It’s normal for writers who are just starting out to experiment with various genres. If you’re not sure what you want to write, you may try fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or some combination of the three. If you’re new to freelance writing, you may take any writing job offered to you, regardless of your area of expertise, to gain experience. This experimentation is part of the process of becoming a writer.
However, as you grow in your craft, you’ll need to define your writing niche to serve your readers best. Settling into a niche helps you define your area of knowledge and skill in the publishing industry and become known for your expertise.
If you’re ready to choose your writing niche but feel drawn in multiple directions, consider the following questions to narrow your focus.
Where do you excel as a writer? What feels most natural to you when you arrive at the page to work every day? Many writers...
In the beginning stages of writing a book, it’s easy for writers to sink all of their energy into the storytelling. However, if you want readers to find your words, it’s important to consider how you’ll market your book long before it releases to the public.
If you have aspirations of authoring a book or are already writing one, consider these tried and true tips for new authors. Readers need your message. Here’s how you’ll help them find it.
Marketing begins long before your book releases. Brainstorm ideas for marketing your book and develop a solid plan before you deep-dive into the writing process. Ideally, writers don’t wait until their book comes out to start marketing their message. However, if your book is already on its way to publication, either traditionally or via self-publishing, it’s never too late to develop a marketing strategy. A late start is better than nothing at all.
At hope*writers, we love to highlight our members and their writing progress, and this month we’re celebrating fiction writer Caleb Ward.
We asked Caleb to tell us about his writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Caleb’s story in his own words.
When I was little . . . . I would create characters and stories in my head, a process I called imaginating. Those characters stuck with me, and when I was in high school, I started writing some of them down. I quickly fell in love with storytelling through the page.
Community is so important because we encourage and hold each other accountable. When my novel was rejected for publication the first time, I wanted to give up on the book. Instead, I got encouragement from my peer hope*circle and kept working on it. Within three months, I had a publishing contract with the same publisher that...
Readers love an entertaining story, but stories can serve an even greater purpose. Storytelling is a powerful tool for helping readers think critically, learn information, and feel connected to the experience of others. Writers of every genre can use storytelling skills to strengthen their message and writing.
If you’re not accustomed to using stories in your writing or want to strengthen your storytelling skills, the following tips will help you write stories that stick.
An engaging story is winsome, interesting, and seeks some commonality with the reader. This doesn’t mean that your story has to be lighthearted, but it does need to engage the reader in a compelling way. Something interesting needs to happen to capture their attention. Let your humanity shine through, and be sure to tell your story as truthfully as possible. Even if your story is fictional, it has to resonate with reality and connect with the human aspect of storytelling too.
Are you tired of searching online for answers to your latest writing conundrum? Do you need fresh, creative inspiration or a fellow writer to offer feedback on your ideas? You’re not alone. Many writers find the writing life to be a solitary one, but it doesn’t have to be.
At hope*writers, we believe that we are better together. Every writer needs a community to support their writing life. Here’s why:
Your fellow writers get it. They know what it’s like to struggle to find the time to write. They understand what it takes to wrestle with sentences and paragraphs until every word feels right. They experience the same frustrations that come with building an audience or pitching their work to publications. They know because they’re trying to do it too. A writing community offers support and encouragement from people who understand your experience firsthand and want to help you thrive.
Are you interested in collaborating with someone on a writing project, a podcast, or content creation? Collaboration can be a fantastic way to grow your message and reach a wider audience. However, finding the right partner can be a challenge. If you have a collaborative project in mind but you haven’t found a fellow writer or speaker to partner with, consider the following five questions to help you identify the right person.
One important quality to look for in a collaborative partner is responsibility. What have you observed about their work and their work ethic? Do they show up regularly for their audience? Do they follow through on promises and provide thoughtful, engaging work in a timely manner? Observe how your potential partner manages their time and stewards their message to get a sense of whether or not they would show the same commitment to a joint project.
It’s also important that your...
At hope*writers, we love to highlight our members and their writing progress. This month, we’re celebrating nonfiction writer and hospice nurse Ellen Morgan.
We asked Ellen to tell us about her journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Ellen’s story in her own words.
Thinking back over my life, there were times of confirmation of my ability to write. In high school, my junior English teacher made positive comments on my papers that boosted my confidence. In college, one of my English professors read my writing aloud in class as an example of “good writing.” I didn’t believe it was that good, but he did. That was another huge affirmation for me.
In 2003, I saw an ad about being a children’s writer through the Institute of Children’s Literature. It posed a question: “Do you have what it takes to be a children’s writer?” I sent in a piece about my embarrassing...
For years, the rumor that blogging is in decline has circulated on the internet. But author and speaker Jonathan Milligan believes blogging is still an important foundational practice for writers. He cautions writers to avoid building their audience entirely on social media and suggests they use a blog as the primary place to connect with readers.
In an interview with hope*writers, Jonathan shared his POST formula for writing an engaging blog post. If you’re just getting started writing online or out of practice writing for a blog, consider using his formula to take your blog posts to the next level.
Before you start writing, determine the purpose of your post. Are you offering a solution or encouraging reflection? Maybe you want to teach your readers something or provide a sense of hope and healing. Whatever the reason, it will direct how you share your message. Does the reader need a story? Inspiration? A bulleted list of solutions?...
Are you in a writing rut? No matter how long you’ve been a writer, it can be challenging to stick to a realistic writing rhythm. Our needs, responsibilities, and demands on our schedules evolve over time. It’s easy to forget that our writing commitments need to shift with them.
If you’ve experienced a change in your life or you’re looking to develop a more consistent writing schedule, it might be time to reevaluate your current process. Keep reading for four tips to help you create a realistic rhythm for your writing life.
Assessing your life is the first step before you can dive into the details of developing your rhythm. If you haven’t taken the time to evaluate your current season of life, the other steps will not be as helpful. Consider what responsibilities you have right now and how those responsibilities impact your time and creative energy. Are you a caretaker of small children or an elderly relative? Do...
At hope*writers, we love to highlight our members and their writing progress, and this month we’re celebrating nonfiction writer Stephanie Lewis.
We asked Stephanie to tell us about her writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Stephanie’s story in her own words.
Childhood — I wrote poems or letters and gave them to people I loved and/or looked up to. It was clear to me early on that I communicated best in writing.
My big win is the confidence I have developed. I have known that I am a writer for most of my life. I just didn't dare say that out loud. Now, I am confident that the words I write are making a difference for people. I publicly admit to being a writer. That has opened doors for me in my local community.