Tag Archives: blogging

Taking an Internet Break

I’ve found that the internet is the greatest time-drain in my life right now. So . . .  I will be taking a break for the month of November. I need to get some important reading and writing done. The time I save by unplugging from tweets, posts, texts, and most email, ought to provide the space for reading and writing that I struggle to carve out. I might forego weeknight Netflix too.

If prayer is a part of your lifestyle, then I would truly appreciate your prayers for me. I’d like to not lose any readers and return with a lineup of relevant and helpful posts for December and 2013. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

I will complete part 4 of the Sabbatical series and post that in a few days. Then, the next post I do will be in December. I’m hoping to write about the fast from the internet when I return.

Feel free to visit the archives and poke around the blog.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving. See you in December.

Writing is An Act of Faith

You know, I was sitting here wondering why I persist to type words into a OneNote 2010 page, when it struck me that writing is a true act of faith.

Who knows whether or not anyone will read them? I mean, most of us write because we want to connect with others. But honestly, my book did not sell anything like I thought it would when I dreamt of its release. For years I had ideas of what it would be like to be a published author. Not because I wanted fame or fortune. The realities are much different than movies. But because I wanted to serve and impact readers. Wow! Where was my head?


No, I believe that my first book and my blog have taught me a lot. I still want to connect, but now whether I do or not I realize that I write because I have something to say and I love saying it. I believe that God has given me a perspective that combines with a gift of encouragement, to help others to be all that they can be in Christ.

I also know how much I love a helpful book. I’m changed by the reading and applying of what I read to my life. When a good book mentors me, I’m a better man for that. I want to pass that gift along to those who read my books. I want my books to mentor, coach along the journey to Christ’s Kingdom reign.

Truly, faith is keeping at something, even when you don’t see the results you expected. It’s believing what cannot be seen but being assured that it’s the right thing to believe.


Before I completed and published my first book, I had breakfast with Gordon MacDonald at Friendlies. I wanted him to mentor me as a writer. He asked me to tell him my story. I talked. He listened graciously. I realized even while I was talking that I wasn’t communicating my passion for writing. Instead, I was telling him something else. It was as though God was allowing him to see something in me that needed addressing.

After breakfast, he recommended that I read a book. “This is not a Christian book I’m recommending, but it will be helpful for you to read it,” he said.

The title was In the Shadow of Fame: A Memoir by the Daughter of Erik H. Erikson by Susan Erikson Bloland, the daughter of famed child psychologist, Erik Erickson. As a sidenote, I’m just finishing a memoir of a woman who separated from her husband for a year and met Joan Erickson while walking along the beach. They became close friends. That book is entitled A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman, by Joan Anderson.


In retrospect, I realized that my reasons for publishing were mixed. Shortly after I read Bloland’s book, I completed my book. I sought the Lord to purify my motives. Then I released the book at Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and for Kindle and Nook. Sales were mainly to family, friends, and fellow pastors. Of course my church family and fellow associational leaders encouraged me as well. But that was about it. For the first year, I continued to write. But then I stopped.


I went into a depression which, I later found out, was a “dark night of the soul.” I withdrew from people and things I usually enjoyed. I felt exhausted all the time. Because I was a busy pastor and associational leader as well, I began to question my calling.

Everything lost is taste and savor. Fortunately for me, I had praying friends and ministry partners. Some wise counsel helped me recognize God at work, not the enemy. He was taking everything but Him. Funny, because I thought I had given him everything already–many times. But He sees deeper than we ever could.


I’m on the other side of all that now. It took two and a half more years to slowly let go of everything but Him. It was truly a spiritual winter. But the great thing about tracking through the winter with the Lord is that spring is the next season to follow. Spring is a time for sowing and planting, digging around and preparation.


Now I’m settled in a great peace, waiting only on Him. I am also searching out a coach on the road ahead of me in spiritual formation, while at the same time coaching those whom God has sent my way. But I’m no longer an expert–Dr. Alves. I’m merely a witness, testifying to whatever the Lord shows or entrusts to me.

And . . . I’m writing again. Writing by faith. My one prayer is that the Lord will use the process of writing by faith in my life first . . . And if He so chooses, in the lives of those who may be drawn by His Spirit to read.

QUESTION: Have you ever experienced what I’m talking about?

Most Helpful Blogging Tips

I’ve been blogging for nine years now. I LOVE blogging. So many people have asked me why I blog and how I started. They want to know how they can begin or improve. Others want to know how to increase their readership–what strategies have been most helpful for me and others.

Those questions led me to share some of the posts that have inspired me to begin and continue making my blog a source of encouragement and engagement for those who are on their spiritual journey.

These are the posts that helped me the most in my own blogging.

How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners (Problogger.com)

How to Choose a Niche Topic for your Blog (Darren Rowse)

Finding Your Blog’s Unique Voice (Jeff Goins)

What I Have Learned In Four Years of Blogging (Michael Hyatt)

How to Build a High-Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself (Tim Ferris)

I hope you find these interesting and helpful as you begin or continue sharing your voice with your readers.

If this post is helpful, why not share it with your friends using the icons below.

QUESTION: Do you know of posts that have been helpful to you?

©2011, David C Alves

Follow @davidcalves

9 Favorite Posts by Michael Hyatt

For several years now, I’ve been following Michael Hyatt, the Chairman of the Board of Thomas Nelson–the largest Christian publisher in the world. Mike sees clearly and has a wealth of experience. He’s a great resource for authors, writers, fellow travelers on spiritual journey, and proactive, transformational leaders.

The following are my nine favorite posts from his website:

Should You Dare to Take a Sabbatical?

What Every Author Should Know About Radio and Television Interviews

Advice to First-Time Authors

Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?

Creating A Life Plan

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

The Future of the Book


Seven Steps to Writing a Successful Guest Post

This is a guest post by Jeff Goins on Mike’s website

Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have. Please pass them on to your friends too. It’s great when we can help equip one another by recommending important resources by creative individuals.

QUESTION: Which are your favorite? Why?

Help Me Improve My Site?

I have been reading some sources to learn how to blog better. What I’m looking for are suggestions that would improve what I’m doing here. Your input would be helpful to me so that I can better serve fellow writers, readers, those we serve in ministry, our friends and family, and to my calling as a writer/speaker. I want to make my site a valuable and helpful resource as well as a platform for our book sales.

I’d especially like to know how I can make several self-published PDF eBooklets available on my site so that interested people could purchase them from my site. (My site is a WordPress.com site.)

So if you can point me to excellent, INEXPENSIVE (or even better, FREE) sources on the web, that will help me to grow in this effort, please reply to this post by commenting below. Thanks.

©2011, David C Alves

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