Posts Tagged With: book coach

Writing a Book

hand writingLet’s talk “writing a book” for a few minutes. I’ve written around twenty books in my life. Nothing huge about that. Isaac Asimov, one of my scifi heroes wrote something like 500 books in his lifetime.

But for someone who aspires to write their first book, my 20 manuscripts must seem like a dream. That’s one of the factors I must guard against – downplaying my knowledge and assuming others know what I know. In order for me to help people get their books written, I must identify what holds them back and what keeps them from loving the process.

Yes, there are a number of universal mindsets that must be addressed like their internal judge and critic. We all possess them. Those voices in our heads which handcuff us and deter us from our higher potentials. That’s why I have adopted the “book coach” identifier. Anyone may play basketball, but how do they succeed in getting out every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal?

The same is true for a book. Anyone may write a book, but how do they succeed in getting up every day and doing the things necessary to achieve their goal? In basketball, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of playing the game down so that you may move one to higher levels of play. In writing, there are quite a number of fundamental things needed to get the basics of pulling a book out of your brain so that you may then have a product you may take to higher levels.

I taught classes for years on “How to Write Your Book in 30 Days.” I still teach it, but now as a one-on-one coaching format. I’ve found being able to tailor the class or “workshop” to the individual is much more beneficial for the writer. I’ve helped over 100 people get their books written, many of them now with multiple books. Transitioning to a “consultant” format has had its challenges, but now I’m comfortable with new “delivery system” so to speak.

Writing a book does not have to be some huge monstrosity of trial and struggle. In fact, writing a book should be joyful, exciting, engaging, and rewarding. That’s what I work to achieve with my clients – not only the ability to get the work done but to love the process as you progress. If you desire to write a book and you need help, here’s my webpage – Michael Ray King.

 

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I’ll Work Hard to Not Make This About Death…

Michael Ray King 300dpiLife cycles. We’re born. We live. We die.

Depending on who you speak with, we do or do not have any say in our birth. Depending on who you talk to, we do or do not have any say on when we die or that our “worldly” death is “real” or “the end.” I’m not going to make a call on either of those, mainly because my view is just as viable as anyone else’s.

That in-between part, though, is something to deal with. Imogene Coon died a couple years ago. I just learned of this recently. I am saddened as I remember her as a vibrant 6th-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary School. She was wise, kind, and an excellent teacher. At twelve years old I never dreamed I would be thinking of her 46 years later, much less that she would be dead.

Our lives intersected for that one year. That was it. But now, in a manner of thinking, they’ve intersected again. I wonder what went on in her life. I wonder what joys and sorrows passed through her heart. I wonder if her years of teaching were rewarding. Yes, I do wonder if she remembered me at any point, or was I lost in the hundreds and hundreds of students who passed through her classrooms.

As the title states, I’ll work hard to not make this about death. But what I will do is make this about time and accomplishment. No matter what perspective you have on birth and death, while in this mortal body, we own expiration dates. The question becomes, in my mind, what are we to do? What am I to do?

This morning I picked a book up off my bookcase a began reading. This is a book I have not read in 50 years. Yes, that places me in about the 2nd or 3rd grade. The book was written in 1936. I remember adoring this book as a child. Something about the stories in it captured me and planted seeds of the joys of reading in my soul. Somehow the book survived a half century of moves and opportunities to be destroyed or lost by my own children growing up.

I realized this morning that none of my children ever got the chance to read it. I wonder if they would have loved it as I did. I am saddened they missed the opportunity. I’ve read the first 51 pages and I am enjoying the experience once again.

This is a writer’s blog, and yes, I am getting to my point. A good number of my teachers and even classmates are no longer with us in this life, at least in the tangible, mortal bodies. Did all these people whom I cared for and intersected with, accomplish their goals? Did they keep striving throughout their lives? Did illness rob them of their final years? Were they satisfied with their scope of accomplishments or were there many things left undone.

