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.
There are numerous reasons that writers choose to self-publish, but one of the most common is the ability to control the process from start to finish. This can feel either liberating or daunting, depending on your perspective. Self-publishing may seem like a one-person endeavor, but much like in traditional publishing, it still requires a team of people to help you publish the best book possible.
Becky Kiser, an author of both self-published and traditionally published books, says, “Sometimes we limit our ability to work together because we’re afraid that it will limit our own success.” As a self-published author, she believes the opposite is true. Becky partners with a team of people to create the best book possible, which has only increased her success.
At hope*writers, we believe partnering with other publishing professionals doesn’t limit authors; it creates possibilities. The following four partnerships are critical to a self-published...
In an age of social media dominance, it’s easy to use some of our best ideas to fire off a quick tweet or Instagram post rather than saving them for longer-form writing. Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, an author and research professor of English, believes social media has its place in a writer’s toolkit, but our best ideas usually need time and space to develop.
What do you do with an idea you believe deserves a more in-depth exploration? You can develop your idea further and write an article.
If you would like to write articles for other publications, Karen suggests the following four steps for developing your piece.
As an English professor, Karen strongly encourages writers to begin by reading about their topic. This includes reading work specific to your topic, but it should also involve reading books and articles that tangentially touch on your idea. Ideas take shape when you read quality work that is broad in its scope. You risk underdeveloping...
When you first start out as a writer, you may be driven to share a story or a message, and you might not immediately focus on earning an income. Once you gain experience and build an audience for your work, however, you may begin to wonder: Can I get paid to do this?
There are many roadblocks to earning an income as a writer. Some are practical, but these perceived challenges often live inside our heads. If you want to start making money from your writing, don’t let your mindset be the obstacle that stops you!
Author Jordan Lee Dooley believes writers can and should make money from their craft. She says, “Own the opportunities that are available to you. When you have a creative brain, and you have the ability to put words to feelings that people don’t know how to describe, there’s so much power in that. Own it unapologetically.”
Many of us write privately for years before going...
Do you struggle to call yourself a writer? If so, you’re not alone. Writing coach and author Allison Fallon says that many of the writers she works with struggle with mental obstacles like this one. “The actual practical obstacles to writing are not that hard to overcome,” Allison says. “It’s the mental obstacles that are the hardest.”
Based on her experience coaching countless writers, Allison shares four false beliefs writers must overcome to make progress in their work.
Some people receive a lot of affirmation about their writing early in their lives, which helps them call themselves writers from the get-go. However, many of us take a circuitous route to writing or begin writing later in life. We may not have the affirmation of others because much of our work has been done in private.
“Writers worry that they’re not a real writer.” — Allison Fallon
All writers need a supportive community, but sometimes it can be tricky to know what kind of help you need. If you feel frustrated, stuck, or unsure of your next steps, a writing coach may be the next person to add to your team.
It’s easy to confuse a writing coach with other support roles a writer needs, such as an editor, teacher, or critique partner. Let’s explore how coaching differs from other writing relationships and why a coach is the next writing relationship you need to make real progress.
An editor is focused on the work you produce. They offer in-depth feedback on your writing, and then you make changes based on their suggestions. An editor will help shape your article or book into a stronger piece, but they won’t help you overcome the hurdles associated with writing it.
On the other hand, a coach is focused on you, the writer. They will help you identify and overcome writing hurdles, offer strategies for...
For most writers, social media is an important part of building an engaged audience. If you’re unconvinced or unsure of how to use social media to reach your readers, Emily Ley, author and founder of Simplified, gives writers three valuable reasons to get started.
One of the best ways to build a community around your work is to connect with your readers online. Social media gives writers the opportunity to engage in a personal and informal way and allows readers to respond directly to your message in real time.
Regularly interacting with your audience online helps you create a loyal readership, which can be beneficial if you hope to publish a book someday. While the number of followers you have is important if publishing is your goal, Emily explains that engagement with your readership is a better measure of the effectiveness of your message.
She says, “I would rather have a hundred followers who are engaged...