Monday, June 16, 2014

For The Love Of Words ...

I blame the Puritans.

Somehow, despite my not be raised by Puritans, their damn work ethic bored its way into my brain: Work must feel like work – arduous, exhausting – I thought; anything less didn't count.

I tried the arduous and exhausting path.

It was not fun.

And so, I have since exorcised the Puritanical way of thinking and instead started constructing a life that I find much more rewarding.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about book coaching, a new offering in the new year, part of Michele Woodward Consulting.

In the post, I recount my experience with editing The Last Lecture, written by Randy Pausch and my dearly departed friend Jeff Zaslow.

This is what Jeff inscribed in my copy:

Beth, I am completely grateful to you for the advice, editing, cheerleading, and creative input you gave for this book. I remember being very unsure of where this was going, and I appreciated your clear-eyed skill at pointing me the right way. This book is better because of you. I am proud to be your friend.

I was very touched to read that that the night he wrote it. It didn't dawn on me until this past year that his inscription is the book-coaching recommendation to end all book-coaching recommendations.

I really love helping people talk through their projects and I really love helping them work through the nuts and bolts of editing and proofreading and formatting.

Starla Fitch, M.D., author of the soon-to-be-released Remedy for Burnout: 7 Prescriptions Doctors Use to Find Meaning in Medicine, recently wrote to Michele:

Just wanted to let you know that when Beth read over the Interior Layout proof of my book, I decided she could also be a pathologist or a diagnostic radiologist or a forensic investigator. She can see things that the average person cannot. And, it is going to make my book a better read for my clients, which is awesome. Thanks again for the referral.

I've edited titles of fiction, business, and wellness, too.

I've also connected with a client who's in need of help with writing for her job. I look forward to our weekly calls to discuss pieces she has in progress and to talk about ways to make her writing more lively and clear.

I credit my mom with my love of language. She taught me how to print my name when I was 3. And I've been writing ever since. She also read to me and encouraged me to read and set a fine example: Mom sitting on the couch reading is one of the indelible images of my childhood. She was a big fan of Reader's Digest Condensed Books. They looked very nice on our bookshelves after she had read them.

If you need someone to help you get your book project moving in earnest, I'm here. Let’s talk about what’s holding you back. Let’s talk through the areas that you feel aren’t working. Let’s work on an outline and a writing schedule so you can put into the world the things you most want to convey. Or, let's talk about your challenges with the nuts and bolts of writing. Or your need for editing. Or formatting. Or proofreading.

You can find more information and contact me about your project here.


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