Bravely Write Your Book–Outing Your Secrets with Jenn T. Grace

This post is the first in our 2024 guest blog post series Bravely Write Your Book.
Learn from publishing professionals and authors how to bravely write your book.

Last month we discussed constructive criticism with Shaina Clingempeel, and this month I have another member of my inner circle here to share her know-how. This month we’re setting our sights on ‘outing’ oneself and one’s secrets. When you’re writing anything, you are putting a part of yourself into that writing, and it’s easy to find yourself worrying about how that part of you will be received. Being genuine can take courage, but our guest this month is here with the guidance and encouragement to help you on your way

Let me introduce this month’s guest contributor–Jenn T. Grace

An award-winning author, nationally recognized speaker, and savvy publishing strategist, Jenn T. Grace is the founder of Publish Your Purpose, the acclaimed hybrid publishing company that gives first-time authors the secrets to getting their books written, finding an eager audience and marking their place in the publishing world. Publish Your Purpose is a certified B Corp social enterprise that meets the gold standard of socially and environmentally-friendly business practices.

Jenn leads ambitious authors through every aspect of writing, editing, and publishing so their book strategically aligns with their business objectives. Whether it’s a business guide that shows the breadth of their expertise or an emotional memoir that takes readers deep into life’s challenges, she helps authors articulate their purpose and fulfill their mission. 

Jenn has published the books of almost 200 business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, and memoirists so more diverse stories can exist in the world and her authors can make a positive impact and achieve the recognition and success they deserve. She is the author of seven books, including, Publish Your Purpose: A Step-by-Step Guide to Write, Publish, and Grow Your Big Idea. Jenn has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC.

Jenn lives in Connecticut with her family and enjoys being outside with her son, kayaking, hiking, skiing, and admiring the birds and nature around her.

What advice would you give someone struggling with sharing their story?

In the theme of June being Pride Month for LGBTQ+ people around the world, my advice is to allow your LGBTQ+ identity to be your superpower. If you are dreaming of writing your story, whether it is in a book or a blog post, there's no better time than NOW. 

The most important thing is for people to see themselves reflected back in YOUR story based on your lived experiences. There is not enough positive visibility and representation of the LGBTQ+ community (and honestly many others), that using your voice is one of the most powerful tools that you have.

Was there a time you struggled with sharing your story in your own writing? How did you overcome it?

Every author struggles at some point during the writing process. For me, personally, when I am struggling I like to change up my setting or location so I can get into a different creative mindset and tackle it from a different angle. I find that if I am too stuck in my ways of routine and schedule it can reduce how much I can accomplish.

What did you wish you knew then that you do now?

In the spirit of being brave and outing our secrets, I wish I knew earlier that people don't care as much as we do. We spend so much time in our heads thinking that someone isn't going to like us, our writing, or even our identity, but my experience is that most people are in their own heads thinking the same thing. The faster we can put our brave foot/face forward the sooner we can find an indescribable inner place of peace.

If you could write a letter to your younger self about sharing your story, what would you tell them?

I would tell young Jenn to just keep pushing forward, that things are brighter on the other side, but we have to deal with some darkness before we see that. Everything in life has happened FOR her, not TO her. All of life's experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly are all part of a beautiful mosaic that can help other people. Don't get down when things aren't going your way, just push through to the other side.

What is the most valuable advice you’ve received as a writer about sharing your story?

Stop thinking and start writing. It is so basic but the longer we stay in our heads with our ideas rather than just putting pen to paper or hands to the keyboard, the longer we block all of our creativity. It's okay to not know where you are going with your story. Let it ramble and wander. You'll find the right support who can make it better.

What is one piece of advice you can provide to help someone bring their book to the world?

If writing a book feels too overwhelming, start with verbally telling your story to a friend. Then, tell it to another friend. Then, tell it to a group of people. Then, stand in front of a crowd and share it. All of those experiences will prime you for telling your story in a compelling way. Once you start sharing it with people you'll create a feedback loop of excited people wanting to hear more, which will give you the motivation and inspiration to start writing.


Remember to stay tuned for next month's guest post!

While you wait for the next blog post in this series to drop, don’t forget about these two free and readily available resources.

  1. The 5-Step Writing Guide to Starting (and Finishing) Your Memoir. It’s time to light up your world and ours with your story.
  2. My 20-minute Story Stroll where you and I get to talk openly and honestly about the book you’re feeling tapped to write. Let me help you take the next best step on your journey.

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