The Story Midwife . . . and an Opportunity for Aspiring Authors

When I was expecting my third child, I met two midwives who became a dear part of our story. For nine months, they walked alongside me. They encouraged me. And when the time came, they came, too.

Their quiet demeanor graced the room as they moved softly about . . . there but not there. They checked on me every so often, but mostly, they created an atmosphere where my husband and I could labor together, bringing new life into the world.

Their presence was a gift to me. They possessed an intuitive sense of when to let nature be, and when to step in if I needed care.

For a long time afterward, I fancied the idea of doing the same for other women.

To be there.
To encourage and support.
To bear witness to the beauty of new life.

I turned my thoughts into actions and researched the years of study required, first to become a nurse, then a certified nurse-midwife. With my plan in place, I spoke my dream. I told my husband how I’d like to become a midwife.

He nodded as he listened.

When I finished, I waited for his response. But his words were slow in coming. Finally, he said, “Denise, I think you’d be a great midwife. I can understand why you’re drawn to the idea . . . but . . . I think after a while . . . you’d miss writing.”

Even as he spoke the words, I knew he was right. I was created to work with words and shape ideas. To break the waters on the page and bring forth new life in a different way. And yet, something inside me still longed to come alongside women in a soft, quiet, encouraging way.

Looking back, I never could have imagined how dreams are sometimes birthed one way and realized another way. Thankfully, God had a better plan.

Over the years I’ve had the dear privilege of coming alongside women who are devoted to birthing words that teach, inspire, encourage, equip, build up, and offer hope. I’ve gotten to do the very thing I love most — come alongside women as they labor with words and bring life to an idea.

And I’m preparing to do it again.

The President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, has created an amazing opportunity for aspiring authors. It’s called the Book Proposal Bootcamp. It’s a specialized 10-week course that offers teaching from Lysa and other industry professionals to help authors create a strong book proposal. Each participant will be in a small group of 10-14 people with a personal Writing Coach who will offer hands-on feedback throughout the process. By the end of the ten weeks, everyone who completes the assignments will have a finished book proposal. But that’s not all. Several of the proposals will then be selected to be presented to the publishing board at Thomas Nelson Publishers. Then 2-4 proposals will be offered a book deal! (You can learn more details about this incredible opportunity here!)

I’m so excited to be a part of the Book Proposal Bootcamp as one of the Writing Coaches, doing what I love most, helping writers create works they can be truly proud of.

I guess you could say I’m a story midwife.



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You can read more from the #WritingOnWednesday series here.




Denise J. Hughes

Denise J. Hughes

Denise writes about “the quiet life.” It’s a vision for living counter-culturally in a loud and restless world. Denise lives in North Carolina with her husband and three kids.