We love celebrating the joy of another Write Brilliant Academy graduate whose name is on the front cover of their first book. Our friend, Carlos Rodriguez, released his first book, Drop the Stones. We wanted to ask him some of his best tips for writing, publishing, and the secret to calling himself a writer.
[[Write Brilliant]] How is your life different now that you’ve written your book?
One of my chapters can be the next podcast episode, another chapter could be an outline to my sermon on Sunday, another chapter could be the draft for an article that I’m writing, and another chapter could help me consider what I need to write about on my next book. So in a unexpected way, the book has centered me, force me to focus, and empowered me to do more.
What are the two biggest lessons you’ve learned from your writing journey?
1. That even though English is my second language and I am terrible with grammar… I still have something to say. We all have something to say! And the fact that I finished the book, and so many people have been so encouraging about it, speaks to my heart to write some more (and makes me want to encourage you to finish yours!)
2. That because English is my second language and I am terrible with grammar… I need to work hard, I need to read more and I need to keep growing. Actually, let me correct that, I want to work hard I want to read more and I want to keep growing. The journey never ends. And I have found the pleasure of process as oppose to the frustration of stuck-ness.
What’s the most satisfying part of your work helping people through your new book?
I take time to write almost every day. It went from being a discipline to being an exciting chunk of my day. It obviously helps when there’s reward, people reading and commenting on my blog, people criticizing the content of my podcast, people sharing the book with others who need it, etc. I write intentionally to begin a conversation, not to stuff conclusions down people’s throats… so whether the feedback is positive or negative, I appreciate the fact that there’s a conversation happening.
Also, because I wrote a book about serving others and about dropping the stones when I feel like I should condemn, then I am now forced by (published-authors) law to at least try to living it out. Which makes me a better husband and father and neighbor (I hope).
How have you seen someone else’s life impacted by your work?
The very first workshop I did after the book came out was inside of a maximum security prison in North Carolina. I had 40 men from all different faith walks, having an eight-week conversation with me about love, forgiveness, condemnation, and the way to move forward. I have shared contents of my book in many different platforms but nothing will beat those eight weeks. Not only did I see men with hardened hearts begin a journey of encouragement with themselves (and with each other) but I was also transformed, as I processed my own writing through their lenses.
How was your writing and publishing experience enhanced/nurtured/expanded through Write Brilliant?
It was through the work of the Write Brilliant Academy that I began to truly believe in my content. After spending a couple of days of actually doing the stuff that you guys were telling me to do, the random ideas in my head began to take form. Not even a year later I had finished Drop The Stones. And now, I’m working on my next book and I’m going back to all those notes I took.
What’s the secret to calling yourself a writer?
The words that were just dancing in your brain become an actual collection of beauty in paper, that then has the potential to be fully experienced in the here and the now. So I’m working on my next book, I’m moving to Puerto Rico to focus on the relief work of my nonprofit there, and I’m enjoying all the platforms that I’ve opened because I stopped judging myself and I began to believe that I had something to say.
I pray you do the same.
Stop judging yourself and believe you have something to say. That is the secret sauce to calling yourself a writer. Grateful for Carlos’ words, book, and encouragement.
To learn more about Carlos Rodriguez, visit his website, follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Grab a copy of his book, Drop the Stones, here.
Start calling yourself a writer today. Click here to take our free 3-part video course, Jumpstart My Writing, now.
Hey Write Brilliant crew,
I have this theory about writing.
Each writer is either in the lighting, heating, or construction business.
The type of business you’re undertaking will determine the methods, points of view, and outcome of your piece.
Which one are you in?
P.S. I think your answer to this question will transform the way you write. Don’t miss it.
Hey Write Brilliant Friends!
Margaret, here. Meet my friend, Heather Zempel. Heather is an author and discipleship pastor at National Community Church in Washington, DC.
I asked Heather to pop over and answer an important question when it comes to writing: How do you make your writing timeless?
Her insights are sooo helpful. You’re going to want to take notes.
P.S. The motto of their church is one I need over my whole life. Yes, please.
Grab a copy of Heather’s book Community is Messy, here.
Meet our friend, Laura. Laura is a worship leader, pastor, mom, and author. Before being introduced to Write Brilliant, Laura had one self-published study, but still didn’t consider herself a writer.
