I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that if you give a person a fish, they eat for a day. But if you teach a person to fish, they eat for life.
Did you know the same is true for writing?
Er, I mean, not that you’ll have a lot of fish if you know how to write. But that when you know how to write well, you’ll be able to feed yourself–and your audience–for life.
I learned this important lesson firsthand when I nearly killed my writing coaching practice before it even got off the ground.
Before I was a writing coach for business owners, I spent over a decade helping students write that dreaded beast, the 5-paragraph expository essay. 👿
Before they worked with me, these teens dreaded the blank page. (Maybe you’ve felt that way about blog posts or social media posts or pages of your website?)
But I had a simple solution: We built Writing Toolboxes. We’d track what was working for them all in one place, from writing recipes to their preferred style of outline. It was a no-brainer since my job was not simply to help them get through the assignments but to actually teach them to be stronger writers.
The problem was, when I pivoted my coaching practice, I threw out the baby with the bathwater.
Disappearing Writing Coaching Clients
When I started coaching business owners, I left the Writing Toolboxes behind. The important thing was the content. And besides, these business owners were busy. They didn’t have time to learn writing. They just needed to write. Right?
The first several months I spent coaching business owners, I knew something was wrong.
I would help a client plan a really fantastic bio or web page using a writing recipe. I’d send them on their way with pages of ideas and clear action steps. And then I’d never hear from them again.
When I’d follow up, I’d get the same sheepish reply each time: They’d never finished writing.
Even though they had the exact recipe of what to write, they didn’t know how to start or how to tell when their content was finished or good enough to publish. They didn’t feel confident to write on their own.
My Big Mistake
The reality is that most of us have never been given the time, space, or opportunity to discover our own writing process. We write because we have to. First for school, then for work, then, if we’re fortunate, for something we’re passionate about, like a business or a belief.
Unless you’ve had a writing coach in your corner to help you uncover your own unique process, you’ve probably just been going through the motions, repeating old habits, whether they work for you or not.
I took a long, hard look at the process I was using with my clients. Intuitively, I knew I needed to treat these business owners like I’d treated my teens. I was already creating a playful, safe context where they could ask all those writing questions they were embarrassed to ask anyone else. And I was guiding them to come up with ideas and put those ideas into writing recipes.
But they still dreaded the blank page. They needed a system for how to overcome it.
The Key to Consistent Content Creation
I started teaching my clients about the different thinking styles and the different parts of the “writing brain.” These ideas had always seemed natural to share with kids, but I felt kind of silly telling adults they had different personalities in their heads that could help them with different parts of the writing process.
Until, that is, I started seeing the light bulbs going on over people’s heads. Their eyes would literally light up as they understood themselves and their process for the first time ever.
They began having huge breakthroughs in our sessions, or messaging me about insights they’d had while they were writing content between our sessions.
Clients stopped disappearing. Instead, they told me they were conquering the blank page.
They could replicate their successes, and they were starting to kick perfectionism and procrastination in the hiney.
They were going from sending marketing emails once in a blue moon to every dang week — because they knew how to reliably get the ideas out of their heads and onto the page.
One of the greatest compliments I received at this time was a client telling me that she felt like I’d taught her to fish, rather than merely giving her a fish. My heart smiled. That’s exactly what I wanted. To train business owners to be confident writers, serving up valuable content for years to come.
Writing for Life
Now tracking the writing process is one of the core things I do with my clients—no matter their age. Whether you’re 14 or 40, knowing what works best for you is the key to being able to find your flow and share your magic.
✅We talk about your process and create a Writing Toolbox where we track what’s working for you.
✅I share my in-depth Writing Process Reflection Questions so you can look back at your wins, your challenges, what’s working, and what you want to try.
✅And you get a recording of each session so that you can reconnect with the inspiration you had, or hunt down that perfect phrase that came to you during our call.
My clients don’t just want content for today. They want to consistently and confidently create content that connects for the life of their business. More than that, they want writing to feel joyful and in flow.
And of course the more flow they find, the more they write. They tap into their true creativity and start writing from the heart. They share their magic messages to attract more clients and create a bigger impact.
If you’re ready to write for your business confidently and consistently, schedule your free, no-obligation call today. I’ll help you get clear about your next best steps for writing in flow and sharing the message that’s in your heart.