Avoid First Time Writer Mistakes – 9 Strength Tips for Coaches

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Several of my positive psychology coaching clients have told me they would love to write a book. The tough part is diving into the murky “How do I get started?” writing waters. Here are tips from a previous blog. Tips I wished I had known before I wrote my first book. Don’t be like me and do it backwards!

Keep me posted when your book is finished, pretty please. Sharing is caring!

Cheers of hope your summer is swimming along with frivolous fun flow,


Do you want to write a book, but your brain gets stuck in freeze-frame fear mode? Or maybe you have a message to deliver, but you can’t get your mojo movin’? Positive psychology coaching helps you overcome overwhelm. It magnifies opportunities for writing success.

I never planned to write a book, at least not until I retired. I’m a positivity coach, who LOVES strengths spotting, but when it came to writing my book, hindsight slapped me with a new awareness. I had left my character strengths in moth balls! Here’s the back-story.

Family and friends enjoyed photos taken during my long-awaited Cuban trip. Humbly, they delighted in hearing my “Values in Action” (VIA) strengths vignettes, especially the ones where I interacted with unexpectedly warm and open Cubans. They twisted my arm (OK, I let them!) to write a book about my tropical adventures.

Next, I was asked to appear as a guest with radio talk show host, Stacey Chadwell, serving Viki Winterton’s The Coach Exchange (tce). This spurred my writing an article, “Birthing My First Book”, in the premier edition of PUBLISHED! Magazine. I’m the one with egg all over her face as a newbie who knew nothing, and I mean nothing, about book writing. The other authors are stellar and famous. I felt like a guppy swimming with wonderful whales, but it was fun and a joyful learning experience.

As a coach, you have wisdom and you know you are way more than enough, right? You are creative, resourceful and whole. But translating that into writing is an incredible challenge. So don’t do it the way I did it, backwards! Grab your strengths and let your story unfold. Add a positivity outline and lightening your load.

Empower yourself with 9 Strengths Tips I wish I had known BEFORE I initiated my book:

1. Critical Thinking and Creativity.

Plan ahead! Know your mission before your fingers hit the keyboard. Do our homework first. Mindmap your purpose and who you want your book to serve. Fall in love with colorful, funky post-it notes, message boards or favorite techie note-taking devices. Let your ideas flow and watch your enthusiasm grow.

2. Self Regulation and Fairness.

Get organized, set time aside to write, and make a “fair to yourself” time line for completion. No excuses! Look your “yes-but’s” and “if only’s” in the eye and challenge them to a “get it done” dual. You win and yell “Mission accomplished!” Of course you have competing agendas. That’s life. It’s hard. But be true to talented you. Don’t expect perfection.

I wrote my book for my 92 year old Mom. She is my joy. I love to communicate with her and her caregivers several times a day. I also swing like Tarzan seeing a full caseload of coaching clients, mentoring, blogging, appearing on radio, and studying positive psychology. But even God rested on the 7th day! Remember you need a life, too. Reward yourself with a treat! Don’t expect perfection.

3. Social Intelligence and Curiosity.

Know who you are marketing to and the purpose of our message. Curiously ascertain how your book will serve their needs. Take a fun poll of your colleagues. See how your book will benefit them. As author of “Curious”, Todd Kashdan, would say, “Embrace uncertainty”. Be a flexible, “curious explorer”.

4. Diligence and Authenticity.

Expect hard work but feel fun in your achievement. Let the real you rip. Tell on yourself like I did in my book. Nothing like getting busted in a Cuban cemetery. No jail time, but great stories captured.

5. Zest and Gratitude.

Join a writers/book marketing community. Get mentors. Remember positive psychology pioneer Chris Peterson’s mantra, “Other people matter.” Let them know how much you appreciate their enthusiasm in helping you reach for your writing star.

6. Teamwork and Leadership.

Expect to pull your hair out, but not all of it! Be the lead sled dog, but get a book/writing/marketing coach. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, “No man is an island.”, John Donne. You will have questions and you deserve answers. You have invested your heart and soul, but you also need to invest cash if you what a return on your hard-earned investment.

7. Humor and Tenacity.

Cuss if you must, but never give up! Feeling blue with no words flowing out if you? Get moving! Get the adrenalin hopping. Call a friend. Pet your dog or get one if you don’t have one. Rescue one for a super win win. That pup will perk you up while you write! Not a pet lover? Get a stuffed animal or lucky charm. Anything that makes you smile.

8. Bravery and Hope/Optimism.

Phooey to FEAR. It is only “Fantasized Experience Appearing Real!” Warning! You need to eat your Wheaties when you write a book. And add a little bran, too, if you know what I mean. Words can really block you up!

Life is what you tell yourself it is. Perception is everything. You can ACT the way you choose or REACT negatively when you put someone else in YOUR driver’s seat. Lighten your emotional load. LET GO of baggage that does not serve you.

9. Capacity to Love and Be Loved and Kindness.

Lasso love for yourself. Lavish encouragement onto your psyche. Here’s a technique I read about the other day, and wish I had saved the source. To feel happier, hug yourself. Yup, sounds weird, but try it. Charm yourself as you chuckle. Let me know if it worked!

Bless Judy Cullins and Viki Winterton, the greatest mentors ever. You can see all my foibles and more ways to prevent the screw ups I made when you read my “Birthing My First Book” article in The Coach Exchange’s Published! Magazine.

You want a great writing your book outcome, right? I hope you join me as I write more blogs about each character strength. How to spot them and add joy to your own strengths spotting journey. Learn how to suck up and savor life. It’s time you blast off to create your best self life.

Here’s to your fun and flourishing.

What’s your favorite strengths story? What did you learn about life the hard way? How did you conquer your fears?

Put a smile on my face and make a comment. I look forward to hearing your feedback. You matter!


For more of Judy’s wisdom, you are welcomed to grab a free copy of her Ebook re: tips to rev up your relationships and also get fun photo blogs delivered right to eDoorstep when you Like my page on Facebook by clicking here

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