You’ve probably clicked on this post because you are curious to see what I’m working on with clients, and you may want to check if you struggle with the same thing. As an experienced writing coach, and author with a writing coach myself, these are the most common issues I see, have experienced, and continue to talk about. They require continuous work and effort, but they can all be improved hugely through coaching. Let’s dig in!
1) Imposter syndrome
The classic. The majority of creative people I have met, if not all, have suffered from imposter syndrome, myself included. Why? One big reason is that art is subjective. We aren’t mathematicians (you might be, but I’m not!), and the answer isn’t definite. Is my writing any good? Some people will love it, others will think it’s okay, and some will dislike it. Does that mean I’m a good writer or not? Hard to say, isn’t it? Especially when we constantly compare ourselves with the positive echo chamber of social media. Here’s the thing – there’s a book for everyone. I love The Lord of the Rings like I love my family (well, marginally less), but if you don’t read fantasy, I won’t expect you to enjoy it. It doesn’t mean I’m wrong in loving it or that you’re wrong in not liking it. It’s just subjective.
Here’s what we know for certain about your writing:
- It is valid.
- If you love it, there will be a reader who loves it too.
- It is worth investing your time in.
- You are the expert in your story.
If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, here are some things that can help:
- Hire a writing coach. Find someone to discuss your thoughts and feelings with. Remember, feelings are not facts.
- Write down five things you are proud of achieving in your writing life. Keep that list in your writing space to review when you feel wobbly.
- Create a ‘Positivity Folder’. When you get good feedback on your creative work, put it in your folder. Then, the next time you feel unsure or like imposter syndrome is ready to strike, you can remind yourself of the reality with actual evidence.
- Dig deep into education and focus on the craft of writing. Whatever stage of your writing career you are in, there is always more to learn, and dedicated time and effort to this can help imposter syndrome. Still trying to figure out where to start? Check out my novel writing masterclass.
2) What they should be writing.
Should you be writing literary fiction or fantasy? Should you be jumping into crime thrillers or romance? How are you supposed to know?
I understand this dilemma well. I’ve been through it too! It’s so hard to know what’s expected of us, and sometimes, the weight of imagined expectations can hinder our creativity.
Here’s the secret: you should write whatever you are passionate about. Love vampire stories? Go for it. Ignore the marketing when you are writing, ignore the idea that something is ‘trending’ right now (by the time you get your book out there, that thing won’t be trending any more), and write something you want to write. Here’s another secret: if you write something you are delighted to be writing, it comes across in your work. It creates a joyful read. So, let yourself indulge in your hobbies. Trust me, there will be someone who wants to read about a mermaid who escapes jail to work at a zoo.
3) Finding the time.
Finding the time to write is such a common problem. Fret not; I have the perfect solution: The Ultimate Writer’s Planning Workbook. This 60+ page PDF fillable workbook will take you through the stages of planning YOUR writing year, focusing on:
- Reflection on the previous year.
- Building and understanding your writing vision.
- Working out what your targets are and setting them.
- Engineering your actions toward your goal.
- Finding the time to write.
- Taking action and setting yourself up to achieve your goals!
Sound good? Grab your copy today!