Carol Thompson (BA Bed RSA Dip Psych MANLP) is a Communication Skills Trainer with a background in education, theatre, psychology and business. She is a Play and Laughter Leader, an NLP Master Practitioner and a therapeutic counsellor with over 25 years’ experience of helping people communicate creatively. You can contact her via email@example.com.
Philip Harland is a neurolinguistic psychotherapist and multi-award winning film-maker. He has written television drama, comedy and documentary, a stage play and a couple of hundred short film scripts. He is the author of many articles on NLP and psychotherapy for professional journals, and is currently at work on two books about his specialist discipline, “Clean Language and Therapeutic Metaphor.” You can find out more about his work at www.cleanlanguage.co.uk or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since Carol and Philip are also married, I invited them to have a conversation about how they support each other’s creative work.
Six Good Ideas about…Getting a Little Help from Your Friends (Support)
1. Let people know that you take your writing seriously. Don’t make comments yourself that trivialize or denigrate your dedication to writing.
2. If others joke about your writing or belittle it in any way, challenge them. Remember, intentionally or not, we train people how to treat us.
3. Join a good writers’ group. If you can’t find one, start one. Make sure the emphasis is on constructive feedback, not meeting procedures, rants about the unfairness of agents, publishers, and editors, or destructive comments.
4. If you can’t find or can’t get to a writing group that meets in person, find one on the Internet.
5. A good formula for giving (or getting) feedback is: positives, potential, problems. In other words, start with what’s good, discuss how making it better would help, and then describe the problems. State them as solvable problems (for example, not “the opening to this story is boring,” but “it would help if there was more of a grabber at the start of this story.”)
6. Set aside time to spend with family and friends; as great as it is to write, we don’t want to sacrifice our personal relationships.
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