Have you ever talked with a brilliant therapist who seems to work magic on your spirit? Or had a friend who so completely understood and loved you unconditionally? What about a teacher who profoundly shaped who you are today?
First off, I hope you have experienced at least one of those in your life, and if you’ve been blessed by all three, you are lucky beyond measure.
I have been coaching writers, authors, and storytellers for twenty years now, and as a coach, I have felt a deep responsibility to be therapist, friend, and teacher to those in transition. I want to share with you what I have learned about the coaching process and how it can not only help you reach the goals around your book, but can actually change the course of your life.
Below I’ve compiled a list of the ways in which a writing coach can help prepare you for the book you were meant to write—the book that will manifest the next decade of your life.
- Listening. We listen to our inner voice all day long from the time we are old enough to speak until we expire. And we come to believe that the voice in our heads is us. Our voice. But if you’ve read The Untethered Soul (and I HIGHLY recommend it), you’ve come to realize that you are not the voice. You’re the one listening to the voice. This realization is huge for a writer, because that voice holds so much power in how we shape our lives and make choices on a daily basis. A great coach knows the difference between that voice in your head and the essence of you. They have the power to coach that voice so it helps you reach your goals.
- Seeing Your Beauty. Each and every one of us is full of beauty. But it’s far from easy to see our own magnificence because we are caught up in the mundane aspects of life (not to mention we’re taught to not be prideful!). But we have each survived absurd challenges, faced incredible pain, and experienced intersections that not only defined us, but that can be shared to help enlighten others. Seeing your beauty is the gift of a great coach, because once seen, it can be reflected back to you. And only when you see your beauty can you own it and then share it with confidence so your readers can feel it and learn from it.
- Creating a Safe Place for Discomfort. Art is inherently risky and so is writing a book. You’re on a journey to expose yourself for the sake of others. An excellent coach is going to help you create a safe environment where risk is rewarded and your confidence to take greater risks throughout your writing is continually strengthened. This is a major key to creating a piece of writing people emotionally connect with, discuss around the dinner table, and share with their friends.
- Challenging Your Depth. Most of us feel we are being honest most of the time, but the truth is that there are levels of honesty. I can be honest about how someone hurt me and I can dump that onto the page. As a blamer, my first iteration will typically be full of anger. Upon further reflection, the next level of my honesty will include how we co-created the situation. Deeper still, my third iteration will own the incident completely, because at the end of the day, I enable everything in my world and it is only from that place of deep, spiritual self reflection that I have wisdom to share with my readers. Had I shared my level one honesty which took no ownership, I would be teaching my readers to be victims. How honest are you being in your writing? A coach can help with your self reflection to ensure you are digging deeply enough and creating graceful work worthy of a reader’s respect and admiration.
- Structure. How to piece together an entire life lived is one of the greatest challenges I see our clients face. How do you put a frame around a life so that someone can take it all in? A great coach is going to help you determine the major puzzle pieces that make up your story and then organize them into a structure that makes your beauty accessible to readers.
- Highlighting Your Road Blocks. What you see in your mind and what your reader experiences on the page can so frequently be completely different. A great coach can review your writing quickly and help ask the right questions that help you align your intention with the actual experience of reading your words.
- Cheering You On. A great coach is rooting for you in a way that friends and family often cannot. Friends and family typically want to protect you from pain. Your coach wants to provide a comforting environment that supports you through the pain. The pain of transition. The pain of growth. The pain of metamorphosis. People who are close to you are often invested in you staying the same. Having someone on your team who is cheering for you to become more beautiful, more powerful, more impactful… what a stunning place to live.
If you honestly feel that you are meant to write—destined to share your story with the world—then set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with beautiful people. A great friend and author taught me how beautiful people attract more beautiful people. Every day I see that in living breathing action.
Athletes rely on coaches. So do entrepreneurs. So do marriages and corporations. Anyone struggling with aspirations and dreams can benefit from the outside perspective of an invested partner who wants to see you succeed. Give yourself that chance.