

A good writing course will teach you the basics of writing. Some of your more expensive ones will teach you advanced writing skills. But what you need are basic skills. So, what are they? These skills are:

  • How to discover your genre (and what a genre is)
  • Character building
  • Scene development
  • Time and location of your story
  • Viewpoint
  • Grammar
  • Basic Editing
  • and more

As you can see there is a lot to know about writing, but don’t let that intimidate you. A good course will teach all of that in easily digested lessons.

School of Hard Knocks

The question is not what course to take if new to writing, but what course you will take. If you decide that you can’t afford to take a writing course or you have a strong do-it-yourself attitude, then you will take the School of Hard Knocks.

But before you decide on that plan of action, let’s take a look at the true cost.

  • Frustration – It is an extremely frustrating school.
  • Time – Failure is your primary teacher and consumes time and energy.
  • Wrong Tools – Wrong tools and wrong lessons learned.
  • No guarantee – No guarantee you will ever graduate.

Authors Basic Training Course

The killer for most people is the cost for these courses. I have seen courses that cost upwards of $1,000, $1,500, or more. I couldn’t afford them which is why I ended up in the School of Hard Knocks.

Earlier I said I would tell you about our writing course. We at T&R Independent Books started the Christian Authors Business Institute which offers the Authors Basic Training Course.

This six-month course covers all the items mentioned above and more. Each lesson comes with a brief video presentation plus a PDF lesson. All to be downloaded at your leisure and studied at your pace. Plus, these lessons come packed with additional tools that you can download and put in your digital library.

Writing Course Description

I am personally excited about this class. Registration for the next class has already begun and I will provide a link. But let me describe the class first.

One of the things I believe strongly is in a close relationship between student and teacher. Although we are not in a physical classroom, our digital classroom includes:

  • a brief video for every lesson
  • scheduled live Zoom meetings (two)
  • up to three student requested private Zoom meetings which will be private.
  • Downloadable PDFs for your digital library

Registration for Writing Course

If you are interested in a writing career and would like a no-nonsense approach that will provide you a level playing field where you will have the opportunity to succeed, then click on the ‘I want to Learn More’ link below.

I Want to Learn More

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Need a Publisher?

Do you need a Publisher?

Previously, I dealt with the question about needing an agent and I also discussed publishers. Today’s blog dives a little deeper, but may contain similar information.

Concerning Whether You Need a Publisher

How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See my blog on Need an Agent which also covers a Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and the Indie Publisher

This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my blogs I have written on the different types of publishing.

But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.

Which Type of Publisher Do You Want?

In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.

Here are just a few things to examine:

  • How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
  • Can you afford $800 or more upfront?
  • Are you a new author?

There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have timelines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $800 or more.

And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.

Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.

Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.

My First Novel

When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.

Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.

For example, as mentioned in a previous blog, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).

I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold. This was back in 2003, so costs have risen greatly since then.

Among other things this demonstrates that we all have a responsibility to find the right publisher for ourselves. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.

Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

Authors Basic Training is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Registration for classes is open now.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

HANDLING REJECTION FROM A PUBLISHER

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript, Indie Publishers never reject a manuscript because the Indie Publisher is you.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.

That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!

Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).

Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.

Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.

Since I have never had a book rejected, although I was rejected by an agent, I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tip: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to [email protected]. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Blog by Ron – Need an Agent?

Do you need an agent?

When I first began writing the need of having an agent quickly became a question that needed an answer. My first response was ‘Of course’. But, as you will see, my answer changed.

Since my answer was ‘Of course’, I proceeded to look for an agent. At first, I didn’t know what I was looking for in an agent or why I needed one. Thus, began my education.

But there was one thing I knew. I had the internet available and could research the subject. I began digging.

First Things First

One of the first things I needed to know was what genre I was writing. It turned out to be historical fiction. From that little bit of knowledge I now knew that if I was to get an agent, he or she must work in the historical fiction arena.

The next step was to learn what do agents do on behalf of the writer.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Searching for an Agent

Searching through the internet I learned there are three things they do.

  1. Find and submit to them the author’s manuscript.
  2. Negotiate contracts.
  3. Distribute money (royalties, etc.)

Sounds relatively easy, doesn’t it? But I soon discovered some interesting facts:

  1. Finding an agent in my genre is time consuming
  2. It requires knowing what you need
  3. Not every agent is accepting new clients
  4. My book needed to pass their approval
  5. Seeking a publisher in more productive
  6. Being a publisher is better yet!

