As we mentioned in the overview, authors often get stuck in the writing process because they’re trying to complete the tasks of one writing phase, when they’re actually in another. They’re working from the wrong map.

So let’s begin where everyone’s book journey begins: when you’re experiencing what you will be writing about. In other words, your book is writing you.

Phase 1: Idea Incubation: When Your Book Is Writing You

What does this phase look like?

You’re experiencing a major challenge and know something big and valuable is happening, but you’re not sure how the story ends yet. You’re actively experiencing pain and uncertainty, as well as times of exhilaration and growth. You may even already know you want to share what you’re learning with others, but your overall message and lessons aren’t quite clear yet. You’re discovering the gifts that lie on the other side of your challenge, and you’re beginning to see yourself as the hero of your own life story.

What tools, support, and/or actions are most helpful?

  • A regular practice of meditation, spiritual listening, or other method of receiving direct personal insight
  • A regular practice of recording your thoughts, emotions, and insights with brutal honesty
  • A compassionate witness
  • Intentionally practicing the lessons you’re learning in your own life so you can begin to embody them with others

How do I know I’m ready to transition to the next phase?

  • You’ve been able to name the lessons you’ve learned, and you’ve begun to practice and embody them more visibly.
  • You see how you are the hero of your own life story – how you have overcome a significant challenge that has yielded significant gifts in your life. You could clearly talk about this part of your story publicly if you chose to.
  • At a deep level, you feel activated: you have fresh insight about who you are and what is yours to do.

Questions for reflection:

  • Are you in Phase 1?
  • If so, what tool, resource, or action will you use to support yourself and take the next step forward?

If you’d like additional support or feedback about your writing journey, I’d love to connect. Email me at, or schedule a free consult at

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