Tag Archives | coaching

Fall Planning, A Special Offer and Off I Go

I’ve been working hard getting clients set for my absence while I’m in France, and I’ve found myself with a bit of time this week. And so I’ve been planning. If there’s one thing I love to do in this life, it is to plan.  Give me a calendar or a planner or a workbook or a template and I’m a happy camper.

When I get home, I’ll have three months left to make my mark on this year. Three short months! And I’ve got tons I want to write, novels, books, blog posts and newsletters.  So in order to accomplish it all, I’m going to need to be organized.  Hence the planning. (Never mind that sometimes I get so enraptured with my planning that I never get to the actual action-taking.)

But here’s the deal.  In all that planning, I know the unexpected will happen. Like people wanting to hire me.  And so I had an idea. (Those are my husband’s most dreaded words in all the world, by the way. Because when I utter them it usually means he’ll be moving furniture or painting walls or digging up a garden bed to create a sculpture garden.) What if I could get an idea who might want to work with me now, to aid me in my planning.

Just think, in the final three months of this year, you could:

–Write the first draft of a novel (Nanowrimo is coming right up)

–Start a blog

–Write and submit article and essay ideas

–Complete a couple of short stories or a novella

–Write a book proposal

The sky’s the limit! Wouldn’t it be great to end this year on a high note, knowing you’ve accomplished your biggest goals? (Because if you are like me, writing is always the biggest goal.)

So, in order to entice you to sign up  and pay, I’m offering a special deal. I’ll add in one session to my one-month package, which brings the total to five sessions, and I’ll add in two session to my three-month, paid-in-advance sessions, bringing the total to 14 freaking sessions! Geez, people, this is  smoking hot deal.

And yes, you are correct, there is a catch.  Because I don’t want to worry about administrative things while I’m in France, to take advantage of this offer, you need to sign up by the end of Labor Day weekend.  That’s midnight, Pacific time on September 5th.  And here’s the other catch: I’m not going to have time to chat with you beforehand. We can communicate via email, but no phone calls. Oh, and one more catch, which is that our coaching will begin in October.

But you can use the sessions any time you want, over as long as you want. And we can work on whatever you want. (For the record, each session is one phone call and me reading up to 20 pages of your work).

Here are the pay buttons. I look forward to working with you!

Three months coaching + two bonus sessions for $1200



One month coaching + one bonus session for $450


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Guest Post, Book Launch: How Getting Coached Saved My Sanity

I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend Lisa, a fellow Portlander.  Her fabulous debut mystery, Kilmoon, A County Clare Mystery, just released last week.  She's got an interesting take on how to get organized for a book launch.  Take it away, Lisa!

Book Launches: How Getting Coached Saved My Sanity Kilmoon_72dpi

by Lisa Alber

My debut novel, Kilmoon, A County Clare Mystery, came out on March 18th, and if anyone six months previously had told me how nuts the ten weeks before launch would be, I would have shrugged. No biggie.

Uh-huh, right. Come to find out that I have two things going against me when it comes to being a coolly together person:

* I suck at long-term planning and nit-picky organizational tasks.

* I’m a tad neurotic so I get overwhelmed and stressed out easily.

I managed to sail along in the land of delusion until January 1st hit, and then I panicked. I had less than three months until Kilmoon launched. How was I to begin the process of organizing myself, much less actually accomplishing tasks? I didn’t know where to start.

The extent to which I suck at organizational tasks and time management is outstanding. I really am a seat-of-the-pants, wing-it kind of person. But, and this is a big but, if you want to launch your novel with any kind of buzz at all, whether you’re self-publishing or going traditional, you have to have your shite together.

