You don’t have to know how it ends. You only need to begin.
This class is not about answers.
It’s about big, beautiful questions.
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So let’s get past the part about whether or not you want to write a book, whether or not you’ve got a book in you.
You do, and you do. Known quantities.
What we don’t know—that’s what will propel us forward in this class. For instance:
- How can you focus your incredible ideas and life experiences into a page-turning book?
- How might you allow the compost of your life to sprout something new and bright and green, to turn your scars into gifts?
- In what ways has your whole life led to this moment and to the exactly-right story for you to tell?
- What are the most effective ways to use the best of you to tell a story that sings, that heals, that inspires, that serves?
- What will your book look like–the shape, the size, the scope and structure of it?
- How might it transform your life and the lives of people you haven’t even met yet?
If those sound like questions that will keep you motivated, read on.
“Doesn’t this office feel small to you?”
Almost ten years ago, just two years before I went full throttle after my writing dream, one of my students in Ohio asked me this question. It gave me a good hard kick in the life-ass. All that happened after that is a different story.
Just six years ago, I sat in a moving truck at a rest stop in Idaho and asked my then-husband, “Are you saying you don’t want to be married anymore?”
As you might imagine, another kick in the life-butt. Not an easy question, and it didn’t produce an easy answer. But it ripped the wrapping paper off of my life and revealed some incredible unexpected gifts, like starting my own business and stepping into a bigger, stronger, and brighter version of myself.
The point is: good questions are catalysts. Which is why I love them. They create movement and action. Good answers satisfy, but then you lower your hand, you sit down, and you close the book.
I want you to open one. And I bet you do, too. I bet you’d love to inhale, drop those shoulders (stories often get stuck in there, or in creaky necks, or tight hips, or disgruntled guts), say a little prayer or make a wish, and take that first step, which is often the hardest one.
Writing a book had been bouncing around in my head for a long time, but I never seemed to get traction with it&em;until I started DTB. This class was my favorite things I've done in years.
This class will help you to cross that threshold and give you the tools to keep going.
By the end of the three months of DTB, you’ll have:
- taken time to write, weekly, for three whole months!
- ideas, scenes, dreams, and pages written
- a book mission statement (the why to keep you working)
- a solid working outline (map for the adventure to come)
- draft of your introduction or chapter of your choice, with professional editorial feedback
What else you’ll get:
TIME—to write, to brainstorm, to thoughtfully create something you’re passionate about, to sift through all the ideas and hone in on one. Okay, I can’t give you time, but it is something you can give to yourself through a commitment to this process. No, you’re not going to write a book in a week. But you probably can block out the five hours a week you’ll need to take this course.
ACCOUNTABILITY—When you sign up for DTB, you’ll receive a welcome message, with a little assignment to warm you up. Then you’ll receive Month 1, Week 1 of this 3-month course on the first Wednesday after you sign up. For all 12 weeks of the course, every Wednesday, you’ll receive support, assignments, reminders and encouragement in your inbox, including a video overview from me at the start of each month. During the last month of the course, you’ll be sending me your introduction or first chapter for professional editorial feedback, and you’ll be scheduling a half hour consult with me to strategize and discuss your unique questions, concerns, strengths, and challenges.
Through taking DTB, I got the boost I needed to finish a draft of my first book. She sent me editorial feedback on the draft, and honestly it took me almost a week to look at it. When I screwed up my courage to open the document, I was so grateful and inspired by her insights and comments. I could hardly wait to start revising!
STRUCTURE—The idea of Writing A Book is so big that it can freeze us in time and space. How on earth will I be able to do this? Where to start? What to do next? In DTB, you’ll be given a clear monthly goal to work toward, simple, achievable weekly assignments to keep you moving, and you’ll create a working outline for that book so you can plot your course to finish it.
Star FergusonAcupuncturist, Discover the Book Alum
DTB with Jen has given me the structure and push that I needed to actually start writing my story. Being accountable each week has been tremendously helpful and I always eagerly look forward to the thoughtful feedback. I would never have gotten here so easily on my own, yet the beauty is that now I feel I have the tools necessary to move forward on my own.
LIBERATION—What a relief to finally work towards something that’s been idling on your to-do list and to get those words out of you and onto the page. What a relief to put your time, attention, and effort where your heart is. After this course you’ll be one step closer to sharing your story with clients, friends, family, or a global audience.
SOULFULNESS—What is soulfulness? Another good question. For me, it’s about honoring the process and the timing of the heart–sometimes the heart works in energetic bursts and sometimes in long slow walks. It’s about staying present. This course is designed to honor the depth of your life and your story, to give you room to explore it, to offer sanctuary.
Jennifer Garrison BrownellPastor & Author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath; Discover the Book Alum
I first came to Jen because, although I had written many short pieces, I was daunted about stringing them together into something longer. What I thought was a book project became a soul-transforming life project. Or maybe a life-transforming soul project. Discover The Book You're Meant to Write is an investment not only in your creative process, but in all of your life.
