While talking tonight with Gail, our coaching client, ( who has given me permission to blog about what she has shared), she was reporting how much she valued going to the writing conference that she attended in November at the 92nd Street Y. I felt amazed at the conversation because it was only a few short months ago that Deborah and I started to coach her. The single most striking aspect of what she talked about was her challenge of wanting to transform herself from a school teacher to a writer and how hard it was for her to do that in light of her significant self-doubt. However she certainly surprised me when she quickly in spite of her fears found out about this conference, signed up and eagerly attended.
She was telling me tonight how much this conference increased her confidence. She very much appreciated the message she heard there about how “You don’t have to be anything to be a writer”. “Anybody can be a writer.” This was in stark contrast to messages she received from others who consistently reminded her that she was no Shakespeare. Messages that not only momentarily stopped her in her tracks but affirmed her worst fears. As she described tonight the slightest obstacle can influence her to get discouraged. But as we talked further, she ended up sharing with me a wonderful and inspiring story from the conference. One of the editors at the conference said that a woman she knew
had written a book about a man who owned shoe stores across the country., It was a book meant for teens and was to describe the adventures that went along with opening up the shoe stores. She read this to her writer’s group and was told to get rid of the shoe stores as her central idea. Well instead of listening to her group, she got rid of the group. She then went on to write a bestseller. So this is a striking example of the value of trusting your own instincts.