How To Make Real Progress in Your Writing Life

Do you have a plan for your writing in the new year? All writers benefit from taking the time to plan their progress and write down their goals, but when we create a rough plan without specific, actionable goals, we risk staying stuck in the dreaming phase.

 

Getting Started

Studies show that writing down specific goals and the necessary steps to achieve them is far more effective than simply resolving to do something in our minds. Making a plan and writing it down gives us a visual we can return to again and again, and it helps us make decisions based on our predetermined goals. No more chasing rabbit trails! With a written plan, we can see the small steps we need to take to make progress on our bigger goals. 

Your Next 90 Days

It’s daunting to look ahead at an entire calendar year and attempt to fill in all of the blank space. Life changes, vocational shifts, or changes in our audience and purpose can quickly disrupt twelve months’ worth of planning. When we...

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How To Get Published With A Small Platform

If you’re a writer who is working towards publication, you’ve probably heard about the importance of building your platform. Essentially, a platform is your base of readers, those who read your work regularly via your blog, newsletter, or social media posts. Building a platform can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing life, but it’s a necessary one. Publishers expect us to build an audience for our work. 

If you’re struggling to build your readership, author and acquisitions editor Jennifer Dukes Lee offers practical advice for how to take steps towards publication — even with a small platform. 

Jennifer’s advice can be summed up with a single memorable phrase, “Grow slow.”  Read on for her practical tips on growing slow.

 

Show Up

First, we need to decide which platforms work for us and then show up regularly to serve our readers. Remember: Our goal is to share a message. Our goal is not to strive...

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Do Writers Have To Be Experts?

expertise nonfiction Nov 08, 2021

Nonfiction writers are often encouraged to write from a place of expertise or knowledge to establish their niche and build trust with their readers. This often applies to writers who work in a particular field, such as therapists or educators, or those who write about a particular topic that requires training or education to explore fully. 

However, many of us write from our own experiences in the form of memoirs, personal essays, or self-help books. Do we need to be experts on a particular topic too? Author and therapist Aundi Kolber believes we already have all the expertise we need to write our personal stories. Aundi says, “It’s important for writers to know that ultimately you are the expert on your experience.”

What does it mean to be an expert on your experience? Let’s dive in!

 

You are an expert on what to share.

No one else is an expert on your experience. Your story is yours alone, and you get to decide how much or how little you share...

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How To Use Quotes Without Getting Sued

best practices publishing Nov 01, 2021

If you’re a writer, you’re most likely also a reader and collector of great quotes. Have you ever come across the perfect quote from another author that you would like to include in a piece of your writing? Maybe you’d like to share a quote on social media or include it in a newsletter for your readers. 

Before posting or hitting send, it's important to understand the legal implications when quoting other people’s words. It’s not as simple and clear-cut as it may seem. 

To avoid unintentional plagiarism, small business attorney Andrea Sager offers the following advice to writers.

 

Attribution

“If it’s a short quote, give credit . . . . As long as you cite the source, then you’re okay,” says Andrea.

We’ve all seen short quotes from books or articles make their way across the internet. If there’s a quote you’d like to share without asking for permission, the rule of thumb is that it must be short,...

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Calling All Writers: A Free Virtual Summit Just For You

Are you a writer struggling to make progress? Do you spend hours researching how to get published instead of actually writing? Hope*writers is here to help!

We put together The hope*writers Summit with you in mind. We’ve brought together 15 of the best authors and publishing professionals to teach you how to balance the art of writing and the business of publishing — and it’s free (for a limited time). 

Learn From the Pros

You’re probably wondering: What exactly will I get out of attending this online event? 

Here’s what you’ll discover by joining The hope*writers Summit:

  • What Publishers and Agents Look for in a Writer
  • How To Develop Your Writing Voice
  • Why and How to Create a Writing Routine
  • How To Collaborate With Others and Build a Team
  • How To Write Like an Essentialist
  • And so much more!

We hand-picked respected writing and publishing experts who have successfully navigated the world of writing and publishing. This diverse group of...

