- Know what you want to write about
When I first set out to write the book I knew I wanted it to be about the loss of a loved one and how to transform grief as this is my area of expertise. As I continued to work with my coaching clients I realised that the book had to be about the process I used with my clients and explain how people could tap into this process themselves. The more I thought about it and researched other self-help books I realised I wanted inspirational stories of other people who were thriving after the loss of their loved one as well to add greater depth. From starting with only a vague idea I finally managed to become really specific about that it was I wanted to have in the book.
- Have a clear outline
Before I even started writing I knew I was going to have eleven chapters and what was going to go into each chapter. I also interviewed everyone I needed for the book and had their stories written up and associated with specific chapters. I introduced the topic with current research in grief and loss. Then I outlined the process I use with clients that really allows people to let go of grief and transform loss into a lasting legacy. From there I went on to do a deep dive into each part of the process. I looked at the biggest challenge that people faced when dealing with grief and how they could maintain grief transformation. Then lastly I explored how to use nature to deepen peoples’ experiences before finishing and telling people what they needed to do after they put the book down.
- Visualise the finished book
As I worked on the outline I would also spend time visualising what the finished book was about. I’d imagine myself holding the book in my hands looking at the cover and flicking through the pages. I’d imagine reading those pages and how I would feel once I’d completed the book. The more I did this, the more real the book became for me. The book felt so real to me before I even started writing that it felt almost as if I was just copying it from somewhere else.
- Find a writing style that works for you
I read a lot of advice that said just sit and write and don’t worry about what you are writing. Other advice said write whenever you had even a spare five minutes. More advice told me to not worry about editing what I’d written until afterwards. I tried all of this and it didn’t work for me. What I discovered was that I needed to write and edit at the same time. Because I was so clear on what I wanted to say in the book I would write a paragraph and then check to make sure it clearly represented what I wanted to say. If I got stuck I would leave the computer and go for a walk in the garden and visualise the finished book returning again when I knew what I wanted to say. This process allowed me to create a first draft that needed minimal editing.
- Create block time
Tabitha Jayne is a leading expert in the field of grief & growth coaching and the author of Thriving Loss: Move beyond grief to a place of peace, passion and purpose. She is also the creator of the Tree of Transformation©, a five step process that helps individuals fully let go of grief and transform loss into a lasting legacy that positively impacts both themselves and the world. Download the free audio of the Introduction and Chapter One to Thriving Loss at www.tabithajayne.com or buy the book at www.thrivingloss.com
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