Community + Experience + Encouragement + Answers
I’ve written about this topic before, but it was from a vantage point of wishing I was part of it, instead of actually being on the inside.
How To Level Up Your Writing Game
In Which I spam you, but it’s okay, because I’m telling you that I’m doing it
Like I said in that one, I’m an affiliate, so, yep, there are affiliate links ahead, fer sure.
But now, I’m on the inside, and I’m here to tell you about how it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing.
Here’s what you need to know: I’m an affiliate for this program, and an enthusiastic one at that, because of the value I’ve received from it. But one of the most important things Hope*Writers has ever taught me is this:
Know your season
This program, like most things of value, costs money ($47 a month, to be exact, or a little less if you choose annual membership), and sometimes it’s not our season for spending money. I get that. That was me, in the article above.
But maybe you’re a writer who needs some direction, some answers, some community, and some hope, and you have the margin to pay for it, or might in the future. Check it out, and at least get on their mailing list — while I was waiting to be able to become a member, I was subscribed to the newsletter. I ended up keeping a file in my email program because the tips and info they sent about writing, books, blogging, and publishing was That. Good. It was super valuable, and totally free.
Know your season, and be ready to own your next one.
Backstory: Early in 2018, I joined the membership site Hope*Writers, but quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of worthwhile, but unorganized information. I pulled out, feeling that I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. I also planned to take a break from writing, without knowing if or when I’d be back.
Fast forward to this spring — one of my favorite authors and podcasters, Emily P. Freeman released her fifth book, The Next Right Thing: A Simple Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions. (Affiliate link) It hit #5 on Amazon the week it released. That’s how good it is. (You need to read it. Just sayin’.)
One of the promotions that took place during the pre-launch was a special deal for purchasing a certain number of books — a free month of Hope*Writers, re-organized and growing fast. I snagged it, and got back in.
I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back! I now pay twice as much as I originally was paying, and I consider it worth it.
Hope*Writers serves all kinds of writers, at all stages. It’s for people willing to put in the time to do the work, but struggling with where to start, how to pivot, or how to recognize the next step in the process.
I love the Hope*Writers library.
It’s my second favorite part (I will tell you about my first favorite part in a sec).
The library is a goldmine. All the teaching videos, articles, and interviews are organized by “stage.” Hope*Writers has identified six fluid categories that most writers fall into. They have a fun quiz for figuring out your stage — check it out here.
Although you may most identify as a Stage Three Entrepreneur, you have access to all the the other stages as well, and can pull what you need from each one.
Which is great, because there are no hard lines between them. The progression of what we do as working writers is a natural flow, and you’ll move back and forth between stages.
From email list building to crafting book proposals to finding an agent to sticking with a daily writing routine, Hope*Writers has information on it — all in ONE place, and all real-life answers from people who’ve been doing this for years.
I don’t know about you, but in this age of overwhelm with far, far too many options to choose between, I love (need, crave, would kill for, etc.) a way to get answers I am looking for all in one, easy-to-access place.
To check out the kind of value Hope*Writers puts out on the regular, you can download this free pdf — 20 Questions Writers Ask: Answered.
That’s my second favorite part. Here’s my first favorite:
The community of members is second-to-none.
I remember my first stint in the group.
I hung out in the Facebook group for several days, and began feeling discouraged. Most of the posts were along the lines of “Yay, I just signed with my dream agent!,” or “My book is releasing next month, who wants to join the launch team?!” For someone just trying to figure out how to get a blog post up once a week, this was downright disheartening.
I put up a post asking if there were any beginners, anyone struggling with the stuff I found hard. You would not believe the response. Dozens of people came out the woodwork, just to say, “Me too, this is hard, I don’t post much, I’m a beginner, we’re in this together, and you’re not alone.”
I got a DM from someone way ahead of me in terms of writing — she offered me some coaching for free. I took my blog further than I ever could have on my own, because of her kindness. She’s now an IRL friend, and we’re finally going to get to meet this fall at the Hope*Writer’s conference!
This is the kind of stuff that happens in Hope*Writers.
I’m just wrapping up a Hope*Circle (a group of Hope*Writer members connecting around a specific topic or problem in their writing) and have made another friend with an incredibly similar background. She just started a podcast on mental health, and is working on a book proposal, and we share our progress and life happenings weekly, and cheer for each other in social space.
These is the kind of thing we’re all looking for in our writing work — community, understanding, kindness, coaching, and gentle accountability.
I’ll be the first to tell you, you do have to engage to find these things. I had to write an honest post to hear from people who got me. I had to take the initiative to start a group to make a friend. But Hope*Writers seems to be a safe space that inspires people to be honest, to put themselves outside of their comfort zone, and to go out of their way to offer hope to each other.
Writing is a lonely job —community like this means the world.
Because of Hope*Writers, I have real-life relationships and friendships with people who are doing the same kind of work, with the same kind of questions, the same passion, and an intensely generous spirit for building each other up.
The teaching provided is high quality, insider information.
The three co-founders are all published authors, and part of their job is interviewing authors/publishers/agents/editors once a week — these videos are interactive, via Zoom and the Facebook group, so members can ask questions in real time. The videos are also recorded, and then archived for any member who missed the live session to go back and watch.
In summary, members receive access to:
- weekly teaching with writing world gurus and guests
- the private members-only Facebook group with plenty of space for questions and getting help
- the extensive, ever-growing library of professional articles and interviews on all things writing
- the opportunity to join or start a Hope*Circle with other members who get where you are, and want to brainstorm and create community
I would say Hope*Writers is in my top 10 of “Favorite Things To Talk about,” so if you’re curious, comment or send me a message.
NOTE: Membership is only opened up a few times a year — doors close Friday night, May 24th, so if you are interested, now is the time to get in. If you’re reading past that point, get on their mailing list. You can always unsubscribe, if you find they don’t serve you well. (But if you’re a writer, they will.)