Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tip O'Day #453 - The Bird is the Word

Guest blogger, author, life coach, and Toastmasters friend Sherri Gerek on humming right along.

A favorite quote of mine comes courtesy of Albert Einstein: “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.“ I took this to heart these past couple of years as I meandered along an unseen path while writing my first book, The Hummingbird Way, Putting Hover, Zip, and Zoom to Work in your Life. I used my experiences with nature to draw correlations to human nature, often asking myself, what can I learn here? What might this mean to someone else?

After nearly thirty years in the corporate environment leading and developing employees in the travel and hospitality industry, I felt confident that what I had learned about communications and relationships could benefit others. I just had to find a way to share that knowledge, especially what makes us successful, and what it takes to foster good relations. As I transitioned away from the corporate environment to open my own coaching practice, I started the book. What I didn’t know then was that I needed a process for writing.

I smile thinking back to my initial approach. Let’s see, it’s Wednesday…I’ll write a couple of chapters today, and at this rate I will finish the book in a month. Now, you are likely reading this while wearing a knowing smile and thinking…this is not going to work that way. Right you are. When the end of the first week rolled around, there I was…staring at my computer still searching for the right words. In reality, I had the words but my internal editor was having a field day with my internal writer, which stymied the creative process. Why do editors do this to us writers? The difficulty getting started came down to my internal editor picking things apart, which resulted in my internal writer shutting down.

That’s it – writer on strike!

Once I realized what was happening, it was an easy fix. I had to find a new job for my internal editor, and I quickly assigned her to my monthly magazine column. Letting go of editing opened up this writer’s imagination. I began carrying a notebook with me because often the best inspirations bubbled up when I was far from the computer. Later, I would transfer ideas to sticky notes which I posted on giant story boards. Before beginning to write each day I would review the boards. Whatever happened to inspire me that day, I wrote about.

Not a month, but nearly a year later, I had finished the manuscript, cultivated a love for writing, and decided to create a series of books with themes drawn from lessons in nature. My internal editor and internal writer buried the hatchet and formed a great partnership. In fact, they are currently in discussions about the outline for the next book. It should be a real hoot! (Spoiler alert - there I go giving away the theme.)

Sherri Gerek is an author, speaker, certified professional life coach, and veteran sales and marketing director. Sherri wrote The Hummingbird Way to help guide other busy people, whether top executives or newbies starting to climb the ladder. You can learn more at Sherri’s website or on Amazon. Also, The Hummingbird Way was recently awarded 5 stars by Readers’ Favorite website.

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