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How to Write a Poem

craft poetry Oct 11, 2021

Are you a writer who feels drawn to experiment with poetry, but you feel intimidated? The language and formality of the form can keep many would-be poets from giving it a try. However, prolific poet and artist Morgan Harper Nichols believes poems can be short, conversational, and crafted from everyday language. 

If you’d like to give poetry a try, Morgan suggests paying attention to what’s happening around you and to the words you’re already writing. Poetic words and ideas are embedded in your life and your existing work. It’s simply a matter of finding them. 

Let’s write a poem! The following three steps will help you find the poem hiding in your writing.

Choose Your Piece

You’re a writer, and like most writers, you likely have a lot of work sitting in notebooks or on your computer. You’re going to create a poem from the words and stories you’ve already crafted on the page. Choose a piece you love, one that touches on your...

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What I Wish I Knew Before Writing a Book

Are you a writer thinking about writing your first book? Without previous publishing experience, first-time authors can feel overwhelmed by the unknowns that accompany the publishing process. It’s easy to focus solely on what we know: our message and how to weave it into a compelling story. But, there’s more to the process of publishing a book than simply writing it. 

We asked our hope*writers members what they wish they knew before writing their first book, and here’s what they told us.

On Writing

Hope*writer Kevin King shared that he could have saved himself years of work if he had an established critique group while drafting his book. When he did find a good critique group, the feedback from other writers helped lead to significant edits that strengthened his work. 

Other members spoke about trusting the writing process. Sarah Sambles found greater freedom when she realized she doesn’t have to follow anyone else's writing rhythms. She found her...

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4 People Every Working Writer Needs In Their Corner

Writing may seem like a solitary profession, but all writers need a supportive community to help them accomplish their goals and flourish in their craft. Established writers often work with a literary agent, multiple editors, a marketing strategist, and numerous other people before they see their work in print. 

But, what if we’re writers who are still building our body of work and our writing career? Who should we look to for encouragement and support? What type of people do we need in our corner to help us improve our craft, reach our goals, and keep writing, even when the writing gets tough?

Read on to find out!

 

A Friend 

Every writer needs a friend who is a fellow writer. Family and non-writerly friends can lend support and listen to our concerns, but no one understands the writing life better than someone else immersed in the world of writing and publishing.

A fellow writing friend is a resonator. They resonate with our frustrations, our questions, and...

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One Way to Generate Consistent Income as a Working Writer

writing coach Aug 04, 2021

Do you want to become a working writer with a steady income? 

You could rely on your writing skills and focus on producing more articles, more blog posts, or more books. But, publication isn’t the only income option available. Many writers find that creating multiple streams of income without relying solely on content production is a healthy and viable way to make a living as a writer.  

If you’re looking for a new way to use your writing skills and generate more consistent income, becoming a certified writing coach may be the right path for you. A writing coach is someone who mentors other writers in various aspects of the writing life. As a writing coach, you have the opportunity to draw on your writing skills, your experience, and your expertise to help writers a few steps behind you enter the writing world with confidence.

Perhaps your strength is the craft of writing, pitching articles, editing, book proposal development, or self-publishing. Maybe you...

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Member Spotlight :: hope*writer Michelle Layer Rahal

member spotlight Jun 29, 2021

We love to celebrate our members and their writing progress. Each month, we highlight a member whose work caught our attention, and this month we’re celebrating nonfiction writer Michelle Layer Rahal. To learn more about Michelle’s writing, you can visit her website or find her on Instagram and Facebook.

We asked Michelle to tell us about her writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Michelle’s story in her own words.

 

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I've been writing since I was a little kid. I remember my 6th grade teacher telling me to become an author. Instead, I went into radio newscasting, then into the field of education, where I worked on state and federal studies. I love conducting interviews, doing research, and working with data, then turning it into a story that is comprehensible for everyone. 

What is the value of having a community of writers to come alongside you?

It has been AMAZING! I put off joining hope*writers for...

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