How can you move past overwhelm and create content that speaks to your ideal client, in their language? What does it mean to take an unfussy and intuitive approach to writing? Today I am thrilled to share my interview with my good friend and colleague, Jacq Fisch, who is here to answer all your questions about writing in your coaching business.
How can you move past overwhelm and create content that speaks to your ideal client, in their language? What does it mean to take an unfussy and intuitive approach to writing?
Today I am thrilled to share my interview with my good friend and colleague, Jacq Fisch, who is here to answer all your questions about writing in your coaching business.
Jacq Fisch is a talented and intuitive writer who supports other writers, coaches, and service-based professionals who want to dive into their writing in a way that connects with their audience and allows them to build and grow their businesses.
I really appreciate Jacq’s approach to writing which is so in sync with how I approach coaching and I know that you are really going to enjoy this powerful conversation with Jacq Fisch.
- The types of people Jacq serves as a writing coach
- Jacq’s winding journey from corporate to coach
- Why Jacq is all about unfussy writing
- Embracing intuitive gifts
- How perfectionism and procrastination are holding you back
- What’s behind common writing challenges for coaches
- How to find your voice in your writing
- Making space for creating versus consuming
- Jacq’s tips for getting unstuck when you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Jacq Fisch’s Website
- Jacq Fisch’s Book | Unfussy Life: An Intuitive Approach to Navigating Change
- Jacq Fisch’s Write Like a MOFO Community
- The Coach with Clarity Community
- Coach with Clarity Membership
- Connect with Me on Instagram
- Email Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!
* * * * * *
Well, hello my friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity Podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough, and today I have a very special treat for you. I am thrilled to share my interview with my good friend and colleague, Jacq Fisch of Write Like a MOFO. So Jacq is a talented and intuitive writer who supports other writers, copywriters, and ghost writers, as well as coaches and service based professionals who want to really dive into their writing in such a way that it connects with their audience and allows them to build and grow their businesses. I've known Jacq for several years, I am a part of her Write Like a MOFO community. And I really appreciate her approach to writing. We're going to talk about it much more in the interview. But Jacq is known for her unfussy, intuitive approach to writing, which is just so in sync with how I like to approach coaching. So I know that you are going to really enjoy this conversation with Jacq Fisch. So let's get right to it.
* * * * * * *
Lee: Well, hello, Jacq Fisch. Thank you so much for coming on the Coach with Clarity Podcast.
Jacq: Hello, thank you. I'm so happy to be here. And I love chatting with you, so.
Lee: Well the feeling is 100% mutual. I'm so, so honored to have you on the show. Why don't we start off talking a little bit about who you are and the work you do for the world.
Jacq: Awesome. So, I'm Jacq. I'm a writer and writing coach. I work with two kinds of creative people. Usually service based businesses, branding experts. They want to sound more human in their copy so they can sell more, get more clients, sound authentic, all that good stuff. And I also work with other writers like myself, copywriters, ghost writers, and coaches who are great at writing. And they're doing all the work for everyone else, except they're not writing for themselves. They're not working on their book, their blog, their podcasts, like they're not doing any of that stuff. They're only focused on serving others. That's what I do.
Lee: That resonates with me. It's like the old adage, “The cobbler's children have no shoes”. You know, we're so good at taking care of the people we serve that sometimes we don't do that for ourselves.
Jacq: Exactly, and I was one of those people. I'm a little over four years into my business full time, after leaving corporate. And I was doing all the copywriting for everyone else, and none of it for myself. Like my book was collecting dust, and all my writing was kind of falling by the wayside. Blogging was somewhat consistent. And of course, I was doing all the client work. Delivering on time. You know, as a Type A does, hitting deadlines, meeting goals. But my writing wasn't happening. And to be fully congruent and aligned in my work, I needed to show up for myself first.
Lee: Yes. Oh goodness, that is such a juicy topic. We're going to dig into that in a little bit. But first, I would love to talk a little bit more about your superhero origin story. Because as you mentioned, you've been in your business now full time for about four years. But I know that there's been a lot that has brought you to where you are today, lots of twists and turns and transitions. Which for many of us, myself included, as we become coaches, we've experienced that as well. So I always love hearing about people's stories and the journey that brought them to where they are today. Would you be willing to share that?
