Updated: Sep 18
Most readers dream of writing their own books, but the question is how to do it and where to begin. This is why I decided to team up with hope*writers, a writing community designated to teaching writers in all stages and roles. Discover how hope*writers can help you along your pathway toward becoming a writer.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links connected to programs I participate in, "including but not limited, to Amazon Services LLC Associates program and hope*writers." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. You will not incur any additional fee for making a purchase. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Thank you for your support. Please see my disclosure for more information.
When I started Feed Me Reads, I knew I wanted the website to be more than just about books. I wanted it to become a community where individuals could come together to learn and grow, with the added bonus of books being one of the mediums of learning. The big question was what else to offer. That is when I decided to bring in online courses because that has been such a big part of my life over the past six years. However, I didn't want to just throw out any course on any topic. I knew that would be confusing. After some reflection, I felt the direction that Feed Me Reads needed to go was a combination of books and writing. The online courses and learning would still be a part of the program, but it would be more focused on writing and reading.
After I came to this conclusion, then began the journey to discover who I could collaborate with on the writing front. I am not an expert in this field. I am just beginning my own journey, so I knew that I would need some help.
About a month ago, a mentor of mine introduced me to hope*writers (HW). After reviewing the program, I realized that hope*writers was what I was looking for. I was excited about the faith-based writing community that they offer, and how it is a place where writers, no matter what stage they are in, can go to get help and stay connected.
You see one thing I have learned over my short explorations of writers is that even though writers have a tendency to be solo individuals, in reality, they need to connect with others just like everyone else. Writers need a community of like-minded individuals that can support and uplift them. They need a place they can go where they feel accepted because it can be hard for a writer to accept themselves let alone be accepted by others.
Hope*writers is this community. It is a faith-focused community built around providing positive support to one another. It is a place where authors can collaborate and discover their own message of hope, who their audience is, and how to deliver that message to them.
Their motto says it all, "Hope*writers is a community of working writers dedicated to the success and creativity of each member."
Hope*Writers is built around six different stages to help provide direction and focus in the writing path. The main purpose of these stages is to help writers stay grounded and not get overwhelmed They believe that these stages are the "foundational aspects of the life of a working writer," as stated in their navigational menu for new members.
Hope*writers six-step path
Writer. This stage is set up to help writers who are just beginning their journey. Many new aspiring authors can have a difficult time accepting their "calling," so to speak, of writing. They may be embarrassed to title themselves or not sure if writing is the right direction for them. This first stage will help give writers the confidence to accept themselves for who they are and help them bring clarity to the craft of writing. Within the hope*writers community, novices can get the help they need to stop sitting on the sidelines and start writing, and to establish a routine that will help them progress along the writer's path.
Hostess. The hostess stage is where writers will learn how to identify who they are writing to. In other words, who their ideal audience is. Instead of focusing on themselves and looking inward, which is addressed in the first stage, writers will begin to look outward on who they will be serving. Even though writing can be a personal journey for many, it is also a craft that is shared with others, to entertain and inform an audience. Authors need to know who they are speaking to in order to make the most impact. This is an important step because if you don't know who you are writing to, you will have a hard time connecting with anyone. If not done correctly, this can lead to a self-center, egotistical writer. The good news is that hope*writers help authors do this in a manner that keeps them from getting an inflated ego. In this stage, writers will also start to learn how to monetize their work by creating an email list and writing an effective blog post.
Entrepreneur. This can be a scary stage. To tell you the truth accepting myself as an entrepreneur has been harder then accepting myself as a writer. However, if you want to get passed the stage of writing as a hobby than you will need to learn how to become an entrepreneur. I believe one of the most important steps of this stage is to learn how to handle criticism. Not everyone who reads a book, poem, article (whatever you are writing) will like what they read, and many people are way too eager to impart their two cents about why. While these comments can hurt and be painful, when looked at objectively criticism can actually be helpful, and hope*writers will help you learn how to internalize this. Also, in this stage, writers will continue to build on the monetization of writing by creating a lead magnet and offer. If these words confuse or scare you, don't worry, by the time you get through this stage hope*writers will have helped you overcome your ignorance, fears, and doubts. This is the stage that will help you learn how to actually make money from writing.
