FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Creativity Coaching

Q. What do you do? How do you work?

A. Essentially, I help people overcome blocks, reunite with or discover their passion, and provide support and structure for any creative endeavor, and most especially, for writing projects. Generally, I work with people for a six-month commitment. Shorter engagements are possible. Contact me about the particulars of your situation.

Q. As a book coach/creativity consultant, are you like an editor or ghostwriter? You sound like someone I really need.

A. My main focus is creativity coaching and consulting. As an adjunct, I can critique or edit your manuscript. I charge a separate hourly rate for that service. If all you need is editing or ghost writing, I can refer you to one of my referral partners, professionals I trust.

Q. How much do you charge?

A. Since my rates vary according to the nature of the project, please contact me directly for an assessment of your project and a quote.

Q. What is Creativity Coaching?

A. Creativity Coaching and Consulting is meant to support you in your creative process and is not a form of therapy. As the client, you show up to the process and I show up to hear you, listen to you, and offer support, structure, constructive feedback often in the form of open-ended questions and vision, where needed. I act as a member of your creative support team.

Q. How is coaching different from therapy?

A. See answer from the question above.

Q. How do I become a Creativity Coach?

A. I received my certification from the Creativity Coaching Association. Tell them I sent you!

The Writing Life

Q. How does one rebuild confidence when dealing with either writer's block or rejection/failure?

A. For myself, and for my clients, I start with determining what they want, what is their Goal. Then their Motivation, what drives them?

"What drives me?" Often in that answer is the seed of motivation to get going again. Start. Get thee to an inspiration point: stand yourself in front of that which inspires you, and let it pour into you like a pounding waterfall.

Q. Could you speak about using tarot as a self-mentoring tool?

A. Tarot is a wonderful tool to see what is in the unconscious, waiting to come out. I pull two cards daily, morning and night, to see and hear my subconscious talking to me. I use my tarot books, and follow my train of thought to see what bubbles up. This is my practice, an awareness, self-communication tool, along with daily journaling. Explore tarot to see how it can feed into your writng practice.

Q. What do you do if you have a 1000+ ideas in your head for short stories, novellas/novels?

A. Write them down as a list -- set time aside to do just that. Then meditate on which one wants to be written on now, and start with that. Meditate by paying attention to your thoughts. Notice what bubbles up. As you follow a thread, or thought, it may end. Then start a new one.

I give myself a deadline, like, "Tonight by 9pm, I will make a decision," or, "In this journaling session..." I will discover the one piece that wants to be written NOW.

Then start. Commit to following the story thread until your commitment wans. If it does, and it may not, choose the hot idea that bubbles to the surface and write. Other ideas may opp and compete for you attention. Write them down in your "idea catcher" file and get back to your current work.

Q. Can you explain what the "hero's journey" is and how it can transform a writing career? Or direct me to information?

A. The hero's journey is based on Joseph Campbell's work in Hero with a Thousand Faces. Twelve stages of the story that I apply to inner reflection. I'm working on a book on this topic.

Q. For the last year or so I've been suffering from a definite lack of motivation to write or even edit, though I do know I want to write. Any way to either help this, or get around it?

A. Yes. This lack of motivation is something -- a feeling of ? sadness, confusion, anger... Anger and sadness or disappointment at oneself often lies at the center of our blocks. You can use journaling or other art forms to release your emotions.

Go with the flow. Acknowledge that a story you may be over-focusing on might not want to be written yet. Is there a "should" somewhere, that says you should be doing a certain kind of writing? Write something -- anything, even about your feelings...

Also, check out my Top Ten Tips for to Jumpstart Your Creativity, or my digital writing guide, Overcome Writer's Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Ignite Your Creativity.

Q. How do you solve the dilemma of feeling like something is missing from the story you've completed but don't know what it is?

A. Read Dwight Swain's book, Techniques of a Selling Writer, for scene and sequel help. Get trusted and good editors/writers to read your work. You can also ask for reader and writer constructive feedback; also, get your ideal reader to read it and take note of his or her feedback.

Q. How does one get past the self-doubt crazy maker, especially as an older new writer?

A. Ah, the crazy maker! Journal, and ask it to lunch. Seriously, turn around in your mind, and ask it what the $%^&* it wants from you. Then make a deal, bargain, set boundaries. Get to know this part of you, make friends.

