Limiting Belief: I Should...

Limiting Belief I should_.png

You know you’ve heard this phrase a million times: “You should…” Join that group. Read that book. Write about that topic. Hell, we’ve probably said it in this blog. It’s part of the vernacular of our culture.

But it can be a limiting belief when it comes to writing—especially as a new scribe. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about all the things I “should” do. It gets you stuck in the past, stuck in the dizzying amount of possibilities, and you start to question everything.

All those “you shoulds” start to make you think that you need to do what others are telling you, instead of listening to yourself. You start allowing others to define you.

How do you get out of this spiral? A few options:

  • Listen to your gut. Your intuition will get you farther than relying on the “shoulds.” What do you really want for your writing career? What do you want to write about? Only you know the answer to this.

  • Walk away from the “shoulds.” Decide for yourself what you want and leave the rest. No one knows you better than you.

  • Try saying “I could.” It’s more future-focused—filled with possibility. Take out a piece of paper and write down 10-20 writing goals you have for the month. Think about what you could do. Once you have those 20 items down, make a second list with only the 5 most important tasks from your larger list. Work on them. Now. Ignore the larger list until the top 5 are completed. Then move on to the next 5.

  • Set up a writing schedule to get your goals accomplished. Once you know what you want, you have to put in the sweat. None of this matters if you don’t “DO.”

  • Seek professional guidance. Yes, I know it sounds like I’ve been telling you not to take advice. But there’s a difference between your best friend telling you that she read an article stating that fantasy stories are no longer popular, versus a professional who can guide you on your writing process. You want someone who will support your writing goals instead of just chasing trends.

When you have your list of “coulds” and want some guidance on getting them accomplished, contact us—we’d love to help!

Limiting Belief: “My Ideas aren’t good enough"

Limiting Belief: “My Ideas aren’t good enough"

Writing involves dedication and time—so much time! How can any normal person find the time to write an entire book? In reality, this is a limiting belief that CAN be overcome…

Limiting Belief: "I don't have enough time"

Limiting Belief: "I don't have enough time"

Writing involves dedication and time—so much time! How can any normal person find the time to write an entire book? In reality, this is a limiting belief that CAN be overcome…

What IS Book Coaching Anyway?

We’re your friendly neighborhood book coaches!

We’re your friendly neighborhood book coaches!

When I tell people I’m a book coach, I often get a blank stare and a “What now?”

Fair enough. It’s not as common a title as “accountant” or “teacher.” As far as I know, my business colleague, Jessica, and I are the only two book coaches in the Twin Cities (correct me if I’m wrong!). So, what do we actually do? Do we train books to do tricks? While I would love to be able to train a book to flap around the room or mop my floor (ala Fantasia), that’s not quite what we do. We don’t train books, we train people.

Our specialty is coaching ordinary folks from all walks of life on how to turn their ideas into a book.

For many people, the prospect of sitting down and writing 60,000 or 85,000 words is beyond daunting—it’s enough to make palms sweat and brains start flipping around in cartwheels. Believe me, I know this feeling well. When I sat down to write my first novel in 2009, I had never written more than 25 pages in my life (and that was for a research paper in college).

Writing at the Guthrie Theater

Writing at the Guthrie Theater

But then something miraculous happened:

I wrote 30 pages.

And I thought, “Wow, if I can write this many pages, I can probably get to 50.”

So, I did.

I reached 50 pages, and just kept going.

80 pages. 100. 200.

By the time I finished that novel, I had written well over 150,000 words or close to 500 standard pages! (I ended up cutting a good deal of those pages during the editing process, but that’s another topic entirely…)

Although I’ve learned a lot in the ten years following my first novel, that first project taught me a valuable lesson: I could sit down and write a novel-length manuscript. And, most importantly, I could do it while working 50+ hours per week, maintaining a relationship, and practicing good self-care (by regularly working out and cooking dinner at home).

Two years after I authored that first novel, I started freelance writing and editing, helping both individuals and businesses with their projects. To date, I’ve worked on over 40 different book projects of all genres and styles. To name a few…

  •  A Vietnam helicopter pilot’s memoir

  •  A career coach’s leadership book

  • A book geared toward teenagers to promote self-healing instead of self-harming

  • A work of historical fiction revolving around Saint Paul’s gangster scene of the 1930s

  • A yoga studio owner’s memoir/self-help hybrid book

  • Science fiction, centering on a robotic criminal investigation unit

  • A business book/essay collection designed to help women of color navigate toxic work environments

 Even though I’ve worked with a wide variety of people on wildly different projects, I’ve noticed certain commonalities emerge between them—commonalities I like to think of as Success Practices. By studying these Success Practices, Jessica and I have been able to distill them down into a five-step coaching program. The program focuses on articulating the book’s main message, defining the target audience, generating and tracking ideas, setting an accountability plan (that you’ll actually follow), and creating a detailed and effective outline.

Focusing on these success practices, we walk our coaching clients through the critical steps necessary to write their first draft within a few months.

Anyone can do it, no matter the skill level, other responsibilities, or background. We truly believe that.

So, that’s book coaching! Through a step-by-step program, we help people turn their ideas into books. We also act as accountability partners to make sure our writers are actually writing! Even the most driven and ambitious people occasionally need a gadfly to nip at their heels.

How about you? Do you have a book idea too good to ignore?

If you’d like to talk about your idea, send us a note. Let’s grab a cup of tea and talk about writing!