Jacq: Of course, I love a good story, and so many people have a journey of twists and turns. So I really like sharing mine because people resonate with it. And they're like, “Oh yeah, I had some of that too”. So yeah, four years in business full time. Up until that time, I was in corporate America. Growing up, I never really entertained the idea of being a business owner or a writer. It was never a thing. I was definitely always a creative kid. Art class was my favorite. I was always drawing, painting, doing things like that. Growing up, I actually wanted to go to fashion school. I want to be a fashion designer.
Lee: Really, oh I didn't know that.
Jacq: Yeah, I mean, if you see the clothes I wear, you wouldn't be like, “Oh, she's so fashionable”. I was probably about 10 or 11. And I was also obsessed with all things French. Growing up in Canada, French is the official second language. So we had to take it in school, and I loved it, like I took all the extra French classes. So I wanted to be a rich and famous fashion designer and live in Paris. I didn't even apply to fashion school. I don't know exactly what happened other than someone was like, “Do you know how to sew?”, and I was like, “No. Oh well, maybe I should just not do that”. And I went to business school instead. Which-
Lee: Why not?
Jacq: I know, practically speaking. So business school, marketing, and I left school looking for a shiny corporate job so that I could climb the ladder. Because to me, that's what I believe the definition of success was. Climb ladders, get promotions, make money, do the things. And my first several years in corporate was management consulting. We worked with a lot of federal government, state government, and big projects. Like rolling out pieces of the Affordable Care Act. Like huge, huge projects. USDA, things like that. And after I had my son (so this is almost 13 years ago) returning from maternity leave, I remember sitting in a meeting one day, and just looking around and being like, “Is this all there is? This doesn't feel quite right”. I was ready to go back to work. I knew I wanted to be a working mom. I enjoyed working, and contributing, and having time focused on myself. But I was like, “This is, this is not it”. Like I had no inkling of what I was going to do. All I knew was like, I need to do something else and I don't know what. Fast forward to the time he's about one, I get called into an office with my managing director and some guy from HR who I'd never met, like totally clueless. And it took me a while to realize what was happening, and like the looks on their faces are like, “We're firing you”. I don't understand what's happening. So that was my first layoff. I say first because it happened two more times. Spoiler alert. The first time it was kind of devastating. I identified so much with being in corporate, and I was good at it. I was good at my job. And then I was like, “Well, who am I without this, like this work? Who am I without an income?”. Like, it shakes you at your core. We were living in Chicago at the time, and we decided to move to Canada. Because having a one year old we were like, “Oh, it would be great to be around family”. So we moved up there. I worked for Blackberry. I did corporate communications there, crisis communications. So when service went down, I would talk to all the technical people and translate it into English for the public. And, well, you can probably guess what happened with Blackberry.
Jacq: Laid off again.
Lee: Number two.
Jacq: Yeah, number two. And then we moved back to Chicago, my husband had a job opportunity, and we were kind of ready for a change. And also by that point, I had my second kid. So I have a daughter, and kind of the same thing. I went back to work after maternity leave, so this is before layoff, and I was still kind of like, “This is fine. This is great. But I'm not in it”. And this was when I discovered, initially it was blogging. So I transformed our family's diet overnight to a vegan diet. Spoiler, I'm not vegan anymore.
Lee: That's quite a transition though.
Jacq: It was, well it was for some health concerns that we had with my son at the time. Like he was constantly sick and nasally, and just always getting tonsil infections and things like that. You know, the nose-throat specialist wanted to take his tonsils out. I consulted with a naturopath and she was like, “Try removing dairy”. I removed dairy, and that was like the gateway to like, “Hmm, maybe we should just stop eating meat”. That was basically overnight. I was like, “Sorry honey, we're not having meat anymore”. And he was like, “Okay”. We have since introduced it back. But around that time, that's when I started blogging. I started a food blog to share about all those things I was learning about food. And because I was a busy working mom, who worked full time, with two kids, wanting to feed my kids a healthy, mostly plant based diet, I didn't want to like nuke veggie burgers for them every day because that wasn't the right thing to do. I started writing recipes and sharing them. I was teaching cooking classes. And after a while, that blogging, well when I stopped being vegan, food wasn't exciting anymore. And that was when I kind of got the hint that it was, “Oh, that's the writing part that I'm enjoying”. And in between those layoffs, there was kind of a nudge of, “Hmm, maybe I could have a business doing this. Like maybe this could be all I could do”. The very first book that introduced me to this idea was Danielle LaPorte’s, “Firestarter Sessions”. And I was like, “You could do work you love and get paid?”