Author. The first three stages are all about discovering yourself as an author, discovering your audience, and discovering how to reach out to your audience. Now that you have completed what hope*writers call the "foundational steps of writing," you are ready for stage 4, author. To be clear, not all writers have to write a book and become published. You can write without doing this, and hope*writers will help you on your journey no matter the direction. However, if you do want to write a book and become a published author this will be an important stage for you. Hope*writers does focus more on the traditional style of publishing, which is writing a book proposal, finding an agent and editor, securing a book contract, and writing the actual book. This will be the perfect stage to understand whether publishing a book is what you really want to do. There is also the self-publishing route, as well, if the traditional way is not your style. Hope*writers does touch on this, but it is not their main focus.
Marketer. When a writer begins to write their words, whether that is through publishing a book, a blog, freelancing, or any another medium, they need to know how to get those word in front of an audience. The marketing stage of hope*writers will help writers know how to do this effectively. For me, this is the fun stage because I get to be a designer, which is more my calling than writing. Although, I do like writing. Hope*writers will teach you how to effectively share your work and articulate its value. This can be a hard part for some, but by the time you get to the marketer stage, you will understand that your work is worth something and it is okay to share it with others and put a price tag on it. You just need to know how to do it the right way without feeling like a pushy salesperson. You will learn how to grow your email list, the difference between marketing and publicity, and that you should actually launch your work before you have it finished.
Essentialist. As an essentialist, writers need to learn how to balance life, work, family, you name it while enjoying the life of a writer without burning out and wanting to give up. It can be hard to find time to write amongst all the marketing, monetizing, publicizing, and so forth. In this stage, it is important to learn what the difference between good and best is and how to say yes to the best and no to the good. The essentialist stage will help you learn how to delegate so you, as a writer, can focus on what you do best, writer. In order to keep growing as a writer, you will need to know how to make the right connections and gain the right support. Most importantly, you will need to surround yourself with others at the same stage, and hope*writers will help you do this.
Hope*Writers Free Quiz
These steps are a lot to take in. Hopefully, as you read through them, you found the stage you are at. One way hope*writers helps members navigate through there system is through a simple quiz that can be taken to get a general idea of where you at as a writer. This way you can focus on what is most relevant to you in your writing path.
If you are interested in discovering your writing stage you can take the quiz yourself. Click here to take the free hope*writers path quiz.
What does Hope*Writers Offer
As mentioned above, hope*writers offers a hope-filled, positive, encouraging community where writers can come together for support, learning, and direction, but that is not all they offer. They have Tuesday Teachings, a private Facebook Community, Friday Shares, hope*circle groups, a robust resource library, blog, and stand-alone courses.
The Weekly Tuesday Teachings are live interviews with experts in the writing industry. You will hear from authors, agents, editors, influencers, and publishers. The live streams provide instruction on best practices for writers, tips on publishing, and a look into the life of a writer. This is a time to get great tips, tricks, and instruction, and a place to ask questions from those who have been there and done that. This is one of the favorite resources of many hope*writers members.
The Private Facebook Community is the main landing page for all the members to come together. This is where writers can share their work (Friday Shares), ask questions, and engage with one another. Hope*writers also use Facebook to post announcements to keep you updated, so if you want the most recent news this is the place to go.
With Friday Shares, members can share their writing with the community inside the private Facebook group. This is a great time to highlight some of your work, so you can get feedback, and a great time to support fellow writers. This is one of the only times that writers can share any links to their own projects, blog, courses, writing, etc. Hope*writers is not a place to build your business or create a following. It is a place to build a community of fellow writers without feeling like you are being bombarded with pitches.
The hope*circle groups were created to provide a place for writers who are in the same stage to come together and collaborate. While the private Facebook community is great, it can be a little overwhelming at times due to the size of the group. Hope*circles was created to offer smaller more intimate groups. As hope*writers puts it, "Consider hope*circles to be smaller groups living under the larger hope*writer umbrella." (Hope*Circles landing page). This is were you will create those lasting friendships and have someone to be accountable to, since hope*writers is a self-paced community. There will be occasional challenges from the founders of the company, but other than that it will be up to the individual writer to make sure they stay on track. There no better way to stay focused then to surround yourself with like individuals who are in the same stage of their writing and facing a lot of the same obstacles. You can create your own group or join an existing group.
