Muffy’s top tip for aspiring authors: If by any chance you’re daunted by the exercise of putting your thoughts into words on a page, take a walk around a park and speak into the auto-record on your phone. Your words will flow naturally and it’s a great transitional step to take before the assault on your laptop keyboard.
Muffy Churches is an internationally renowned integrative coach-therapist. A corporate trainer, executive coach, speaker, author, and counselor, she has extensive experience in inspiring and initiating positive behavioral change in clients around the world. To find out more about Muffy, visit her website www.muffychurches.com
Why do you write? In the past, I’ve written just to get ideas out of my head and onto paper, typically at some ungodly, early morning, sleepless hour. I have a drawer chock full of a collection of these random thoughts on my particular topic of passion- the nature of our thinking mind and its link to our levels of life’s pains and pleasures.
Recently though, instead of sporadic scratchy notes, my personal universe has been more orderly. I’ve actually managed to whip my thoughts into the form of a book and in this case my reason for writing is specifically to ‘share’ – to offer my concepts publicly to those who might resonate with them.
There’s a particular vulnerability in this for me. It’s like turning myself inside out and letting everyone have a peek…a scary risk, that in some weird way I’m enjoying.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? By day, I’m a corporate executive coach and leadership trainer, so I’m working the two gigs concurrently. The writing is really an extension of the coaching experience that I love so much- that amazing interaction with another trusting individual that is such a privilege for me. In my very first career-life I was a professional dancer. Those years were incredible as well, but definitely had a used by date attached, smiling.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? From an emotional standpoint, my challenge was learning to trust myself, to have faith that my message could be of value. There are so many accomplished, bigger-than-life writers in my field. I could hear my evil twin of an inner voice saying, “Why would anyone be interested in your thoughts on the topic?” It was like bungie jumping, I just had to breathe deep and leap.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I’m passionate about understanding the art of ‘playing the mind game’, and writing about it gives me an opportunity to put concepts and theories into message bites that I can share with many at a time. The exercise of writing articles for media releases around the book has been fascinating and fun.
—the worst? Definitely my time management, I’m a serial procrastinator. No cupboard or garage bin has escaped me for the day or two before a deadline. Thank goodness, once I finally get going on a project I manage to stay in the zone long enough to complete it, but getting to that point can be tough.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would definitely keep better, organised notes and an improved filing system. The drawer I mentioned earlier is like a loose-leaf dictionary without page numbers
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I say good-heartedly, I wouldn’t have minded being warned that it can takes days to get one measly sentence right! I expected my fingertips to fly across the keyboard and at times they do, but…rarely.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? To relax in authenticity and write from the heart- to have faith in my message and trust that the right audience will be drawn to it.
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