Lee: What a concept!
Jacq: Crazy thing, like, never entered my mind. So back to Chicago, I actually went back to my old job because they had rehired a bunch of us for some big projects. And then we were laid off again. I wasn't at the point, in my food based business, I was teaching local workshops, I was earning like maybe an extra, like 1 to 2k a month. It wasn't enough to be able to quit, and grow that full time. And at the time of the third layoff, we were five days away from closing on a house. So.
Lee: Oh no.
Jacq: I needed an income for so many reasons. I got another job in management consulting, this one allowed me to be more creative. And I was doing a lot of corporate communications, it was still corporate healthcare stuff. But they let me have some internal freedoms, like communicating internally. They're like, “Can you just run communications for this whole department?”. I'm like, “Yeah, that'd be amazing”. And people started asking me for help with writing. “Can you help with this proposal?”. Which I had always done a little bit on. “Can you help us with this proposal? Help me with my LinkedIn profile. Help us with this writing. Help us with this important communication”. And I would drop everything else I was doing to do that. And then it hit me. “Oh, it's the writing that I'm really enjoying. Like, I'd love this”. So I committed to start my business, my copywriting business, and grow it on the side, until I could reach enough momentum that I'm able to make the switch and quit. And the deal I had with my husband was, if I could earn half of my corporate income, with my side hustle at the time, then it would totally be reasonable to expect that I would replace my corporate income. So, I buckled up and I did it. There were definitely times it was hard. I was working all the time. Like mornings, I would squeeze it into the day. I scaled back on my corporate work, because I knew I was leaving. I don't need to be an A plus player, I can be a B player and still do a great job. And it was about a year and a half total of doing that on the side, like growing that business. And I grew it all through reaching out to former contacts, letting people know, “Hey, I'm starting this business”, growing it on the side. Initially, I offered to work for a few people for free. That turned into paid business, and referrals, and recommendations. And it grew from there. So it was about a year and a half from the time of, “I'm creating this business and I want to quit”. And it was also eight years later, eight years after that initial moment sitting in that corporate office being like, “Huh, is this all there is?”, that took eight years to figure it out.
Lee: And yet, looking back, it's amazing how in the moment sometimes it does feel like things come out of left field. Where's this coming from? What am I going to do next? When we look back, we can connect all the dots and see the journey, which is so powerful. And as coaches, that's often what we get to do with our clients, is help them make meaning of what they've been through, and what's brought them to where they are today. So then they can decide where they want to be tomorrow. And so your story is such a beautiful example of that. So thank you very much for sharing it with us.
Jacq: Thank you. Yeah, like the nudges are there and you don't piece it together until later. That makes so much sense.
Lee: Yeah, let's talk about those nudges. Because I know that's really at the core of your brand and the work that you do. And in fact, when people go to your website, which we will be linking in the show notes, they're going to see that you are all about unfussy and intuitive writing. And I'd love to talk more about those two terms, unfussy and intuitive, as it relates to writing and the work that you do.
Jacq: Yeah. Unfussy came first. Unfussy was how I approached food, because when I transformed our diet, I was the fussy person. I was the one obsessively reading labels and being like, “There's a hint of milk or egg in here. I can't eat this. I have to be so vegan. I can't wear leather shoes”. Anyway, like I was just all in. That's fussy, like that's what fussy looks like. So the unfussy version of that was, “Let's cook a bunch of vegetables, and toss stuff together, and approach it this way, and eat what's in season, and eat what feels right”. Like less thinking about it, like less obsessing, because that stress was not serving in any way.
Lee: In fact, even just hearing you describe unfussy makes me feel more relaxed. Like I noticed in my body that it was like, “Oh, I can breathe deep into this idea of unfussy living”.
Jacq: Yeah. Exactly, and then that's what I took to writing. So in corporate, corporate writing is fussy. It's typically filled with jargon, overly formal that it doesn't need to be. And unfussy is simple language, clear communication, conversational, one to one, like one person having a conversation with another. And it's relaxed. Whereas, I picture fussy is all like buttoned up, tie is too tight choking your neck. And it's like, I have to use super big words to impress people.
