Your Story Matters presents a dynamic and spiritually formative process for understanding and redeeming the past in order to live well in the present and into the future. Leslie Leyland Fields has used and taught this practical and inspiring writing process for decades, helping people from all walks of life to access memory and sift through the truth of their stories. This is not just a book for writers. Each one of us has a story, and understanding God’s work in our stories is a vital part of our faith. Through the spiritual practice of writing, we can “remember” his acts among us, “declare his glory among the nations,” and pass on to others what we have witnessed of God in this life: the mysterious, the tragic, the miraculous, the ordinary. With a companion video curriculum from RightNow Media, this is a “why not” book as opposed to a “how to” book. Leslie asks each of us an important question: “Why not learn to tell your story, in the context of the grander story of God?”
Leslie Leyland Fields was not only my first writing mentor: She continues to mentor me with the way she actually lives her life and then shapes it into an unforgettable story that gives sojourners hope—and gives God all the glory. She is a profoundly wise, Christ-formed guide whose every word I will always read.
by Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author
When I first began writing, Leslie quickly became a trusted voice. Not simply on the art of writing but on the living, breathing act of writing. It’s hard enough to use good verbs and precise language, but that’s not the hardest part. The ghosts of our stories, the self-doubt, and the fear—those are the parts of the writing journey we all need a hand holding ours through. Leslie offers that critical companionship and inspires by example of what can happen when we learn to tell our stories.
by Liz Ditty, author of God's Many Voices
Leslie has a deep commitment to writing life-giving words. She crafts them beautifully and helps others do likewise. This book promises to prompt the best out of storytellers and creatives.
by Max Lucado, New York Times bestselling author
This inspired writing warrior has plunged deep into her well of talent to teach a vital lesson: We don’t own our stories. God writes them on our lives, then appoints us to stand up and share them. It’s time to heed this truth and act. An impassioned Leslie Leyland Fields dares to show us how.
by Patricia Raybon, award-winning author of My First White Friend and I Told the Mountain to Move
A magical, moving, and essential book for anyone who wants to understand why their story matters and to write that story! Leslie Leyland Fields tells her story while helping others tell their stories, all while creating an extraordinary story of writing itself. Personal and profound, inspirational and practical, God-focused and with its feet firmly placed on the ground, this is a necessary and beautiful book for anyone and everyone because we’ve all been blessed with the story we have—and that story is worth our telling.
by Bret Lott, New York Times bestselling author, director of MFA program at the College of Charleston
Like many others, I’ve learned much about storytelling from Leslie. Leslie’s many stories, some heartbreaking and some glorious, do something an abstract proposition can never do: They penetrate the hidden realities of the world in which we live, into the barely known realities of our own life. Leslie will teach you how to find those hidden realities with texture and tone.
by Rev. Canon Dr. Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary
Whether you write because you seek meaning from your life’s experiences, wish to pass on your story to family and friends, or dream of sharing a testimony of God’s work in your life with a wider audience, veteran writer Leslie Leyland Fields believes that your story matters. This book is a lively, relatable, and gracious master class that will guide you step-by-step through mining the riches of your life’s experiences, bringing the core events to the surface, and shaping those events into writing that will communicate the story only your life can tell. Loaded with examples, prompts, and warm insight, this beautiful book belongs in the hands of everyone who longs to find a way to communicate their story to others.
by Michelle Van Loon, author of Becoming Sage
If you are never blessed with the opportunity to take a writing class from Leslie Leyland Fields, then at least read this book. It’s a work of four strands: why you can and should tell your life stories, clear teaching on how to do so (with helpful exercises and student examples), stories from her own life, and a useful tale of working with an agent and getting published—in short, the entire journey. All told with the wit and wisdom of someone who is doing the hard work right along with you.
by Daniel Taylor, author of Tell Me a Story and Do We Not Bleed?
The greatest power of Story is to illuminate. That’s how Leslie Leyland Fields begins her own story—a vivid retelling of pivotal events in her own life and an encouragement to each of us to tell ours. Written in her own bright, conversational style, this fresh writing book is chockablock with lived experience that translates into guidelines for our own storytelling. The author’s energy bleeds from the pages. Read this, come face to face with this woman of God, and hear her affirm, “You can do this, and here’s how.”
by Luci Shaw, author of Thumbprint in the Clay and (forthcoming) The Generosity: New Poems
Whether you consider yourself a writer or are just beginning to find your story, I cannot imagine a more inviting mentor than Leslie Leyland Fields. The book you hold in your hands will take you on a journey. I’m convinced you’ll find your voice, and the tools to use it, along the way.
by Catherine McNiel, author of Long Days of Small Things and All Shall Be Well