Lisa Romeo, my coach, specializes in writers. Hallelujah! The first thing she had me do was break down the zillions of to-dos zinging through my brain into five categories. These are your primary goals for the book launch. Priorities are good! For example, you might have:

1. Blog tour / book tour

2. Launch party

3. Newsletter/mailing list

4. Promotional giveaways (Goodreads, LibraryThing, Facebook parties, Twitter chats, etcetera)

5. Appearances and conferences

For each category, brainstorm every task you can think of. Go for it. No need to be organized yet. Remember that tasks often have sub-tasks, which have sub-tasks. List them all.

Here are some other tips and tricks that kept me sane:

1. Print out a separate calendar just for book launch tasks and then plan backwards. If you know when you want your launch party, then what are the goals leading up to that? Note the sub-task deadlines. Seeing the tasks visually was so helpful for me. This especially helped me keep track of deadlines for guest posts (blog tour category).

2. White board! I set mine up in the living room where I could see it every time I passed by. For each category, I’d list the tasks for that week. I’d get these tasks from my calendar and also my brainstormed task lists.

3. Each Sunday, look over your lists, revise your priorities as needed, and write out your next tasks for the coming week. You might find that creating a mailing list and a newsletter can wait until after the launch. Perhaps developing a new website has become more important. This is OK!

4. Cheat a little. There are always more tasks that come up along the way. I added another column on my white board for “miscellaneous.” This column might include random tasks such as updating your Facebook banner to include your cover art or ordering bookmarks.

5. Be realistic about how much time you have to devote to book launch tasks. You can’t do everything. This lesson was one of the best things I got out of coaching: let stuff go. I was batty enough as it was without trying to be Ms. Perfect Book Launch Mama.

6. Give yourself a mental high-five when you cross a task off your list. You’re doing it!

I’m here to tell you that if I can make it through launch, then you can too. I’ve found that most people are either less charmingly neurotic than I am, or more organized—that is, most have an automatic heads up on me. But I survived! And, my launch went well too.

You’ll learn some things about yourself along the way. I learned that I suck at follow-through and quick decision-making, but, hey, that’s OK. I’ll factor that in for the next launch. Next time, I’ll hire a coach four months ahead of time. That should do the trick, don’t you think?

About Kilmoon.

Merrit Chase travels to Ireland to meet her father, a celebrated matchmaker, in hopes that she can mend her troubled past. Instead, her arrival triggers a rising tide of violence, and Merrit finds herself both suspect and victim, accomplice and pawn, in a manipulative game that began thirty years previously. When she discovers that the matchmaker’s treacherous past is at the heart of the chaos, she must decide how far she will go to save him from himself—and to get what she wants, a family.

“Brooding, gothic overtones haunt Lisa Alber’s polished, atmospheric debut. Romance, mysticism, and the verdant Irish countryside all contribute to making KILMOON a marvelous, suspenseful read.” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Through the Evil Days

“This first in Alber’s new County Clare Mystery series is utterly poetic … The author’s prose and lush descriptions of the Irish countryside nicely complement this dark, broody and very intricate mystery.” —RT Book Reviews (four stars)


Lisa_new_edit_color300dpi_optLisa Alber received an Elizabeth George Foundation writing grant based on Kilmoon. Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging round out her distractions. Lisa lives in the Pacific Northwest. Kilmoon is her first novel.

You can find Lisa at: website | Facebook | Twitter | blog

How about you?  Have you ever used a coach for any aspect of your writing career? Please comment!

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Slightly Odd Critiquing Terms

A client mis-interpreted a suggestion I made for her this week, and it got me thinking about some of the critiquing terms I use, which at times are slightly odd.  And since this is a blog about writing but most of the time I write about mindset, motivation, and inspiration, I thought it might be nice to actually do a post about something writing-ish. Pencil-coloured-note-9236-l

So here's a list of common phrases and words I use when critiquing:

1.  Fleshing out.  As in, put more flesh on it.  Add some heft.  Expand the scene or description or dialogue.  Make it come alive so I can see it.  Interestingly, we generally think that revising is a process of paring away.  I find most often it is a process of adding on. 