Publishers May Require an Agent

In addition, I discovered that a growing number of publishers ‘require’ you to have an agent! They won’t look at your manuscript unless there is an agent!

It was shortly after I discovered this that I decided to go self-publishing. It was a major move; virtually a first step toward independence. Later I would take another step away from Self-Publishing and toward Indie Publishing that would change my life!

Note: some people use self-publishing and indie publishing interchangeably, but there are differences.

Self-Publishing

My going with a Self-Publisher quickly dispelled some of the misinformation I had acquired. For example, having an agent wasn’t required. You could have one, but you didn’t to have one.

In my case I thought it wise to continue looking for an agent. But this proved hard and boring. I eventually found an agent I liked, and I submitted my book to her only to get a rejection letter stating that she didn’t work in my particular genre. Bummer! By the way, my genre was still historical fiction which was her genre, but it was also Bible based historical fiction, and that is probably what she was referring to.

Indie Publishing

A lot of similarities between self-publishing and indie publishing, but one major difference is that indie publishers don’t charge fees because the author is the publisher. Of course, that means that the author assumes all responsibility for writing, editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing. But the author also reaps greater financial rewards!

Truths Learned About Agents

The truths I learned here were:

  1. It can take months to find the right agent
  2. That agent may not want you
  3. Agents are not required for self-publishing or indie publishing.

So I went with a self-publisher and learned that although there is more freedom than in traditional publisher, the self-publisher still had control of all the tools and most of the profits. Plus, you had to pay them upfront!

One advantage of the self-publisher/indie publisher is that they will help you market your book. They may provide you marketing tools for a small fee. But another truth is that no matter what publisher you have you will do most of the marketing.

This all leads to a question:

Can you benefit from an agent?

The answer is yes. They have the expertise and the experience to get things done. So, there is value in getting an agent.

However, I opted out.  Instantly I became Author, Publisher, and Marketer! Which means that I had the added responsibility that agents normally handle, which is quite a chore.

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

Ultimately you make that call. Discover your genre or genres, learn their characteristics, and search for agents in that genre. No matter what, I think you should consider it. But you should explore the world of agents. You might find one you like.

And remember that going alone, especially Independent, requires you to do the work of an agent!

That said, I believe that going Indie is the best way to go. Yes, you work hard but the rewards are greater also! As an Indie you have a lot of responsibilities, but you also have greater possibilities. As an Indie you can hire companies to help you with certain aspects of your business.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge from God and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – What are Writers Resources?

What are writers resources? That is our question of the day. But another question also pops up. Why should I use resources? So, you have a what and a why. Let me answer the why first.

Why Should I Use Writers Resources?

Our ancestors didn’t have much in the way of resources available to them. If they were Christians they had God, but the average Christian did not have the Word of God at hand. So, they didn’t really have readily available resources.

But times have changed! We now have at least one Bible in our possession. Likely, more than one. Plus, we have dictionaries, grammar books, and so much more.

With so much available why wouldn’t we make use of them?

But as Christians, we are expected to do our best at whatever we do.

What are these Resources?

Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We are only looking at writing resources today.

Brief List of Writing Resources

  • Books on writing
  • Grammar books
  • Dictionaries
  • Maps
  • History books
  • Bible
  • Bible commentaries
  • How to books
  • and more

You may have noticed Bible and Bible commentaries. These would be needed if you are writing Bible-based fiction and/or nonfiction.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Tip #1 – There is no excuse for not having information that you need. We live in the age of the internet. You can search for just about anything on it. But be careful. The internet is rife with false and misleading information. While it can be a rich source of material, you have to be careful.

I have found it helpful to stick with proven sources. Sometimes I venture out to new sources, but I also check their content against the proven sources and against my own knowledge.

Tip #2 – Bookmark your favorite resources. Chances are you will need them in the future. This is a small feature on the Internet, but bookmarks or favorites are extremely valuable for someone who does a lot of research, especially if on multiple subjects.

The resource list referred to earlier is just a brief list of basic resources. When you are writing you should have near you any resources that you may need. A lot depends on the genre you are working in, but having resources available is a good practice.

