Tag Archives | writing 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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Working With a Writing Group, Writing Coach, or Beta Readers

Everystockphoto_152132_mSo, the time has come to get some feedback on your writing.

You've worked hard on this novel, committing to a regular writing schedule to get it done, and you've rewritten and revised until it is shiny like a precious jewel.

Or, so you think.  But who can be sure until your cherished gem has seen the light of day?  What you need are other readers to weigh in on your work.  Every writer can benefit from letting trusted readers look at their work before starting the submitting process.

Your Options

There are several ways you can approach finding readers for your writing:

1.  Take a class.  Many community colleges offer extension classes in writing, and lots of writers also teach privately.  Refer to the Google to locate classes that suit you. Classes can be a great way to learn, but the format may not allow a lot of personal attention for your writing.

2.  Join a writing group.  Critique groups abound!  Many of them are quite good and can be very helpful to your career–my novel would not have been published without the input of my group!  These groups will meet on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, and read short excerpts each session. It may take you a few tries to find the right one for you, but keep at it.

3.  Send it out to beta readers.  Many writers prefer to get an idea of how the whole book reads–and thus will select trusted beta readers to send their novel to.  You can find beta readers through friends, family members, and other writers. 

4.  Hire a coach.  Working one-on-one with a mentor or a coach can be a fabulous way to get feedback on your work and light a fire to write in your belly.  Each coach will work in a slightly different manner, and most will happily schedule a time to discuss their practices with you.

Okay, so you've decided on one of these options.  What should you expect? How can you best get ready for this new stage of your writing?

How to Prepare

1.  Investigate your commitment.  You've successfully written, so obviously you're committed to the craft.  But are you truly committed to learning the most that you possibly can about your work?  Are you ready to take the time that any of these options will require? 

2.  Be ready to listen.  In many MFA workshops, the format requires the person whose work is being discussed to sit quietly without making any comments herself.  No defending, not rationalizing, no ifs and buts.  Even if your group or coach or class does not require this, its a good rule of thumb–you might miss some good points if you're busy talking about your work.

3.  Maintain an open mind.  Your initial reaction to the feedback might be negative, but it can be difficult to listen to criticism, however well-intentioned of your work. Try to stay open to the suggestions others give you.  In the moment, you may not like them, but back at your desk you might just see some value there.

4.  Don't let emotions cloud your vision. Emotions easily get in the way.  No matter what anybody says, our writing is personal–very personal.  And when someone is picking it apart, it can feel like your baby is being destroyed.  Remember, if you've found the right group, class or coach, they have your writing's best interests at heart.

5.  Be ready to step it up.  Any one of these options will result in an increased clarity on the page.  Be prepared to improve your writing.  Be prepared to learn all kinds of things about yourself, too!

Which way do you choose to share your work?  What do you like or not like about it?  Please comment!

Photo by clarita.

 

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Question, Question, You’ve Got Writing Questions? I’ve Got Answers

Question-trade-world-11479-lI had a brainstorm yesterday. 

As is my wont (for some reason I absolutely love that phrase), I was visiting my usual haunts on the internet, among them the Pioneer Woman's blog.  And there I found that she is putting on her advice columnist hat and answering questions about reader's problems.

And the thought occurred that I could do the same thing.  Only about writing.  Or getting inspired to write.  Or maintaining a writing practice.  Or my upcoming classes.  Or my coaching.  Or any of the gazillion things we talk about on this blog.

So, here's the deal.  If you have a question about an aspect of writing, write it out in the comments below.   Make sure you're signed up so your name and blog name appear so I can give you a shout-out, and why don't you throw in a bit about what you're working on?  (If you'd rather be anonymous, send me your question via email with Writing Question in the subject line so I don't miss it.)

I'll gather up your questions and do my best to answer them, starting next week.  If I've got a long answer, it'll make up one post.  Short answers will be grouped.  And if I don't know the answer to something, I'll do my best to steer you to a resource that will.

So come on, now.  Don't be shy.  What are your writing questions?

 

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Coaching Package Sale

Quick heads up–I'm having a two-day sale on my three-month, paid-in-advance coaching package.  If ever you're considered hiring a writing coach, this is the time to do it, because I'm offering the packages for half off.

You can visit the sale page to learn more about it.

Just think, in three months, you could have a book proposal done, or a great start on a book.  Or a blog up and running.  The sky is the limit, truly!  So go check it out and sign up before this great deal expires.

 

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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.

Should You Hire A Ghostwriter or Write It Yourself?

Of all the things that I do, ghostwriting seems to garner the most interest.  Recently, Twitter and blogging buddy Patrick Ross mentioned in a comment that he'd like to hear more about it.  (He also passed along the Stylish Blogger award.  Thanks, Patrick!) So here you go.

In this post, I'm going to look at the difference between hiring a ghostwriter or writing the book yourself, perhaps with some coaching along the way.  In general, I'm a huge fan of writing the book yourself. Dcist_ghost_halloween_391239_l

Why do I believe this?

Because even though it is a ghostwriter's job to enter the head of the client and write like he or she would, the most authentic voices still come from the client himself.   But sometimes writing it yourself just isn't possible.  So let's consider when you might want to hire a ghostwriter:

  • When you don't have time to write it yourself
  • When you don't have the inclination to write it yourself
  • When you know you hate writing
  • When you realize that your time could better be spent on other aspects of your business
  • When the subject you want to write about is way out of your area of expertise

Most political books are ghostwritten.  (Do you really think Sarah Palin or Al Gore has the time to write a book?  I actually have a passing acquaintance with the guy who helped Al with his book, help being a euphenism for doing all the work.) Some self-help books are ghostwritten.  (Again, can you picture Dr. Phil sitting down to write his very own little book?) And even some novels are ghostwritten.  (It was widely rumored that Margaret Truman's mysteries were ghostwritten.  And then you you have authors like what's his name, um….the guy who write the Alex Cross mysteries–Jame Patterson!  He has a whole stable of writers who churn out crap books for him.)

But you, my dear friend or client, are different.  You have a passionate idea inside you that your long to express into the world for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps you have a business you want to promote, or you desire to begin a speaking career.  Perhaps you are looking for a career change, or in loftier ambitions, have an idea that will change the world.  So have a book inside you that needs to come out.

And while it may be tempting to hire a ghostwriter, I believe that you have the chops to do it yourself.  Consider this:

  • Ghostwriting is labor-intensive and so it is expensive. 
  • There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your name on the cover of a book–and knowing you wrote it yourself.
  • Writing a book probably isn't nearly as difficult as you've made it out to be in that fertile brain of yours.

For some lucky reason, I think that book-writing is not only fun, but easy.  I think this harks back to my days in elementary school, when there was nothing I loved better than getting assigned a school report on a country, or a planet, or even something as simple as a bird.  I couldn't wait to find out what topic I'd be assigned, and once I found out, I sprinted to the library to start researching.  Love writing those reports.  And today I love writing books.

But I believe you can write your book yourself.  And that you can actually enjoy doing it.  I know, I know.  But trust me, it is possible.  

Because this post went in a slightly different direction than I first intended, and got long at the same time, I think I'll do another post on the same topic, slightly different focus, looking at ghostwriting more from the writer's side of things.

In the meantime, if I've convinced you to write the book yourself, I am offering a telelclass on Book Proposals That Succeed, and the early-bird pricing ends this Friday.  Check it out here.

 Photograph by katmere from Everystockphoto.com

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