Consider this – the first book you write may well not be the first book you thought you’d write. Before you start writing your first book just think about the possibility that the book that you’ve been wanting to write for years and years, might well be book number two or even three!Continue reading
When I work with clients who I’m Book Coaching, working with them to help them create their own writing projects, having an Author website is something I want to discuss pretty quickly regardless of what type of book they are writing. The people I’ve been working with most recently are writing books that range from Fiction, ‘How To’ guides, Mind Body Spirit Genre and Professional Non-Fiction.Continue reading
I remember when I first heard about the internet. “You mean you can go into any library?” I exclaimed to an equally excited deliverer of this great message. I could read any book in the world, wander into any library, talk to any person who was in this new cyber location and find out any piece of information that I wanted to know. I was after a hot date this with new WWW place!
It was the mid 1990’s and this ‘date’ was going to be coming to my home! Yes! In my own home, I could travel and read and explore my way around the world. The World Wide Web had lured me in and I was smitten!Continue reading
I imagine it would be hard to believe, possibly impossible, for you to be told that I struggle with talking about many of the things that I write about. Unimaginable that the person who writes about feelings, advocates that connecting with ourselves and then with each other through understanding and articulating how we feel and indeed writes continuously about such things, should be someone who would need to retreat into a cubby hole from time to time when I have spoken openly. I need some pretty hefty emotional self defence strategies!
Part Two – Behind The Scenes
Today I shall be exploring further this gentle process of working with emotional pain and long forgotten experiences giving a little insight into how I worked with the contributors for The Brightness of Stars and the importance of knowing how to ask the right questions.
It can be very frustrating speaking to someone about something so deeply personal when you have to fill in quite basic details and fill in lots of gaps. This tends to be the case when the person you are talking too does not have any knowledge or experience of what it is you are talking about. Now it’s important that you understand that I am not saying this in the context of raising awareness, or helping people make sense of something new or in discussions about any of the issues that I raise in the book (or any of my books). I mean talking to people who really ought to have undertaken their research such a journalists, counsellors, politicians or someone researching a topic for a book (that’ll be me in this instance then)!
Part One – Behind The Scenes
I’ve come to think of myself as a Story Teller. I want to tell you my story but more importantly, I want to help people tell theirs. Sometimes people think the collection of other people’s stories is easy and that people will just somehow disclose all their inner thoughts to the enquirer as if it were a cosy chat. But actually, it’s an incredibly delicate piece of work.
The Brightness of Stars is a collection of stories from adults who have been children in care in the UK. The majority of the contributors have not told their story before and it is possible, although I can only guess, that some of them may not tell it again.
So how have I managed to collect such private information from people who are in effect revisiting trauma in childhood? Essentially how do you ask people to ‘delve’ into a space that is private, internal and in the past against the backdrop of a life that is being lived now?
In working with people in workshops and through one to one coaching, there are a few questions that I am asked a lot specifically with regard to not only marketing my own books but also writing about such personal content.
A consistent query, always asked with a slight trepidation, is how do you feel about being so ‘out there’? This is often swiftly followed by ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I don’t want to market myself’ or ‘perhaps I could write under pseudonym.’
This fear of being exposed is essentially a fear of being judged which is sat squarely on top of the fear that we all have which is “I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” If I told you that we all have these fears, that they are not unique and are in fact universal, would that make you feel slightly better?
So here is what I tell them.Continue reading