What Writers Resources do You Recommend?

You may not use these all the time, but I recommend having available a dictionary, a book on grammar, and  perhaps a book on writing even our very own Guide to Writing which we periodically update and is available in our store.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Facing Your Obstacles

Facing your obstacles is a tricky business. In today’s blog I am going to give you some ideas on how to face and overcome obstacles to your writing career. But a warning right up front: this is not a one-size-fits-all approach, although it is.

Did I just contradict myself? No. This approach only works for Christians; those people who have invited Jesus Christ into their hearts and have been born-again. I don’t care what your denomination is, if you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ as your Savior, then this is for you.

Facing Your Obstacles Involves Submitting to Christ

As a Christian author you have what all born-again believers in Christ have, namely an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. He cares for you and watches every move, every decision you make. And He already knows what those will be. Moreover, He loves you and has a plan for you for today.

Wow! What a powerful, wonderful God we have!

He has Promised Us Wisdom

Unfortunately, we often neglect the simple act of faith to ask for wisdom. Instead, we try to do things by ourselves, including trying to face our obstacles. Until we finally realize that we can’t do it myself. Once we realize that then we turn to Him. It would be so much better if we turned to Him at the beginning of the obstacles.

Facing Your Obstacles Requires Faith

When we turn to Christ and trust Him for all our needs, including those pesky obstacles, He graciously steps in and provides us the ability to use certain tools. But first we need to trust Him.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Tools for Facing Your Obstacles

Here is a small list of tools. Feel free to add to them.

  1. Pray to God seeking wisdom
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Rewrite the passage
  4. Form a picture in your mind of the scene
  5. Change the routine you normally follow
  6. Set the book aside for awhile and work on something else
  7. Don’t Quit

These are just 7 ideas. Please notice I put Pray first. That should be our first tool, then let God lead you to which tool you use next. Probably the second tool would be Identify the problem, but after that it can be in any order and include tools I have not listed.

Simplicity

You might think this approach is simplistic. You are right!

But that is one of the great things about our Christian faith: it is simple. Man-made religion is complicated requiring you to jump through hoops. But Christianity is simple. It all begins and ends with Jesus Christ.

I have lost count of how many times I have asked God for help whether at home or at work and He has answered in marvelous ways. Unfortunately, I have not always started out asking but He waited until I was frustrated or facing an unknown obstacle and then asked Him.

It would have been better if I had asked Him at the first when I came up against the obstacles, but thank God He waited for me to wake up and realize I needed Him!

Face your obstacles by first laying them out before God and then trusting His leading. It will save time and effort, and bring solutions faster and better than on your own.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – First Step as an Author

R. Frederick Riddle image

Taking the First Step means what? Let’s take a moment to answer that.

The First Step

You know someone like my wife or myself that are authors. And the thought has occurred to you that “I would like to do that.”

But you don’t.

Then you read a book, smile, and think, I’d like to write a book like that.

But you don’t.

Life continues on and one day you think, I wish I’d written a book.

But you didn’t.

What’s wrong with the above. It’s simple. You didn’t take the first step.

What is the First Step?

My wife, Tess Riddle, has recently written two books. One is a nonfiction titled Chatting with Tess: Walking with God and has been published. It is now available at Amazon.com and our site T&R Independent Bookstore. The other book is a novel and titled, Keys to Murder. It is in the process of getting published.

But Tess hasn’t always been an author. These are her first.

Tess Riddle went to college not to be a writer, but to seek skills she could use on the job. But the Entrance Exam showed she had writing skills. Plus, her English professors encouraged her to write. But I can truthfully say that I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to be a writer until 2014 when we founded T&R Independent Books.

The desire had been there since her college days, but she had never taken that first step.

Again, What is the First Step?

Essentially the first step is making a commitment. Thinking about writing a book doesn’t get a book written, but if you commit yourself to something there is a better chance of it happening.

Think of a baby. They aren’t born walking. They have no commitment of themselves to walk. In their case, the mother and father want to see them walk, so they make a commitment. Then they encourage the baby to walk, assist the baby to practice and learn, and put them in positions where that first step will take place.

The baby doesn’t start off thinking I want to walk. Somewhere along the way the parents’ dream becomes their dream and purpose.

Writing is similar.

My wife was told she had the tools to write, but she didn’t really believe. The burdens of life got in the way. But she still had the tools and as time went on the concept of a story.

