He's an international sensation, houses in five different countries, a TED host and a successful non-fiction journalist. He falters when considering his fiction. Having worked with him in the past on developing the plot for his now completed suspense novel, he calls for another appointment. Double-thinking the job his agent is doing pitching his novel, he asks for help establishing his "brand" in support of his novel and developing a plan to create an on-line presence in hopes of impressing editors and publishers as an expert in the field covered in his novel.
We speak and, like the first time we consulted on his novel, he again resorts to fearful self-talk about what others will think, his image and reputation, uncertainty, low energy and self-doubt. For one so externally successful, I feel for the inner turmoil he suffers. Sensitivity to past rejections fuels a lack of self belief. He finds real difficulty in recovering from criticism, negativity, setbacks no matter how small.
Reminding him of his past doubts and ultimate accomplishment -- having written from beginning to end an incredibly exciting novel in a relevant and compelling setting about issues in the news today, he's shocked. He doesn't remember expressing the exact same doubts when starting the scary proposition of revising a complex novel as he's expressing now when starting the scary proposition of building a brand.
The less we dwell on his fears and doubts and more on establishing a concrete and measurable plan, the less fearful and doubting he is as he sees the steps leading him from uncertainty to confidently moving in the direction of his goals. His inner story of fear and uncertainty is replaced with the realty of his success, what he's shown he is capable of and together we weave for him a new story filled with possibility.
He's not the first writer I've worked with to doubt himself. Over the course of my career as the Plot Whisperer, I’ve learned quite a lot about the structure of stories and even more about the influence our inner stories have over every success and failure we experience in life.
Success demands action. A plan, a pre-plot, a Plot Planner keeps you grounded and directs your actions toward success. Re-imagine the stories you tell yourself about the way life operates and become the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
*****NEW Space available for our Concept, Logline, Pitch Workshop . Have a bunch of ideas but not sure which one to write? Have a completed manuscript and ready to start querying and pitching to agents and editors? Literary agent Jill Corcoran knows concept. I know plot. Join us live and online .
If you'd like more, join me at an upcoming a writers conference, picture book workshop , middle grade and young adult intensive , and WRITER'S PLOT RETREAT and read my plot books.