Last summer at our annual staff retreat, we ran into a dilemma. Many people want to become published authors. But that dream often gets buried under rejections, discouragement, and life’s responsibilities. So they give up.
Since we desire to help Christian storytellers excel, this presented a challenge: Why do writers quit? And how can we empower them to continue pursuing their goals?
The Problem Most Writers Face (Even if They’re Unaware of It)
During our discussions, we made a list of different reasons that writers abandon their aspirations:
- Too many other responsibilities. When you have a family and a full-time job, is dedicating time to writing realistic (or wise)?
- Too many obstacles. When numerous writers are already “failing,” how can you expect to have any hope of succeeding?
- Too impractical. Since landing a book contract is difficult, is writing a viable career choice?
- Insufficient skills. When you don’t understand how to write great stories, how can your work stand out from the crowd?
- An aversion to the business mindset required of most independent and traditionally published authors. If you view writing as a business, won’t that destroy your ability to create beautiful art?
- Lack of clarity about calling. If God isn’t leading you to become an author, should you keep writing?
You’ve probably asked yourself one (or more!) of these questions at some point. I definitely have! Maybe you set your writing aside as a result. Or maybe you’re still fighting doubts.
As we evaluated these various factors, though, we realized that most of them stemmed from the same root: an ineffective mindset on writing.
Writers may not think of mindset as something they need to cultivate—or that it could be damaging their writing life. But mindset is one of the most important qualities that distinguishes writers who thrive from those who don’t.
Without the right mindset to conquer challenges, everything else fails.
One of our big projects this past year has been to research, define, and explain what kind of mindset writers need to overcome the issues described above. We unearthed solutions that are:
- Field-tested by real, everyday novelists
- Timeless and not dependent on your situation
- In accordance with biblical principles
We wanted to share our findings so that more Christian storytellers can become proficient at their craft (which is our mission as a site).
Our Free New Writing Course: Cultivating a Mindset for Success
Since the beginning of this year, Daeus Lamb, our community manager, has been developing a video course that delves into the answers we discovered.
We’re releasing it today for free—and you can check it out here!
The course is a 7-day challenge. Once you enroll, you’ll have a new lesson to watch each day, plus a couple activities to help you implement the concepts. Each lesson and exercise should take 15–30 minutes total.
By the end of the week, you’ll know what an effective writing mindset looks like and have started practicing those attitudes yourself.
So, if you’d like to…
- balance writing with your other responsibilities
- determine whether writing can be a feasible career for you
- learn how to attain high standards
- reconcile business and artistic perspectives on your writing
- discern whether God is calling you to be a writer
…this course is for you.
We discussed whether we should charge tuition, but we wanted to reach as many writers as possible.
That’s why we’re offering it for free.
Bonus: Get Personal Feedback
As part of our launch for this course, we’re going to give personal guidance to some of our subscribers who take it.
During the course, writers will fill out a Mindset Success Sheet. If they send this sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org after finishing it, on September 1st we’ll randomly choose two individuals to meet with Daeus over the phone/Skype to discuss their mindset sheets, answer questions, and help them draft a plan to accomplish more as writers.
We unfortunately don’t have time to interact with every student. But we hope that the chance to win a coaching session with us will provide an incentive for more of you to complete the course!
If you’re interested in learning how to become a prolific writer, balance writing with your other responsibilities, and push yourself toward victory, click here to enroll in our free, 7-day-challenge course on mindset.
As Cainon Leeds, one of our subscribers, said after going through the course, “There’s a lot of truth here that I wish I’d known about years ago.”
We want to supply that truth years before you may get it otherwise. And we hope that this course helps you achieve more with your writing so you can better glorify God.
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the course!
Josiah DeGraaf is the editor-in-chief of Story Embers and the fiction content manager of The Young Writer. He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations and loves to take normal people, put them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then force them to make difficult choices. Someday Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, and themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s. In the meantime, you can find him teaching writers at Ink Slinger Academy or writing short stories at his website as he works toward achieving these goals.