I first met Beverly Glick when she was a participant at a speaking training weekend at which I was one of the trainers and she told the most incredible, heartfelt and beautiful story. So I wasn’t surprised when some time later she won first prize for her inspirational talk at a speaking event. Bev isn’t just an inspirational speaker, but also a brilliant writer with years of experience as a leading music journalist. I love reading extracts from her memoir about encounters with well known music figures from the eighties; not only are they really witty and evocative, they seem to catapult me straight back to my younger self giggling at the outfits of New Romantics with my sis or gauchely practising my own dance moves at various clubs and parties (I’m still a terrible dancer although in my head I am hugely talented and very cool).
It was Bev who invited me to take part in this blogging tour and you can read her blog at http://beverleyglick.com/stories/my-stop-on-the-writing-process-blogging-tour/
The tour asks blog writers to answer various questions about their writing and here are my fascinating replies;
1. What am I working on?
OH IF ONLY! If only I was doing something as grand as working on something. I do try to write my blog regularly which is basically a writing platform for all that I believe as the OUT LOUD coach. I seek to be honest, direct and not shy away from sharing my own experiences and stories if I think they will add to my readers’ understanding of my core message. And I have aspirations – bubbling away in my head I have a book which combines my love of creative writing with my blog writing. When I was a young mum, I joined a creative writing class which I totally loved and which transformed my life really. I wrote lots of short stories and a novel and although my writing now is centred around my blog, my next writing project is to find a way to share my message in an imaginative perhaps allegorical way. I’ve just signed up for a writing course at City Lit entitled ‘Creative Non- Fiction Writing’ as a first step towards kick starting my book.
This delicious selection of patisseries in a shop window in Paris really sparked my imagination, I love the artistry, colours and sheer exuberance of the display – very OUT LOUD! Maybe this is the metaphor I’m looking for.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I know a lot of blog writers, coaches in particular, see their blog as a marketing tool and although I am all for that, somehow I don’t quite hit the mark. In my desire to tell a story or relate my innermost thoughts (a kind of processing tool for me), I don’t want to be constrained by framing the blog in a certain way in order to attract clients. My blog is my own way of expressing myself through my writing and if that resonates with people who may become my clients, I am thrilled but that is not my core purpose.
My core purpose is to tell the truth. I seek out that quintessential anecdote usually from my own life which will perfectly encapsulate my message. I really want people to read my blog and recognize their own self there and learn something from it. I also think that if I model true authenticity and OUTLOUDNESS, then this will encourage others to do the same.
3. Why do I write what I do?
As the OUT LOUD coach my practice is all about encouraging women (and increasingly men) to be more self expressed, more visible – more OUT LOUD in fact. My theory is that women often play small in many areas of their lives, particularly the workplace. Not only do they lug around negative views of themselves (not their fault, more to do with years of conditioning plus a system which downgrades the power of the female); ‘I’m not clever enough’, ‘pretty enough’, ‘young enough’, ‘old enough’, ‘dynamic enough’, ‘slim enough’, articulate enough’, all that stuff which basically boils down to the single toxic thought of ‘I am not enough’.
What this means is that they tend to shy away from saying what they really think, show up as they really are, live the life they really want. So my writing is about encouraging women to throw off the shackles that are holding them back, step from the shadows and own their power. And in the process I try to do that for me too because as much as I preach my message of being OUT LOUD I still struggle for that in my writing – sometimes I can see myself slipping back in to stilted boringness honed from an early incarnation as a good girl who always did her homework on time and ended up as a conflicted solicitor who longed to express herself. When I access my real voice and write in a way which is authentic to me, it feels cathartic, releasing and easy.
4. How does my writing process work?
Again the only honest answer to that question is IF ONLY. If only I had a writing process – ever since I first thought it would be a great idea to join a creative writing class I have been a writer in search of a process. Oh yes, I’ve read books, Nathalie Goldberg (Writing Down The Bones) and Dorothea Brande (Becoming A Writer) to name but two (in fact the only two) and I’m really excellent at studying other people’s methodology but actually my process is a bit random and unpredictable. I respond to a strict deadline (still channeling the good girl vibe) and find it hard not to write when I’m told to but what really works for me is digging down deep inside myself, accessing my own truthful voice, discarding the other voice which is turgid and boring and keeping it lively and honest – the more honest the better. As to when I write, I don’t really follow a routine, I write when I feel the flow getting me and then I can’t stop and late night is a good time along with early morning and afternoons …Any time in fact as long as the mood grabs me. And my absolute favourite thing when I’ve written something is to wait a while and then do a really good edit. That feels like relaxation to me – all the hard work done and just a nice bit of tidying and trimming left to do at leisure accompanied by a lovely cup of tea and maybe a kit kat.
My great friend and colleague Nicky Moran CPCC ACC, is waiting for you at the next stop on the tour.
And the process of unleashing the self expressed artist is to manage the inner critic that can sabotage the little voice who wishes to share it with the world. She helps artists to stand powerfully and describe their expressions with clarity and passion; to own their creative vision so they can inspire others to find meaning.
Nicky has also worked as a leadership, personal impact and presentation skills trainer in the corporate world for ten years. She trained with CTI four years ago, which gave her the impetus to create a body of work for artists and develop her own creative expression. She is also a singer and performs regularly with an acappella group. She passionately believes that everyone has an inner artist to nurture.