One day I learned of her secret desire to write. And I encouraged her. Did I know how well she could write? No. As her husband I loved her and believed in her, so I encouraged her.

But it wasn’t until she purposed in her heart to write the book that she really took that first step

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a Basic Writing Course that explains and guides you into becoming an author. Powered by video along with PDFs and Coaching you learn the basics of writing. Sign up is Coming Soon and Class will start shortly afterward. Watch for the headline ‘Authors Basic Training Open for Registration now’.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

My Story was Different

That first step is critical, but there are other steps to take.

As a teenager and later as a young man, I knew I wanted to be a writer. And I was committed to becoming an author. But I didn’t know how to take my imagination and put it in an understandable story on paper.

Though I thought I was committed, I wasn’t really.

I signed up for a writing course and was progressing. But then one day I got laid off from job and I had to drop out. Later, I returned to work but never got back into the writing course.

It is More than saying I Will Do It

Tess (aka Teresa) had to do more than think about writing. She had to do more than come up with a plot. She had to do more than say, I’m going to write.

The truth is that all of us have things we want to do. But we don’t take that first step. She could have given up when we moved down here to sunny Florida to take care of her mother. Yes, she was delayed, but the secret burned within her.

She could have given up when I suffered a heart attack shortly after she declared her desire to write. Even though I encouraged her, she could see difficulties at least for the short term. She had a husband to care for. But the dream still burned within.

Over the years, she’s struggled to get that first book on paper. But life kept getting in the way.  But finally one day, she committed herself to writing a book. She made a commitment to herself and to God that she would write. Making a commitment to God is very difficult to do, but also very motivating.

Commitment is the Key

On the other hand, my first step didn’t occur until I was 60 years old. And it came about through my Bible devotions when God showed me that there were stories I could write based on the Bible. That discovery changed my life and I committed myself to do it.

Commitment to do something takes you only so far. Part of commitment is to actually start writing. As for Tess, with life constantly demanding her attention, it was difficult and frustrating. Add to that the advice coming at her from me and others.

But the day came when she started writing. Not to please me nor others. And I don’t believe it was to please herself. The day came when she believed that God wanted her to write. That was a major step.

We both believed that God wanted us to write and we believed Him. That is part of the first step, but it wasn’t it yet.

Then What is the First Step

I’ve already mentioned the obstacles she faced. But here is where she finally made the first step. She sought God’s will, kept writing, and overcame the obstacles. In retrospect, the fact that she wrote a first draft of the book was the first step.

It is relatively easy to write the first few chapters but persevering and finishing the book takes a lot of faith, grit, and pushing on. She faced a constant battle that threatened to stop her, but she continued on and finally was able to deliver to me the first draft. Not only the first draft of a nonfiction book, but also the first draft of her novel. This put her miles ahead of my first step which resulted in a single book being published.

In my case, I had to overcome the roadblocks that had stopped me so many times in the past. It wasn’t until I did that and continued to the end that I truly committed myself.

That was when we took our first steps. I took my first step of commitment in 2003, but Tess took her first step in 2022.

What I’m trying to say, is that when that baby took his or her first step it wasn’t really the first step. But when that baby began walking ever so wobbly, falling, and getting back up that was the first step. And then the baby starts adding things like running.

As a writer you will face obstacles. If you stop because of them, you haven’t really taken that first step. But when you persevere and complete that first rough draft, you’ve proven to yourself you can do it.

Sure, there is a lot of work before the first draft becomes a published work. But now your confidence starts growing and you can take the second, third, fourth, and more steps! Now she was ready to get the help she needed to become a published author. And that is when I could really help her through. Now we are both authors and have learned the value of commitment. Writing is something we need to do on a regular basis. There are many steps an author has to take, but the first one is commitment. A commitment to yourself, but more importantly a commitment to God.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – I Am Who?

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I am who? Have you ever taken a good look at yourself?

We all have to ask ourselves that question at some point in our lives. When you stop and consider who you are you quickly learn there isn’t just one example.

Consider.

I am a blogger.

I am not saying that I am a good blogger or a bad one. But I write a blog that you are reading right now. In my blog I occasionally comment on world events, but mostly I talk about writing. Through my blog I pass on knowledge about writing.

I Research.

