I interview author, life, and writer coach Zahie El Kouri about identifying as a writer in your career, common experiences she works through with her clients, and actually getting a book written in the midst of a busy and fulfilling work and home life.
In this podcast, I cover:
- Sharing your work and the trauma associated with it
- Taking steps to get a book published
- Doing the “pre-work” before you beginning writing
- Valuing your time and experiences
- Creating the time you need to write
Clients that want to write a book and what that means
With years of teaching, writing, and coaching experience under her belt, Zahie has plenty of clients come to her with the specific mission of wanting to write a book. While books themselves (fiction and nonfiction) can come in many forms and tell many different stories, the process of the “pre-work” always involves the following things: taking ownership of the book you want to write and of your identity as a writer, capturing the idea of the book you want to create in the moment before moving forward, and deciding if you want to go the route of self or traditional publishing.
“I help ambitious women align their time, talents, and energy to make space to write their books.”
Finding the time to write and how she does that with clients
A common complaint from clients that Zahie encounters is not having enough time to write. The truth is that, like any other habit or activity, you have to make the time to have that time in your schedule. A piece of advice Zahie often gives is to make time within the week if you can’t make time day-to-day. Having a set day of the week with a set number of hours to schedule around fits writing into your schedule and treats being a writer as the valid part of your identity and routine that it truly is.
“One hour. 500 words. Everything you know about the book you want to write.”
Developing a process and discovering excitement in writing
Scheduling the time and doing the pre-work is only half the task. When it comes to writing, you have to value your time, your skills, and yourself in order to get far enough into the process to actually write. For Zahie, she has to routinely work on her own self-belief when it comes to the current book she’s writing. When you work hard on trust, mindset, and knowing your worth, you can trust everything moving forward with the decisions you’re making and the book you’re writing, instead of encountering indecision and discomfort at every turn.
“I trust myself, my process, and my timing completely. When I think that thought and I find evidence to support that thought, I get excited about writing my book again.”
What she thinks when clients tell her, “but no one wants to read this”
Zahie discovered through her own journey from law school to writing that being a writer is not a part of her identity that she can pretend doesn’t exist. She feels the call to write, has passion for writing, and loves bringing that passion out in other people. A common fear among aspiring book writers is the idea that no one will want to read the story they want to write. To combat this, Zahie invites her clients to think of all the people in the world, all 8 billion of them, and all the common experiences that can occur in a world that large. There is someone who will want to read your story, and believing that can make all the difference.
“There is someone out there that will feel seen by reading this story.”
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Check out Zahie El Kouri
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