I had a good laugh at my own expense this morning and I’m going to share it with you.

I recently finished writing “War’s End” a fictional book I had been working on for way too long. It’s been submitted and now it is a matter of waiting to hear back. Meanwhile, I began to sort through my different book starts, looking for the next project to begin working on. Mercedes Lackey said it best, “I often have a project in the planning stages, one currently being written, and another in the editing stage at any one time.” In other words, if you are a writer, you keep going and don’t get to sit on your laurels for too long.

I had settled on choosing between two possible projects, and as I made notes, created time-lines and character descriptions in each of them, much to my dismay, I found myself gravitating towards the bigger of the projects. How big, you ask? Try FOUR books big. A bigger project than I could have even imagined a few years ago when I was just trying to get one written.

The funny part of this is, the sheer number of books (four, plus several – even possibly many, spin-offs) doesn’t faze me as much as one little, tiny, small little problem…I don’t have the details down of who Liv Rowan encounters, how it might be a problem, or what she might do to fix it. I’ve got four working titles and a solid idea of what happens at the end of book 4. And…that’s it.

I would be writing about this on one my private blogs, I actually started to do so this morning, until I was reminded of the quote from “The Stand.” The big bad guy is interrogating one of the people from Boulder and she claims she has no idea who the guy he is looking for is. He responds, “All the same dear, I think you do know.” For those of you who have seen the movie, you know it doesn’t end well for her, but it got me to thinking.

When I am working with a coaching client and they hit a wall, usually the reason they have a coach in the first place, they will say to me, “I just don’t know what to do.” In that moment, no choice seems right, and the way in front of them is blocked. What might seem incredibly easy and clear to me, is clouded and dark for them. We work on it, nibbling away at the edges, pushing gently against the metaphorical wall, until there is that moment when things suddenly resolve into clarity and conviction. The client is excited, I’m happy for them, and there is progress past this stumbling block.

My job as a coach is to be the catalyst for change. I don’t provide the answers, or try and tell a client what they need to do. I believe the answers are within them and that they know, deep inside, what will work best for them. My job is to get them to the point where they are listening to that quiet voice inside. Once they can access the answers from within, they can make changes in their lives that will serve them well in the weeks, months and years to come.

  • What do I want to do for a living?
  • Is this relationship good for me?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • How do I want to proceed?
  • What should I do about this particular situation?

I believe we each have the answers to all of those questions and more, waiting inside us. I believe that we intuitively know, without a shadow of a doubt, the course that would be best for each of us to take. Life, culture, expectations, upbringing – all of these things pull us away from the truth and distract us from listening to the one person who knows you better than anyone else in the entire world…you.

So how do these two topics – writing and coaching – fit together?

This morning I got up, as I have several morning over the past week, asking myself, “What happens to Liv Rowan in Byd Arall?” It’s been driving me crazy. How can I be so audacious as to suggest I have four books to write and not have story plots worked out for them yet? Who am I kidding?

It was the certainty I have felt over this series that has allowed me to suspend my disbelief at my current writing situation this far. I cannot tell you how I know, but I know for sure that what I have here (as scant as it is at the moment) is worthy of my attention. Something deep inside is pushing me towards this, pointing insistently, determined that I continue.

“I don’t know what happens to Liv in Byd Arall!” I told myself for the 20th time this week.

And then Randall Flagg from “The Stand”…

“All the same dear, I think you do know.”

And with that, the path before me is clear. No, I don’t have all the answers, not yet. But I know it’s in there somewhere. I just need to be patient, eventually I will find it. Most likely it will find me. Somewhere in there, is a complete story. If I keep nibbling at the edges, the details will come.

The answer is within.