During the conversation, we began focusing on Sara's lack of direction in her writing. She's started a few blogs but has not been inspired to keep them going. She's published two books, The Shattered Pearl and After Me, You Come First. She's written some faith based material for church groups but isn't really sure which direction to go with it. I started asking the usual questions: Who is your target audience? What inspires you to write? What is your niche? When do you feel most in the flow? Before you think I'm such a brilliant coach, let me admit that these are all questions I've asked myself with varied success. I know where the struggle is, but that doesn't mean that I've conquered it. At some point in the conversation, she mentioned that she just has some great stories from pivotal points in her life. I asked her to tell me a couple and without hesitation she was off and running. She was right, they were amazing, interesting, unique stories. I finally said to her... "Just tell your story! Start with your story and the meaning, the purpose, the insight, the lesson will develop out of it." After all, what do audiences want to hear? to read? Do they want another self-help book on how to achieve goals? How to resolve their faith issues? How to live with a dysfunctional family? In truth, what we all want is something personal that resonates with our own lives. We want to know how someone else lived through their struggles and got to the other side. We want to know that there is light and life at the other end of the tunnel. We want to know your story because it just might also be our story.
Guess what I figured out after I got home? I wasn't just figuring that out for Sara, I was figuring it out for me as well. The question became, how can the book I am working on be more than helpful information. How can I use it to tell my story? It's a new challenge and I'm working on it... What about you? How are you telling your story? How are you sharing it with others?
Progress report: 60 pages, 12,825 words
Insight from dinner with Sara: priceless
Here are Sara's books. Read the first one to hear her remarkable story...