052 The Joyfully Organized Writer with Susan May Warren

Here are the show notes for the most recent episode of the Christian Publishing Show.

You can listen to this episode here.


Over the last ten years, I have worked with a lot of successful authors. From New York Times bestsellers to successful indies who are making small fortunes with their writing. One of the things nearly all of them have in common is a system of organization. They don’t all have the same system, but they all have something. 

In today’s episode, we are going to talk about how to stay organized, how to create a plan and how to do it from a place of joy rather than obligation. 

Our guest today is a USA Today best selling author. She has written 75 novels, and has won a lot of writing awards including, the Christy, Carol, Inspy, and Rita awards. 

She’s run a school for novelists for over a decade, and her students get published, stay published and build brilliant careers. I  have personally been very impressed with the success of her students. 

She’s here today to share her strategies for 2020 to make your year not only brilliant but to help you live a life full of value and joy.

Susan May Warren, welcome to the Christian publishing show!


  • Why is planning important for Christian Authors? Why not just go with the flow?
  • Why do Christian authors struggle to plan?
  • Benjamin Tribe Story
  • Walk us through that journey of figuring this out. What did you have to learn the hard way?
  • How do values come into play? How do you organize your life around your values?
    • It is not about putting a block into every spare minute. 
    • Values help you know when to say no. I am not saying no, I am saying yes to something bigger.
  • What have you learned about God while planning for the new year?
  • What tools make planning easier?
  • Any final tips or encouragement?


Sponsor: Christian Writers Institute

The Course of the Week: Deeper: Spiritual Formation for the Writer

Explore the Deeper Life of the Christian Writer.

A strong spiritual life is the foundation upon which a writer can build their writing. It is important that every writer think deeply about this. God’s word is a powerful source of strength and comfort.

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3 Responses to 052 The Joyfully Organized Writer with Susan May Warren

  1. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser December 3, 2019 at 8:14 am #

    I’m really very organised,
    even though life looks a mess;
    for something that I need to find,
    I go right there, no need to guess.
    I never thought that I might require
    a tail-light mount for Stinson 10;
    I built one when a museum hired,
    me, long ago and way back when.
    But opportunities do arise,
    and this one, well, it’s something big;
    OCD is not despised,
    for I never threw away the jig.
    A small thing, in the scheme of things,
    but by detail do dreams take wing.

    The somewhat arcane nature of this poem comes from an opportunity to recreate a Stinson V75C, the direct progenitor of the famous L-5 series of aeroplanes used from WW2 through Korea (and prized by collectors today).

    The L-5 was a ‘flying jeep’, built to perform liaison duties, artillery spotting, and casualty evacuation (ambulance versions could carry one litter patient. It was developed from the V75C, which in turn was sired by the Stinson 10…and long ago I fabricated a tail-light bracket for a museum example of that aeroplane.

    Saved the jig, so another one will be easy to make. Yeah, miniscule in comparison to the whole project, but even a little ‘un’s still a step.

    And…when I looked for the original FAA registration for the V75C, I found it was currently unassigned, and so was able to reserve it.

    That’s gotta be a sign!

  2. Avatar
    Kristi Holl December 3, 2019 at 9:58 am #

    Thank you so much for this podcast and all the info in the show notes. So very valuable. I do many of the things mentioned, and I’ve been writing 30+ years mostly in children’s writing, but with a bigger adult project now, all my lists and things to study/do/etc. on top of life/family/health issues left me overwhelmed. But I ordered the 2020 planner and eagerly await its arrival. I have tried half a dozen expensive planners in recent years, but none of them focused on writers anything like this one appears to. After hearing Susie speak at the ACFW conference this year, I had to check out her resources. She is one of the most practical teachers I’ve ever heard. She packed her conference session like she packed this podcast, and I’m grateful.

  3. Avatar
    Susie May December 3, 2019 at 3:16 pm #

    Thank you, Kristi!! I hope the planner is helpful–and should you have any questions, please shoot me an email! XOXO and blessings on your brilliant 2020!!

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