A Writing Coach's Credo

As a Writing Coach and Catalyst, I use each interaction I have with you to leave you feeling supported, to instill confidence and ultimately help you accomplish your writing goals. With gentle candor and honesty and compassion, in tandem with my self-confidence and writing experience I will earn your trust and establish rapport, so that critique and suggestions are given in a positive and insightful way that will be “heartfelt”, “heard/read” and understood.

I believe, what is “understood” can be integrated more rapidly than what is “resisted” or confusing. I first and always check in to find out how YOU (all of YOU) is feeling and what pressures or deadlines you may be operating under. Acknowledgement of what is going on is key; it naturally reduces tension and creates an environment where work can be done productively and confidence can be cultivated.

I believe effective communication to be a learned skill that can be cultivated at every age.

And some people seem naturally better at certain skills, but REMEMBER, initially we all were taught spelling, basic grammar and the guidelines for effective communication (and hopefully by a kind teacher or two).

It is the years of enthusiastic practice and commitment that have made me a better writer and a more intuitive writing coach.

It is my intention to convey in a gentle and direct way to you, I see you as capable, resourceful and creative. My hope would be that this as the foundation for our dialogue alleviates some of the stress or frustration of “writer’s block” or a deadline you are up against. And if you do not consider yourself a strong writer, I would suggest with heartfelt sincerity that a strong writer resides within you and to welcome that in or welcome it back in.

And if, for example, you asserted that spelling was not your strength, I would ask what resources did you rely upon when writing and editing: A dictionary, thesaurus, an easy guide to grammar? Love Spellcheck and Celebrate its existence in Word! Bookmark your favorite online resources! And let’s agree to one last proofread or one by a trusted editor in a friend or spouse? I will always offer resources and share best practices of my own also.

The idea of a constructive critique in my mind begins with asking what does one think they have already done well and what is good? And then we add to that list what I as the writing coach see is strong and effective. And next ask what needs improving and what concerns you? With awareness, you can only become a better writer.

I believe focusing on the positives present will allow for learning to occur more easily in areas that need refinement. A confident writer, who trusts they have the basics in place, and has an editing practice to catch the last typos and grammar issues may take more risks and stretch themselves creatively—and have more fun writing in the process. There will be more natural energy to do so.

The coaching model as a means to improve writing skills will inspire more natural enthusiasm for assignments and everyday writing, I believe.

Here is the theory that I agree with entirely:

What is my idea and my choice, on my timeline, is a set of actions I will be far more committed to and follow through on consistently and with more passion and enthusiasm. I will push myself and hold myself accountable. THIS HOLDS TRUE FOR YOU AS WELL.

I am here for you to instill confidence and inspire commitment to best practices for improving writing for business or pleasure.

As the avid writer that I am, I truly look forward to supporting you and the writing you wish to do. Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you as you create great writing designed by you.

Passions and Possibilities: What's Love Got to do with IT? Everything!

Dear Sue Zeal Oliver of Passions and Possibilities:

Thank you for having me on the show today to talk of Passions, Possibilities and Love.

I had a most delicious time dialoguing with you over what felt like a virtual cup of tea.

You have a way of showcasing people that is completely honoring.

Now I realize I am doubly blessed to be co-authoring a book with you that showcases the stories of over a dozen of the 100s of Passioneers you have interviewed in the past two years. Your dedication to interviewing your passioneers week after week is inspiring. Showing up like you do alone is motivating thought.

And we all benefit from the wonderful library of dialogues you are creating and maintaining. Conversations filled with hope, inspiratiion and vibrancy (one of your favorite words for good reason!)

Oddly I felt most nervous at the end of the call??? I wonder why…No matter.

My days of radio dj’ing came flowing back to me and to imagine the message that we c-created as we dialogued might be just what someone needs to here…

Now that is what I am all about.

I’m looking forward to tuning into the podcast and archived audio file for quite frankly I remember most of wh\at I shared, but I bet a nugget or two got overlooked and isn’t playback GREAT.

http://tinyurl.com/authenticwritingprovokes

If you missed the live interview and wish to hear it, the link above will get you there.

May you gentle reader at large be blessed with having the ability to pursue your passions as the livelihood of choice.

Deborah

Social Media, Technology, Writing, Living and the Luddite in Me

“What prompts a person to be writing on their blog on a quiet Sunday afternoon?”, this person asks herself…

This fresh post is inspired by a friend who attended a conference in Seattle: Chris Pirillo hosted his 10th and “final” Gnomedex Conference in Seattle this weekend apparently? While I did not attend myself, a close friend did and shared this initial report that I find noteworthy:

Gnomedex exceeded my expectations. The diversity of subject matter, where the Geek stuff was actually pretty toned down, was fascinating. A couple speakers pushed into the transcendent spheres, speaking of trust and integrity. What one forgets is that Geeks are generally bright in many areas besides their core technical expertise. The more seasoned people are taking a careful look at their entire lives, and asking a lot of tough questions about the world.

