Author Christie Purifoy grew up a dedicated reader with a deep admiration for writers, but she never believed she could be one of them. Rather than write books, she dedicated her life to teaching them as a professor of English literature. It wasn’t until she found herself deeply dissatisfied with work in the college classroom that she considered she might have something else to offer.
“I’m not a professor, and there is some loss in that . . . I’m not living that dream, but I’m living something better. Something that was deeply buried in me, and I’m so grateful that it finally came out.” — Christie Purifoy
Christie pivoted, quit the classroom, and dedicated herself to writing the stories she was living. She’s now the published author of two books with another contracted book in the works.
If you’re a writer thinking about a career change but you’re not sure if it’s a possibility,...
At hope*writers, 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 Becky Beresford.
We asked Becky to tell us about her writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Becky’s story in her own words.
When did you first realize you were a writer?
I have always been a journaler, but I never thought I would be an actual writer — sharing my words on display for others to see. But after I became a mama, something inside of me shifted. I had spent the previous seven years of my life doing women's ministry in different forms, and my heart was still very passionate about women. But I just couldn't meet in person much anymore. That's when God laid the idea on my heart to try writing to them instead . . . As it turns out, I...
As a busy homeschooling mom, pastoral assistant, writer, and sought-after speaker, Chrystal Evans Hurst can’t say yes to every organization that invites her to speak. In a conversation with hope*writers, she tells us what she needs to know about a speaking engagement before she says yes.
New speakers often say yes to any opportunity that comes their way because the experience and visibility gained often outweigh the time and energy commitment required for the event. As you gain experience and your schedule begins to fill, you need to know exactly what you’re saying yes to.
“There are questions you ask when you’re ten years, twenty years in that you don’t ask when you’re two months in.” — Chrystal Evans Hurst
It’s good practice to begin asking questions that help you understand the commitment and the needs of the audience as soon as you begin your speaking career. However, your own needs and questions will...
When seasoned editor Cindy Bunch decided to write a book of her own, she found that in spite of her expertise, she still struggled with negative thoughts about her own work. Frustrated and increasingly empathetic towards her writing clients, she began to use soul care practices to silence her inner critic.
Instead of ignoring the inner critic, Cindy suggests we welcome the negative thoughts, process them, and then release them. She offered hope*writers the following suggestions for quieting the inner critic and moving forward with our work.
Is there someone in your life who’s a good listener? Who supports your writing no matter what? Who always has a kind response, a great pep talk, or gentle kick in the pants? Tell them how you feel about your writing life and process those negative feelings with them. No one else knows the internal battle a writer faces with fear, discouragement, boredom, or lack of motivation. We’re the only...
Browse the children’s book section of any vintage bookstore and you’ll likely discover books written with the sole purpose of teaching young readers a lesson. Rather than looking to capture a child’s imagination, many children’s books from decades ago are light on storytelling and heavy on sending a virtuous message.
Today, young readers are too savvy for books whose aim is simply to teach them something. They want to be entertained and to get lost in a story. As writers of children’s books, we want to give kids the stories they crave, but we don’t want our stories to be all fluff and no substance.
How do we strike a balance?
We sat down with children’s author and editor Amanda Cleary Eastep to discuss her new children's series and how to write books for kids that offer strong themes without being too preachy. She offers three helpful suggestions.
Why are you writing for children? What is the underlying reason...
Vague writing rarely lingers in the mind of a reader. Have you ever read a description, an image, or a phrase that stayed with you long after you finished a book? Those words likely remained with you because they were detailed and specific.
Specificity is an often-overlooked quality that makes for excellent writing. This is great if you pay close attention to life around you and can recall it easily. But in the age of information overload, social media, and endless distractions, it can be a real challenge to remember our ideas and capture the details that accompany them.
How do we write in vivid detail when so many of us, regardless of genre, draw from experience and memory? This one simple practice can help: Write down details from your life experience every day.
This practice isn’t necessarily for your latest writing project. It’s not for your to-do list, for tracking submissions, or to brainstorm new ideas. Instead, set aside this time to write...
At hope*writers, 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 Torrie Sorge.
We asked Torrie to tell us about her writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Torrie’s story in her own words. To learn more about Torrie’s writing, you can visit her website or find her on Instagram.
I first knew I enjoyed writing in high school. Over the years, I dabbled with writing as a hobby. In January 2021, I first typed the words, "I am a writer."
Hope*writers has already proven to be invaluable in my writing journey. As I scroll through the hope*writers library, I find video after video, teaching after teaching, aimed at not only providing answers to questions, but equipping and encouraging me along the...
Author and prolific blogger Frank Viola wants writers to know: Blogging isn’t dead. If you are a writer who wants to reach readers, a blog is still the best place to do it. Blogging hasn’t disappeared, it has evolved since the height of its popularity in the early to mid-2000s, and that’s good news for writers who are beginning to build their online presence.
For many content creators, social media has taken over where blogs left off. While social media is an important tool for reaching followers and growing a platform, it’s also a borrowed digital space. Writers are subject to algorithms, platform changes, and the possibility of losing their work altogether. On the other hand, a blog belongs to you, the creator. You can offer whatever you want in your space.
“A blog is still pertinent, relevant, and even more appropriate today than ever.” — Frank Viola
Why do you need a blog? Here are four reasons blogging remains an...
Are you a writer in search of a supportive community or looking for fellow writers to collaborate with you? Author, podcaster, and hope*writers member Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young found that joining hope*writers not only gave her the teaching she needed to grow in her craft, but also met her need for connection with fellow writers.
Through smaller, member-driven hope*circles, Dorina deepened relationships with other members and collaborated with them in ways that helped all of them flourish as writers. However, like many writers, Dorina has to actively fight against comparison — even as a veteran collaborator.
“My motto is collaboration over comparison. But if I’m ever in a spot where I’m feeling that inferiority, I have to pay attention to it.” — Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves and our work to others. This can keep us from collaborating because...
No matter what genre we write, chances are we’re using stories to illustrate our point and communicate with our reader. It can be tempting to save our best stories for a book, but if we’re on social media, we have instant access to our readers right now. We have the opportunity to develop our storytelling skills on social media every day, in real time, as we interact with our followers.
Carlos Whittaker is one writer who does this well; he’s a multi-book author who also creates compelling daily content on Instagram stories for his followers. Storytelling is his gift, and he hones this skill while also reaching out to his readers in a way that compels them to stay connected to his work.
“I continue to tell stories on a daily basis. I use my storytelling . . . to allow my [followers] to feel like they’re in my life. That’s the goal. Not only am I building my storytelling skill set, but I’m allowing my readers to feel this soul...