As much as savoring gorgeous questions, I love helping people wake up to the power of their own stories. I’d be thrilled to share this experience with you to help you give birth to your very own bundle of book.
What’s the Investment? $950 USD
You don’t have to know how it ends. You only need to begin.
Other courses promise you can complete a whole book in three months. Isn’t one chapter or an introduction a little, well, LITTLE?
This course is designed to support seasoned human beings in telling healing stories, people who are ready to turn scars into gifts and transform their pain into possibility, power, and purpose. When you’re ready to do this kind of work, you know you don’t want to offer a sloppy draft as a gift—that doesn’t honor where you’ve come from or the readers you want to serve and inspire. You want to do the foundational work necessary to create something of quality. And that takes time.
Can the foundational work fly and lead into a first draft that spills out quickly?
Of course. Then you’ll want to revise it and enlist editorial services (developmental or copyediting or both), one way or another.
Fast food books are not the books this course will serve. Quickly crafted books can be lovely and useful, and I don’t knock the value of experimenting and sharing a piece of creative work without lots of deliberation. I do that all of the time on Facebook, and enjoy myself immensely. But this is not Discover the Facebook You’re Meant to Write.
If you want to make a nourishing, surprising, delectable meal of a book, you’re in the right place.
Do I need to be a seasoned writer to take this course?
No, you sure don’t. You do need to love and value words and stories and be willing to write them. Most of all, to take this course, you need to be a seasoned human with a story you’re ready to tell.
What if I get stuck?
Okay, here’s the truth: You’re probably going to get stuck. If you get stuck, hurray! You’re a real live writer! Getting stuck is normal–it happens to all of us. If you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter, I recommend doing that. When you do, you’ll receive as a free gift my audio course 5 Simple Moves to Free the Stuck Writer.
Or, during the course, feel free to reach out to me, and I’ll be happy to help right then and there if I can, or to redirect you. I do coach clients privately.
What if the book I’m meant to write is fiction? What if I’m meant to write a novel?
Brilliant. I happen to love novels. Writing my novel, Putting Makeup on Dead People, was one the most profoundly healing and delightful experiences of my life. If the book you’re meant to write turns out to be a novel, follow that book!
When you get to the point of writing a piece to send to me for feedback, you are welcome to send me a chapter of your new novel, and at that point we can discuss additional resources and strategies for you.
Is editorial feedback included?
Yes! During the third month of the course, you’ll get editorial feedback on a 2,500 word piece of writing—an introduction or a chapter. Take your pick.
How does this work, week to week?
Once you register, you’ll get a message welcoming you to the course. The course itself begins on the first Wednesday after you sign up, when you’ll receive your first week of course material in your inbox, including a welcome video from me, course basics, and homework. Every week for three months, on Wednesdays, you’ll get course material, including homework, encouragement, and guidance in your inbox. On the first week of each month, you’ll get a new video from me, offering an overview for the month ahead. During the third month of the course, you’ll be prompted to send your introduction or chapter to me for editorial feedback, and you’ll receive a link to schedule your phone or Skype consult with me.
Do I need to be somewhere in particular to take this course?
As long as you can receive emails and have an internet connection, you can take this course from anywhere in the world. For the consult in the third month of the course, we can meet via phone or Skype.
Can you guarantee results?
I can promise you that you will be given foundational pieces that have helped and inspired other writers to turn their dreams into drafts of books. I can’t guarantee that you will sit at your desk and write or complete assignments. Sometimes I wish that someone else would guarantee that for me, but I know I’m the only one who can.
What I also know is that if you never take action—if you don’t begin—you won’t ever finish a book, or anything else you want to do.
I can assure you that I believe in the healing power of stories, that I believe in and applaud your bravery in stepping forward to tell it, and that the path to writing a book is full of surprises, adventure, and life-changing self-discovery.
And, if after two weeks of taking the course, you aren’t gaining any value from the course materials, I’ll be glad to refund the cost of your registration for the remaining weeks of the course.
The hardest part of signing up for a writing class is wondering if your voice will be heard and you’ll come away with your story, not one the teacher wants. So with all my vulnerability, I signed up for Jen’s DTB class, compelled to tell my stepmother story, knowing I couldn’t get there on my own. I came away with the outline and introduction to a kick-ass book with my ideas and stories refined and expanded.
Since the class, I've completed a full draft of my book and am preparing to share it with test readers, and Jen has been there, answering key questions and supporting me throughout the process.
What if life happens & I get behind, or what if I can’t finish the course once I started it?
Don’t worry. You’ll have all of the material sent to you and will be able to use it whenever works best for you. If you find yourself in the midst of a busy week, you can save your coursework from that week and catch up the next week when you have more space and time. Or if you find yourself suddenly in the midst of a busy month, that’s okay too. All in the perfect timing of the heart, and your life. Plus, you have one year from the beginning of the course to take me up on that editorial feedback and phone/Skype consult.
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