The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day

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The Joy of Writing Journal:

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How to Be Your Own Book Writing Coach

People often wonder, “What does a book writing coach do? How does it help? What’s the process that makes it all work?”

Lisa Tener Book Writing Coach
Book Writing Coach Lisa Tener

While every book coaching relationship is different, certain specific challenges come up frequently—and there are very specific things I suggest to my book coaching clients to address these challenges as they arise—or to proactively implement in order to prevent certain problems from even happening.

Following, you’ll find an example of how writing coaching works with a client I’ve been working with for some time, and who has a clear book concept in mind, and something of a rough outline in place.

A Typical Book Coaching Session

  1. We start our coaching calls with the wins—what she or he or they have accomplished in the past few days.
  2. We go over the writing from the previous week and I make suggestions to make it come alive; how to help fit the tone, style and syntax that will work for this particular readership; how to make the writing conversational (write it as a letter to someone you know) and to improve flow (try section headings; add a bridge here).
  3. Next, we turn to any challenges, both from a writing standpoint and from the perspective of habits. What’s not working? What needs tweaking? We look at how we can fine tune. Often the fine tuning is obvious. One week, a client realizes he needs more of an outline. Another client needs to put the book first and say “no” to more “opportunities” that arise—often opportunities to help others at the expense of the book—which will help so many people when it comes out (sound familiar?).
  4. We come up with a list of the artistic questions that are coming up, questions about direction, process, readership, attitude, how to get into a state of flow, whether or not it’s a concern if the author hates some of the writing at this point in the process—you name it.
  5. I guide the writer in my “meet your muse” visualization exercise. We ask the questions of the muse. Oh, that Muse is wise!
  6. We come up with a plan for the next several days until our next coaching call.

The Weekly Book Writing Plan

We end our call with the book writing plan. We get very specific here, granular at times. The more specific, the smoother it tends to go. The more we can anticipate challenges, the more we can prevent problems from ever arising.

writers gratitude journal
Make a writing plan
  • When will you write (specific times each day) and for how long?
  • What will you work on during each writing session specifically?
  • What might come up to derail this plan (generally, as well as each day specifically) and what can you do to prevent that? For example, when people inevitably ask for your help, what will you automatically say no to? How will you say no? Do you need to practice it?
  • When will you send me work and what will you send?
  • What will you do to enter a state of flow and create ease and inspiration in the process? Can you create a writing ritual?

Be Your Own Book Writing Coach

I’m not trying to put myself out of a job as a book writing coach. It’s amazing to work with a coach who can guide you and provide support, accountability, wisdom. In fact, I work with a coach to guide me through my “Meet Your Muse” exercise because it’s hard to do it alone for myself.

But it’s not always possible to hire a book writing coach. Maybe you have a limited budget. Maybe you don’t feel ready.

You can, to an extent and at times, be your own book coach. Try the steps I’ve shared and make a weekly plan. Review the plan daily to make sure you’re on track. You may not be able to fulfill every step the way a book coach would, but you may find you make much greater progress than you did without a powerful process and a plan.

Let me know how it goes!

The joy of writing journal

Get Lisa’s New Book:

The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day

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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