Coaching Philosophy & Empowering Writers

0empowerement-meditation

—to give ability to; enable or permit.

“Wait, no one needs to give me permission to write my book. They’re not in my head. How could they possibly know what it’s supposed to look like?”—what every writer should be saying.

But we don’t. Instead, we spend hours asking every person we know, scouring every blog post and agent site, and second guessing every word we write.  We think we don’t know jack about creating a story and the things we write are total crap because we don’t know jack.  *waves and smiles at the actual guy named Jack who might be reading this post*

This thinking is—

FLAWED.

 

As a writing coach, I hear more reasons why people can’t write than why they can or should write. So, my job, my sole mission is to empower them to take back their power and words. Given the definition, it feels more like enabling, but the truth is most people feel like they need permission to tell their story in their voice until they gain confidence and footing. We’re human; we need an atta boy… or kick in the ass.

My job involves more physics than anything—

A Writer in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion.

 

Meaning if I can help you find the tools to begin writing while quieting the internal and external voices, then you’ll keep writing until you realize the truth:

You never really needed my permission in the first place.

Not the best philosophy for repeat business, but I’m not a crutch. I’m a tool. *giggles quietly because I’m also a three year old at heart*

How do I perform this magical act of getting writers to write?

Well, I break coaching down into a few simple steps… because, like most writers, I have a short attention span:

  1. Accountability—a chapter a week, then two chapters, and finally two+. The reality is most people require an outside force—editors, publishers, coaches, readers—that expect them to finish by a certain date. Sure, one out of ten might be self-motivated, but the rest of us (including me) need deadlines.
  2. Enabling—this is where I give you permission to write your story, your way. We talk about the scope of your world and the characters. We get inside your process to make it stronger, then we work on the first timid steps on the path to your career as an author, which leads to the final step…
  3. Structure—the simplest and most comprehensive way to plot out a novel. It’s not the Holy Grail of plotting. It isn’t even the only plot structure in existence, but it’s a place to start until you find one that works for you. And even better, you can use it for a wide range of work from short stories to novels to entire series. Each have an arc, I explain in non-industry, everyday terms.

The biggest mistake we make as authors is to assume anyone—other authors, editors, coaches—know more about our story than we do. While they can provide insight into structure, grammar, flow, and character/story development, they can’t and shouldn’t decide whether a character is motivated by love or hate or guilt, whether magic is innate or comes from an object, whether a fire or flood or death is appropriate, or anything else that may or may not happen in your story. That’s content, and that’s yours.

Why?

Your Story,

Your Story,

Your Story.

 

By definition, that means only one person can determine the content. YOU. Not your writers’ group, not your friends, not your coach, not your editor. They can tell you what they’d like to see in your story. They can even tell you if it’s coming across the way you intend it to come across. But always remember, everyone has a perspective, everyone has an opinion. Neither are gospel, both will more often than not reflect individual taste, and on rare occasions some might spark ideas that will add to your plot, but the third should be mulled over very carefully. If it doesn’t fit, then don’t be afraid to throw it out.

The truth is you’re gonna second guess yourself, even after you publish. The only choice is to do it anyway. Give it the best you can, make the next one even better, then actually take a moment to be proud of the fact that you did it in the first place.

***

Need a hand? Go here ~~> http://rebeccatdickson.com/write-raw/ and tell Becky you want me.  ; )

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Categories: writing, writing is play, Writing Process | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Coaching Philosophy & Empowering Writers

  1. Pingback: What writers don’t talk about

  2. This is a GREAT post! Even though I know it’s my story and I can write what I want to write, sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for others to give me permission to go ahead. Luckily for me, I have a good writer friend who likes kicking me in the behind and saying just do it already!

  3. I need to be reminded of this often. Especially at the moment. Thank you for another wonderful blog post.

  4. Kathy Barron

    Great post, Ranee. I love the three points and I need to keep telling myself that it is indeed MY story (so there!).

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