I just want to celebrate a little, so Yay! Not only have I finished my book coach’s homework, but I’ve seen my story in a new way.

I’ve been on an intense writing schedule so far this year. After firming up my outline in January and February, I spent three months drafting my novel. For much of that time, I was writing 30-40 hours per week.

Then, after about a week off from writing, I dove into the homework I needed to submit to my book coach: a one-page Book Summary, a three-page Inside Outline, a two-page Manuscript Audit Summary, and the first 30 pages of my manuscript1.

I was able to take a more leisurely pace with this work, as it was more a matter of revising than starting from scratch. It was when I eased up on the pace, that a little magic seeped in. As I assembled my homework documents, each a different way of looking at the same story, a ghostly form began to take shape: the world that I’ve imagined. All the places I’ve conjured, the characters I’ve gotten to know, the situations I’ve envisioned coalesced into something that felt whole.

It was a strange sensation.

My sense of the whole story is still cloaked in mist, but to have this sense at all is miraculous. So it turns out I don’t have to wait for my coach’s feedback to benefit from having a coach. Just doing the homework has been a gift.

Do you sometimes have unexpected moments of insight?

1The Book Summary, Inside Outline, and Manuscript Audit are tools developed by Jennie Nash to help her and other book coaches evaluate a writer’s manuscript. Jennie Nash is the founder of Author Accelerator, which matches writers with book coaches.

My work with Jennie is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org).

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