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Writing Coaching: Productivity Vs. Flow

book writing coach Lisa Tener
Be generous with yourself today.

I can have a tendency to view myself as a machine. Push. Pull. Produce. Publish.

How’s that workin’ for ya’ Lisa?

Can you relate?

When you get down to it, isn’t it a little mean-spirited and ungenerous to treat ourselves this way?

“So, how many words did you write today? What did you produce?” Ugh, that is not the voice of my muse.

Writing Coaching Saves the Day

Here’s where writing coaching comes in. You can do that writing coaching for yourself, on your own, by the way, following this example.

Yesterday, I skyped with a client who felt so frustrated with herself at the mere ten pages she’d revised, after receiving my writing coaching, editing and feedback on over 100 pages. “It took me days and all I have are ten pages to show for it.”

Last night, she sent those ten pages and I read them this morning. Sheer brilliance. Her words came alive for me. I felt like I was truly experiencing these scenes from her life. I felt like I was there. She picked just the right details to share and left out the parts that had been distracting me, confusing me, taking me out of her story.

The details she added were just what I needed to have the scene play out in 3D for all my senses.

What Writing Coaching Looks Like (be your own writing coach!)

Here’s what I wrote her. Maybe you’ll find something in it for yourself next time you’re feeling ungenerous and not productive enough:

You “only” edited 10 pages but they feel perfect to me. Would you rather have 10 perfect ones or 100 imprecise, rough, clunky ones?

Well done.

You are not just putting in my edits, you are stepping into your power and voice as a writer.

Woot!

My edits of these ten pages are minor. You really got how to convey this information so that it comes to life. There are no distractions, no back and forth in time, no confusion. It’s CLEAR.

That is a huge shift from the previous draft.

I am thrilled to see what you’ve written.

And it doesn’t feel stuck to me at all. [The author had told me she thought she was stuck at the end.]

Maybe just write the last two paragraphs again by hand and see what comes after you write that (if you’re feeling stuck).

Maybe it was a lot of hard work and you just felt spent. Like, “That’s enough for now.”

May I share this in a blog post: just the idea of “I only edited 10 pages…” and the response when I read those 10 pages?

Edits attached. And when you say to yourself, “Lisa’s so great, she sent me those edits back in no time at all,” [which is the kind of thing this author had said to me before.] I want you to replace it with, “Wow, I wrote so well that I made it easy for Lisa to edit that in no time at all.”

So, how about you? What’s your inner critic saying about productivity? How can you turn your focus towards flow, instead? Can you be your own writing coach? What can you do to speak kindly to yourself? To appreciate your own genius? To enjoy your writing?

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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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