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Encouragement for Future Authors



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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I finished the proposal for my fourth book last week. Preparing to write another book had me thinking back to when I first started writing and how I know so many of my readers are writers who dream of one day finding their own books in bookstores.

Can I encourage you for a moment? It’s not a crazy dream. I know some people may make you feel like it’s impossible to reach this dream but I was one of those dreamers ten years ago. I would spend hours in Barnes and Noble flipping through the pages of those massive indexes that used to contain all the information for literary agents and publishers. I would walk through the aisles and dream of the day when I’d see my book on the new arrivals table, waiting to be picked up by a new reader.

As I thought about the writing process and where it has taken me over the last ten years, I created a short list of things I’d tell that younger version of me– the girl just starting out and looking for a writer’s roadmap. I hope this list is helpful for you and maybe the encouragement you need today to keep showing up and working towards your dreams of becoming an author.

001. Cultivate a Readership, Not a Following

It’s easy to feel like you must create a following in 2022. There are a dozen social media platforms where you can build that following. But what would it look like to build a readership instead? A readership follows you because of your words, the things you write down steadily onto the page.

I think it has never been easier to say you want to be a writer but then never sit down and start writing. You have to sit in the chair and write a lot of crappy words before you produce something worth sharing. But when you get into that flow, more words start to come. When you have a readership, you have a direct line to offer people love, light, encouragement, or whatever your words carry.

I know it’s tempting to want a million followers but what if you shifted toward cultivating a readership instead? People who are hungry for your words. People who check your blog regularly. People who want to hear what you have to say. In order to build that, you must sit down continually and write.

002. Focus on the Craft Over the Applause

Applause can be a really beautiful thing but it can also be a false motivator. When we write something people love then we want to produce that same result again and again. The desire for applause can quickly overcome the love for the craft.

My biggest advice would be to create a writing process and weave it into your week. In my week-mapping course, I show people how to design space for dreams (like writing a book) and rhythms (like sitting down to write on a weekly basis). I’m a big believer that if we don’t carve out the space to write, we simply won’t. Words will go unwritten. Thoughts will pass through our brain but inevitably move onto a different scribe, someone who will actually write the words down.

Carve out space in your week to start a writing practice. Dare to fall in love with the craft. It will always fuel you more than the applause.

003. Create Offline

I can’t tell you the number of writers I’ve coached who feel paralyzed in their writing process because they’re logging onto apps like Instagram and trying to create something beautiful right there on the platform. For me, there’s no easier way to suck the creativity straight from my bones.

When you have a writing process, you create offline. Whether that’s a Google doc, a composition notebook, yellow legal pads, or an iPad (I use Google Docs + Notion). You pick what works for you. But you don’t need the internet or any social media platform to create. The research says your work will be ten times better if you stop switching browsers and scrolling aimlessly.

I challenge you to create offline. To turn down the noise and see what comes out of you. To stare at a blank page and dare to sit there until a sentence shows up. This one switch– deciding to create offline– has changed everything about the writing process for me.

004. Read, Read, Read

Writers need to be reading good words. All the time. If you have time to scroll, you have time to read. And your brain will thank you for the shift. Give yourself permission to be fueled by the greats who’ve gone before you. Look at the way they structure sentences, dialogue, and rich scenes. Pick up your favorite book and dare to ask yourself: What makes this my favorite? Trace. Highlight. Star. Underline. But make it a mission to read a book this month and savor the words and writing process of someone you admire.

If you’re looking to fuel yourself in this writing process, here are a few good books to start with:

In Map Your Week, I have a section called Always Moving Forward. That’s where I track the books I’m reading on a regular basis. It’s a section to place goals and dreams that I believe will make me a better writer for the future.

I realize (about 800 words into this) that there are literally hundreds of tips I could give to encourage, so let me know if you want a part two (or part 17).

I am always cheering for you in your writing journey and believing big things for your life. And remember: don’t quit before the miracles start to happen.

tying you closer than most,



  1. Amanda Montes says:

    As someone who has recently rediscovered my life-long dream of being a writer, this is incredibly helpful and encouraging. I would love a sequel to this list!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I love this. Yes, please, to part 2!

  3. Phoebe says:

    I’ve been writing on and off for years. I used to do it feverishly in every spare second. But now, whenever I write I feel paralyzed. I don’t know what to write or how to begin and I cannot ignore the cavernous gap between my writing and anyone that has ever been great. I don’t know how to cope with that because it absolutely stunts my creativity. Do you have any tips about how to get around this?

  4. Tryphena Yeboah says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Hannah! Would certainly appreciate a Part 2. And I love the last tip about reading. I think it’s so so important to be an active literary citizen- to spend time with the work of others, learning from them, or simply appreciating what they’re created. Most of what I’ve learned about writing, I picked up from reading someone else’s work. Thanks, as always, for your wisdom. And congratulations on completing your book proposal!

  5. Brooke Gunderson says:

    Hannah, I desperately needed to read this today. Thank you for your encouraging words!!

  6. Allison Woods says:

    I have a question: how do I know if I am really meant to be a writer – maybe even an author of a book or two – or whether it’s all a pipe dream? I mean, I once thought I’d like to be an Executive at a high powered business, but…yeah, no!
    So how do you know if it’s REAL, or if it’s Fantasy?

    • Sara Martin says:

      Hi! I have asked myself this question many many times. And only recently have I accepted that I AM a writer, and God wants me to write. And how I feel I came to that conclusion was the fact that the "dream", the fantasy, the urge, the desire, the yearning even….. all of it!…. Has never gone away. For years. I have taken my sweet time listening to God,(not advising that btw), and slowly started my blog. But I do now feel confident. After years of blogging ideas and book desires coming to me……I decided to say yes. And I am now pursuing it with intention. I hope this helps!

  7. Brooke says:

    Love! Yes, part two please!

  8. Hannah says:

    I would love a part 2-17!

  9. Courtney says:

    Yesssss to part 2. All the encouragement is welcome.

  10. Sara Martin says:

    Very much related to this post. Glad to have found your blog. And definitely would like multiple more parts

  11. Audrey says:

    Thanks Hannah! I just started reading Fighting Forward and the way I relate to your writing inspires me to dream about connecting to my own readers. Keep shining and trailblazing. Your craft has given me permission to own my story and write it down.

  12. Ireana says:

    Thank you so much for these tips, which are really just reminders. And timely ones at that. Please do a part 2!

  13. Emily says:

    We want parts 2-17!

  14. Kristina says:

    Hannah, you keep going, it is too good and rich to stop at chapter 1. We are your cheerleaders and supporters.

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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