Remember that there is no perfect age to begin writing! Read Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Older writers have some wonderfully juicy stories to tell -- we want to hear them!

Q. When we are faced with a problem in writing, and somehow find the solution... what happens when we forget, or file the solution away in another mental block?

A. We bury what works because the mind's job is to protect us. Sneaky and subtle, it is. If we change a core picture of ourselves, or threaten a change, our primal mind will step in and want to control. So, to circumvent that, we need: VISION, SUPPORT, STRUCTURE.

Q. How do you know what stories want to be written? What signs do you look for? I have multiple stories going and I am always getting ideas for each of them, even during the night.

A. STRUCTURE: Give each story its hour. Structure your time. Be more disciplined. Your stories will thank you. You're the parent, your stories are your children. You're in charge.

Q. Everyone I know is struggling, and stuck at similar things. What do I do?

A. Again, struggle is part of the process; it's that itch that needs to be scratched by the writing itself. Connect with writers a few steps ahead of you in their process. We all need role models to help us reach our goals.

Q. I find I get writers block when frustrated by deadlines. Any thoughts?

A. Deadlines: love 'em, hate 'em -- need 'em. A timed-writing session; that's all a deadline is. We all can write for an hour, no? So get to work! Write about the writer's block and the fears of failure or success. Stay with yourself, and WRITE! As a resource, check out my digital writing guide, Overcome Writer's Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Ignite Your Creativity.

Q. How do you switch gears from non-fiction to the mindset to write fiction?

A. I do this. Fiction for me is like the dessert I put into my day. Nonfiction is having a conversation. I'm in the mood for one then the other, and make sure I write my fiction as a solid chunk of time. Then I am doing non-fiction like a hummingbird all day long.

Craft

Q. I have struggles with my writing/editing all the time, and tend to have to rewrite frequently to get it right. Any advice for me?

A. First, struggle is part of the creative process, not separate from it. If you are happy with what you produce, you are on the right path! Try working with a compassionate editor, writing buddy or writing group; SUPPORT is one of the keys to our success.

This is your creation -- it takes the time it takes. My own writing takes time; I thought that I was slow, but that's just my rhythm. Be patient.

You also don't need a lot of words to write well, though knowing the best word is key and one of our tools of the trade. As wordsmiths, we can improve our vocabulary by reading a lot and looking up and using unfamiliar words.

Q. How do you find your voice and the motivation to write after being away from it for years?

A. By asking this question, you sound ready to get back to your writing. Wonderful! Congratulate yourself, and start small. Start by writing 5-10 minutes a day, and gradually increase your time, a minute per day. Your writing muscle has atrophied, so by writing a little each day you will be strengthening your ability.

Q. I have a problem at the edit stage -- fresh writing is okay, I get stuck at edits. They take too long, and never seem okay. I feel I am on the verge of a breakthrough but it never comes, I find myself jump between stories, get disheartened and put off all edits. Any ideas?

A. Get a support team with you on this. Experienced writers who understand this, get different perspectives. Editing takes time, that may be your way. Discipline; writers groups; submit. Reach out to published writers; read the books, Editing Your Fiction by Michael Seidman or Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

You stop editing when someone tears the manuscript out of your hands! I submit my novel, edit it more, submit again, edit again; and start the next novel... Don't use editing as an excuse to avoid the submission process.

Publishing

Q. How do I get published?

A. There are many great resources for this! for nonfiction writers, check out my these resources on my site. For fiction writers, check out the writer's market guides. For both, check out these resources on my site to see who is buying what: Marketplace Resources.

Also, I highly recommend getting involved in a writing association to learn from your peers and gain mentors. Check my near-complete list of writing associations.

Q. Will you help me get published?

A. You can hire me to coach you through the process! My connections in the industry can help, depending on your genre. It's mostly my knowledge of how the system works and how to gain entry that will support you. Most importantly, if your writing is great, it will find a publisher. Indicate your interest in this subject when you write me.

Q. Can you help me publish my e-book or other information product?

A. Yes, I can! I have many tools and resources I can share with you. Indicate your interest in this subject when you write me.

Q. How do I self-publish?

A. For North Americans, the most comprehensive resource I have found is the Small Publishers Association of North America. If you know of similar resources in other regions of the world, please let me know and I will add it to the list.

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Beth Barany, Creative Consultant and Writing Coach



Picture yourself writing

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