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?

 

Image credit: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Why I love laser coaching

I was thinking yesterday about the laser coaching call-in hours I hold twice a month and why I love them so much. Even on days when no one calls in, I feel good about holding the space for people to get their questions answered. And the days when many people call in are tons of fun.

See, I love answering questions.

Whether it’s about how to get a blog set up, design a marketing campaign, get unstuck with your writing, develop your creative skills, or master your high sensitivity, I adore helping people solve problems. Giulietta once called me an “intuitive troubleshooter,” which is darned accurate. I seem to have a knack for solving problems and I love doing it.

What is laser coaching?

Laser coaching is particularly fun because we have a short time set aside for each person, about 10 minutes (hence the name “laser,” which implies highly focused). I hold call in hours — a bit like office hours on a college campus — where people call in and talk to me privately to get my take on the particular challenge.

How we accomplish so much

Although many people doubt what can be accomplished in 10 minutes, they are surprised by what we’re able to get done.

Here’s the reason.

When my clients know that we’ll be working efficiently, they (usually) come prepared with specific questions that we can answer rapid fire. Even if it’s something deeply personal, we’re able to crack the shell open to see what’s inside. And sometimes I think people feel safer knowing we’ll only have a short time to address something; they know they can come back to it when they’re ready.

On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of clients “show up” for laser coaching without a specific question. Those conversations are just as fruitful in most cases, because even if my client doesn’t have something specific on their mind, usually there is something lurking around beneath the surface that 1) they aren’t aware of, or 2) they are discounting as not being a “good enough” topic for laser coaching. (There’s no such thing, in my book.)

Your turn

What is something you just LOVE doing and have a knack for? How could you create more of that in your life experience? Let us know in the comments.

Right now, I’m brainstorming about more ways I can create opportunities for me to answer your questions because it really is a ton of fun.

Have a lovely day!

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

 

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

~> October 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. SOLD OUT. http://LifePurposeBreakthrough.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* STILL!

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my son. Just watched Veep, and eagerly awaiting more Weeds.

 

* Affiliate link

 

 

When “One Size Fits All” Doesn’t Fit For You

If you’re an artistic type — a writer, painter, poet, songwriter — an empathic, spiritual healer type, or a scanner with lots of passions and interests, you’re not one who’s likely to thrive with a “one size fits all” approach to developing yourself and your work in the world.

Personally, I’ve found that as an artistic, empathic, sensitive, creative being, I do best when I have the opportunity to work with a coach or mentor who will find ways to work with me rather than expecting me to fit inside a specific box or program.

There are so many opportunities out there right to grow and develop your work, it can be overwhelming to decide how to invest your precious time, energy, and money.

Here are a few suggestions I’ll make:

  • Look for people to work with that you admire on a deep level. It’s easy to be swept up in the glamor of what people SAY they are doing. Use your intuitive radar to look beneath the surface to look for a match on integrity, honesty, commitment, and forthrightness in the people you choose to work with as well as looking at what their previous customers have to say about them.
  • Look for mentors who “get” you. There’s nothing more important than working with someone who understands you, what makes you tick, and your vision as much as possible. For me, that looks like working with a mentor who understands what it’s like to be highly sensitive and empathic, who truly likes me and what I stand for, and who “gets” what it’s like to be bright and creative with a million ideas a minute.
  • Look for mentors with expertise and a proven track record in what you are wanting to accomplish. You’ll have a much better chance of success when you work with someone who has been where you want to go. Your mentor only needs to be a few key steps ahead of you to make a valuable difference in what you are up to.
  • Invest at a level that is high enough to motivate you into action but not so high that you put yourself and your future in jeopardy. I’ve seen so many of my colleagues and friends over-invest in high level programs that don’t pay off as fast as they hoped they would, and while some will tell you that investing highly can stretch you into playing a bigger game, it can also be paralyzing if the investment is too out of reach for you financially. Also keep in mind the long term value of the investment in your life as you make a decision.
  • If you work privately at a higher level with someone, choose a mentor who will craft a custom-designed process or program for you that addresses your specific concerns and challenges in a way that feels accurately and highly aligned with what you are facing. Especially at a high-level, “one size fits all” is rarely the right strategy. We are all at different points along the path to our creative destiny so it doesn’t make sense to start at the same place as everyone else.
  • If you choose to work with someone in a group program for cost reasons, make the point to choose a mentor you have a strong resonance with and who has their feet on the ground, not with someone who is promising you the stars. Look for carefully selected groups that kick off with everyone being at about the same starting point.
  • Be willing to dig deep. It’s easy to want to jump to implementation (as I know all too well!), but spending time on the essence and deep think of what you are doing will save you time in the long run. Choose mentors who will go deep with you, hold you to that deeper truth and the big vision, as well as support you to put in the elbow grease and take the nitty-gritty, practical implementation actions to see it through to the end.
  • Last, don’t invest in anything unless you are seriously committed to making it happen. Spending the money does NOT guarantee the results. It won’t do a lick of good if you don’t have the time, energy, and discipline to see it through.

Your Turn

I’d love to hear from you about:

  • What this sparks for you?
  • How can you apply this in your own life?

 

Coming Attractions

~> July & August. Doing Creative Destiny Assessments with visionary creatives ready to claim their creative destiny. Details coming soon.

~> August 4th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. There’s ONE spot left. Details. If you’re interested in the next group (probably in September), email my team here and we’ll add you to the list.

~> September. Beta-testing my new writer’s accountability system with a select group. Stay tuned for more info.

 


~> MONDAYS. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey.

~> FRIDAYS. Sacred writing days. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Daydreaming about going to Comic-Con next week and getting an autograph from Nathan Fillion. #imsuchageek

~> Re-reading the entire Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin so I’ll remember what the heck is going on when I get to “A Dance With Dragons” (can’t wait).

~> Vacationing with my family in August (at least part of it!).