Doorways: A Mentorship Program
for Women Writers
Finding the forgotten creative dreams or the fresh ones just awakening. These are the Dreams of God for you.
Developing the skills needed to take those dreams from mere visions to stories, novels or true-life tales. These are the Channels of God through you.
Exploring and designing an approach to accomplishing a body of work that can serve the world. This is the Work of God shining from you.
Experiencing the writing life so that the dreams and stories will continue to abound in both your work and your personal being. This is the Life of God within you.
How does that hit you?
If that is what you long for … if you can’t imagine yourself happy living, working or being any other way than what I’ve just described … that is a God-thing, a reflection of your God-given gifts, a Divine stirring, a Holy nudge. It is your purpose. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t …
dream of being a published author
see potential stories in everything from a random shoe on the side of the road to your recent heartbreak
love the very sound of words
write because you can’t not
You may have been told otherwise – encouraged to find a “real way” to support yourself – even reprimanded for selfishly pursuing this crazy dream instead of serving the kingdom. What you want here is NOT –
Those people who have said that to you? They. Are. Wrong.
Those words aren’t true for aspiring pastors, nurses, doctors, teachers, missionaries or computer programmers. So why would they be true for you? If any of the following people had listened to that kind of “reasoning”, you might not be reading these words right now, because they have probably been part of the awakening of your dream:
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, George Eliot, the Bronte sisters, Ann Patchett, Mary Shelley, Ann Voscamp, Anne LaMotte, Louisa May Alcott, John Green, Maya Angelou...
You get the idea? If you do, you have come to the right place. See if this speaks to what’s in you. In Doorways, we will:
Assess where you are in your writing dream – fiction or non-fiction -- anywhere from ‘you’ve just discovered that desire’ to ‘you’ve written a fantasy trilogy and want to take it into the world.’ This assessment will show us where to start.
Look at all your dreams and determine what will be your best project to work with as we begin your program.
Determine what, if any, doors you may need to close in order for these to open. We’re not talking about quitting your job and launching into a free lance career before that’s feasible. This is about making space, one step at a time, for however you want writing to fit into your life.
Find your creative process, if you haven’t discovered it already, and, if necessary, we’ll get you into a working rhythm.
Pinpoint other creative outlets and sources of inspiration to enrich your overall writing life.
Put together a reference library designed specifically for you.
Go through the process of taking your chosen project from wherever it is now to where it needs to be in order to meet the world at its authentic best.
Look together at your over-arching vision for the world and determine how you can best present that online, in a way that suits your unique personality.
When your project has reached excellence and you have a presence online, put together a proposal that will give you the best possible chance at publication.
Determine what, if any, writer’s conferences might be a good fit for you as you go on your agent/publisher search. This will include preparation for presenting your work to those folks in person.
Talk at any time you want about how you’re growing as a person. We can discuss your doubts and frustrations. We can engage in think-a-thons on anything you’re struggling with so that you are able to live and write and serve as your true self.
Figure out ways for you to find the Tribe that is so important to every young writer.
Celebrate every milestone and walk through every challenge. I’m on your side.
Why will we do this?
Because YOU and the other female writers like you are the present and the future of publishing truly excellent written works.
Because YOU have the time to craft a career that includes or even centers around your writing gift and your passion for it.
Because YOU are living in this troubled, confusing, challenging culture, and you have a great deal to say about rising above it and thriving – which those in your gender who do not have your hope cannot say. YOU can help.
Because a calling like YOURS shouldn’t be denied.
Because clearly this is what God is nudging YOU to do … or you wouldn’t be here.
Why am I able to help you?
I felt that same passion and heard that same call in my 20’s.
I could no longer ignore it and pursued it seriously in my early 30’s.
I continued to work at it and learn about it and take joy in it while working another job for 14 years, until I was able to make a living as a full-time writer, in my 40’s and beyond.