Sound familiar? Laura isn’t alone. So many of you wrestle with calling yourself a writer. But that’s exactly what you are.
Now, Laura has published two Bible studies with Moody Publishers and continues to transform lives through her story.
We asked Laura to pop over and share some of her advice for those who struggle to call themselves writers. Read More
What do you feel when you hear the word “marketing”?
Many writers tend to get fidgety or want to hide in the corner in the fetal position. I’ve seen it time and again.
When it comes to marketing, and especially digital or online marketing, many people I know would love to pay someone to make it go away. Yet when it comes to building an audience and impacting people with the message you’ve been entrusted with…
You probably don’t have the five-to-six-to-seven figures to make it all go away. And even if you did, no one can be you online or with your audience. Your people want you. Your insights. Your wisdom. Your funnies. Your photos.
I started to explore why this this whole idea of online marketing scares writers and discovered there’s a huge gap in understanding of how digital marketing fits into building a personal platform for writing and publishing.
Online marketing for writers is simply engaging with your audience. Starting conversations. Sharing ideas. Letting people in on your life and discoveries.
Wow. It suddenly became less scary didn’t it?
Don’t overthink it. Online marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to learn from your audience as they learn from you. In return, it builds your platform, naturally.
Here are 3 principles to grow the audience of your dreams as a writer: Read More
Hi Write Brilliant friends,
I want to introduce you to my friend, Heather Zempel. Heather is an author and discipleship pastor at National Community Church in Washington DC. Heather has a lot of gifts– one of which I want you to glean from today. In this video, I ask Heather her tips on how to write a study on an entire book of the Bible–while sticking to a theme.
Take 5 minutes to watch this interview. Your writing (and study) will be better for it.
P.S. Even if you don’t write Bible studies, Heather’s tips will translate into what you do, too. Promise.
Check out Heather’s study, Amazed and Confused, here.
When we hear of one of our Write Brilliant Academy graduates publishing yet another book, we throw a 10-second dance party. Paul McDonald’s book, Called to Follow, is no exception.
In the process of writing and publishing Called to Follow, Paul learned a slew of lessons he wants to pass along to you.
Whether you’re just getting started…
A blogger who is trying to find a pathway to self-publishing…
A seasoned writer who is frustrated with lackluster sales…
You’re going to want to read Paul’s advice and the lessons he’s learned.Read More
In this week’s Write Brilliant Quick Tip, Margaret Feinberg talks about 3 main sources of discouragement in your writing and how to overcome them.Read More
It’s easy to dismiss making resolutions especially if, like me, you forget or neglect them by February 15. But setting your writing goals for the upcoming year is different than your typical New Year’s resolution. Writing goals are meant to give you a blueprint for getting those words on paper, developing a platform, and deepening your writing relationships.
Here are 6 steps for setting writing goals you’ll actually keep in 2018:Read More
In this week’s Write Brilliant Quick Tip, Margaret Feinberg talks about why what you’re seeing, tasting, and experiencing during the holidays is crucial to your writing.
Watch here: Read More
"Jonathan and Margaret are two of the best writing coaches in America, and I've learned much from them over the years. Their Write Brilliant program will help you grow deep roots and a wide reach. Do not wait to sign-up!"
– Gabe Lyons
Bestselling author of Good Faith and founder of Q
"I highly recommend Jonathan and Margaret's program for writers of any level!"
– Jennie Allen,
bestselling author of Nothing to Prove and founder of IF:Gathering
"The firehose of information I absorbed through Write Brilliant transformed the way I write. Jonathan and Margaret bring a combined breadth of knowledge and a straight-shooting style that helped me clarify my target audience, expand my platform, and get practical about what it takes to dedicate myself to my craft. I learned more in this one course than in all past conferences, books, blogs, and videos I’ve engaged. Write Brilliant is a one-stop-shop for taking your writing to the next level."
– September Vaudrey,
author of Colors of Goodbye
"In all my years of leading organizations, I've encountered dozens of how-to programs, but none of them has been more effective then this one. I should know. The Write Brilliant strategy gave me the boost of confidence I needed to create two books on leadership. Whether you want to author a book or just create a blog, make sure you don't miss this fantastic course."
– Brad Lomenick,
author of H3 Leadership and former director of Catalyst