Kern_web shot Jan here, hoping to offer a few encouraging thoughts and ideas to help you as writers thrive through the approaching holidays.

The past five or more years, I’ve headed into the Christmas season with either book deadlines or December speaking engagements (or both). I loved the work and ministry involved, but it made an already busy season extra busy. In some ways, I approached it by doing what I could to survive and get through to other side. I want to do it differently from now on.

How about you? There’s the usual excitement and activity of the season, the family events and traditions that you love to participate in. Add in writing, speaking, and marketing deadlines and goals. What can you do to keep moving forward with energy and enjoyment of all that this season holds? To do more than survive, but to actually thrive?

Five ideas . . .

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Kern_web shot Jan here, writing to you today about writing craft, with a focus on keeping the fun in writing.

Recently I had a conversation with writer, Nancy Sanders, who encourages those she mentors to take time each week to set aside deadlines and write whatever they feel like. I see merit in that. Oftentimes we do enjoy what we are currently writing for publication, but it might do our writing some good if we took regular time to write something just because we want to.

This post is dedicated to writing for the fun of it.

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Kern_web shot Jan writing to you from the warm, sunny foothills of the Sierras, hoping to offer some words of encouragement for your writing and marketing journey.

What did you think when you read the title? Do the words ‘rest’ and ‘productivity’ really work together for the writer and marketer? I have been determined to find out.

Recently, during a sermon, I found myself continuing an ongoing conversation with God. Life felt hectic. I was weary.

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Kern_web shot Jan here, enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon in the foothills of the Sierras. Today I’m considering the readers of the books we are writing–the essential person that we must keep in mind.

Over the years I’ve critiqued quite a few nonfiction proposals and manuscripts. The writers pored out their souls in their manuscripts, sometimes to the point of (figuratively) bleeding on the page. Each hoped their story would make a difference in the lives of others who had experienced similar struggles.

I found the ideas of many of the stories compelling. And yet, for some, the delivery left me feeling alienated from or cautious about the heart of the message. Why?

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Jan, writing to you from my desk in the foothills of the California Sierras. As I’m enjoying a cooler day after an unseasonably warm weekend, I’m thinking about the writer’s spiritual wells.

When I hover my mouse over my word-processing icon on my computer desktop, it says, “Abide in me and I in you for apart from Me you can do nothing”–from John 15:5. Sometimes I chase ahead in my busyness without abiding; it’s not long before I feel the drain.

As writers we fill our wells in many ways. Over the years, I have either bought or been given books that help fill my well. For your perusal and encouragement, I thought I’d share a few of those with some excerpts . . .

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