Do You Have a Book Inside of You?

The Writing with Grace: Book Proposal Workshop is open! I couldn’t be more excited!

Ann Swindell, author and speaker www.annswindell.com

Do you have a book inside of you? 
Do you have a plan to make that book a reality?
To move from ideas and drafts to chapters and cover design?

If you’re writing a book, or if you want to write a book, crafting a powerful book proposal is possibly the BEST tool for clarifying your core message, solidifying your structure, and moving forward to make your book a reality.

But where do you start?

Book proposals are huge undertakings. After having written four proposals, I know how intensive–and confusing–the process can feel. I remember trying to shuffle through multiple resources, and I kept hoping that I was doing things the right way. It became overwhelming at times, but I knew that if I didn’t have a strong book proposal, my book idea would never actually become a reality. The proposal is necessary–and central to the process of writing a book.

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That’s why I’m teaching a Writing with Grace Book Proposal Workshop at the end of this month! This will be a one-day, three-hour workshop in which we’ll cover the nonnegotiable elements of a powerful proposal AND how to execute those elements. Plus, we will hear from a literary agent in the Christian publishing industry.

If you’re aiming to write a book, you must write a book proposal, and this workshop is going to give you the tools that you need to make your proposal shine!

Registration is open now, and you can use the code BLOGREADER to save 10% on the cost of the course!

We’re going to have a wonderful time together on July 29th, and if you can’t come live, don’t worry–the recording will be available immediately afterwards for you to watch on your own time.

So, do you have a book inside of you? If you do, this is your next step.

Come join me over at Writing with Grace for all the details–I can’t wait to see you there!

Do you have a book inside of you? www.writingwithgrace.com

Write Your Story, Change Your Life

I started writing my story years ago; long before I was anywhere near a book contract or a marketing team, I felt that the Lord was inviting me into a process of writing my story down and–in the process–meeting him in the middle of it. I’m not sure I’ve done anything more powerful in my personal spiritual journey than write my memoir.

 

Write Your Story www.writingwithgrace.com

Memoir is the genre that I love the most, because it’s the genre that allows us–even gently forces us–to re-examine the lives that we have been living as we write them down on the page. A good memoir isn’t autobiography, and it isn’t a personal journal. It’s the true story of our lives written in such a way that others can understand, access, and be changed by it.

I’m not sure there’s a more dynamic form of the written word.

Our God is the God of story, and he loves making himself known through our stories; it’s how he’s wired us. We start loving stories as children, and we inherently know when a story has a satisfying or unacceptable ending, because we were made to long for resolution, peace, and hope.

Our God is the God of story, and he loves making himself known through our stories. Click To Tweet

If you’ve always wanted to write your story, or if you’ve been wondering how you can tell your story in a meaningful way, I’m going to suggest that writing your memoir might be one of the most powerful things you can do in your personal journey with Jesus. Down the road, might your story impact hundreds or thousands of people? I hope so! But in these days and months, writing your story will transform you most of all. I know that it has transformed me; I got to see Jesus at work all over again as I’ve written my memoir over the past years.

I just opened registration for the Writing with Grace Memoir course that I’ll be teaching this fall. To say that I’m thrilled about this class is an understatement; I’m practically jumping out of my chair!

Registration is open for Writing with Grace: Memoir! www.writingwithgrace.com #amwriting Click To Tweet

I’d love for you to join me over at Writing with Grace–you can even see the new video that we created just for this course.

If you’ve been aching to write your story, this is your time. I can’t wait to see you there!

Don’t Write to Get Published

I have a deep respect for The Gospel Coalition and the work that they are doing online and in the “real” world as an organization that unabashedly proclaims the truth of the Bible. I was able to attend The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference in June, and just this week I had the opportunity to write for their blog. It was an honor to write for TGC about one of my favorite topics! You can link to the full article here.

And, if you’re a fellow writer, make sure to read all the way to the end of the article at TGC, where I offer a discount code for my Writing with Grace course–registration is open until the 17th of August (and don’t forget to check out the site and the brand-new video I released)!

Don't Write Just to Get Published www.annswindell.com

Here’s the start of the article for The Gospel Coalition:

For those of us who love words, we’re drawn to the clack of the keyboard and the parsing of meaning on the page. We feel alive as we wrangle words into sentences; some of us even feel closer to God as we work out our faith by writing about it. Time spent writing feels important, even holy.