I research information for my blogs. But I really do a lot of researching for my books. And that includes both novels and nonfiction. Research is a necessary part of writing, so I spend hours and days researching.

I love history

I love history. It is no accident that my writings, fiction and nonfiction, are all historical in nature.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

I am an Author

I write novels, blogs, and inspirational books. I love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else with the same passion. It is in my blood.

A Misplaced Michigander

I was born, raised, and actually lived most of my life in Michigan. Now I live in Florida. But at heart I am still a Michigander. I follow the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Pistons, and even the Detroit Red Wings. Sure, I follow teams here in Florida, but not like I do in Michigan.

I am a husband.

I love my wife. We will be celebrating 41 years of marriage in September. And I wouldn’t trade with anyone else!

I am a Vietnam Veteran

And I am proud of it! I served 4 years in the good ole United States Navy. Serving in the Armed Forces is both a duty and a privilege. In my case, I was a Radioman and I served in the First Fleet and the Seventh Fleet.

A Resident of Port Charlotte, Florida

While it is true that I still have Michigan blood, I have learned to love Florida. Especially during the months of December through April. It is one of only a handful of states having no winter. O, Floridians may argue the point, but with temperatures that never get below 20 degrees, they don’t have a case.

I am a Brother, an Uncle, and a  Great Uncle

All of them live in the northern state of Louisiana. They would probably argue that it is a southern state, but they are definitely north of Port Charlotte, Florida.

I am a Senior Citizen

I worked hard to get to this age, and I am proud to be a Senior Citizen. I am old enough to be President of the United States and young enough to know that I forget to much to be a good one.

But Most of All I am a Christian!

I love Jesus Christ who came to earth, took my sins upon Himself, took my place on the cross, and died for me. He is my joy and my life.

Who are You?

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – Is Writing a Christian Service?

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Is writing a Christian service? That is a very good question. However, that is a question you can should ask about any job that exists and should be asked by every Christian.

Any Job can be Christian Service

There are exemptions to the idea of a job being a Christian service. For example, a bartender sells and serves alcoholic beverages, which is not Christian. Neither is prostitution. So, here are some principles to apply:

  • It cannot be Christian service if it is contrary to Biblical teaching.
  • A particular job may be fine, however, if it uses deception then it is not Christian service.

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Encourage people to worship God
  • Enable others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

These are just a few tests, but can you think of others? And, once you’ve completed that list, consider whether the question really goes to motive and behavior more than the nature of the job.

The Bible teaches us:

  • Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. (Col. 3:22)
  • And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. (Titus 3:14)
  • She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Prov. 31:27)

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today, especially, about writing. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

How Does This Apply for Writing?

This calls for some self-examination on your part. Look inward and examine your thoughts and motives. These will reveal a lot. However, right here is a good place to practice Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

You have motive, however, is it a commitment to the Lord? Is it to earn a living? That is good motive, but it doesn’t sound like a commitment to the Lord.

Is it because you like and, perhaps, are good at writing? Again, that is good. But is that enough to be Christian service?

What is Christian Service?

To me, Christian service is doing something that furthers the Gospel in some fashion, which leaves a large opening to be filled. Below I list some examples of furthering the Gospel, but it is important to remember this is not an exhaustive list. Read these and think about other examples you can add.

What are Some Examples?

Examples of furthering the Gospel are:

  • Soulwinning
  • Handing out tracts
  • Helping people
  • Inspirational novels
  • Inspirational true stories
  • Devotionals
  • Teaching Books

And the list goes on. For example, Tess, my wife, is working on a devotional while I am working on a doctrinal book for laymen and for non-Christians which would come under Teaching Books.

Christian Service can also be a Motive

I am thinking about someone who is a lawn caretaker, miner, logger, and others. The work may not lend itself directly to serving, but a motive like fund raising for a local church, going on a church mission’s trip, or simply helping other Christians out. These are but examples and you can probably come up with others.

The point here is that giving can cover a lot of activity that indirectly supports our desire to tell others about Christ.

Conclusion

The answer therefore is Yes, writing can be a Christian service. And add to that this idea: we need more Christian writers than ever before! We live in a time where anti-christian behavior, even persecution, is increasing. Christians need to know more about their God and how to live, and non-Christians need to learn and act upon the fact that they need Jesus Christ!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – The Love of Reading

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Recently I wrote about The Love of Writing and mentioned the love of reading. I thought today I would expand on that a little.