The reference library is where you will get access to the different writing stages. These stages each include different lessons, ranging from 16 to 53 lessons, and training to help writers progress toward the ultimate goal of essentialist. The reference library is also where you can locate the Tuesday Teaching archives, so if there is a lesson you missed or are looking for a particular topic then this where you have access to them. There are over 100 videos to browse through. You will also find instructions on how to create or join a hope*circles group.
If you are looking for a little extra how-to, tips, tricks, or more then the hope*writers blog is another great options to find more information. There are weekly posts that you can browse through.
Not to be overlooked is hope*writers' courses. These courses are stand-alone courses that are not included in the membership package. This is a way for individuals to be involved in what hope*writers has to offer without the monthly or yearly commitment or a way for members to further their individual training.
Currently, there are three courses available, and each course is offered for $197.
90-Day Direction. This is designed to help writings discover their vision, direction, and set-up plans for their writing platform and career.
Email Growth Course. If you want to make a career out of your writing you need a way to monetize that writing. The best way is through email. Social media is great, but you don't own your social media. In a sense, you are borrowing someone else's platform to share what you are doing. You own your email list, and you have control over it. This course will help you know how to run a successful email companion.
Perfect Writing Day Course. This course is designed to help writers establish a writing routine that works for them and learn how to get the most out of that routine.
Packages and Pricing
Hope*writers is a paid membership platform. They open enrollment a couple of times a year. Usually in the spring and late summer. If it is something you are interested in, you can get on a waiting list. This way you can be contacted when open-enrollment becomes available, or you can try out one of their stand-alone courses to see if hope*writers is a good fit for you.
Great news. The week of September 14th, hope*writers is opening their doors for new members. This is your chance to check it out for yourself, so mark your calendars. Click here to sign-up
You can join hope*writers with either a monthly or an annual subscription. While you will save $85 total with an annual membership, that is one of the only advantages with this option. Of course this all depends on the bonuses that are offered at the time of enrollment. Examples of some of the bonuses in the past are a $50 coupon to their online store and one or two of the stand-alone courses for free.
With enrollment, you will get access to all the benefits I mentioned above, minus the stand-alone courses, with both subscriptions. That way if you can't afford the annual fee of $479, but you can afford $47 a month, hope*writers can still be an option for you. This also gives you the chance to try out the program without a year-long commitment. However, they do have a 60-day trial period where you can get a full refund if you are not satisfied with your membership.
Pros and Cons to Hope*Writers
No matter what you are considering, it is always important to look at things from every angle. I would love to tell you that there is nothing wrong with hope*writers, then I would be lying to you. Nothing is perfect. The point is to make sure that the negatives don't out weight the positives, and that you can live with them.
Weekly Training. With the weekly training, you will know you are getting up-to-date content and learn from experts in the field.
Large Supportive Community. Since writing can be a very solo and sometimes draining calling, it is good for them to have people they can turn to who understand what they are going through, and that can provide support and encouragement. I was just reading a comment from a member who was struggling with her email engagement. The members were able to give her encouragement and ideas on how to improve her engagement.
Progressive Pathway. The six-stage pathway that hope*writes offers provides a clear direction, that if followed, gives writers a way to track their progress in an otherwise self-led environment.
Hope-filled, positive community. The main focus of hope*writers is to provide hope to the world, so it is no surprise that this is a value they nurture within their community.
Money-back Guarantee. Hope*writers offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, and this is a full refund. Most memberships normally offer 30 days.
Robust resource library. The library resource offerings are outstanding and hope*writers are constantly seeking ways to add to their content.
Regular Content. Between the blog, Facebook community, events, occasional challenges, and Tuesday training, members will have plenty of content to digest. In fact, it can be a little too much at times, so it is important to focus on where you are and not try and take in everything at once.
Faith-based. For those looking for a faith-based community full of positive, uplifting fellowship, hope*writers provides this environment. With that said, not all the members are faith-based writers. There is no requirement that either the members or the Tuesday Teacher hold a certain view. As hope*writers states, "There is no faith or worldview screening for hope*writers."
