May your stories bud, bloom, and blossom!

Get Started Writing

  • Journal your story ideas, fun dreams, and inspirations from life, books, and movies.
  • Create profile sheets of your characters with the setting of the story, their goal, motivation, and conflict.
  • See if you’re a “plotter” or a “pantser,” which genre is best for you, and if writing in first person or third person point of view is best for you.
  • Practice sharing your writing in a blog post or on social media.
  • Get feedback from beta readers, writing/editing friends or groups on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Fight writer’s block by checking out inspirations on Pinterest, rereading your favorite books, and rewatching your favorite shows and movies.
kelsey with starfish

tools and websites 

If you’re a creative planner writing a fiction story or series, then the book plotting program Scrivener is for you. Follow Scrivener expert Joseph Michael for step-by-step tips on how to use the program.

When editing Word docs, I use PerfectIt which now pairs with “The Chicago Manuel of Style.” For emails, I use both Grammarly and ProWritingAid.

If you would like to brush up your grammar skills, I recommend following Grammar Girl.

If you like creative writing tips in different medias, check out Reedsy’s blog, website, and YouTube channel. 

Freedom with Writing sends writing jobs right to your inbox.

Write poems, short stories, and articles to get your name out there, build your resume, and gain experience.

See an example of a publishing house’s guidelines on Elk Lake’s website:

Authors and Bloggers

Library Apps: (free) Hoopla, Libby, LibriVox, (paid) Audible

Books on Writing: “On Writing” by Stephen King, “The Reading Life” by C. S. Lewis, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder

Books on Editing: “The Chicago Manuel of Style” and “The Christian Writer’s Manuel of Style”

Subscribe to author Jerry Jenkins ‘ blog to get fiction and nonfiction writing advice. Check out his Writer’s Guide to watch webinars and of him editing manuscripts.

Subscribe to Chad R. Allen’s blog to learn more about how to publish your book and write a book proposal. He also has a paid writers’ group called Book Camp which helps writers write and finish their books.

The Write Practice is a platform that helps writers practice their craft, improve their skills, and get published.

Subscribe to Thomas Umstattd Jr.’s blog “Author Media” or listen to the podcast to learn more about the marketing side of selling a book.

Groups, classes, conferences, and contests

Check out my writing and editing friend Becky’s 540 Group, an online Christian writing community designed to encourage, educate, and equip writers by providing virtual opportunities to connect.
Join a local division of American Christian Fiction Writers to get involved in an encouraging and informative writers’ group.
Their Genesis Award is for unpublished writers, and the Carol Awards are for the best Christian fiction published the previous calendar year.

Join The Christian PEN to be a part of a supportive email group and get your grammar and punctuation questions answered. Attend their annual online conference, PENCON, where instructors from the PEN Institute give presentations. The Christian Editors Connection network recognizes great editing in the Excellent in Editing Award. 

Become a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association for free to learn more about being a freelance editor.