Five Things I Noticed in My Book Coaching Business –
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Looking back over the past twelve months, one exciting theme stands out to me; people leaned into their creativity.
While this can be said for art of all mediums, it’s the writers I encountered (at retreats, in online communities, and through my book coaching program) that come to mind. In fact, pressed for a closing statement of 2022, I’d say...
“People have stories to tell and they are going for it!” 💫
Here are five (additional) things I noticed in my book coaching business:
1. Imposter syndrome is real.
Let’s get this one out of the way quickly because it serves no one. And yet nearly EVERYONE struggles with it.
Other than to pause and recognize this nasty feeling when it comes up in our writing, it isn’t something we want to hang on to. Wondering what it looks like? It’s that feeling that creeps up somewhere after the honeymoon phase (you know, that glorious experience of banging out your first three chapters while being flooded with a rush of creative endorphins), only to be stopped dead in your tracks with a sense that your work isn’t worthy. Yeah, that’s it. My advice is to identify it, take a moment to understand where it’s coming from, and then move on. Remind yourself how giving up on your writing dreams would feel SO much worse.
It sounds trite. But it’s also true. In the words of Dory the fish, just keep swimming.
2. Everyone hopes to be the most original and it’s getting in the way.
A common statement I hear from writers is they want to tell their story in a special kind of way. They want the narration, voice, and story structure to be like “no one else out there.” Spoiler alert: your work is already unique because of your distinct point of view. There is only one of you, so embrace this and focus on telling the story through your authentic lens. The rest will come in time.
3. When the point of the story is identified, things start coming together.
This is an important one. When onboarding a book coaching client, I always ask if the author can tell me the point of their story. In other words, what do they want the reader to know or believe when they get to the end of the book? Oftentimes, it takes a few rounds of brainstorming and reflecting before a writer arrives at an answer. But when the aha moment comes, it’s like finding that crucial piece to the puzzle. The point informs the story, and, in turn, it informs each scene. Once this is highlighted, the work is elevated.
4. Progress over perfection is the formula for moving forward.
If I were to ask you whether you believe every singer, dancer, painter, or musician gets it right the first time, I’m going to bet the answer is no. So WHY do we, as writers, beat ourselves up for not drafting the perfect scene/character/setting/voice on our first attempt? Or even our second or third?
Writing is a craft that requires hard work and determination, followed by thoughtful reflection and some kind of helpful feedback. Allow yourself the freedom to have a messy handful of drafts before the perfection is even considered. I promise, your creative self will thank you.
5. Everyone has a super power.
This is my favorite observation so far! When a new writing client comes to me with pages, I’m almost always able to detect their writing super power. “You really excel at dialogue!” I’ll say in my evaluation letter. “Setting is your strength,” I’ll write in the margins of their manuscript. Because what I’ve found is that every writer, no matter the skill level, has at least one or two writing elements that seems to come more naturally to them than others. So, ask yourself: What’s my writing zone of genius? Identify it, be proud of it, and lean into it!