COACHING

For many years now, I've offered coaching to published authors. I still do so--but on a very limited basis now.

I don't name names, though I am always grateful when clients pass the word to others about my work.

If you are interested, please contact me via email april.kihlstrom@gmail.com.

If I don't feel I can be of help, I say so before the person ever pays a penny.

My goal is to give you tools so you can use and adapt them whenever new challenges crop up in a way that writing enriches your life and you still get to do the things that matter most to you.

I am a big believer that our brains work best when we are feeling good about ourselves and believe in what we can do and when we are having fun.

Because I cannot coach everyone, I'm going to put some questions here to ask yourself that may help YOU figure out the answers you need. At the very least, it will be a starting point if you do contact me for coaching. Also, farther down the page see some of my suggestions for coping with the fear we writers so often feel about our writing.

QUESTIONS:

1) What brings you joy in life?

2) What do you love about writing?

3) What is your biggest challenge or road block when it comes to writing?

4) Brainstorm at least 3 possible solutions to question 3.

5) Repeat 3 and 4  if there are other major challenges or road blocks that get in the way of writing.

6) Brainstorm at least 3 ways to incorporate things you love and/or make you smile into EVERY writing day.

7) What do you love most about writing?

To help with the questions above, I'm going to list some suggestions I give all my coaching clients.

SUGGESTIONS:

1) I encourage everyone to make a list--as long a list as possible--of things that warm your heart and/or make you smile and EVERY DAY to do at least 3 to 5 things from that list. These may be things you already do but there is power in consciously choosing to do them as a gift to yourself. And on your worst days, do even more of the things from your list!

It's proof to yourself that no matter what, you have the power to--even if it's only for a moment--make yourself feel better and smile.

It also builds your emotional resilience so you can better cope with whatever challenges are going on in your life.

2) I encourage everyone to make a list--as long a list as possible--of successes you've had in your life.

You can pull it out and look at it any time you feel overwhelmed or as if you can't do something. It's evidence--proof!--to yourself that you CAN overcome challenges, you CAN do things. It may sound silly but it WILL help.

Note: I strongly suggest actually writing down both lists because the moments you need them most will be the precise moments it will be hardest for you to remember anything on either list. But mentally doing the exercise is certainly better than not doing it at all!



DEALING WITH FEAR OF WRITING:

In one form or another,Ialmost every writer I know deals with fear at some point in their writing life. It's what makes Book In A Week so powerful--you write as fast as you can NEVER looking back or rereading until the end of the week and/or ideally the end of the first draft. You don't get any feed back, you don't second guess yourself, it's a race to the finish line. It's out running your fear because fear is paralyzing. 

Ironically, the longer we write and the better writers we become, the more likely we are to be hit by this paralysis--because now we KNOW enough to spot our own flaws--or what FEEL like flaws in our writing. Here are some of the suggestions I often make when coaching fellow writers:

BEFORE sitting down to write:

1) Make your writing space comfortable--put things there that make you smile

2) Set up a reward for after you meet a goal--whatever that goal might be

3) Surround your writing area with evidence of ways you have succeeded in life (extra points if it's writing success but every success counts)

4) Set a timer and set it for five minutes less than the point at which you usually start to panic (this may take practice to figure out but you are, in essence, reprogramming your brain to associate success with writing)

When sitting down to write:

1) Close your eyes

2) Smile--literally smile it changes your emotional state

3) Remember the very best moment you've ever had writing--only when you clearly remember the feeling do you open your eyes and start to write

AFTER the first draft is done:

1) Set it aside for at least 24 to 48 hours

2) Go PLAY!!!

3) Reward yourself--the act of completing a book is something special and you want your brain to associate that with a reward

4) After 48 hours sit down and do a quick read through--as if it was a book you bought off the shelf and DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES!!!!! I can't stress that strongly enough. Keep reading! Make notes in a notebook of things you THINK you might want to change but keep reading. Why:
      a) You want to see the overall patterns
      b) You get to see the BEST of what you wrote and that will encourage you and give you goals for the rest. 
      c) You get a global overview which gives you a much better starting point for making changes that will work well for your book