Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Be Your Own Writing Coach!
I love applying self-help techniques to my writing, as writing is inevitably entangled with my perceptions, attitudes and emotions. So I was thrilled to discover Coach Yourself to Writing Success by Bekki Hill, who has done all the hard work and provides strategies I can directly apply to writing. Bekki Hill is a life coach who specializes in working with writers - and it shows.
The book is chock-full of excellent advice and fantastic ideas. It's split into 3 sections, which cover pretty much any writing problem you might encounter:
1. Building the foundations of success
2. Motivation and creativity
It's designed so that you can turn straight to specific problems easily, often cross-referencing other parts of the book that might be helpful. However, I read it cover to cover and it flows well from dealing with the big issues of forging a writing career to coping with specific problems.
My favourite exercise is the writer's timeline. You write your goal at the end of the time line and past/present achievements near the beginning, then figure out the steps you need to take to get you there. You can leave some of the timeline blank, but Hill says it's most useful to fill in at least 2 thirds.
I found this motivating and it helped me to clarify my writing goals and what I need to achieve on the way to reaching them. I've always written down my goals, but have noticed that I often feel a disconnect between the goals and the writing I'm currently working on. The timeline shows the connection explicitly - and I tend to think visually, which makes it doubly effective.
I may revisit this book on the blog in future, since it's so rich with information, and I fully recommend it. It's provided me with much-needed guidance at a time when I feel adrift, having finished my MA and not being enrolled on a course of any kind for the first time in 5 years. If you want more info, Bekki Hill's website is www.thewritecoach.co.uk and you can follow her on Twitter: @bekkiwritecoach