COACHING TO COLLABORATION
Dr. Regina Lark is a professional organizer and feminist historian. Several years ago, the concept of ‘emotional labor’ turned on a lightbulb in her mind that excited her greatly. The emotional labor concept integrated Regina’s background in feminist history, organizational challenges and social change. She knew she wanted to write a book. She had lots of notes, clear ideas, and tons of research material but whenever she sat down to write, other priorities won out, or she just could not quite get the right words out of her head. And, the reader’s experience of the book had to match Regina’s excitement about the concept even without any subject matter knowledge of emotional labor. “I realized if I wanted to get this book out the door I should probably hire a book coach.” Smart woman!
Simply hiring a book coach immediately gave Regina the focus of time and effort needed to write a book. A coach is an excellent resource for an author struggling with getting started, pushing on, and actually getting a book out of one’s head and files and into a manuscript. I coached Regina through explicating her central concept and key themes captured in the title Emotional Labor: Why A Woman’s Work is Never Done and What to do About It. We established a process (see below) for working together, stuck to it religiously, and the book’s depth and scope began to unfold.
I’ve book coached and brought to publication, seven authors and each has a unique thinking and writing process. Regina is stronger at verbalizing her ideas than drafting or writing them. So, I interviewed like she was on a talk show. She recorded and then transcribed the interviews and emailed them to me. I edited her articulate but raw thoughts sentence by sentence, and paragraph by paragraph learning on the way Regina’s “voice.” Back and forth the content went between us, draft after draft supplemented with quotations from other authors, article citations, Facebook chat logs, survey results, and focus group material. Soon I could write entire chapters in Regina’s voice!
What began as coaching an author through the writing and development of the content turned into a collaboration as a fuller partner in the book project. I recommended exercises, wrote original content, did research, consulted on the index, and coordinated with the rest of the team: the proofreader, cartoonist, interior book designer, even the marketers! Most book projects are not as collaborative as Regina’s but as your book coach, support is there for you at whatever level you need.
Emotional Labor: Why A Woman’s Work is Never Done and What to do About It, a book of 40,000 words is due for publication October, 2021. It has already attracted ‘buzz’ including advance praise from subject matter experts in emotional labor; leaders in the field of feminist history, activists at the forefront of women’s empowerment, and outstanding professional organizers. Regina has positioned herself as an authority on the topic securing presentation bookings and media events and a possible Ted Talk! No book coach can tell you your book will be a best-seller, but I can guarantee you a superbly interesting, high quality book you can be proud of.