Writing Coach. Author. Publisher
Photo Credit: Morgan 4 Design
Ashley Graham is a writer, author, and CEO of Lift Bridge Publishing, a successful publishing company located in the DMV area. As a book writing coach, Ashley Graham assists writers in all aspects of the writing process-from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice, prioritizing projects, developing an author platform, setting clear goals, and developing a system for creative success.
As opposed to a cookie-cutter approach that you can find online, Graham tailors her coaching specifically to each writer. Writers’ needs, personalities, and backgrounds range so widely that she can see no other approach to being effective. Too many writing projects get stalled when they hit the chaos of the middle, but Ashley believes that this stage is one of the most exciting.
If you’re ready to write your most authentic story, it is time to finish your book already!
Why your authentic story matters
We all have a story to share that can make an impact in this world. Whether you have gone through grief, damaged relationships, poverty, or heartache, the lessons collected on your journey can inspire others. I come across stories every single day, in fact, it is my job as a publisher to review manuscripts online, listen to writers over the phone, and/or sit directly across the table from potential authors discussing what had happened to them that would make their book so great. I have always been fascinated with stories and other people lives. I have been a fan of memoirs and biographies since I was in Elementary school. But as a publisher and consultant, I'm not looking for what happened to a person, I am looking for what happened IN a person. Some writers get me excited before meeting with them about how compelling their story is, and while I am sitting with them, the lack of transparency in their story make their manuscript lifeless. I believe one sentence of authenticity is more valuable than 200 pages of safe mediocrity. Life happens to people every single day. I am sure if you take the time to ask at least ten people in the grocery store about their lives, there may be similar events or backgrounds just within the ten that you come across but what happened in them is what brings impact!
Most people want to write a neat and sweet story to inspire others, it's really a generous and kind thing to do as a writer. However, cute and inauthentic stories are meant for fancy private dinners or Hallmark cards but not for books. It is the authentic stories that bring freedom and deliverance to those who have the pleasure of reading it. Transparency helps to make a connection for others, but it will also unlock freedom inside of you if you let it. While there are a lot of writing coaches available for writers, it's essential that you find your truth while writing. The truth is the story that belongs to you tucked in under the mattress that you sleep on every night. Or maybe it is the truth that you busy yourself to forget, that you walk in the dark to ignore, or that you use accomplishments to suppress. I know that truth too well, and I want you to know yours also. The thing about the reality that you view as a mess in your life, could be the beautiful message in your life's story that God want to use. We live in a social media age where we have #goals and filters for everything and everybody, flaws are not welcomed in Instagram and Facebook stories. If we can be honest, most people don't feel successful enough to even write a story let alone finish one for that reason. If I had to select a success story that was on my desk as a candidate to publish, I would choose the story with the unfiltered truth and the unguarded surrender.
When we surrender our story to God and allow Him to reveal to us the details of the events in our lives, we can change our lens from a flesh perspective and shift it to a spiritual one. It is very limiting to write from a flesh perspective, writing from a flesh perspective causes writer's block. In the coming days, I'll write more on that subject, but I'll also be walking you through those steps in the course. Your flesh can become ashamed and fearful when it comes to sharing the stories that God is leading you to share because of the vulnerability. Be sure to be driven by the Holy Spirit when writing your book so that you may be covered every step of the way. Your authentic story matters to the world!
What's the beautiful mess-age in your story that you feel led to share?
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