Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Book Coach and Editor Danielle Anderson Shares The Magic of Writing With Heart, a Book on the Craft of Writing Memoirs


The Magic of Writing with Heart 
by Danielle R. Anderson

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog!

I am thrilled to welcome editor, author, memoir coach Danielle Anderson. We met through Danielle's FB group, Write Your Book--Share Your Story--Change the Word--Memoir Writing. Interacting with Danielle on Facebook, I see her heart for writing and for helping people. Plus, I believe Danielle is a life storytelling evangelist like me! 

Meet Danielle

Book coach and author
Danielle Anderson

Danielle Anderson is a memoir coach and editor who runs her business--and life--with heart. She is the proud and passionate founder of Ink Worthy Books, a cover-to-cover editorial and publication services company where she leads a team of talented, heart-driven women who believe everyone has a story worth telling, and every story has the power to make the world a better place.

Outside of her business, words continue to color her life, and she embraces them in all shapes and sizes: music, books, movies, art, and her own writing. When she’s not busy daftly maneuvering the wonderfully sedentary world of writing, Danielle thrives on staying active. You can find her making magic with her four kids, traveling, kickboxing, exploring the parks and river valley near her home in Minnesota, laughing at her own jokes, or taking cat naps in the sun with her furry feline friend Layla.

Why Did Danielle Pen The Magic of Writing with Heart?

I recently wrote my first book, but it wasn’t something I had planned to do. You see, I’m a book coach, and my days are delightfully full with helping others write their books. The handy “I’m too busy with my clients’ books” excuse tumbles from my mouth as easily as water over the falls when it comes to making time for my own writing projects. 

A heart-filled writer's craft book

Ironically, it was my work—the thing I saw as a barrier to my success—that helped me see that this book needed to be written. 

When we start our work together, I ask each of my clients to tell me WHY they want to write their book and explain what is motivating them to commit to the lengthy and arduous process of publishing a book. 

If I were to ask myself these questions, the answers would ring loud and clear: I love my work. I love being involved in the book-writing process. And above all, I love seeing books become instruments of change in this world. 

Knowing how much this means to me, surely I could make time to write a book that would further this mission. After all, I know firsthand the power of sharing your story. I see it every day.

Let me explain.

My son has a friend, a young man who is finding himself in a place unlike many of his peers. Alex has been looking back on his life and all that he’s experienced (which is a lot for such a young person), and he’s starting to question things. 

For possibly the first time in his life, he’s asking some hard questions, looking at what he’s been told to accept about this journey called life, and wondering WHY he should accept any of this as HIS truth. 

He’s learning that a 21-year-old standing on his own two feet with no parents in his life and no mentors means that this place is confusing, and maybe a bit scary too.

I’ve known this kid for nearly 10 years now, and I definitely have a soft spot for him. I told him to never hesitate to call or email me for anything. 

He recently emailed me about this confusing place. He doesn’t understand why he’s here, why he’s thinking these things. He doesn’t know whether this is okay or if something’s wrong with him. 

In response, I told him my story—I shared how I have always been someone to question the status quo and that it definitely doesn’t mean something’s wrong with him. But it’s also not an easy way to navigate life. After all, swimming upstream is hard work!

As I shared my experience, I told him that what he feels is absolutely a gift. I explained what I’ve learned along this particular journey—that if he can come to understand the human condition, how we are wired to operate from a biological and psychological perspective, how we’ve been so conditioned to blindly accept things as they are, then he’ll be just fine. 

And in the end, I told him that if he can look upon each day with love and gratitude, with a feeling of thankfulness that he has this amazing ability, then he’d eventually be able to see this as a gift, rather than feeling like he’s cursed.

He responded the next day and said that I was the only person to ever take the time to talk with him about this. He was so thankful I had.

Reading those words and hearing how he has been alone in this struggle broke my heart. But I also knew right then that this is exactly why I do the work that I do.

As a memoir coach, I spend my days helping people write their stories. 

And here’s the thing—we all have a story to tell. This doesn’t always look like a grand adventure or something so extraordinarily unique that we’ve never heard of anything like it. Nope. The stories that truly matter most are the ones found closest to the heart. Those experiences that have taught us how to be better humans, how to love ourselves and others, how to survive the darkest of nights. 

And when we’re able to share these things, magic happens.

Kids like Alex are able to feel less alone, less hopeless, less confused, less lost. Our readers and listeners feel understood, accepted, and part of something much bigger than those fears that chase us. 

