As a strategy to seize back power from the self-doubts and self-sabatoging behaviors around her writing, she signs up for ongoing plot consultations with me.
With the 4 Energetic Markers identified through all major plot lines, she plots scenes ideas for the beginning quarter of her story. At the same time we agree to begin incorporating actual writing into her homework. Appreciating that writing is a dance between resistance and flow, I give her two weeks to begin writing.
When she next checks in, I nearly hold my breath in anticipation whether this self-described writer who puts off writing and puts off writing and puts off writing actually wrote anything. She reports progress with the necessary research for a firm grasp of some of the activities that take place in her story and describes the banner paper she bought online and reinforced on the wall and placed the major scenes in place.
Then the news I've been waiting for. I cheer upon hearing she has indeed written. Rather than the usual sweaty palms as she works and reworks the same beginning chapters over and over again, she was determined to try writing in a new way. She'd convinced herself that writing in snippets was easier, less threatening, than writing in complete scenes and so that's what she did. She wrote snippets for the first 2 scenes.
I eager await our next session to learn if she commits to writing actual scenes with beginnings and middles and ends. She appreciates the need for complete scenes, having learned first-hand how difficult and slowing the process of keeping track of and fitting together all the various snippets.
The even greater challenge: Will she be able to write the next 4 scenes WITHOUT going back to rewrite the 2nd scene (snippet) to incorporate ideas she generated during our session and without rewriting the snippets into scenes?
An organizational system for note-keeping (rather than allowing herself back into what she's already written) I prefer is keeping notes on a Plot Planner. Because she readily admits to being a pretty disorganized writer, the idea of adding notes to the Plot Planner she's installed in her writing room appeals to her.
I know she can complete the homework. Now the question becomes, can she walk fully into the person she's becoming, empowered, taking charge of her life, trying new ideas, facing her fears and conquering them? I believe in her. Does she believe in herself? Do you? If not yet, I know she will. When will you?
For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.