I’m sure my good friend Humberto, who died young in his thirties, did not accomplish all he set out to do. I look at my life, and if I live to be 100, I could never accomplish what I desire to accomplish. This can cause debilitation. Depression. Demotivation. A sense of hopelessness.

What I personally do with what time remains in my life I own. No one else. I either step up and make things happen, or I waste away in apathy and slothfulness and underachieve. Does this matter to the world? Absolutely not. 100 years from now, no one will care. Hell, I likely will not be mentioned or thought of again on planet earth. I will be lost among the uncounted humans who lived and died in the century after my death.

But this does matter to me. And possibly some of the folks around me with intersecting lives. Imogene Coon impacted me all those years ago. So did my friend Humberto and so many others. So did Professor Pat Urbas who encouraged me to take on “writing as a vocation” in 1979. I cannot discount the fact that I am intersecting with people daily. As do you.

What are we passing on, and are we actually helping people? How much of what I desire to accomplish in the days remaining me will I actually pursue?

My view stands that we each own a story. Most likely many stories. Many of us get to the place where we desire to pull these stories out from within and share with the world. I know I like to think of writing as somewhat of a form of immortality. This most likely will not happen in the sense that 100 years from now no one will even know I existed, but the key factor for me is that I know, and I have something to say.

Fortunately, I am not alone in this view. Countless millions desire the same. Should you be one of those people, take heart. You will most likely reach a point where you realize you will never be able to accomplish everything in life you desire. This is no cause to give up or surrender. This is every reason to step out, bold, intent, and motivated to make as much impact on your life and your words as possible.

After all, Imogene Coon taught me that peer pressure and honesty are two very powerful aspects of life and I need to heed this knowledge and make excellent choices. Humberto taught me many things, as I hope I taught him some as well. Humberto taught me a level of integrity at around fifteen-years-old that I strive to carry with me at all times to this day. And Pat Urbas. She inspired me. She breathed a dream into me that last day of the semester at WV Institute of Technology in 1979.

I had a bit of a college crush on her. She was beautiful. Intelligent. Then, to top it all off, she loved the first real short story I recall writing. She loved it so much, she told me to pursue my talent. She was able to feel the passion I developed writing “A Race Against Love.” She saw something in me and took the time to pass on her observation. She will live on in me as long as I possess the breath to tell people.

Those 100+ people who’ve written books through my help actually perpetuate Par Urbas even if they do not realize it. Even though I mention her in most every writing workshop I facilitate, they never met her and won’t remember her name. The seed she planted, however, lives on through me and I have been able to plant 100’s of seeds so far with hopefully 1000’s to come.

The book I’m reading from my childhood is titled, “If I Were Going” by Mabel O’Donnell and Alice Carey. They planted seeds. They blossomed in my young self and delivered a joy for reading. Imogene Coon and Humberto are dead, yet they live within me. Part of who I am grows from them. Pat is still here and so am I. I’m not sure what she is doing, but her teaching and encouragement live in me as well.

Most writers I know, hell, all of them, struggle to write at times. We suffer from all manner of psychological and emotional issues which vex us and work to deter us from our desire to write. My most fulfilling work of my entire lifetime is spent helping people overcome these issues and get their books written. This is my joy, my passion, and one of my primary motivations in life. We each possess the ability to make our choices to write. Most of us need some help, motivation, inspiration and encouragement. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.

I challenge you. Whatever your beliefs about birth and death to me are immaterial. What about where you’re at right this moment? What about your LIFE? What about your dreams and aspirations?

I encourage you to get your stories out of you. Share with the world. Help build something through words. If you’ve made it this far through this post, you must be a reader and most likely a writer looking for something to hold on to. You can write your book/story/essay/poem/screenplay. The question becomes, will you? If you need help, that’s what I’m here for. Check out my site. Michael Ray King

Whatever you do, please make certain you don’t leave your best undone. That’s where I’m at. I may not be able to accomplish everything I desire, but I will not leave my best work undone. Whether that work is mine or helping someone else accomplish their best work is immaterial. Write your stories and thrill to their highs and lows, their ebbs and flows, and have them sing to the world in the manner that pleases you. You can do this.

