If you live in Canada, consider joining us next month for the Inscribe Christian Writers Conference here: http://inscribe.org/fall-conference/
I will be the keynote speaker and will be leading a couple workshops.
And all of you can enjoy this interview I recorded with Inscribe President, Ruth L. Snyder.
Ruth: I’m looking forward to having you come to our conference in September. To help our members get to know you, please tell us about your growing up years.
Shelley: I’m a person that learned to be adaptable because we moved so many times. I grew up as a PK – a pastor’s kid, going to church, and attending all the events — youth camp, conferences. I was saved and baptized at the age of seven. Typically, we think of salvation as a turning point where everything is going to be great. The Bible says that in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, “I, Jesus, have overcome this world.” The next year my Grandma was murdered. There was a lot of trauma, and yet God is so good. He doesn’t waste anything, and a lot of what I’ve been through is what I share in my books today.
Ruth: How does your faith influence what you do?
Shelley: It influences everything I do. I practiced as a physiotherapist for twelve years. My husband and I also served in Belize for two years. I worked as a volunteer physiotherapist and my husband worked with youth. When we came back, we knew we wanted to have the freedom to minister again. In 2011 I quit my job and God showed me that author coaching was what He wanted me to do. I thought I would limit my income and influence if I only ministered to Christian authors. However, God convicted me and showed me that’s what He wanted me to do, so I made that change. Now I serve primarily Christian authors. Anyone is welcome, as long as they know I’m going to pray and share Scriptures. God has planted that seed of prayer and encouragement and I integrate it into what I do. I have seen amazing fruit in my writing community.
Ruth: When did you first call yourself a writer?
Shelley: I never dreamed of writing a book. We moved during my junior year of high school, and my new English teacher gave me a “C”. She taught me how to write and set me up for success. I was a speaker before I became a writer. It wasn’t until 2008 that I published my first book. My husband is a competitive runner. We hang out with people who win world championships. I’m a slow runner. I don’t know if I will ever win an award, but I’m still a runner. God has shown me, “Shelley, you’re a writer!”
Ruth: You’ve published over 40 books. How has your writing process changed from your first book to your most recent, Broken Crayons Still Color?
Shelley: My first book was a compilation of articles I had already published. Anything you practice improves. I have developed systems, which are basically checklists or certain ways I do things. It makes things run better and faster. I also have a team now. With Broken Crayons Still Color, I wanted it to be my best work. I had a beta group that gave me feedback, along with my professional editor. I also included coloring pages, discussion questions, journaling prompts, videos with fill-in-the-blank viewer’s guides, and a leader’s guide.
Ruth: As a writing coach, what do you find writers struggle with the m
Shelley: In the beginning I thought writers just needed the step-by-step. What I found is that so many writers struggle with mindset. If you’re dealing with self-doubt, self-sabotage, fear, shame—some of these biggies—it becomes a big obstacle. I encourage Christian writers to have a prayer team, because Satan is going to want to stop you. It’s also really important to have some kind of writing community to support you. That spiritual battle can be one of the biggest obstacles you face.
Ruth: Is there any other advice you would give to a writer j
ust starting out?
Shelley: It’s easy to get in a “Do” mode. Focus on creating with God; He has the best ideas. Develop systems that work for you, but also learn from others who have gone before you. Have a notebook where you write down what you’ve done. Use the tools that are available to batch writing blog posts or develop/schedule social media posts.
Ruth: That leads us into our VIP Day and conference. Could you give us a taste of what you’ll be sharing?
During the VIP Day I will be teaching low cost ways to bring in sales that are automated. I love working smarter, not harder. We are going to create a blue print and go through each step of what it will look like for you, individually.
During conference we will be talking about writing in community—the power of having a prayer team, and how having a beta group can really help you in creating a quality book that will reach your audience. We’ll discuss getting book reviews and the mindset you need to work on so that you’re not paralyzed in your writing.
Join us here: http://inscribe.org/fall-conference/