The main theme I took away, as did many others, was, “Don’t delay that thing you’ve been wanting to do. Just DO it.”

There were two presentations by people who just decided to make films, despite the fact they’d never done it before. Check out http://lifeinperpetualbeta.com for one fabulous example.

Much more to share when we get together.

Metrics aside for a moment (yes, I know they are dear to your heart where ROI in your business is concerned) I find the phenomena of Social Media as it exists now fascinating.

Why? I think about  the possibility of what can be created between people on opposite sides of the physical world, the huge “personal webwork” we can construct of connections we may have throughout the Globe – as well as in our local backyards and communities.

And current technology for communication via Social Media Channels (abundant as they are)  is to me like having a “fairy godmother.”

Introductions to new and wonderful people can happen naturally and quickly if we choose to blog or read blogs and comment in meaningful ways. If we choose to author articles or to blog (that I use this as a verb makes me chuckle) means we will attract new contacts into our lives.

By what and how we share of ourselves on the web, we create the possibility that like-minded people or those in need of our expertise can find us intentionally through a Google Search, or organically, or by accident, or by recommendation.  Being found by any of these means works for me.

Big into communication as I am, I observe the duality of outcomes via Social Media and Being Social: Social Media fosters connections between people and their businesses and companies and hobbies and causes globally. Connections that stick and some that never have a chance.

Social Media adds to the “noise” in the world at large that we must filter and discern for ourselves. And among that “extra noise” is some really valuable information that has changed my life for the better.

Social Media can feel like intelligence in action. And it can feel like the exact opposite at other times.

And… I have also been considering another by-product of my ability to connect through infinite Social Media Channels which I will call a False Sense of Connection vs. a Truer Felt Sense of Connection.

I can split my focus so much that I ultimately feel “out of touch” with what matters most, while attempting to stay connected to everything and all.

I find I cannot always aggregate all the information found or sent, or at least do so well and with consistency.

Again, I am put in a position to choose HOW and WHERE I spend my time and energy (in any given space of time). And even though technology is a tool that helps organize my information and input and output, and works to keep me organized; I must learn it to use it well or hire someone who knows it, to set me up to use it well.

I am continuously fascinated by the evolving and exciting applications for all of communication technologies at large, and I am seeing a fascinating pattern…when I step way back to observe from a bird’s eye view.

First there was “the Maverick” one great new idea…that as first to market and well executed gained a monopoly on marketshare. It takes time for it to be adopted, integrated and made a part of the average user’s daily life.

At which point IT becomes regarded as something we must have to exist comfortably and be effective.

Then come “the Contenders,” the other options for the same or a similar application and I must CHOOSE to stay with my first choice, or investigate and move on to another “brand” or possibly use both “brands.”

And more choice and innovation keeps being born…that I am using or passing on using or maybe even unaware of?

These days we seem inundated with so many choices.  Some must have and others cause me to ask, is that even necessary?

Can I manage these days doing things in a truly LUDDITE way? Or must I take part in all of the technology at work and play in the world to strike it really rich and fully realize my potential? Like a pioneer, be first to the new land and take full advantage of the new landscape.

I’m as happy as the next person that email exists, that the WWW is used so openly and freely and I wish the lines of local and global communication to remain open.  I champion having a blog and actually have multiples myself.

I am a power user of Social Media Channels; until I occasionally crash and say, I need to unplug a while.  And I did for some part of the Summer, by choice.

Bottomline for me today, is that as much as I appreciate the abundance of technology and our ability to analyze, capture metrics, make wise choices and uses of the applications, and see it favorably impact my business ventures and in time my bottomline monetarily…

NOTHING replaces a face to face connection over tea or coffee or a meal or a shared face to face activity… Handwritten cards are so rare,  getting them is special to me at least…

I’m LOYAL to “brands” that are good to me, even if they raise prices fairly…

I’m more likely to attend an event I was truly personally invited to as opposed to a series of email broadcasts…

I’m into relating with people I like, feel  I know and can trust…

…and there are many other things I could say, but I am trusting you get the trend of my observations…

I’ll be a power user of technology for I am wired that way…to be able to communicate freely with the world at large is exciting. I enjoy it. I feel good at it too. My network is truly global and that makes me want to TRAVEL far and wide. Too bad no one has invented a Transporter that works yet, but for now I will selectively pay the price and go by plane, train or automobile.

And how do I cook you a homecooked meal? Or take a walk with you? Or sit in a dark movie theater and share a viewing of Eat, Pray, Love and then go out afterwards to talk about it face to face? I guess we’ll have to plan ahead for this local activity.

The Duality I embrace: I’ll take my immediate world as low tech as it is and appreciate it as much as the high tech world I “cannot live without.”