For those of us who love words, we’re drawn to the clack of the keyboard. We feel alive as we wrangle words into… Click To Tweet

But for many of us, running parallel with our love of writing is the desire to get published. This desire can be fueled by the culture at large, which says our writing only matters if our readership is huge and our byline well known. Publication is commonly assumed to be the goal of the writing life, and seeing our words in print the truest form of validation for our work.

As an author and teacher of writing, I often have conversations with other writers fixated on publication. They’re desperate to see their work published somewhere. They want to know how to start a writing career, or how to get the inside scoop on writing for a top magazine.

In response to their questions, I have to ask: Do you want to be published? Or do you want to write?

Do you want to be published? Or do you want to write? Click To Tweet

These aren’t the same question, although many of us confuse one for the other. For as much as writing is tethered to publishing, getting published doesn’t make a writer. Writing makes a writer.

Read the rest of the article over at The Gospel Coalition, and don’t miss out on open registration for Writing with Grace!

Writing with Grace course www.writingwithgrace.com

I’m Speaking at #BlogHer16!

Today, I’m honored and excited to share that I’ll be speaking at #BlogHer16: Experts Among Us, the annual conference for the BlogHer Network!

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The conference will be held in LA this coming August, and I have the privilege of speaking at an Open Lab about one of my favorite topics: writing!

Specifically, I’ll be teaching about sensory writing, offering attendees the opportunity to engage in powerful writing tactics to help catapult their work to the next level. Speaking and teaching are near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to talk at the conference in August!

Let me know if you’re attending–I’d love to see you there in the sunshine as we talk about writing together.

How to Grow as a Writer: 5 Ways

Perhaps one of the questions that gets tossed around the most in writing circles the question of how to grow as a writer. It can feel elusive and unclear–how does one grow in a skill that can’t be quantified, like math? How does one get better as a writer when the skill can’t be taught like teaching someone to ride a bike? There’s no ten-step process to becoming an exquisite writer (although many of us wish there was).

From Hemingway to Dickens, from Voskamp to Niequist, there is a wide and maddening range of what readers love and what any particular reader might consider “good.” That’s why much of writing revolves around the discovery of a writer’s voice and strengths. We have to learn to strengthen our weaknesses and capitalize on our natural abilities. Most of us also need a good editor.

However, I do know that there are things all of us can do to offer ourselves opportunities to grow. There are disciplines that we can adhere to, practices that we can participate in. This is part of the reason why I offer Writing with Grace, the live, online, six-week course that I teach for writers who want to grow in their writing voice, craft, and ability. We tackle a lot of the nitty-gritty of writing well in that class, and I offer a lot of tools that good writers rely on to bolster their work. Head over to www.writingwithgrace.com to check it out–this post will still be right here when you come back.

I thought it might be helpful to create an infographic of some of the ways that all of us can grow as writers. Check it out below, and hang out with me over at Writing with Grace!

How to Grow as a Writer www.writingwithgrace.com

Writing for Christ’s Glory

Writing for Christ's glory.

Image via Deeply Rooted Magazine

This is the start of my newest article for Deeply Rooted Magazine.
Read the full article here!

For those of us who are word lovers, who enjoy the feeling of pens in our hands and keys clacking under our fingertips, writing often feels like second nature, like coming home. We love the ways that words help us make sense of our lives and help us encounter God.

This, I believe, is a good and holy thing.

After all, God spoke the universe into existence with a word. The first five verses of the book of John remind us of the beautiful and timeless declaration that Jesus is, himself, the Word—and so we see that who God is and how he is are bound up in the power of words.

To be those who love and use words is a high and sacred calling—and not one that we can take lightly. This is because words hold great power; they name us, shape us, and ultimately point us (and our readers) to the Truth of Christ or to lies and death.

Words hold great power; they name us, shape us, and point us to truth--or lies. Click To Tweet

But how do we seek to be women who are writing for Christ’s glory? While there’s no one definitive answer, my own journey as a writer has shown me several ways that we can focus our hearts and our words on Jesus in this work of writing.

First, I believe that writing for Christ’s glory means that we lay down our right to renown. In the world’s eyes, a writer garners praise for her byline, for her status, for her fame. But to write in the Kingdom may mean something else entirely. It means that our heart’s aim is not to secure our own fame, but the fame of our King. If we have opportunities to write that further his Kingdom and his work in the world, then we can pursue those without concern for our own name.

Read the rest of the article here, at Deeply Rooted!

And if you’re a writer, head over to Writing with Grace to learn about the six week writing course that I teach. Registration is open now, but only for a little while longer!