As writers we live by our faith that might is in the pen, or keyboard, whatever your weapon of choice happens to be for driving truths into the minds of your readers.
The worst thing that can happen to a writer? Getting so depleted in energy that they can no longer get the words out onto the world. As Steven Pressfield puts it, this is resistance within you as a writer, artist or entrepreneur, creating something brand new to put out onto the world, overcoming the force of good, orderly creative flow.
How to build up strength against this resistance?
Firstly, resistance comes in many forms.
It can be a seduction leading you away from the work you must do. In my case, seduction came in the guise of an online course showing me the way to get my book funded by people eager to read it. I mean what author wouldn’t want to put the cart before the horse? Identifying your audience, the people you’re writing to is a sure fire way to get the writing to flow isn’t it?
Well, no. Not in my case.
The online course was avoidance because once I joined the online learning platform, the conversations from my cohorts couldn’t have taken me further away from the principles I wanted to exlore in my book. How to create time to create was the premise of the book and here I was destroying my precious time on conversations from people all too eager to waste time instead of developing their projects further.
Or so it appeared.
“Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader, is your nature reflected in them.”
Because I was as blind on my journey, not having realised my own vision of becoming a published author, I soon knew I had very little to offer. The people who could help me, like Annie Mueller, a wonderful editor, who wipes my lens ever so gently and gets me motivated to keep working on my writing, were outside of this learning experience. I needed to be where they were. I wanted to be around people who were writing their books, overcoming resistance day in and day out.
Once I identified I’d been seduced away and made plans to get back to my path, my book, I was challenged by one of the coaches within this online learning platform. She kept insisting this was a great opportunity to write my book, despite me telling her multiple times that I didn’t feel energised by the discussions going on in the interactive learning platform.
I wondered, how does she know what’s best for me?
You coaches out there, I ask you, what is your job?
Is it to second guess your clients’ decisions and prove them wrong or support them on their decisions and help them get where they want to go?
I didn’t know what a coach was for and what their purpose is so I looked it up and here’s what’s come up:
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
So this one pushy coach, whose best interest was to keep me in the online learning platform as she was a coach employed (not sure if this was a volunteer role or a paid one) by the platform challenged me to stay with the program.
If I had some guidance on how to make better use of the chaotic online platform run on discourse, I would give it another shot but as it stood with 1500 cohorts from all over the world, the bombardment of knowledge, new information and distractions at all hours of the day were only strengthening resistance and taking away my creative energy.
I had to do something drastic.
So I turned it all off.
I stepped away from all digital distractions for a day and went into the depths of my own psyche.
In the Arthurian legends, he visits this powerful lady of the lake with deep wisdom to emerge with the mighty sword Excalibur. My day of reflection gave me clarity and I emerged with my own personal Excalibur, my will to write my book and went back to the pushy coach and told her “sorry lady, I know what I gots to do, so get out of my way”.
Over to you…
If you’re a coach and you work within an online learning platform and one of the students expresses concern that the material is not relevant to what she wants to accomplish, how would you react to this?
Would you try to show her how it’s relevant or help her get clear on what she needs to do to get to where she wants to go in the most direct way, even if this means she’ll ask for a refund for the online course?
Also, do you believe that it’s essential to know the client, their personal circumstances (I have a 21 month old, and am 7 months pregnant so my focus is divided even without participating on a confusing online learning experience) and have the client get to know you personally to build empathy before pushing and challenging them?