Lee: Yes. Oh my gosh, I'm having flashbacks to when I was a psychotherapist. And I had to do all my documentation, and all of my notes with all the clinical language, and the psycho jargon. And it's night and day now from what I do now in coaching, but I hadn't realized until you just said it. Oh, what a fussy approach to language and documentation. And it really gets baked into a lot of the work culture, whether it's corporate, whether it's health care, that fussiness is a part of it.
Jacq: It does. And I know because I used to write it, so there's no judgement. I totally get it. I used to do it. It's because when we're in those positions, we're writing for our peers. We're not writing to teach someone who doesn't yet know everything we know, which is great if your peers are your clients.
Lee: Right, but if they're not-
Jacq: There’s a big but there.
Jacq: Exactly. So that's the unfussy piece. Intuitive, I want to say I never even used that word until a few years ago. Like I wasn't necessarily embracing my intuition, or even recognized it as a thing. I would just do things. Which, like you said, when you look back, you're like, “Oh, that was that talking”. It was a slow evolution. I initially started waking up to it. When more and more of my copywriting and coaching clients were coming to me who had the word intuitive in their title, or in their copy, they were healers, they were mediums. They’re all kinds of like healing modalities in there. And I was like, “Why are all these people coming to me? This is so interesting”. And I met an intuitive, because of course, they started flocking to me. Didn't know why. And she was an intuitive business- not a coach. She's an intuitive for business owners. And I asked her, “Why are all these people asking me about copy? Like, why are they coming to me?”, and she's like, “Because they know that you're intuitive”. And this is the first time someone had called me claircognizant. She's like, “It's because you're claircognizant. And they know that”.
Lee: Define that word, if you would, please.
Jacq: I had to Google it. First of all, when she told me that, I'm nodding along like, yeah, okay. Okay, cool. And then I googled, “What's claircognizant?”. So there are the Clair's, I might not capture them all. But clairvoyant is the one I was most familiar with, means clear seeing. So you might see things or have visions, predicting what you need to do, or giving you nudges telling you where to go. Claircognizant is a clear knowing. So it's like a knowing that's hard to explain. I've been trying to articulate it for years, and I'm getting there. But it's like, when I was laid off from those jobs, I knew it was okay. Like, I didn't necessarily freak out. I got into action. There were definitely some low moments, like there was definitely ugly crying. That's still that deep knowing, there's something in there that was like, “It's okay”. It's hard to tell other people who don't get that. So the other Clair's, there's clairsentience. I might be saying that wrong. Clair, clairsentience.
Jacq: Thank you. And then clair, I don't know how to say it. The auditory one. So hearing, so you might hear voices. So I have mostly annoyed. So it's like, “Oh, okay, I'm gonna start embracing that”. And then it's interesting, I started to hear that, and see it in my clients, I realized I was doing it in my work. Like someone would tell me their story, and I could sense the way they told me something about their services, and I might just prompt them with a question. And I can tell the way their whole face changes, the way their tone of voice changes, that might have been something that they didn't love. Or when people are excited about something, It's so easy to pick up for me. I'm like, “Oh, you really like that. Like, let's dig into that”. Sometimes they just need to hear that reflected back. So like that knowing, I get that nudge. And sometimes it comes in physically now. Like it's a tickle, or like, pins and needles sensation down the back of the right side of my body or the left side of my body. And something's like, “Okay, pay attention, hear what's going on”. And that's when I start asking questions. And it might come through on my writing, like looking back on a lot of the things I write, and especially my book, I was like, “Who wrote this? I don't remember it”. And it's when you're in that flow state, it's coming through, and it's like, let it out. We’ll edit it later. And even on client stuff, our clients are like, “This is amazing. How did you catch us?”. I'm like, “Oh, I wrote that?”. Like, it's a different state.
Jacq: I don't remember it.