No one-on-one training. You will get peer support through the Facebook community and hope*circles, however there is not any one-on-one training. Hope*writers has held conferences in the past, so this could be a way to get one-on-one training through them if you desire.
No Accountability. The hope*writers program is solely self-paced. There will be an occasional challenge, but other then that it will be up to the individual member to make use they stay on track. Hope*writers does provide eight pointers on how to get the most out of your membership, and one of those is to schedule hope*writers into your day.
Can be expensive. Even though hope*writers does offer a responsible monthly subscription, this can still be a lot for some individuals, and the cost does add up over time. If cost is an issue, you could consider one of the stand-alone courses or a free Facebook group. The benefit of hope*writers is that you will be in a positive environment where you won't have to deal with pushing salespeople.
Focuses more on the traditional style of publishing. If you are more interested in self-publishing then hope*writers may not be the correct choice for you. Even if you do choose the self-publishing route, you can still get a ton of value out of what this program has to offer, but it is something to think over. There is a Hope*writers Self-Publishing hope*circle and they just recently had a Tuesday Teaching on self-publishing, so it is not a foreign concept for the community.
A large community can be overwhelming. Because the community is so big, it can be a little overwhelming. Especially, if you are one who wants to keep up with everything. Hope*writers does give some pointers to help members navigate around this, by recommending members not try and read everything, but focus on content pertaining to the stage they are in at the moment. Another way to help with this factor is to either join one of the smaller hope*circles or create your own.
Women dominate. Although hope*writers did not start out with just women in mind, it has naturally navigated that direction. There are some male writers in the community and two members from the hop*writers team are men.
Not for everyone. Just with any community, hope*writers may not be for everyone. It is important to look through what they offer, their views, and message, and decide for yourself whether it would be a good fit for you or not.
Join hope*writers for a free online training this Monday with Emily P. Freeman, co-founder of hope*writers and Wall Street Journal bestseller. She will be teaching 3 Secrets for Writers Looking for Clarity: Discover your writing rhythm, create a simple plan, and finally find your writing people. Click here to register.
Hope*writers has been such a gift in my life. I have been able to not just long to be connected but really live in the reality that I am not alone in this. Hope*writers has made a huge difference, both in the spiritual sense, of not having to feel the weight of the process of being a writer, and the process of publishing, especially, to not having to hold that weight only on my own shoulders, but to be connected to others who are bearing a similar weight, but we lift that load for each other, [and] are there for each other. In the spiritual sense, I feel deeply supported and empowered... In the practical sense, it's helped me have more motivation to keep going...To have others who are a few steps before me is hugely encouraging that I can actually do this. I can survive. KJ - HW member
I had a tribe of people who were supportive and very genuine. That has been the sweetest thing to find out. That hope*writers are very genuine in their desire to see you succeed, not just themselves. They are eager to share their gifts or their knowledge or their experience... I learned through hope*writers how to build my blog, how to find my readers, [and] how to basically write to them. That has been a joy to build a community...I started a podcast. I never would have even thought of doing a podcast. I had no clue what I was doing. Except for the fact that hope*writers came alongside me. We were equipped through teaching on how to layout a podcast and what that looks like. Tara - HW member
For more hope*writers member stories, you can visit hope*writers by clicking the link below.
There are other alternatives available to writers, so it is important to do your research and make sure that hope*writers is what you are looking for. You can look into free communities through social media. There are lots of blogs and podcasts that do offer great information for writers for free and can help you with your writing journey. There are also course specifically focused on self-publishing, so if you are not a fan of the traditional route you could look into one of these courses. One company you could look into is the self-publishing school at selfpublishing.com.
Personally, I feel that hope*writers is a great investment. With all the resources and training involved it is worth the money spent. With hope*writers you will be surrounded by your own personal cheerleaders to help you along your path, and you also get to be other writers' cheerleaders. You have your own personal tribe where you can receive, and also give. It is a community where everyone will learn and grow together. Hope*writers will help writers be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to progress on their writing journey no matter what that looks like. So if you have the funds, give it a try. Remember they have a 60-day trial period for annual members and a 5-day grace period for monthly members.
Download a free PDF from hope*writers about 10 questions writers should ask themselves before writing a book. Click here to download your copy.