Step Out, Step Up & Step Forth with Dr. Bren Williams (Re-Air)
Do you have so many ideas that you simply don’t know where to start? How can you decide how much information to include in one book and how much to save for a later project? After all, God gave you those ideas for a reason — and that means they’re all important, right?
This week’s Publishing Secrets guest, Dr. Bren Williams, wrestled with this exact problem while writing her first book. Through prayer and listening for God’s guidance, however, she was able to work through a process of elimination and find the right focus to deliver the message God had given her. Listen and be inspired to share your own message in a way that truly resonates with the people who need to hear it most.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- Dr. Bren’s mission to help others explore, embrace, and excel in their God-given purpose
- How journaling about your own process of growth can turn into a book that touches the lives of other people
- How to be intentional in your focus and write directly for your target audience
- The importance of researching to find the right publisher for your book
- Dr. Bren’s advice for writers who hesitate to step out in faith and share the message God has given them
3 Phases of Breaking Forth
Dr. Bren Williams wrote her book, Breaking Forth 2 Destiny, with the goal of empowering Christians to overcome obstacles, explore their purpose, and embrace their God-given destiny.
“Challenges can only be conquered when they are faced,” she explains. “So Breaking Forth 2 Destiny is simply an instrument that will help us deal with distractions that cause delay, overcome obstacles that hinder progress, step out of our comfort zones, and release the past to refocus on the present.”
In the book, Dr. Bren breaks down this journey to embracing one’s destiny into three phases:
- Break free: Being delivered by God to be able to achieve a breakthrough.
- Breakthrough: Overcoming challenges or difficult seasons in life.
- Break forth: Emerging from those challenges stronger and prepared to embrace a greater purpose.
“Many of us can testify that ‘God brought me through’ or ‘God brought me out,’” Dr. Bren says. “That’s a breakthrough. Breaking forth takes us to the next level, the next dimension. You emerge with power, you emerge suddenly, and you emerge stronger, better, and wiser. In other words, it means to thrive and not just survive.”
While writing, Dr. Bren took inspiration from her own journals and past experiences. She had seen firsthand how fear can keep people feeling stuck and unable to move forward, and wanted to inspire others with the hope that God can help them break free of fear and doubt and break forth into a greater destiny — just as He did for her.
After deciding to write her book, however, Dr. Bren had to face and work through her own set of challenges.
First, the topic she had chosen was simply too broad. She had to learn to narrow her focus and prioritize the core message she wanted her audience to receive instead of trying to fit all of her thoughts and ideas into the same book.
Now, she advises aspiring authors to do the same. As you plan your book, take time to reflect on the topic and on your intentions for the book, and rely on God to help you focus on what matters the most — even if it means going at a slower pace than you would prefer.
“Progress doesn’t have to come in large segments,” Dr. Bren says. “It’s a step. It’s a journey. And it’s not something that happens overnight.”
Next, once Dr. Bren had begun to narrow her focus, she also had to keep her target audience at the forefront of her mind so she could write directly for them. She describes it as a process of elimination: As she prayed for the right words to help the people she knew she had been called to serve, she focused on deleting irrelevant content and adding information that aligned with her book’s purpose of helping people step into their God-given destiny.
Dr. Bren’s story is an important reminder for us all. As writers, we often have many exciting ideas and want to include them all. But to really speak to our audience, we need to remember that the reader is looking for something specific, and it’s our job to make it easy for them to determine if this particular book will give them what they’re looking for. That means we’ve got to remove anything that doesn’t quite fit. But don’t worry — you can always use those ideas in another book later on!
Lessons from Publishing
After completing the book, Dr. Bren says the real work was just beginning. Now she had to find the right publisher, get her book out into the world, and market it so the right people could find and read it. This process taught her several lessons:
- Do your research: Not every publisher will be the right fit for your book. Be sure to research what they have to offer and ask questions so you know you’re making the right choice.
- Quality over quantity: Make sure your book represents you and your God-given message well. Take your time and be intentional about producing the best-quality work you can.
- Invest in marketing and promotion: For your book to make an impact, people have to read it. And for people to read it, they have to know it exists.
“No matter how great your product is, or what a great blessing you have in your hand,” Dr. Bren adds, “until it’s in the hands of the readers, it’s just good information.”
So don’t just stop at crafting a quality book and getting it published — you’ve got to do the work to get it into people’s hands and entice them to actually read it so their lives will be changed by your message.
Take a Step
Maybe you, like Dr. Bren, have a message you know God has given you, but you have so many ideas that you aren’t sure where to start. Or maybe you’ve been writing for a long time, but you hesitate to put yourself out there and get that book published.
Whatever may be holding you back, Dr. Bren encourages you to simply take a step forward in faith and trust God to carry you the rest of the way.
“Someone is waiting on what’s locked up inside you,” she concludes. “I look at it as if I’m holding up and delaying someone’s destiny if I am not obedient. So even if you’re afraid, step out, and God will meet you. He will empower you and allow you to move forward by faith.”
Reverend Dr. Brennetta C. Williams is the Visionary Founder and Senior Pastor of the Impact Worship Center Int’l located in Chesapeake, VA. She has earned a B.S. in Business Management from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; a Master of Divinity from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology in Richmond, VA; and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. Her professional background includes marketing for several leading pharmaceutical companies. Over the last decade, she has dedicated her life to providing medicines, education and community services to those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS. The experience has been instrumental in sensitizing her to the suffering of others.
Dr. Williams answered the call to the gospel ministry and was licensed in 2003. She has served as an Associate Minister, Adjutant, Director of Prayer Ministries, and in a multiplicity of capacities ministering to congregational spiritual needs. Dr. Williams is currently affiliated with the Worship Center Worldwide Fellowship of Churches and was ordained under the spiritual covering of Bishop Millicent Hunter. She is an evangelist, conference speaker, and community advocate dedicated to faithfully serving others. Dr. Williams is also the visionary and CEO of Positive Impact Outreach Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to positively impacting lives of those in need through the love of Christ. Dr. Williams is a native of South Boston, VA and currently resides in Chesapeake, VA with her husband and daughter.