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...
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 Anna Beard-Greeno.
We asked Anna to tell us about her writing journey as a hope*writer. Here’s Anna’s story in her own words.
I have always loved writing, but didn’t start taking it seriously until about two years ago. I had just come to the end of a twenty-year homeschooling journey with my five children and was wondering, “Now what?” I started listening to Emily Freeman’s The Next Right Thing podcast and decided to start getting serious about my writing. The writing I do is nonfiction. My goal is to encourage others in their relationships with Jesus, others, and themselves through my writing.
It can be difficult to define what a writer’s voice is, much less figure out what your unique voice is in your writing. Essentially, your voice is what you sound like on the page. It’s what makes your writing unique to you and recognizable to a reader. It includes your style and tone, which are shaped by your perspective. Your voice is not the words you write, but how you write them.
“Whenever I think of the writer’s voice, I think of who I am or who we are as writers at our very core. The truest form of our heart, our expression, our passion, our skills, everything about us authentically put before another human being as an offering.” — Ashlee Eiland
Some writers simply say that you’ll know your voice when you find it, but at hope*writers, we believe there are concrete steps you can take to develop a consistent voice in your work. These five tips will help.
As writers working in the internet age, we have the unique opportunity to publish our work on any number of platforms. From social media to blogs to webinars, e-books, and self-publishing sites, we have the power of choice at our fingertips. These publishing opportunities offer great flexibility, but they also come with the challenge of discerning the best platform for our words.
Hope*writers sat down with prolific author and speaker Beth Moore, and she shared the steps she takes to determine how and when to publish her work.
Hint: It never begins with a book!
Choose the social media platform you like best and test your ideas there first. If you feel satisfied after sharing an idea on social media and it no longer occupies your thoughts, there’s no need to pursue it any further.
After posting on social media, you may find that the conversation it creates with readers may spark even further thought. If you continue to feel yourself...