Is God the CEO of Your Business?

sheep and shepherd at sunrise. God as our CEO.God as CEO?

For most people that’s probably a revolutionary thought. It certainly was for me when I first heard it last year.

But making God CEO is the best decision I ever made for my business!

Owning your own business takes courage. After all, at a minimum, you intend for that business to support you and your family. Preferably your business brings in more than enough for the bills and your retirement. But it takes courage to step out and do it, so congratulations and kudos to all you business owners!

What Does God as CEO Look Like?

We often relegate God to the spiritual part of our lives and keep Him out of all other areas. [Read more…]

Finding and Choosing a Writers Conference

Editor Debra L. Butterfield teaching at a writers conference.

Debra teaching at a writers conference.

Conference season is gearing up, and writers’ conferences are one of the best ways to make connections in the publishing world. Many publishers accept only manuscripts pitched at conferences. Many accept only those that come through agents, and a conference is the place to connect with both publishing house acquisition editors and literary agents.

I realize attending a conference can get pricey, but good affordable conferences can be found. If the one you want to attend is beyond your budget this year, then start right now setting aside the money needed to attend next year.

Costs and Other Considerations

There’s more to consider than just the actual cost of the conference. Add in:

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Airfare or gasoline to get there and back
  • Incidentals like purchasing books sold at the conference

Hotel expenses can often be shared and reasonable airfare purchased in advance.

Know what you want to learn about and then spend time researching. Are they offering workshops on topics you want to learn?

If you are seeking a literary agent, what agents will be in attendance? Research these agents and their companies prior to the conference and decide if any of them are agents you want to pitch to.

Do they offer a scholarship (a great way to help with expenses)?

Do they have a conference contest? There is less competition to a conference contest because it’s limited to attendees, and contest wins are a good addition to your book proposal.

Finding a Conference

  • I recommend searching through the Christian Writers Market Guide (affiliate link). If you don’t own this book, check your local library reference section.
  • Do an internet search. If you are looking for one close to home include your state in your search terms.
  • Ask writer friends. There are a lot of writers out there in the social network realm. Just reach out with a post and ask for recommendations.

Writers Conferences I Recommend

Florida Christian Writers Conference
Leesburg, FL
March 6-10

Mid-South Christian
Collierville, TN
March 16

Mount Hermon (celebrating their 50th year)
Mount Hermon, CA
April 12-16

Wordsowers
Omaha, NE
April 26-27

Colorado Christian (Write His Answer)
Estes Park, CO
May 15-18

Blue Ridge Mountains
Black Mountain, NC
May 19-26

Write to Publish
Wheaton, IL
June 20-22

Successful Writers
Broken Arrow, OK
September, final dates TBD

Heart of America Christian Writers
Kansas City, KS
2019 dates TBD, usually in October

Have you attended a writers conference? If so, let us know what one, where it was, and if you’d recommend it to other writers. Comment below.

Conferences I’m Speaking At

Mid-South Christian Writers Conference
Collierville, TN

Wordsowers Christian Writers Conference
Omaha, NE

Write to Publish Writers Conference
Wheaton, IL

Vision Boards And Why You Need at Least One In Your Life

I’m starting the year with a guest post from friend Kim Steadman. Kim is the one who convinced me to start a vision journal.

When she’s not sweeping dog hair, experimenting in the kitchen, or doodling on paper, Kim is writing, encouraging, and mentoring authors. She is a freelance writer, speaker and ministers alongside her family in Grand Prairie, TX. She’s currently working on a new prayer journal and a new children’s picture book. You can find what she’s up to next at www.KimSteadman.com

Vision Boards And Why You Need at Least One In Your Life

Kim Steadman

vision board by Kim Steadman for DebraLButterfield.comI will be truthful that I’ve not always had a good relationship with vision boards., I thought they were something for the airy-fairy and woo-woo individuals, so I discounted them from life as something worth trying. But when I had someone whom I considered a down-to-earth individual share her experience with vision boards, I reconsidered my opinion. That was about 10 years ago. Now, I’ve tried to do some form of a vision board yearly. In the past three years I’ve created multiple themed boards.

If you aren’t familiar with vision boards let me start with the basics. Two definitions of vision are specific regarding your vision boards. A vision is “a vivid mental image, especially a fanciful one of the future.” Another definition is “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.”

Vision boards give you the chance to give an image to your dreams and goals. Yes, it’s that simple.

The power of vision boards follows the line of thought from the phrase “energy flows where your attention goes.” I also have a phrase I say often, “A map not drawn is a treasure not found.”

With a vision board you capitalize on the power of focus by having images and words on your board. Now, here’s where it gets fun.

