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If your New Year's resolution was to learn how to write or to become a better writer, here are a few resources that can help you with that.
Cec's newest book for writers, Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method, is available for preorder. The projected release date is February 21. 
Unleash the Writer Within
Unleash the Writer Within will help you find the real you and overcome your barriers to honest writing. 
Writer to Writer
Writer to Writer offers valuable, bite-sized lessons that Cec has learned from a lifetime of writing. His tips and advice will guide you on the right path. 
Come Apart and Rest
Don't all of us need those come-apart times? We're harried, overwhelmed, and tired, and our long list of must-do events keeps us awake or on edge. Here's a lesson I've learned—and it's not an original take-off on Jesus' words: Come apart and rest awhile or come apart.
Jesus, who was constantly surrounded by people, said to his disciples, "Come ye . . . apart . . . and rest for a while" (Mark 6:31, KJV). 
I've noticed that the workaholic, high-energy people (and I'm one of them) seem to go and go and go. Maybe we think we don't need rest, but we're fooling ourselves. I saw this clearly when I was a pastor. I would work for long periods without any rest time, especially during the Christmas season when I stayed on the go almost every day until Christmas. Early January, however, was a terrible time for me. I got sick—nothing major, usually something like a cold or a nasty cough. Those little sicknesses sapped my energy for a week. I finally got the message my body had been trying to send me for years.
Here it is: If we don't come apart to rest and to rebuild our resources, eventually we come apart. In our culture, to be sick is all right. Acceptable. Who can blame us for not working if we're physically ill?
And if that's the way we want to earn our vacation from work, we can operate that way. But what a price to pay for a few days away from the daily hassles.
In 2011, after Shirley's health began to go downhill, I pulled back on speaking engagements, especially those that took me on the other side of the country. It was the right thing to do for her and for me. To my surprise, by doing less—that is, by taking time off—I ended up doing more. Or a better way to say it is that when I returned to work, I became more productive and efficient.
Regardless of your occupation or lifestyle, take this seriously: come apart when needed. Of course, if you opt not to take care of yourself, your body will shout, "Enough! I'm off work for a week!" And if you don't heed the lesson, eventually the body rebels and serious problems set in.
I honor my body by setting aside time not to work.
Personal News
  • On January 28, I’ll give a keynote to a small enclave for novelist (and friend) Steven James here in Atlanta.

  • February 8, I’ll teach a seminar at Beulah Heights University in Atlanta on how to get published.

  • My final writers conference. March 22-25, I’ll keynote and teach at the Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat in Andalusia, AL.

  • April 27-30, I’ll speak at a book club in Jamestown, NY. I’ll also speak in local venues and conclude with preaching on Sunday morning.

  • May 5-6, I’ll speak to the Christian PENS (professional editors) in Atlanta.
The Twila Zone--
News from My Assistant, Twila Belk
I have the privilege of being a regular contributor to Positive Note Network's bi-monthly magazine. The current issue's theme is Be the One, and my article is titled "A Conversation with God." It's on page 4.
I've been at work on my next book, a 40-day devotional journal for BroadStreet Publishing. The title is The Power to BE: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous. The manuscript is due in a few weeks, and the projected release date is August 1.
Last year I had to cancel all my speaking and teaching events because of cancer treatments. Although I still have a way to go on my healing journey and will soon have surgery for breast reconstruction, I'm delighted to have a few events to look forward to on my 2017 schedule. At the end of March, I'll keynote and teach at the Called to Write Conference in Pittsburg, Kansas. In April I'll speak for a local MOPS group, and in June I'll be the keynoter for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown.
If you'd like to read the back story or receive periodic updates about my breast cancer journey, you're welcome to visit my Care Pages site. (You'll need to create an account to log in.) Here's my newest update: Grace, Gratitude, and God.
Here are a few pictures from the past year that show Cec taking his own advice to "come apart and rest". 
White water rafting with Christine Sneeringer
Cec at sea Cec at botanical gardens in Cuba
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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