I couldn’t be happier for my coaching client, June Lien, who wrote this blog for me at the beginning of her novel-writing journey. June is a professional communicator in the PR, marketing, video and production space. She knows how to write. You’ve probably read things she’s written — for major clients.
Switch to drafting a novel and writing becomes a whole different animal. Fear can hit like kryptonite. That’s where a good writing coach comes in. When you need an advocate and accountability partner, you make no better pro move than to hire a skilled professional. Look for someone with a great track record, the skill and equal passion for your topic.
Enough said. Join me in celebrating June’s journey forward. Embrace the courage of your own convictions. You can do it and, if you need me, I’m here to help.
Wandering Path to My First Novel
by June Dung My Lien
It makes sense that the book, like the relationship, would take years to come to fruition by way of a wandering path.
I am not one of those people who knew where I wanted to go in life, and then took the most direct path to get there. That’s not my journey.
Except now. I know that I need to get this book out of me. The end destination is a finished manuscript, starting with draft one.
Book One of The Series
The first seed was planted long ago, shortly after my trip to Europe in 2003. That trip was so fantastic. It was the epic coming-of-age journey infused with destiny, Asian honor and duty, and an underlying resistance fueled by the ubiquity of racism that ended with true love.
It took about a decade after that fateful trip for me to start writing it in 2013. I guess the story and I both needed time to germinate. I remember stealing away time whenever I could to write.
Then, my sister saw a fortune-teller who foretold that my tale would not be written until after I became a mom. My immediate response–well that’s bullshit.
Fast Forward to 2020
It’s now 2020 and my son is fast approaching his 6th birthday and kindergarten graduation. Apparently, in the early years of being a mom you’re in “survival mode.”
Karen Aroian said that to me years ago when I first met her. She doesn’t remember saying it, but it was so poignant when she said it that I’ve never forgotten. It so clearly defined mothering day-to-day, living in the moment, and meeting my son where he was. But it was honest about the difficulty of doing so.
I didn’t write for a long time.
True to the fortune-teller’s words, the book has started to bubble over again. I’m simultaneously itching to get it down on paper and stuck in a fog of self-doubting double talk, with few words and less pages to show for it.
After working through a goal-setting map activity with a positive psychology coach and dear friend, Dianna Collier, I realized that I have the resources I need to get the book completed. I have a vast network of friends and professionals that can support me as I pen the first draft.
Lunch with Karen
I asked Karen to meet me for lunch and what happened was nothing short of miraculous. She asked me questions that broke open the dams I built up to keep the words from spilling over. My fear was that the rush of the story and the feelings it elicited for me and others would be painful.
Karen reminded me that the story is mine to tell. I am creating characters and endowing them with whatever quirks, positive and negative, that I want. And since there are scenes that I’m bringing to life that never existed in my life, it’s fiction. Two people will become one. Back stories will change. Motivations will change.
And I’m free to create so long as I let myself.
My Writing Coach
It’s the support and accountability that she provides that finally got me to bring her on my authoring journey. Still, it took me almost two months to decide.
The resistance was so strong that I didn’t sign my contract with her until 30 hours before our first scheduled coaching call.
But already, after two weeks, I’m writing. I can picture the protagonist entering the rooftop dance party at the La Pedrera in Barcelona; the statues and walls lit in a multicolored rainbow of lights.
One call and page at a time, I’ll get there. But I’ve got support to see me through it and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. See ya on the other side of draft one.