Lee: That really resonates with me. And I am quite certain, it's gonna resonate with a lot of people listening. Because in my coaching, and I never would have described it this way either, but that claircognizance is very much a part of it. I will be connecting with a client or a colleague, and they'll say something, and I have this deep knowing, and then maybe a little bit of a mental picture as well. So some of the vision, but it's like, I see exactly what needs to happen next, I know exactly where they're headed and where they want to be. And I can connect the dots. The tricky part for me, is that I have to remember that just because I see that and feel that, doesn't mean the client does or that they're ready to. It's easy for me to actually get out ahead, too far ahead. So then my challenge is, “Okay, come back to the present moment. Be with the client. Where are they? Where do they need to be?”. And so I can see how even with writing, but that can be part of it too, wanting to accurately reflect what the client wants, and what they need without getting too far ahead where they're like, “Wait, where are we going here?”.
Jacq: Yeah, you're so right. It's a dance.
Jacq: Like, I don't necessarily share everything that comes in. They might not be ready for it, or they don't necessarily need it. So that's where it's asking questions. That's where I might pause. Like, if we're looking at some of their copy together, I might pause on a sentence and be like, “This is sticking out to me for a reason and I'm not sure why. Can you just talk this out?”. And you quite often hit something.
Jacq: Whether it's a “Yeah, I really don't want to be doing this”. Or, “I don't want to say it this way”. Or, “Yeah, I would never write it this way. I need to change this”. Or, “That's not how my clients speak. That's not their language, I need to change something differently”. So you are right. So right, it's definitely a balance.
Lee: It is. And I think that balance is an indication that we're on the path to mastery. Because I think regardless of whether it's writing or coaching, or whatever our chosen field is, when we push, when we move forward, when it's like, “I've got the answer, and I'm going to”, it makes it about us. As opposed to when we know when to pause, and take the breath, and be patient, and reflect, and ask questions. That's where we really grow in our field. And when it becomes a co-creative process with the other person instead of, “I've got the intuitive sense, and I'm right, and we're gonna do it my way”.
Jacq: Yeah. And as a coach, when you do that, like, I wouldn't want to give them my ideas of the answer, because then they're not learning. Like, I want people to learn how to do their writing themselves. So in the coaching, we did it together, I want them to become better writers. So if I just made all their edits and changes for them based on my instincts, they'll learn something but they won't learn as much as if I asked a question and say, “Is this the language your clients use?”.
Lee: Exactly. And you are so much about implementation, about the doing. That it makes sense then. That it's like, “I'm not just gonna spoon feed you this and tie it up in a pretty package”. Like no, let's do this together. Let's have it so that when you leave, you're a stronger writer.
Lee:Which is huge.
Jacq: Co-creation, one of my favorite words, co-creation and mastery, all beautiful words.
Lee: So I'm curious when you're working with your clients, and I know you do a lot of work with coaches and with other service providers, what challenges or hiccups do you most commonly see them facing? Where's the struggle?
Jacq: Versus the jargon one, which we already know about. Here's the language. A lot of it is in perfectionism. And procrastination.
Lee: I have no idea what you're talking about. Just kidding. I totally know what you're talking about. The P’s, perfectionism, procrastination. Absolutely.
Jacq: Yes. And I think they are tied so closely together. We procrastinate because we can't do things perfectly. So if we can't do it perfectly, we're just going to procrastinate and not put it out there. So quite often, I'll hear people talk about, “I’m going to do this, I should do this, I should do this, I shouldn't do this”. There's a couple things. And there's the should’s. There's the not taking action to get information. I see a lot of people spending years working on website copy and not publishing it, where hopefully, how are your clients going to find you? And quite often, it's that perfectionism, and it's not even necessarily they want to show up perfect for their clients. It's their peers, they're worried about what their peers are going to say. So there's definitely some mindset struggles in there. The other piece is coaches who are consuming too much information, and not creating. So they're taking all the courses, reading all the books, which I love doing that too, I get it, and not doing the work. So when it comes time to put words on the page, the words that they're using are all so heavily influenced from everything else. And that's when they're like, “My writing doesn't feel like me, it doesn't sound authentic”. Okay, yes. And let's practice you doing your writing. Like, the only way to find your voice is, I believe, is to create it, is to keep writing. And it's going to change and evolve, like the words I used in my business years ago are totally different. As I grow, we are also constantly changing. And as I discover more of who my clients are, and the language they use, like those words are going to tweak. So the other big thing I see is they’re writing for their peers and not their clients, or they’re writing how they would say it.
