Case Study

By Clare Frances

Claire Frances had a burning desire to write great books but couldn’t find a way to get moving and realise her dream. Here’s how she got back on course and finished her first novel.

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember…

…right back to my childhood, when I’d write short story after short story in the back of the car while my parents listened patiently. When I say short stories, I mean two or three sentences long, but to me I was an author of great books!

Fast forward a few years and after studying writing, working as a journalist and then setting myself up as a freelancer, I still had the burning desire to write great books. I started writing a novel and got as far as 24,000 words.

Then all of a sudden I just stopped. I’m not too sure why. I just put it down and never picked it up. Two and a half years went by and people would ask, ‘how’s the book coming along?’ and I’d smile and say it was coming along well. But inside I knew it was a lie. It wasn’t moving and neither was I.

I had also written parts of two non-fiction books, which got accepted for a market review with an American publisher. They were waiting for me to submit some content, but I was stumped. I just kept putting it off. I knew something had to change and that something was me.

I got in touch with Alison after reading some of her inspirational articles and asked if she might be able to help. I had no idea what was to follow. After our first coaching session, I couldn’t believe how revived, confident and focused I felt. Alison stripped it all back for me.

I told her I had three books on the go and she asked me which book made me feel the happiest. I knew I was getting a lot of pleasure from the non-fiction books, but I also had a burning desire to finish my novel. I decided I would focus on the non-fiction books to begin with.

After only a few days I’d made great progress and before I knew it I had the chapters the publishers needed for the market review. I was buzzing with energy and passion.

Then I picked up my novel. I knew I had to finish it so I made myself a promise: I would write no more than 1,000 words a day until I reached 80,000 words, no excuses. I’d made promises like this before, but since talking to Alison, something just clicked inside and I knew, this time, would be different.

From that day, I kept my promise. I wrote late at night into the early hours and during the day in stolen moments. I continued to speak to Alison, who was inspiring me more than ever. She made me realise that the only person getting in my way, was me.

I wrote chapter after chapter, nothing could stop me. I remember feeling like I had more energy than ever before, which was crazy because I was getting hardly any sleep, but something inside me was pushing me forwards. I felt alive and I knew why – I was doing what I loved. It was a pleasure, not a chore.

After a couple of months, I reached my target and finished my book. Holding 80,000 words in my hands was the proudest moment of my life.

I know that if I hadn’t got in touch with Alison, the book would still be saved on my desktop at 24,000 words and I’d still be kidding myself that I was writing it.

It’s hard to put into words what Alison has done for me. She has unlocked something inside me that I have struggled with for years. She’s given me the confidence to believe in myself, the courage to push myself, and the clarity to achieve the very dream I’ve carried around with me my whole life.

Alison held the mirror up and made me see I was holding the key to everything I ever wanted, and then she helped me unlock it.

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