Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of the craft of writing, is brought to you by Aileen Gibb. Plus there’s the chance to win Aileen’s book, Voices.
My Four Elements For Successful Writing
For the longest time I said I wanted to write. Not since elementary school had I actually had a piece of writing made public. I wanted to put my work into writing – to feel I had something to say that was worth reading. I work as an inspirational coach. I equip people to achieve their goals. And yet my goal to become an author eluded me. Eventually it took three things – over a long period of time – for my work to emerge. I’m not sure which of those three things is the real key to my success in reaching (self) publication stage. It took almost ten years for me to complete the process and so far repeating it seems beyond me. Maybe it needs all three to collaborate again for my next piece of writing (apart from this one) to appear.
The first trigger that got me to write, was indeed a coaching question from a colleague. Being asked what the life of an author would look like, got me to commit to an early morning writing practice. I’d jump out of bed before that moment of questioning myself (Could I just lie a few more minutes? Should I shower before going to my desk? Would I read my email before starting? – you know that voice) could catch up with me. I sat down to write before thinking of what else the day would bring. This was the second element that enabled my writing to take shape – the self-discipline to have a routine that put my writing first, before anything else.
I wasn’t a planned or structured writer. I knew I wanted to write about the impact of coaching questions on people’s lives and work. I didn’t have a structure for my book. I didn’t know that there would be two threads to my work, interwoven in one book. I didn’t know that the characters would all emerge with connections to each other. I didn’t know how the story would pull together as the story of one character, at the end. So was this perhaps the third element of my writing: trusting in the inspiration that would flow through me and take shape on the page.
I guess there was a fourth element that came into play before my book emerged in the world. The continual editing, re-reading, editing, re-reading and further editing, polishing, designed and refining, that’s involved in actually bringing a book to physical – or these days, virtual – reality. Is this part of the craft of writing? Or is it something different – a kind of nurturing, demanding, patience that calls me to attention and tests me to stay focused on every detail of my work, the details which I am accountable for to only myself. The details that determine how my work and, therefore, I, show up in the world.
My four elements for successful writing, appear to be:
- Responding to the right question – why am I writing?
- The discipline to put my writing before everything else.
- Listening to and trusting the inspiration that flows to the page.
- Being tenacious and patient with the process of publication.
Are these the same as you experience(d) in bringing your writing to a result? Are they different? If so, what do you consider the keys to your process – from initial idea, through putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), to the ultimate appearance of your work on the bookshelf?
Thank you, Aileen.
Aileen Gibb is an inspirational coach, facilitator and leader whose work has taken her around the globe. She has worked with leaders and teams in Kazakhstan, Venezuela, the Middle East, France, Angola and in many companies in the UK and North America, to uncover new possibilities and transform results. Where she has travelled she has been amazed at the power of coaching-style conversations and the choices people make to become more successful in their work and to live more fulfilling lives. Aileen is from the small village of Fyvie, in North East Scotland and has lived for the past twelve years amidst the rocky mountain in Canmore, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Jake and their two boxer dogs. Aileen thanks you for your interest in VOICES, please let her know how it inspires you. You can find out more about Aileen and her writing from http://www.aileengibbvoices.com and https://www.facebook.com/aileengibbVOICES.
VOICES is a series of connected coaching stories which reflect many of the real-life choices people might consider making to live the life they truly wish for. All the stories are fiction and her hope is that one of the stories – or one of the questions in one of the stories – might resonate with your life story and invite you to make a choice. The coaching stories are interwoven with the musings of a future-guide who travels to and from a parallel time, considering what the key messages are for inspiring a better future society.
VOICES is available for purchase now and although Aileen has some upfront costs to recoup, as soon as it starts to generate profit, funds from the book sales will be going to support people going through cancer to access complementary therapies such as acupuncture, which are proven to mitigate the extreme fatigue and other side-effects of cancer treatments. http://www.aileengibbvoices.com.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aileengibbVOICES
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/inspiredfuture/
- LinkedIn: ca.linkedin.com/pub/aileen-gibb/12/19a/397/
Where to Purchase:
- FriesenPress: http://friesenpress-accounts.appspot.com/bookstore/title/119734000010382017
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=VOICES+Aileen+Gibb
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Aileen-Gibb-VOICES?store=allproducts&keyword=Aileen+Gibb+VOICES
- Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=VOICES%20Aileen%20Gibb
- First Prize: Autographed copy of VOICES and 2 hours of coaching with Aileen Gibb
- Second Prize: Autographed copy of VOICES
- Third Prize: Autographed copy of VOICES
Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2ZkMWRlMjgzM2ZkMWM4ZTE5MGFhYzhiMGY3M2M4OjU=/
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.
As I post a spotlight or interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.