Earlier today I submitted a short story (the introduction from the Coaching Approach book) to an online author website and received this reply:
On behalf of Ariel Chart’s editors, I am pleased to announce the acceptance of your submission, "Giving Advice" into our literary journal! Your submission is an engaging piece of fiction, funny, and well-written. You show a great understanding of the craft and apply it with wit.
Looking for more short stories, I discovered eight that I wrote in 2011 and 2012 which I had forgotten about.
So I made them into a book. It took 4 hours. See, it doesn't take all day to write a book.
Here is a sample.
This week, Monday and Tuesday have seen the chapters pull together around the resurrection theme.
Riccardo is telling stories from his life, Anthony (JC) is keeping him alive by asking open-ended questions. The final scene with Khaled (Ambass) has yet to be written.
What is also a mystery is what will happen to Riccardo in the final scene. After some coaching, the details are becoming clearer. The work will be done on Thursday and Friday.
So, you may be looking at a whole book by the weekend.
Here's the book AS IT IS right now. Just for reading!
My writing process contains at least one moment of 'collapse' where one of the key ideas is challenged - and removed from the text - to test the strength and validity of the remaining text. This time it was the main idea of the story of the hero as "The teacher who became a coach, died and went to heaven", This heroic death was especially strong in the opening scene where the hero of the story is planning to end his long life on a wintry mountainside. The hero's death would pass through several hallucinations in which he would speak with several people whom he coached as teens and reflections on his life and what he has learned from coaching teens.
I removed the references to death and dying. I edited the opening scene to be the hero's straightforward preparation for a journey, a day trip to a mountain in the snow.
What remains now is a nicer, gentler story. The hero actually meets on the mountain several people whom he coached as teens and together they reflect on his life and what he has learned. The story is more realistic, more palatable.
And I don't like it very much.
No. I will bring back the 100-page death scene. There is magical power in death that brings the rest of the text to life.
Today, I focused on the structure of the one chapter Inspirational Talks, where JC and Riccardo are talking by the fire. It is becoming clear that JC is keeping Riccardo alive and encouraging him to share his learnings from working with teenagers.
The fire is an obvious metaphor for Riccardo's life force.
The chapter begins and ends with JC and Riccardo talking by the fire. The main part of the chapter seems to be a long reflection by Riccardo on what has worked well in his inpirational talks with teenagers. Thus the reader is getting a long lesson in the skills and attitudes they can develop if they want to have similar success with teenagers.
As the 'quilt pieces' of this book seem to be falling into place, I am putting my attention to sewing them together into a compelling story.
The Guide who leads the reader through the book is called JC, the Juvenile Criminal. Also known as Anthony. It is JC who asks Riccardo the questions that keep him alive and sharing the wisdom that he has acquired before he leaves this world forever.
My design is that JC and Riccardo speak at the start of each chapter, then Riccardo relates his wisdom - as wise old men often do - and then JC and Riccardo close the chapter before we move on to the next.
You can see the JC + Riccardo dialogue emerging in the chapter entitled 'Inspirational Talks'
Monday was a gigantic leap forward in writing the book because I was able to collate a number of previously unpublished stories and articles into what is becoming this book. The first draft was some thousands of words covering 50 pages.
Today Tuesday, 6 June (the Swedish national holiday) I have added just a few hundred words around giving inspirational talks. Riccardo is looking back at what he has learned from working with an organisation that has supported his mission to bring inspiration to thousands of teenagers. It turns out that giving inspirational talks is not as easy as it might seem. There are a number of specific skills but the speaker must acquire, most importantly a speaker must adopt a certain attitude towards teenagers.
People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
On this beautiful Monday 5th June 2017, I am starting on another journey, in the form of another book.
This time, I want to explore what happens - and what could happen - when a coach enters a classroom. By 'coach' I mean a certified coach, one that has an education, training, experience and a coach certification to stand on whilst they work their magic.
My intention is that this book will be written during the next two weeks, a time when I am fully engaged in many other joyful tasks associated with being a parent, a company owner, an avid amateur gardner, amongst many other things.
The story so far:
Take 2 of the intro to the 12 Steps online course which I will release in June and July in pilot form, free for anyone to comment on the design and interactivity.
With all my love and thanks to Andrea Robson, Hetty Boswijk and Michele Hellman for listening and asking great questions.
You can probably see and hear the two different energies that are driving me in the process of writing. They are different, both are valid.
Sometimes it takes just a little longer to get the sparks to ignite.
Release date March 2017
Writing a book is a creative process. Writing time is perhaps not the best time to look too closely at the spelling or the grammar of what you are writing. Get the words down on paper, and edit them later (maybe). But how many creative writers also have those analytical, eagle-eye skills for catching spelling errors and grammatical bloopers? Not me, not much. Andrea is good at spotting errors. But there are soooo many.
With 200 pages to check, recheck and check again, we needed some support. It came in the form of a website.
In 2015, I made some notes about what to remember when coaching beyond the limitations of the cosy armchairs that can be found in most coaching rooms.
Now, in 2017, these ideas will be a book called "the Kama Sutra of Coaching" on Amazon.
As I write, I wonder how big the book is going to be. Not the length and breadth of the book, but the impact it will have on how we communicate in our education system.
The playlists of the videos associated with my mission to evolve the education system, one small step at the time.
The story from the start
I am a teacher, a business-owner, a public speaker, a coach and an author.