Wednesday, February 28, 2024

My Writing Compass: A Bookmarked Reminder (by Darren Kehrer)

I write fiction. Specifically, I write Christian Science Fiction (or some variation of that genre).  Blending science and Christianity can be very challenging.

How far is too far?

How much science is too much science?

How little science is too little of science?

Where does the line cross? Is there a gray area?

In my POV, the Lord gave us science to help appreciate His creation through understanding the wonder and complexity of it all. I’ve noticed, however, that sometimes science and religion/faith can seem to be on opposite sides of the coin.  I prefer to turn the coin sideways to see how they both “fit” and “blend” together. One side of the coin cannot exist without the other.

In my writing, I always try to ensure that I’m not crossing into a gray area that could be seen as “writing over the line” or drifting into “dangerous territory.”  To remind me of my responsibility as a Christian writer, I keep an ACFW bookmark in my Bible to ensure that everything I write and imagine be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. It’s through this lens that everything I write must be filtered…even if speculatively.

The universe is vast with endless wonder and possibilities. I’m blessed that the Lord has given me this gift, but with great imaginative power comes great Biblical responsibility.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tara Grace Ericson to Add Tips and Tricks to our Indie Publishing Toolbox on March 2nd

by Rebecca Reed

 Do you publish your work independently? If so, you understand how many hats you must wear. As technology grows and changes, so do your responsibilities. Even if you're traditionally published or as yet unpublished, you're bound to be aware of the growing burden on the author when it comes to marketing our own work.

Maybe this burden has daunted you into waiting, holding back finished work from the public eye, because you're too fearful you won't be able to handle the load or the strain. What happens when you miss something, or make a wrong choice?

Fear is what keeps us from reaching our full potential as authors. Fear our words won't resonate with readers. Fear our work will be judged inferior. Fear those closest to us will see us as a failure, or worse, we'll see ourselves as less than.

Tara Grace Ericson left her corporate job to become a full-time writer, and she chose to independently publish her work. She's going to clue us in to her struggles and the tools she used to overcome them. Then share those tools with each member. Will the things she shares completely eliminate the daunting process? Likely not entirely. But when we all gain knowledge, it will make us better equipped to help each other when we have questions or have forgotten that one step we've forgotten.

That's what this chapter is all about. Helping one another. That's why we have Hoosier Hangout chats once a month. To give every member a forum to ask the questions and get answers that will move them forward in their particular writing journey.

Having contacts and connections who've been there and done that is a big part of moving forward with confidence. Each person we meet who's ahead of us on the path, is another source of wisdom for navigating our own route. We can call on the speakers as needed. The greatest thing about Christian publishing is the idea that there's enough room for everyone. We don't have the pyramid mentality where we feel the need to shove others off the mountain to make room for ourselves as is so often the case in the secular world. Rather, we let down a rope and offer to aid others in the climb.

Please make plans to be on Zoom from 9-11 am eastern time on Saturday, March 2nd to hear what Tara Grace Ericson has to share with us. I'm looking forward to seeing all your smiling faces and learning with you.

Here's Tara's bio:

A recovering engineer, Tara Grace Ericson publishes Christian romance and romantic suspense, with nearly twenty five titles published as of 2024. Her non-fiction titles and author resources are published under Tara G. Ericson. She was a Carol award finalist in 2022 and is Qualified Independently published according to ACFW.

About the author:

Rebecca Reed loves adventure. From riding race horses to sampling the world's ice cream flavors to writing tales of identity and purpose, she sees obstacles as challenges. A lover of Jesus, animals, and all things Scottish, you might find her coaching track, teaching languages, or listening to audiobooks on her rural Indiana farm. Her debut novel will be published as part of a two volume anthology in May 2024.

Connect with Rebecca on her website: and sign up for her newsletter where she shares her worlds with readers and fellow writers. Follow her on social media via her and subscribe to the podcast and YouTube Channels she co-hosts with the amazing Rebecca Yauger at for a little R&R where we review books and chat with authors.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Writing for the Fun of It

By Darren Kehrer

We all have our own reasons for writing. For Christian writers, there is usually a Christian themed motivation (which I would assume is a commonality) along with other varied factors of motivation that can be personal and, in some cases, financial (but not necessarily to make money other than making it a sustainable living option). 

Writing could be either a full-time profession or maybe a hobby that you are pushing towards a full-time occupation. In either scenario, or some variation in between, there are always many tasks a writer has scrolling on their (endless) to-do list:

Brainstorming ideas

Plotting and character creation

Editing and re-writing

Marketing, blogging, and promoting

Contest submission

Maintaining writing technology

Time management to balance writing time

Reading and researching about writing in order to improve skills

Attending conferences

The list goes on! 

In addition to all of these, you have family, friends, home, and other work tasks and responsibilities to fill out any remaining time.  

I have found lately that almost all of this leads to a traffic jam on my imagination highway. All of this is actually PREVENTING me from writing. Why did I start my writing journey? Why do I enjoy writing? Why? Because I LOVE to write and it’s FUN telling a story that’s playing on the movie screen in my imagination.

Yes, there is definitely a core Christian aspect to my writing, however, I write because the Lord made it fun for me.  I decided to take a step back from the responsibility of writing and NOT worry about deadlines and such questions as is it good writing, does it make sense, am I punctuating correctly, or do the plot lines and characters work, etc.  From that time, the STRESS of writing was lifted and now I write way more than I did before because I’m just writing…writing for the fun of telling a story for myself with me as an audience.

I am NOT saying this is something that will continue as my go-to writing strategy, but it has definitely helped me navigate around a very long path of “real world work stress” that has blocked my ability to just sit down and write. Thank you, Lord, for the grace of realizing that the reason that I write is because you made it my way to glorify you and YOUR imagination. It occurs to me that if God didn’t have an imagination, we wouldn’t be here.

As Christian writers, we are so very blessed to have been gifted this ability to tell stories, create characters, dream up new worlds, and spin adventures into the past, present, and the future. It’s our responsibility to ensure that our gifts are not wasted and sidetracked by the world around us.

If you are not having fun while you write, consider this short-term paradigm shift to get you back on track to find the joy in writing again, which at its core, can be the turning point in breaking through any writer’s block currently in your way.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Monthly Hoosier Hangouts


Mark your calendar now for a year's worth of connecting with ACFW Indiana Chapter members to "talk shop."

Stop by for an informal time to fuel your writerly tank and satisfy those cravings to be with and learn from other writers. 

January 15th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

February 20th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

March 20th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

April 18th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

May 20th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

June 18th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

July 17th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

August 22nd - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

September 16th - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout

October 22nd - 7:00pm - Hoosier Hangout