The First Book Coaching Call

by Susan K. Younger on August 1, 2012

When I signed up for coaching with Jan I sent her information about topics I thought I might be interested in writing about and confirmed that I had nothing started.

I postponed our first session for 2 months knowing I was house hunting and anticipated completing a move during that time frame. I wanted to make a commitment to start even if it was not to start “today”. As it turned out I was still in the middle of a move when we began and the thought of being able to think about anything seemed daunting. Those circumstances make it easy to remember my first call with Jan about writing.

We talked about the topics related to my professions of architecture and massage which in my mind would require some research and lots of time to organize my information. I told Jan I wanted to start with what I assumed to be an easy subject, the cookbook my Mom prepared for me to take to college the first year I would live off campus. Mom had wanted me to have recipes she knew were not written down and some she had gathered from others. Jan listened and asked me to tell her more about my family and why the cookbook meant so much to me. After I shared some stories I thought were relevant she said.

“You are not going to write a cookbook. You can take some of the recipes and relate them to the stories you have been telling me. Let the link between the food and your stories explain how you have built community around your dining table. Blend the stories and food and then send me an outline for chapters for our next call.”

Jan had listened to me talk about building community in architecture, connections to clients and family and instantly could see a vision for a book I would have never imagined putting those things together. In less than an hour she could see from our discussion the idea I would have never found on my own. She inspired me to focus only on titles for the stories and think about what food or recipes I could relate to each. So simple, so me, but so not something I could see for myself.

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