Let’s talk about the ebb and flow of life – and how it mirrors writing.
Years ago, I was involved with a direct sales company. (Don’t scoff, I liked it!) They were big supporters of a 90-day push for sales.
90-days where you cancel the TV, let the houseplants die, ignore your social calendar and just FOCUS on building the business.
The rational was that humans can do ANYTHING for 90-days. Then rest.
Examples were cited like morning sickness for the first trimester, aka 90-days.
And to an extent… they were right. It’s easier to have a mono-focus when the end is always in sight: 90-days.
But in this particular company… every quarter there was a 90-day push. That meant that it was ALWAYS a push. There wasn’t ever that blessed relief and rest and recuperation.
You burn out FAST with no rest.
How does this relate to writing?
Because it’s normal and natural to have a push period – and a rest period – while you’re writing your book. It’s normal and natural to just… stop.
The challenge always is knowing when that stop is a pause and when it’s an all-out giving up stop.
Now, I have a confession to make.
I’ve been letting you slack off when it comes to your stops. This was highlighted for me from a client today, as a matter of fact.
Early in my business – like within 30 days of starting this book coaching business – I encountered a coach who was a master at the PUSH. Push. Push. Push. Fast, hard, don’t look back, faster. It wasn’t just let the houseplants die it was eliminate everything from your life and focus and GO. She called it “tough love” but what it really looked like was a Hollywood drill sergeant screaming at raw recruits.
And it totally turned me off.
I wasn’t her client – but was at her event. She’d bring people to the mic to share – and then tell them their idea was stupid, sit down and try again. Rapid fire. And people lined up to take that abuse. I remember thinking, “I’m so grateful I’m not her client! Where’s the love? The compassion? The recognizing that you’re talking to a precious human?”
So I vowed never to do that.
But I swung too far the other way. Too passive and letting clients off the hook. Letting deadlines slide, not holding them to the accountability THAT THEY HIRED ME FOR.
Here’s the thing:
That’s not me either.
I want to be loving AND supportive. I want to call you on your bullshit – but in a way that makes you smile and take a deep breath and go again.
In looking for the “Kim Way”, I’ve gotten frustrated. I’ve erred on the side of too mean and hurt feelings.
And I spent weeks feeling horrible about it.
But here’s the thing…
A big part of me was really tired of all the excuses. All the bullshit. And I myself got discouraged. I got tired of carrying your dreams.
There is, thankfully, a middle ground. It’s what one of my mentor calls a loving kick in the butt – with fuzzy slippers, not combat boots.
In my world, it’s that mid-afternoon pause on the hiking trip. When it’s too early to set camp for the night but you’re too tired to go on. It’s time for a pause, a stop. It’s time for a Gatorade and a snack and to sit and take in the beauty all around.
Then Ben gets up, usually all too soon, and shoulders his pack and we march on. Putting more miles behind us. Walking once more.
Here’s the truth:
Without Ben being my coach, my accountability, my loving partner who supports me… I’d stop right there. Let the light fade until I’d be FORCED to make camp. Stop.
And it would end up that the multi-day hike would get downright dangerous when there would be more miles left to go than meals left in the pack. (We underestimated our caloric needs on one multi-day hike and walked out hungry the last day. It was NOT fun and very scary.)
So we’re going to acknowledge the stop – and then get back to work. I’m vowing to be YOUR loving partner who will support your dreams – and your book. I’m not going to carry your dream, but I’ll help you to shoulder the load.
If we’ve chatted – prospect AND client – and you haven’t taken action – be looking for a reach-out from me. If you’re not getting coaching from me, you’re gonna get it from somebody, damnit.
And if we haven’t spoken but you’re ready to let somebody help you out, here’s your next step: Schedule a time for a Writing Adventure Discovery Session. I’ll even let you go straight to my calendar (we’ll get the form filled out before your call though). This isn’t coaching – but looking to see if you’re ready for coaching and loving support.
Having your writing stall out and stop is normal and natural. But STAYING that way serves no one.
One lone candle.
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