I Love to Read

As I mentioned in that blog, ever since I was a child, I have loved reading books. It was as a child that I read the masterpiece War & Peace. When I finished the book (it is a large book) my father questioned me about it. After all, it was a classic and I was just a child. I don’t know how old I was, but I don’t think I was twelve yet.

In any case, he asked me several questions about the book touching on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, the disastrous retreat, and the triumph of Russia. To all of these I answered, then he read or possibly reread the story and checked my answers against the book.

Obviously, I didn’t know or understand much about sex nor about the deep intrigues, but I did remember and understood the invasion, the battles, and the retreat on the larger screen, so to speak. He not only told my doctor, who didn’t believe him, but proved it to him. (I was under heavy medication back then and the doctor probably thought I was ‘slow’).

But that shouldn’t have been a surprise to either of them! Ever since Kindergarten I had developed a love affair with books. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, but I know I loved to read. And I was particular about what I read.

I Had a Great Imagination

Along with my love for reading came a strong imagination. I don’t know what other children did, but I would read a book or watch a movie and imagine myself as the hero. Always the hero, never the villain.

This imagination is often common in children, but as they grow up the imagination gets stilted usually by well-meaning parents. And when the child reaches adulthood much of his or her ability to imagine is gone.

But some of us persevere and it can lead to a writer’s career. In my case, it did. As a teenager I began putting my imaginative tales on paper. They weren’t very good from any standpoint. But they did show that I was developing a desire to write.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

The Love of Reading Can Lead to the Love of Writing

Reading should be encouraged in children. It is a necessary part of life. If you want to excel in school, you have to read. If you want to excel in any trade, you have to read.

But more than that. Reading opens the world to you. When I got saved and began reading the Bible, I discovered what was for me a whole new world. I already loved history, and now I was reading about the history of mankind from God’s point of view.

I fell in love with the King James Bible first for its unmatched language, and later for its accuracy. This blog is not about the superiority of the KJV but studying the history of the Bible persuaded me of it. That plus the realization that you can’t say the Bible is the absolute Word of God and, at the same time, claim any version will do. If it is the absolute Word of God, then there can only be one version because there are differences between them. So, you must choose.

Perhaps I will write a blog on that someday and I definitely will write a book on the subject. But the point here is that I fell in love with the KJV, which in turn led me to a writing career where I write Bible-based novels, and now I write Bible-based nonfiction.

The Love of Reading Helps in Research

If you have followed me for any time at all you know that I am a fan of doing your diligent research. And if you don’t have a love of reading you will discover that research can be truly boring.

Why?

Because it requires a lot of reading. By ‘lot’ I mean a great deal of reading. Writing fiction requires a great deal of reading, especially of the lay of the land, the products manufactured and sold in the area, the people, clothing, and the list goes on. Reading is essential to getting your story right!

Do You Love Reading?

I suppose it is possible to be a successful author and not love reading, but I believe I have discovered that reading other writers, especially in the same genre, enlivens my imagination. And once enlivened, I can then imagine new stories.

. VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Ron – The Love of Writing

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Several years ago, I wrote about my love of writing. It seemed to me that it was time to return to that topic since that blog no longer exists. Perhaps you are contemplating writing a book.

Well, if that is the case, you might want to first examine your mindset. Do you love to read, or do you consider it just a job? It is my opinion that to become a successful author you first must have a love of writing. Let’s take a look at my journey and see if it resonates with you.

I Love to Read

Ever since I was a child, I have loved reading books. It was as a child that I read the masterpiece War & Peace. This was a large book that told the story of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. His decision to invade Russia was probably based on two observations. The first was that England, his enemy, was distracted by a war with the United States. It was a case of the mouse against the mighty cat, but he wasn’t concerned about who would win, although he may have leaned toward America. The important thing was England would not be a threat while she was engaged against America.

The second observation was erroneous. He imagined that Russia would not be a problem. He had the mightiest army in the world; an army extremely loyal to him. Russia didn’t stand a chance! Well, if you know history, it turned out to be a disastrous invasion leading to defeat there and ultimately at Waterloo.