Sharing our stories allows us to breathe life and love and light and hope into others’ lives, simply by bravely speaking our truth. That’s it! It’s not easy, but it’s simple, and it truly brings me so much joy to help writers with this process. 

Reading that email, Alex reminded me of the value of my place in this world, and I’m convinced he gave me as much as I gave him in that little email exchange. Imagine what an entire book can do.

If you’ve ever thought about sharing your story and want to learn to go deeper in your writing, check out my book The Magic of Writing with Heart: A year of prompts to grow your writing skills, build your confidence, and maximize your memoir

As you write to the prompts, you’ll see your writing transform from “words on a page” into something that makes this world a better place. Something you (and your heart) can be proud of. Something that can shine light on even the darkest day.

Click here to order Danielle's book on Amazon

Connect online with Danielle Anderson:

Click here to visit Danielle's website, Ink Worthy Books

Click here to access Danielle's Facebook group--Write Your Book--Share Your Story--Change the World--Memoir Writing.

Memoirs and More 

In The Magic of Writing with Heart, Danielle offers great advice in writing memoirs. She has taken the pressure off all those who are overwhelmed at the idea of writing their life story, believing they must write about birth to the present. Instead, Danielle explains in loving detail an alternate way to go about writing life stories. She "helps memoirists write about their lives in small snippets." 

With 366 writing prompts to spark memories that can be used every day, even one for Leap Year, a rich life story can be told by recording those life experiences that make up a life story. And no, the writer does not have to do one a day or even write the vignettes of their life in any particular order. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to tell their story but needs help in jogging their memories. Danielle offers the inspiration to life storytellers to actually sit down and write the story. 


cleemckenzie said...

I've been reading some memoirs lately by people I know. There is quite an art to making one's life interesting to others. Congratulations to Danielle.

Pat Garcia said...

The prompt book sounds interesting. I haven't started writing a memoir but maybe one day I will.
Thank you Danielle for sharing.
Shalom aleichem

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's really awesome you were able to help your son's friend - and find your own book in the process.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Lee. Quite a change for me after making things up in my mysteries, then penning my true story. No fiction. Telling the truth is difficult! LOL

J.Q. Rose said...

Pat, you can be sure Danielle and I would encourage you to write your life story. I bet it would be beautifully told.

J.Q. Rose said...

I'm glad Danielle shared that story.

Marsha said...

Hey, J. Q. Danielle, thanks for making a difference in that young man's life. A good reminder to us all to listen and really see the folks around us. I shared. :)

Danielle Anderson said...

Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. And I definitely agree - it is an art form!

Danielle Anderson said...

Hi Pat! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. Writing a memoir is a long journey, and these prompts are a wonderful way to dip your toe into that pool without jumping in the deep end. :)

Danielle Anderson said...

Thanks, Alex! It's those moments that fill my heart to the brim and reassure me that I'm exactly where I need to be. What an honor. And I appreciate your kind words!

Danielle Anderson said...

Hi Marsha! Yes, exactly - what a lovely way of looking at it. People all around us can benefit from hearing our experiences. We are not in this by ourselves, but it can be a lonely ride if that's how we feel. Hearing how others have traveled the same road can make all the difference! Thank you for the comment, and the share, Marsha!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Very inspiring post. Thanks, ladies.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, Danielle is inspiring us to listen and to be confident to write from the heart. Thank you for sharing!

J.Q. Rose said...

You are welcome, Joylene. Inspirational,indeed!

Sandra Cox said...

Danielle, Many congrats on your many successes and your new book. And good on you for helping your son's friend.

'Lo, Cuz:)

Danielle Anderson said...

Thank you, Joylene! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

Danielle Anderson said...

Appreciate your kind words, Sandra! Everyone deserves a little help now and then. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Howdy,Cuz. Thank you for stopping in. Have I talked you in to writing your memoir yet?

Computer Tutor said...

What a gratifying job--helping people create their memoirs. Congratulations to you, Danielle.

Sandra Cox said...

I'm afraid my memoirs would be more useful as a sleep aid;)

J.Q. Rose said...

Danielle is fired up for memoirs, that's for sure. Her FB group is full of writing prompts, writing tips, and great discussions. Thank you for stopping in.

Danielle Anderson said...

Haha, Sandra! I'm sure you are most certainly underplaying the value of your memoirs. But, I will say, if you are keeping the reader in mind when writing, the right reader will be engaged!

Danielle Anderson said...

Thank you, Jacqui! I appreciate your kind words. And I echo J.Q.'s comment - I definitely love this work! :)

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