Is It Time For a Writing Coach? – on the Final Draft blog

This week I’ve written a piece for the Final Draft blog about working with a writing coach. Sometimes you really need someone on your team to help navigate the challenges, decisions, and process. This week’s article talks about some of the times you might need that kind of assistance and what you can expect to get out of it.

“Coaching works because it’s all about you. When you connect with what you really want and why – and take action – magical things can happen.”
Emma-Louise Elsey

Sometimes you need help to make writing happen, solve a story problem, or sort out the next steps in your screenwriting career. One of the most powerful reasons to work with a writing coach is to have someone on your team — someone to turn to when the going gets tough, to support you to do the work, to help you make smart (and sometimes tough) choices, or even to celebrate the victories with.

When you’re in the market for a writing coach, you’ll want to think about what you most need. Do you need someone who will provide emotional support? Offer accountability? Help you solve story issues? Navigate career management with you? Help you hone your pitching skills? All of the above?

Think about what you’re hoping to accomplish and use those goals as criteria for interviewing possible coaches to work with. And keep in mind that not every coach will offer all things (and perhaps should not, in the interest of specializing), so you may find that you rely on different coaches for different aspects or stages of your writing and career.

For examples of some situations where working with a writing coach could be the difference between staying stuck and moving forward with confidence, read the article on the Final Draft blog here:
Is It Time For a Writing Coach?

 

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5 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome — on the Final Draft blog

 

“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now.
I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’ ”

—Maya Angelou

This week I’ve written a piece for the Final Draft blog about impostor syndrome. It can be paralyzing, and it stops us from stepping fully into actualizing our goals and visions for our lives, if we let it. I hope you find my thoughts on how to move forward with your writing even when you might be feeling like an impostor helpful.

5 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever feel like an impostor? Like you’re receiving credit or accolades or attention for something you haven’t earned or don’t deserve? That maybe luck or error has gotten you to where you are? Or that perhaps you’ve been cheating your way through life, and you’re on the verge of being found out or called out at any moment for being a fraud, a fake, undeserving, or under-qualified?

If so, you’re not alone.

Turns out, many (maybe even most of us) feel this way, and often. This is what we call “impostor syndrome.” It can be paralyzing, and it stops us from stepping fully into actualizing our goals and visions for our lives, if we let it. After all, if we don’t believe we deserve our dreams, it’s hard to take action on them.

For thoughts on how to move forward with your writing even when you might be feeling like an impostor, read the article on the Final Draft blog here:
5 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

 

“I don’t know whether other authors feel it, but I think quite a lot do – that I’m pretending to be something that I’m not, because even nowadays, I do not quite feel as though I am an author.” 
—Agatha Christie

 

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How to Thrive While Receiving Feedback On Your Script — on the Final Draft Blog

This week I’ve written a piece for the Final Draft blog about thriving while receiving feedback, which can often be emotionally perilous. I hope you find it helpful.

“You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.”
― Ed Catmull

Receiving quality feedback on your screenplay is an invaluable step in the process of crafting a story that works. Youre only able to see so much about whats working and whats not working when youre deep inside a story. Getting a fresh look from an outsiders perspective can reveal the places where your script isnt measuring up to your vision of what you want it to be.

At the same time, receiving feedback can feel fraught with emotional peril. Youve poured hours into crafting this story, and notes that take it apart feel like theyll take you apart too. The antidote is strengthening your feedback-receiving muscles. This is a skill you can grow into, and a critical one that will serve you for the entirety of your writing career. 

For ways to make receiving feedback less painful and more valuable,
read the article on the Final Draft blog here:
Don’t Take It Personally — How to Thrive While Receiving Feedback On Your Script

 

 
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7 Creative Strategies to Survive Distance Learning and Keep Writing This Fall — on the Final Draft blog

Last week I wrote a piece for the Final Draft blog about 7 creative strategies to survive distance learning AND keep writing this fall.

Like many parents, school is majorly on my mind right now, so I’ve been thinking about how best to work with the situation as best I can. One thing I didn’t include in the article (and maybe should have) was how my husband and I are already dividing up the week into a split schedule so we each have solid chunks of protected work time. We’ll adapt that more as we move into the school season. 

“The goal is simply to move forward. The goal is to progress, however slowly, in a productive direction. It is the realization that this is, now more than ever, a game of inches and not of miles.”
Chuck Wendig

With many school districts here in the U.S. planning to open this fall with “full distance” or “hybrid” learning in short order, many writer-parents are anxiously wondering how to keep working their day jobs — let alone keep writing and preserve our well-being — on top of being full-time educators. (And even if you’re not in the U.S., let’s face it: writing and parenting always requires creative planning to pull off, so hopefully this is useful to you, too.)

As someone who has been working from home since 2002 (I’ve kept my business running through my two boys’ early childhoods; they’re now 6 and 12), I’ve come into this situation knowing firsthand how frustrating it can be to try to eke out time and space for work and writing in the midst of taking care of children. And managing distance learning only complicates the care.

Having said that, I also know it’s possible to continue to write, even when pressed for time, energy, and mental bandwidth.

Let me share with you a few things I’ve learned over the years.

Read the article on the Final Draft blog here —> 7 Creative Strategies to Survive “Distance Learning” and Keep Writing This Fall

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