I Love to Write

Fast on the heals of reading came an unquenchable imagination. When reading, I would imagine myself in the scenes I was reading. My writing started out as playacting; my pretending to be the hero I was reading about. By the time I was a teenager, I was attempting to put my imagination on paper. However, I was untrained. Fortunately, I was unsuccessful. But it did teach me that I needed to learn more about writing.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

The Love of Reading and Writing

The desire to write stems from my love of reading but desire didn’t grant me the skills I needed. That came from study, hard work, and repeated failures. While a young man I tried to write a book, but every time I would try, I would hit the proverbial wall. I would get about five chapters into the story and suddenly I was stopped. It didn’t help that when taking a writing course, I got laid off and was unable to continue taking it. But I did learn that I really enjoyed writing and had some skill. This knowledge kept me going in the years ahead.

So began years of attending what I call the school of hard knocks. It was rough, but my love of writing kept me going which brings me to another point.

Love of Writing can Sustain Your Drive

 The love of writing sustaining your drive? Yes. And it is an important consideration. I used the words can sustain for a purpose. By itself the love of writing is a great motivator.  But it is limited. Constant frustration coupled with a lack of knowledge can undermine and ultimately defeat you. So, you need something more which I will get to in a moment.

Still, the love of writing is a powerful force that will strengthen your writing career for years. But while it kept me going, I was not moving forward. I couldn’t overcome the ‘wall’ nor was my technical career improving significantly. I needed something positive.

 The Love of God

That something positive came when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart on May 9, 1973 at the age of 30. That is the day that a fundamental change occurred in my heart. Now I had a love for God plus the love of God. It changed my life! But more than that, it changed my writing! Now my writing took on a distinctive Christian influence that continues to this day.

You ask did I start writing books that got published?

No, in fact, my stories continued to hit roadblocks. It took another 30 years before my first book was published. But the love of God coupled with a love for writing did sustain me and I began seeing improvements. Different people have different motives for writing, but looking back I realize that God wants me to write books, fiction and nonfiction, that are Christian and God honoring. And that is what I set about doing.

The Love of God’s Word

I realize that you the reader may not be a Christian, but this is the story of my life. But the moment I got saved I fell in love with the Bible, God’s Word. Coupled with a love for history, my whole focus turned in a positive direction.

Another transformative day arrived. It is my practice to have devotions in the morning (now it is with my wife). On this morning I was reading the Book of Genesis when God showed me that I could write novels based on the Bible. It proved a career changing direction.

Realizing that the Bible deals with facts and is historical in nature, I am now free to write novels and nonfiction books based on the Bible. Just like you can write historical novels based on secular history, I am able to write about historical people and events reported on in the Bible. It resulted not only in getting my first book published, but in my writing an entire series consisting of six books, all based on men and women in the Bible. That series by the way is The World That Was and is available on Amazon and at our bookstore. Now, I am also writing nonfiction books dealing with the Bible .

Love Letter

I still remember that morning devotion to this day. I was studying the Book of Genesis in chapter six which reports on Noah and the Flood. And it suddenly struck me. The Bible is essentially a history book relating historical facts. In this case, it was relating the facts pertaining to the Flood and Noah building the ark. It was as Sergeant Friday of the TV series Dragnet used to say, ‘just the facts’. But it provided room for me to write the rest of the story that enabled a reviewer to say that I “brought the Bible alive”. Ever since, that has been a goal; namely to bring the Bible alive to my readers!

That first book was Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles was published and was soon followed by Adam’s Chronicles. Then I combined those two books, added a ton of information and published Perished: The World That Was. As mentioned above five more books followed. Since then I have written other books and now I am writing a new series based on the life of Moses, plus another novel based on the life of Daniel. All of this has happened in part because of my love for writing!

Love of Writing Asserts Itself

With frustration gone, I now have a calling upon my life and stories to tell! I believe that as Christians we should be motivated by a love for God in whatever we do. And all writers should be motivated by a love for writing. It is why we write.

To be sure, God’s love toward me that led to my salvation was and is the dominant factor in my writing. But the love of writing that He gave me in childhood still plays an important role in my life and career.

Do You Have a Love of Writing?

As you undoubtedly have seen, I believe that having a love for writing is an important role to play in any author’s career. Yes, there is more needed, but you need to have an underlying drive, which will carry you forward. It will play a major role in overcoming obstacles and improving your writing.

. VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.