What It Looks Like to Create a New Volume of Write the Word
Hey, friends! Emily here! This is a particularly fun post for me to write, because the creation of this product mirrors a new creation in my own life - my baby boy! Doing a copyedit on our three newest volumes of Write the Word was one of the last tasks I checked off before going on maternity leave last summer. And now, almost one year later, Shep will celebrate his first birthday just a few days after our Write the Word babies enter the Cultivate Shop!
Though we don't always have such an obvious example of how perfectly the lives of our team members and our products are entwined, the sentiment is always the same: our best tools rise out of needs we see in our community and in the women on our team, including Write the Word!
The earliest version of Write the Word! Any longtime Cultivators out there who own one of these?!
Four years ago, Lara was searching for a way to connect with God in a quiet time that didn't look very quiet (cue three rambunctious kiddos and a growing business under the same roof!). The answer turned out to be simple but powerful: writing out scripture. Little by little, day by day, she saw her faith grow; it's been amazing to see the same happen for thousands of women in the Cultivate community with a goal to grow their faith!
Though Write the Word is one of our signature products, the journey to get these new volumes from inspiration to signed, sealed, and delivered was a long and winding one. Read on for a peek behind the product development curtain!
A “vintage” Write the Word journal on the left and new refreshed design (on sale July 17th!) on the right!
May 2018 | Each team member sends in her ideas for the Spring/Summer 2019 collections. When we brainstorm new products, we each send in our ideas individually (so as to not influence each other!), pool them, and then discuss them together to come to a final lineup. MANY ideas for new volumes of Write the Word were floated, but our new three - Fruit of the Spirit, The Garden, and Worship - were suggested by several different team members as well as members of our community, and we all agreed they'd be great additions to our existing lineup.
June 2018 | With these three new volumes confirmed, a flurry of activity spreads out across the team. Our Marketing gals confirm initial order quantity estimates based on past sales data. Our designer outlines the product specs (size, material, paper details, and more!) based on our brainstorm. Our product development gals use those numbers and the specs to request quotes from our production partners.
Meanwhile, the content team divides and conquers to begin writing the product! For this batch, Lara chose scripture for the Worship and Garden volumes, and I tackled Fruit of the Spirit and Fruit of the Spirit Kids.
July 2018 | With the scriptures chosen, our designer plugs them into each volume and finishes out the design (including a refreshed floral pattern for the covers!). These new volumes also include gold foil art and journaling pages designed to help you soak in what you're leaning - you will love them!
A fun part of the design process: Lara writes out the titles for each cover! Then her handwriting is digitized and added to each design.
August 2018 | We go through each volume and test out writing the verses. We shorten or lengthen the selections as necessary to make sure your experience as a user is smooth and impactful!
The design and product development team receive samples and choose final colors for the covers and bookmark ribbons. We want each volume to look beautiful on its own, and also fit in perfectly with its Write the Word siblings! As you can see below, we ended up completely changing the color of the Fruit of the Spirit cover at this point in the process!
The first sample that came for the Fruit of the Spirit cover on the left (which we felt was too lime green and washed out!), and the final cover on on the right with the addition of gold foil elements. Much better! You'll love the watermelon color—it's gorgeous in person!
September 2018 | Multiple team members copy edit each volume. This is a painstaking process for all products, but especially for Write the Word! We're making sure each book of the Bible is spelled correctly, the numbers are correct for each selection, and selections aren't duplicated.
October 2018 | Our designer packages the final files and they are sent to our production partner!
February 2019 | We receive hard copy proofs - always an exciting day!! Our designer reviews them with a fine-tooth comb to make sure the colors, materials, and printing look correct, and then she passes them to me for a final copy edit. We sign off, and they are sent to print!
June 2019 | The new journals arrive to our shipping partner - hooray!! Our Operations Director works with the warehouse team to make sure everything gets checked into our inventory system, unpacked, and prepped for launch day.
Speaking of our Operations Director—meet Madeline! She's one of the newer members of Team Cultivate and is indispensable in getting helpful and beloved tools into your hands. We are SO grateful to have her and can't wait for you to get to know her more! Meet her on Instagram here.
The newest members of the Write the Word team get a brief rest on warehouse shelves before winging their way to happy homes all over the world beginning July 17th. Whee!
More than a year in the making, we are so excited to get these journals in your hands!! You'll love the new features, including:
- Refreshed cover artwork - a new spin on the classic Write the Word floral!
- Special journaling prompts throughout to help you apply what you're learning
- Gold foil artwork highlighting themed scripture
- A new organization for the daily pages: each spread now faces each other!
I'd love to hear to which volume you're most excited about: Worship, The Garden, or Fruit of the Spirit? (It's no secret that I'm partial to Fruit of the Spirit!)
DOWNLOAD THE COLLECTION GUIDE NOW to prepare for July 17th!
(UPDATE! They're here! The BRAND NEW Write the Word Collection is now LIVE!)
P.S. If you're ready to refresh your faith join us for a FREE live class with Lara Casey, best-selling author and creator of the PowerSheets® Intentional Goal Planner AND author Ruth Chou Simons of Grace Laced. It's going to be SO GOOD!