Jacq: And it's like, that's great. Your website, copy, your communications, who are you writing to? There's one person on the other end, like, where is that person? Right now, as they googled landed on your website, and they're like, “I need help with this thing”, what did they think they need help with?
Lee: Yeah, I like to think of it as learning how to speak your clients language, it is for some people a second language. So we have to be sensitive to that. And we have to meet our clients where they are, and literally use the language they would use because that's how they're going to see themselves in our business and in our work.
Jacq: Exactly. And I think it actually makes it so much easier. Because as a business owner, I don't have to worry about my words, I'm only listening to what my clients are saying and reflecting their words back at them. So it's listening, capturing the actual words they use, and relaying it back, which is something you would do intuitively in conversation with someone typically. Like if you're listening, you would use the same words they use instead of responding to them with your jargon, because they'd be like, “What? Are you even listening to me?”.
Lee: Exactly. And so that really is the unfussy approach, where we don't feel like we have to show up, and teach, or prove. We're literally connecting with that other person using their language which makes them feel heard, makes them feel understood, it makes them feel at home.
Jacq: Yeah, exactly.
Lee: I want to go back to what you talked about previously, around content consumption. And this is a very salient point for me right now. Literally yesterday, in the Coach with Clarity membership, I ran a quarterly planning workshop. And I did the work with them, like I was doing my planning right alongside with them. And one of the things I literally wrote down was, “I have to curb my own content consumption because I am heading into a content creation cycle”. Quarter two is going to be all about writing my next book. And so I knew I had to turn down the outside voices, if I was going to be able to turn up the volume on my own. And so this idea that we do go in cycles in our business where, yes, there's times where we want to consume and we want to learn and those of us who are lifelong learners, like that's so comfortable for us. It's so fun. But then when the time comes for us to put ourselves out there, we have to be really mindful and set some clear boundaries and parameters around, what will I bring into my world? What will I consume? And what space do I need to hold sacred for my own voice?
Jacq: Yeah, yeah. There's so many things to touch on in there. I did something similar. Definitely. When I was deep in book writing, I paused any other reading, or I would read something totally different. Like a memoir from a celebrity, like, not related to my writing. The other piece I think is missing from consumption or consuming information, which is fabulous, is integration time. So we're consuming at such a crazy pace and not digesting it. So I equate it to food, it's like eating a week's worth of food in a day. You can't digest it, you're going to get sick.
Jacq: So I also saw this when I discovered the website Goodreads, and I could track how many books I could read. And I was like, “Ooh, this is great. I'm gonna read like-”, I forget how many I read in a year, like 40, 50, 60 books in a year. Which is great. But don't ask me about any of them. Because as soon as I was done with one, I was on to the next.
Lee: Yep, check the box, move on.
Jacq: Yeah. Whereas now, I am much more deliberate. Like, read a book, take my time. Also, if the book is not interesting, I'm not finishing it. Like, I don't need to finish. Like there's no prize for pushing through a book that you do not enjoy, or are not getting, or maybe the time was just not right to read that. Revisit it later. It's building an implementation time. And that's in every piece of learning. So beyond books, courses, learn something. Integrate it. So building that in. And so we're recording this, it's just about April. I don't think I finished a single book in 2021 yet, which is fine, because I've been focused on other things.
Lee: Yes, you've had a lot going on this year.
Jacq: So, it's also unsubscribing from newsletters.
Jacq: Especially in my industry. I typically do not follow anyone who's doing similar work to mine, because I want to keep my business blinders on, keep my focus, stay in my lane. And also that helps with like, “Oh, so and so is doing this, I should do this too. Or I need to do this too”. No, you don't. Do your work.
Lee: Yeah. Because that competition piece, that's what it is. It may not be, “Oh, I have to be better than that person”. But it's like, “Oh, I want to be at the same level”. For me that competition piece plays into the procrastination-perfectionism cycle as well.
Jacq: Oh, yes. Yeah, that's huge.