Someone introduced me to using whole life or the big picture vision boards. We all have various aspects of our life we would like to improve. Our goals can span several aspects of our life as well. My first vision board was an assortment of images spanning several aspects of my life. It made sense since I had numerous aspects of my life I wanted to improve.

But remember that focus is the key, and now I try to focus my vision boards around a theme.

Themed Vision Boards

Some possible themed vision boards for writers could be:

  • Physical health
  • Finances
  • Business
  • Emotional
  • Dream things such as those items you would like to buy after you have met all your financial obligations.
  • Your Writer’s Dream Life
  • Envision your book you’re writing

a vision journal by Kim Steadman for debralbutterfield.com

Basic Supplies for Vision Boards

  • Poster board
  • Foam board or Canvas
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Tape or Glue
  • Markers

If you want added decorative elements, add:

  • Glitter glue
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Stickers
  • Anything else that you want to add to make your board reflect you and your personality

Let’s get started!

Take a moment to think about these things:

  1. Decide the theme of your vision board. What goals are you working toward in your personal life and/or business or writing project?

  2. When you think about reaching your goals, what does your life/business look like? What tangible things do you need in place to reach your goal?

  3. How will reaching this goal impact the lives of others?

  4. What will it take to reach your goal? What actions do you need to take?

  5. How will the process of reaching your goal change you? What emotional elements do you need to reach your goals?

Now, dive into your bundle of magazines.

What images, words, and phrases represent your life/mood/business when you’ve achieved your goal? What images or words represent what you need to do to achieve your goal?

Thumb through them and cut out pictures that represent your goals and speak to your heart in some meaningful way. This is the part you don’t want to over think. Yes, you may have a Jeep Cherokee on your vision board for things, and you want an exact image of your dream car. But if you want to feel more joyful than any image of a person laughing could represent the idea.

Also, add motivational affirmation words that represent how you want to feel about your dreams and goals.

In closing, here are final thoughts on using your completed vision board:

  • Look at your dream board often. Because I don’t have a lot of extra wall space, I do my boards has half boards, on index cards, or on card stock.
  • Feel the inspiration it provides. Allow yourself to gaze at it and think about what inspired you to create the board.
  • Read your daily affirmations and inspirational words aloud. There’s power in hearing the words.
  • Close your eyes and see yourself living in that manner.
  • Express gratitude for the good that is already presenting in your life. That you took the time to dream and have goals is more than what many writers take the time to do.
  • Acknowledge any goals you have already achieved. As time goes by, some of your goals will happen. Celebrate your success!

Author Kim Steadman and Denver the DogI plan to celebrate next year with my writing group all their goals, visions, and successes. If you write and would like to join our writing tribe, you can visit us at the Write More; Write Now Facebook group!

Inspiration to Help You Think Like a Writer

Another guest post today while I’m basking in the Florida sunshine on a long overdue vacation with family.

Geary Smith authorGeary Smith recently won the Pewter Plate Award from Highlights for Children. He’s been writing for children and young adults for over 30 years. His work has been published in such venues as Highlights for Children, Child Life, McGraw-Hill, ProQuest and many other publications.

His books include *Spiritual Power: Breaking Free from Learned Limitations, NLP Power: Spiritual Tao for Change Forever, and The Juneteenth Celebration all of which can be purchased on Nook Press and Barnes and Nobles.

Geary has a B.S. in Psychology from Morehouse College and an M.Ed. from Stephen F. Austin University. He is a certified Life Coach and Counselor, Assistant Minister and City Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem.

Inspiration to Help You Think Like a Writer

By Geary Smith

“To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”
~Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David McCullough.

I know from personal experience that even after publishing my first story and while still holding and looking at the check for payment, I had some doubts in my mind that I was a “real” writer. It would take some time afterward before I began to truly realize I was a writer and good at writing. [Read more…]

Three Reasons You Should Celebrate Today

Celebrating? That’s something I don’t think about very often, so when I read a recent blog post by friend and author Kim Steadman about celebration, what she said took me by surprise. So much so that I asked her to do a guest post.

Author Kim Steadman and Denver the DogWhen Kim’s not sweeping dog hair, experimenting in the kitchen, or doodling on paper, she is writing, encouraging and mentoring authors. She is a freelance writer, speaker, and ministers alongside her family in Grand Prairie, TX. She’s currently working on a new prayer journal and a new children’s picture book. You can find what she’s up to next at KimSteadman.com. Drop by and say hi!

Three Reasons You Should Celebrate Today

By Kim Steadman

When’s the last time you celebrated one of your successes? [Read more…]

Snag a Publisher!

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