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Intellectual Property and the Uninitiated

GoWriteBookCoverCroppedFront96dpiTime can lend life a larger, more interesting aspect when you step back and take a good gander at it. I often mention I’ve been on my “writing” journey for 17 years from the moment I was conscious after a near-death surgery in 1999. The truth, and for me the more interesting aspect of my life, is that my writing journey truly identifies itself in 1979 when Professor Pat Urbas told me, “Mike, you should consider writing as a vocation.”

I’ve tended to dismiss this “beginning point” simply because I did not pursue the “business” side of writing until I almost died. Yet, those 20 years leading up to the operating table taught me many wonderful things, like self-expression without the intrusion of critics. Yes, I was a closet writer.

I truly own nearly 40 years of writing experience. That number boggles my mind. I’ve been paid for my writing for nearly 15 years. I’ve been in publishing for over a decade. That’s a lot of knowledge!

I discovered what I love and I love helping people get their books from their mind/heart to the page. That’s what I do. With this comes the struggle.

My mentor got to a point in the mid-2000’s where he got irked at people sitting with him and picking his brain for hours … for free. I’ve come to a place where I understand his frustration. I spent the largest portion of my life in love with writing. I’ve actually taken writing on as a vocation as Ms. Urbas suggested.

There’s a threshold at which you arrive when you take on the business of “intellectual property.” I own a knowledge that others appear to believe I can give away for free. I would love to be able to do so but I am as yet not independently wealthy. I teach what I’ve learned to others to feed, clothe, and house myself and my family. If I sit for hours answering question after question after question of what I’ve learned in 38 years with no compensation, my family and I would be homeless, ragged, and starving.

Charging people for intellectual property is tough, especially if you’re a giving soul. Pricing is also tough. But the most strenuous hurdle to overcome is, without a doubt, explaining to someone who does not know anything about the business. I want to explain about the hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades I’ve put into acquiring this knowledge. The thousands upon thousand of dollars going to conferences, classes, paid consulting (yes, I’ve had to do what they’re doing).

What I’ve found is that people don’t want your sob story. They don’t possess an experience level to even understand what I’m talking about much of the time.

I’m left with the uncomfortable transition to charging for what I once gave away for free. I have decided that I will schedule a half-hour interview with prospective clients so they may get a sense of who I am and what I do. I want to educate and assist.  This way, they may decide to work with me or not, and I them.

Most people today are accustomed to someone working in a building trading hours for dollars. They do not understand the value of intellectual property, that is, until they need it. Then, far too often. people want it for free.

I’ve been a sucker many times, sitting for hours teaching people things they need to know. But did I truly help them? My assessment is no. They only nabbed a snippet of a large and complex industry which eats writers up and spits them out as discarded refuse at an alarming rate. There was no structure. No plan. No milestones set. No follow-up. In essence, we wasted their time and mine.

Michael Ray King 300dpiA person who pays for knowledge is far more prone to put action to said knowledge than the one who receives it for nothing. Another tough lesson I’ve learned.

I’ve made my peace with my consulting transition. I’ve had people get mildly indignant about me charging for consulting fees, but they would only have wasted their time and mine. I’m interested in helping those who truly intend to invest themselves into writing as a vocation. Everyone who writes does not necessarily do this. Many people simply want to write for themselves. Nothing wrong with that at all. I desire to work with writers who aspire to get their work out into the world. That’s my happy place. It’s my passion. It’s what I do.

If you or someone you know needs help getting their book written, contact me at: Author@MichaelRayKing.com.  My consulting page on my website is located at: MichaelRayKing

I help people get their books written…and I love doing it! 🙂

 

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