2.  Mount on the page.  God, I hope the spiders don't assume this is a porn page.  Anyway, when I talk about mounting on the page it means you have not given me the full picture yet.   The scene is no doubt alive and well in your head, but you haven't gotten all the elements to the page yet.  Similar to #1.

3.  Root in scene.  Have you ever read a manuscript where there's lots of action and dialogue but you have no idea where the characters actually are?  This is another common problem.  The fix is to go back to the location through a line of description or action every so often.  Such as, "She set the glass down on the table."  Just one line here and there can help to root the reader in the scene.

4.  G.D.  No, its not a swear word, its an abbreviation for Go Deeper.  You need to get in to the paragraph and pull it apart.  Really get to the meaning of it.  Enter the spaces between the sentences and find out what's going on.

5.  Make scene.  This is just what it sounds like.  You've probably had a long thread of narrative going and now you need you some scene.  Put the characters in action in real time, like something you'd see on a movie screen.  And now you have yourself a scene.  It is the difference between showing and telling.  Readers like showing much better.

So those are my top five critiquing phrases.  What words and phrases do you use?  Which ones have you come across?

Photo by JR3.

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Coaching Packages

You have a passionate idea. Light_bulb_lamp_266884_l

And a plan to turn that passionate idea into a published piece.  Maybe a book?  An article?  How about a blog?

Your passionate idea burns like an unquenchable fire within. You want to write so badly you can taste it.  You want to share your thoughts with the world.  Except, you still:

  • Don’t have time
  • Don’t have the will to make the time
  • Are fearful about what happens on the page when you do make time
  • Need clarity on how to put the idea together
  • Finally make time but can’t put words on the page

Or any number of variations on the themes of procrastination, and fear.  You feel confusion, puzzlement, longing and desire.  And when these feelings overwhelm you, you do what you’ve done every other time: give up.  And the words stay locked inside.

Isn’t it time to try something different?

Maybe what you need is a writing coach.  Maybe what you need is me.

My coaching takes a two-pronged approach, focusing on teaching you the elements of good writing and, equally important techniques to foster a constant flow of creativity.  Let me tell you, the latter is nearly as important as the former, because if you can’t manage to get your butt planted in front of the computer, all the gorgeous word styling in the world is not going to get you anywhere. 

But with me to poke, prod, support, cheer, teach, mentor, rejoice, and otherwise assist you with your writing you’ve got a damn good shot making the words happen.  Together we can:

  • Get you started on a book or project
  • Get clarity on organization
  • Get a book outlined
  • Get a draft written
  • Get a manuscript revised
  • Get a stalled project jump-started
  • Get you going on a writing career
  • Get you writing and submitting articles or stories
  • Get a blog up and running
  • Get you going on a new income stream
  • Get you started on creating the business of your dreams
  • Get you going on a deeply satisfying writing practice
  • All of the above

If you’ve got a passionate idea for a book or blog but you are not currently working on it, or making the progress you would like, isn’t it time to move forward?

If you’re ready to quit dallying and get started on your dreams, check out my coaching packages:

Begin An Inspired Writing Practice

Feel the urge to write, but never quite seem to get to it?  Know that its part of you are and why you’re here to write, but don’t know how to get started.  This package is the answer to your dreams. I’ll help you figure out what to write, how to write it, and brainstorm where and when you’ll write it.

Start Your Novel

Yearning to write a novel?  I’m your gal!  My novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior, will be published in 2013, and before this novel I’ve written two others.  I’ve learned alot about what you need to do to prep to write a novel along the way.

Month-to-Month Coaching

Not sure which coaching package is for you?  I also offer month to month coaching.

Get Your Writing in Gear Session

Need a quick boost?  This one-hour session with me is the answer.  Get your writing in gear!

VIP Day

Spend the day with me and get your entire writing project mapped out!

Question?  Email me at charlotte@charlotterainsdixon.com and let’s talk.

 

Check out these packages today! If you have questions, feel free to email me at charlotte@charlotterainsdixon.com for more information.