That other job? I was a teacher, not just by trade but by gift. Imparting knowledge, guiding students toward the best is a huge part of who I am. In the 22 years since I left the classroom I have not stopped educating. It is my joy.
I’ve written 125 books which have been traditionally published. I’ve spoken to thousands of young people. In the past 4 years as a professional writing mentor I’ve helped would-be authors complete their books and have them published. I can help you too.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Pursue only the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” Maya Angelou
What will that look like?
Each week you’ll have an assignment tailored for you – whether that’s writing a chapter, fleshing out a character, putting together a plot skeleton, revising a portion of your manuscript, whatever is next for you. Depending on where you are in the process, this might be a plan for a blog or your thoughts on the social media venues you want to use or items for your proposal. These assignments will come with the necessary instruction and explanation.
You’ll choose a Due Day (Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday, etc.) and on that day each week you’ll turn in your assignment to me via email.
I’ll send you feedback that will help you correct and continue. That feedback will, at various times, include: materials to help you grasp a concept such as point of view, turning points, etc.; examples using your work to show you how to revise; suggestions for books, articles or authors to look at; activities to loosen up dialogue or enrich character or rev up action that may seem to have nothing to do with writing at all … but do.
Always, always, always, feedback on your work will be loaded with positive comments and suggestions for making your work more delicious. You will never experience criticism or any kind of harshness. That is not how artists thrive.
Every other week we’ll have Skype or phone session in which we’ll discuss not only your work but what you’re doing to fill your reservoir and how you’re dealing with any life struggles you want to share. I’m not a therapist, but I am a friend -- a friend who has been many of the places you are now.
To that end, at the close of each session I’ll give you a question to ponder which, again, will be chosen just for you. I encourage writers to journal those questions, but your approach will be up to you. We’ll process the possibilities until you come upon one that works for you.
I am available to you via email any time except Sunday (which is when I take my Sabbath rest; we’ll talk about you setting aside one of those weekly too), and I try to get back to my clients as quickly as possible. No question is lame, no doubt silly, no need for reassurance a sign of weakness. I’m here for you. Really.
Be part of the Doorways blog community. http://doorwaystothewritinglife.typepad.com/doorways_for_women_who_wa/
On April 12-14, 2019, the second Young Women Writers Retreat will be held at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs. This is an opportunity for female authors ages 18 to 40 to gather for writing, tribe-forming and life-creating. I will let you know when more details are available on the Glen Eyrie website
If you and up to 3 other young women writers (under 40) are interested in a 3-day writing intensive with me, that can be arranged. A fee separate from your monthly payment is charged, though that is divided among the participants.
One-on-one intensives are also possible. If you feel a need for longer face-to-face work with me, we can set that up, again for an additional fee.
A career as a professional requires an investment of both time and money. Becoming a writer is no exception, though compared to the financial outlay for a would-be doctor or professor or lawyer, yours can be fairly minimal. The return on your investment will be not only an invaluable skill set but growing confidence in your gifts and abilities and way of life that will serve you well even if writing turns out to be a portion of a larger vocation.
The cost of the Doorways Program is as follows:
If you have a manuscript you would like to work on together as your initial project, the initial read-through with feedback is $2.00 per page, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point. If you’re starting fresh or simply have ideas, there is no initial charge for reading.
Once you begin the program, you will be charged a monthly fee which will be determined by the two of us, based on what you can reasonably afford and what I can reasonably agree to. No need to be nervous about this; we will put our heads together and come up to a figure that is comfortable for both of us. This is how publishing negotiations are carried out, so it will be excellent practice. I am gentle.
You are free to end your contract at any time after the first month with written notice.
If you elect to do a 3-day Intensive with other writers and me or a one-on-one intensive with me, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the usual fee.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Women Writers Program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have. We can then set up a phone call and proceed from there. Even if you’re not in a position to avail yourself of the program right now, I would love to have your feedback on what’s offered. You are, after all, the expert on being a woman who wants to write.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you.
“It’s doing what you’re made for that shows you what you’re made for.” -Anonymous