Top 10 Blogs from 2015

Thank you!

Wow! Another year has flown by. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has read my content, encouraged me, and shared my blogs this year.

I continue to learn a lot about not only how to write, but also how to create and provide content that benefits you. As I have shared in a recent blog—Discover and Engage Your Passion, I have some big changes on the way for my site. I am looking forward to 2016!

Top 10 Blogs from 2015

However, before leaving 2015 I want to share with you the Top 10 Blogs from 2015. You made these the top 10 by views, shares, and comments.

Again…Thank You!

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Why I Think Using Kindle Direct Publishing Is Fantabulous

5 Reasons I Chose to Use KDP Exclusively

I am in the middle of publishing an ebook series—Respond to the Call to Care for Orphans: Book 1: Count the Cost was published on August 15, 2015. Currently, you can get it only on Amazon.

Earlier this year I decided to take some of my blog content written about Foster Care and Adoption and compile it into a series of ebooks.

My research into the digital world of self-publishing convinced me that the time was right to put these ebooks together and publish them.

I want to share with you why I decided on Kindle Direct Publishing to publish my ebooks.

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I Am Redesigning My Brand—You Can Help!

Hard to believe that I began blogging three years ago! Thank you for reading and joining the conversation! I enjoy finding others who are passionate about foster care, adoption, missions, and living a life sent.

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Will you help me redesign my brand so that it communicates better how my site can benefit its readers like you?

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The One Thing You Need to Do to Be a Good Writer

So you want to be a writer? I think you should! No one else in the world can tell a story, lend advice, provide expertise, or state an opinion like you. But if you really want to get at it, you need to do one important thing. And a lot of it.

Photo Credit: kattra via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kattra via Compfight cc

READ!

I have always enjoyed reading. Before I had a Kindle, a stack of books sat next to my bed at all times. I often bounced from book to book, each on different subjects. Now that I read almost exclusively on a Kindle, I read much the same way, except the stack of half-read and to-read books is kept neatly in digital form.

In the past I read mainly for information and entertainment. Now that I am a writer, I find that I also read to learn how to write.

I read all kinds of literature.

I read anything that touches my passions like missional topics, adoption and foster care, and financial investing. I also read things that entertain me like sports journalism, travel, and gardening.

I also enjoy keeping up with current events and politics. Then like most of us, I easily get lost in the narrative of a good fiction writer.

I have begun to notice what kind of literature or writer grabs my attention and pulls me into the story no matter the subject. I pay attention to grammar, word structure and verb tenses.

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Do I Write for Success or Significance?

Really, regardless what field you pursue, you can ask yourself this question. A teacher, doctor, lawyer, business owner, pastor, or yes, a writer can pursue success or significance with their chosen vocation.

Photo Credit: Albertinos via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Albertinos via Compfight cc

If you google success vs. significance, you will find page after page of articles, blogs, and videos discussing the difference between success and significance.

What exactly is success? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.”

I set some goals when I began writing—success goals. It’s what I was supposed to do right? Become a best seller. Make lots of money. Become well-known and respected as a writer.

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Sacred Space—An Interview with Author Dr. John D. Duncan (Video)

John Duncan and I attended Howard Payne University together in the early 80s, and we recently reconnected. I have enjoyed getting reacquainted  with John over the past year. I am reminded and impressed by John’s discipline, wide range of interests, and his pastor’s heart.

 

 

John has pastored churches in Texas for over 30 years, obtained a doctorate from Cambridge, and occasionally teaches. He successfully combines his knowledge, personal experiences and interests in his writing.

John gave me a copy of his book Sacred Space: The Art of Sacred Silence, Sacred Speech, and The Sacred Ear in the Echo of the Still Small Voice of God last November.

The timing was perfect for our family. My wife and I often talk about a need to slow our lives down and create, as John calls it, sacred space.

After reading the book, we both have been able to apply some of the principles John shares.

I asked John for this video interview. I appreciate that he agreed even though this is my first attempt at recording a Skype interview. So, I hope you will overlook the amateur quality and enjoy my conversation with John!

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How I Changed My Approach to Writing to Be More Efficient

I am a writer. My four-year-old son confirmed that the other day when he told me that he wanted to be a writer just like me when he grows up. Talk about validation!

Photo Credit: 0MAK0 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: 0MAK0 via Compfight cc

 

I write blogs that I post twice a week, I am writing a book about Toxic Shame, and I have a few short ebook projects in the works.

I analyzed my work in 2014. I felt good about the blogging, but I realized that I was not getting the kind of results I wanted from the book and ebooks.

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Thank You! And My 10 Most Popular Posts in 2014

I want to take a moment and say Thank You! 2014 was my second full year of blogging, and I have enjoyed your dialogue, comments, and feedback.

Many of you have subscribed to get my blogs delivered to you each week via email. For that I really say a big thank you! I am not sure why exactly you joined. Maybe because you are a foster or adoptive parent; or you appreciate the challenge to live a “life sent”; or maybe you’re not sure. Whatever the reason, I appreciate your trust.

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What I Learned from Creating My Book Proposal

This summer I decided to pursue traditional publishing for my next book—Living Free of Toxic Shame: Learn from Others Who Have Gone Before You. If you want to read about my decision to go the traditional publishing route, you can read about it here.

Photo Credit: harfang2011 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: harfang2011 via Compfight cc

Navigating the world of literary agents and publishers confuses a first-timer. I have had a few conversations with beginning writers, and most of us are clueless what agents and publishers want. Most writers wanting to get published probably think that the agents and publishers want a manuscript. Isn’t that what happens in the movies?

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What I Learned from My Reader Survey

Two weeks ago I launched my first reader survey. You can still take the survey, by the way! Just go here—Yes, I Will Take Your Survey! I continue to work on my blogging and writing skills. Your feedback gives me some very helpful insight. Ultimately, I think that you benefit since your input should improve my overall content. So, Thank You!

Photo Credit: odegaard library via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: odegaard library via Compfight cc

I get a lot of my mentoring from Michael Hyatt. Not personally but through his website and Platform University. Recently he published three videos that allows someone like me (and you maybe?) to look over his shoulder while he mentors someone on how to improve their website, platform and influence. If you are a blogger or have a website, I recommend checking out Platform University!

I didn’t know what kind of response to expect, but I am pleased with the number of people who participated in the survey. Here is a quick glance of a typical reader on my site:

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