"For a year and a half and three hundred pages later, Naomi has been my gifted guide. A great boat woman, she takes her seat quietly at the helm, and listens in a way that always inspires what is waiting to be known, said, and written to come forth. Practically skillful and mindfully soulful, she is helpful at every turn and around all the stops and stages in the process of book making.

"But mostly, she is the best kind of friend, and that's really what it takes."
—Prema Nihan Sanchez, author, River’s Grace: Navigating the Sacred and Mundane in Motherhood


 


Writing from the Deeper Self


Bringing Your Treasures into the World . . .



ABOUT

BOOK

DEVELOPMENT

     

WHAT A BOOK DEVELOPER DOES

(AND WHY YOU MIGHT WANT ONE)

Inside you there is a wish to write something. And it is more than a wish, it’s a push, an urge. But what is it inside that wants to be brought out? How do you find and sustain the courage and confidence to follow the emerging thread? How do you give it form and shape in a way that is creative and satisfying, not scary, lonely, or overwhelming?

This is what a Book Developer is for. "Development" suggests a process, which allows for patience, compassion, trial and error, learning from what doesn’t work for you, and becoming more finely attuned to what does.

IS A "BOOK DEVELOPER" THE SAME

AS A "WRITING COACH"?

People sometimes say to me, "A ‘book developer.’ That’s like a writing coach, right?"

Well, you could see it that way. Coaching is a big thing right now, and its meaning is pretty clear. A coach helps you fulfill your goals, using action plans, etc. to get you there. A coach is a kind of motivator, firing your own intrinsic desire to do what it takes to reach your goal.

Book development shares some of that, but not everything. You do take actions (you write, from session to session), you do have a desire for a particular achievement (to write, complete, and hopefully publish a book that reflects the truest of your essential being), and I do provide the kind of encouragement that can activate your own motivation. But book development also takes place on a different level from the achieving self altogether.

Book development, you might say, involves more of a process. There are treasures inside everyone–dreams, forgotten memories, forgotten promises, glints of your own character-gold hidden beneath the dull rock of shame and overly harsh self-criticism–and these treasures cannot be marched out and made to reveal themselves on a list-of-to-do’s kind of itinerary. They have to be uncovered, gently, for it is that shy, vulnerable, gentle Self who first went into hiding. It must be safe to come out now, into the light of your own and my attention (and the possibility of later readers to come). Further, these treasures of yours must be invited out, must be wanted, must be welcomed into the world. And this is where a book developer comes in.

While it is true that I bring decades of expertise in how to put books together, that is only the technical foundation of my work with a client. Much of what I do is just listening–deep listening, listening for what already moves you, fills you with that inexpressible beauty for life, whether the tone is joyful or bittersweet. And over time, as your trust in me takes hold, and as your trust in yourself–as a human being and a creative person–takes hold, you begin to play with how to let the treasures out.

It is not that there are no things to do week by week, or that I refrain from asking where you want to go next with your writing, or even that I refrain from giving "homework" assignments if that is what spurs you to write. It is more that, although I have all my skills at the ready to help you take the next step, what I’m really doing is meeting you where you are, reflecting back the desires, struggles, and beauty of yourself as a person doing the writing as well as the writing itself, and encouraging your art and your trust in your own ways to unfold.

So–it develops. We see what’s there, and respond to that. And as your intention refines itself, we work to bring your writing into harmony with your intention and the great beauty of your being.

What It Means to "Develop" a Book

  1. To write a book (or any complete work) from beginning to end. (However, you can begin in the middle, as well.)
  2. To allow what wants to be written to arise, encouraging it to develop as a light-touched negative develops in a dark room.
  3. To bring one’s real dreams of writing out of the closet of despair, self-criticism, and doubt, and let them lead you through the landscape of your heart’s desire.
  4. To bring these writings into the world to a widening circle of readers who, through reading your work, become intimate with themselves, and feel like loved ones and friends.

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