Lee: So oh, so much good stuff here. And one of the things I definitely want to make sure we talk about today is what recommendations you have for writers, for coaches, who feel like they have so much that they want to share. And yet that sense of overwhelm sets in and it's like, “I don't even know where to begin”. Being a member of the Write Like a MOFO community, one of the things I know about you is your gentle, yet systematic approach to content creation. That's that beautiful blend of unfussy and intuitive. Like you do come from this place of, it doesn't have to feel hard, it doesn't have to be tricky. Like we can make this unfussy. And we can really honor who you are and the work you want to do. And that's that intuitive space. So I'm curious what words of wisdom you have for people who want to be doing more writing, whether it's their website, copy, a book, whatever it is they're creating. They really want to do it, and they're just feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Where should they begin?
Jacq: There's so many things in there. I think in general, it needs to feel good. Whatever you're creating. Because I believe if you're creating anything, whether it's writing, speaking, sharing on social media, and it's coming from a place of proving, forcing, pushing, and it doesn't feel good to share, revisit that. There might be something in that message, or how you're sharing, or even the medium and might not be the best medium for you. Feeling good while you're doing the creation, I think is so, so, so important. And if it feels good, you're going to want to do more of it.
Jacq: Then that's often why writing falls off people's plates, because it feels hard, or you don't know where to begin. So let's talk about where to begin. Two suggestions, and I encourage people to notice what feels most natural to you, whether that's writing or speaking. So if you naturally want to take to the page, like I might say, I'm an internal processor. I need to write about something or journal about it before I know what I think about something. I am not one to talk it out. If I talk it out, it's a mess. And sometimes that's great. Like, get it out, however messy it is. A lot of people I work with, they are external processors. So by talking stuff out, you get to your own answer. So for those people, I suggest instead of staring at the blinking cursor, use talk to text. So you have something to edit from. I'm a fan of the app Otter.ai, and you get six hours free a month with their free version.
Jacq: And even though I'm an internal processor, I still sometimes do that if I'm going for a walk, and also I spend a lot of time on a screen. I don't want to be typing all the time. So I will go for a walk, I will record for about five minutes my random thoughts, and then I have a beautiful transcription to which I go back into and edit. So if writing is like, “Ugh”, start with talking a bunch of stuff out, and then go back and edit.
Lee: That is gold right there. And I will say I use Otter.ai for the transcripts for this podcast, actually. But when I think about the process of writing my first book, there's an entire chapter in there that I spoke on a walk. Because I was just feeling so stuck. And so I went outside, and I didn't have anything fancy, I literally just had my voice memo app. But I just went on a walk and talked for 20-25 minutes. And before I knew it, the chapter had basically, well I won't say it wrote itself, because there was some editing that had to be done afterwards. But everything that I needed for that chapter was there. So clearly, I'm an external verbal processor. And anyone who knows me, that will not come as a surprise. But there are ways that we can hack our strengths in order to then have a really beautiful, finished written product at the end.
Jacq: Yeah, I think the other big piece is confusing writing with editing.
Lee: Yes, let's talk about that.
Jacq: They are very different beasts.
Jacq: But there's some other quick ways if you want to get started. Like set a pomodoro timer for 25 minutes, and write as fast as you can. I am a big fan of the Shitty First Draft, or the SFD for short.
Jacq: And I'm showing examples of my SFD’s in the writing community. And like some people show me their work, they're like, “This is my SFD”. I'm like, “That is not an SFD. You can put that on your blog right now. And it'll be fine”. An SFD is incomplete sentences. Everything is misspelled. Grammar is out the window. Which I'm also, side note, I'm a fan of breaking all the grammar rules. Because writing for connection, not for the jargon- not jargon, grammar police, we don't need them.
Lee: These are not getting published in official journals, anywhere.
Jacq: Like let editors do their job.
Jacq: Book editors, shout out to them. Use them, love them. Writing is quick and fast. Get it out as fast as you can. As an example, I will do a series of like, every day I'll do an SFD of a blog post. I have an idea. And it also, for ideas, that's a whole other thing we can get into, but like what are people constantly asking you about? What did the client ask you this week? What constantly comes up in your work that you have an answer to already? Those are easy answers to creating content. Write it as fast as you can, put it away, revisit it. I like to take at least a day away from anything I write, more if possible. Like if I can take a week away, write a whole bunch of SFD’s throughout the week, and the next week revisit them. And then do your editing and cleaning up. And it's a totally different process.
Lee: Yes. So my takeaway from that is to make them separate processes, right? Take some time, then edit. Don't try to edit as you go. Because then, at least for me, I just get caught in a feedback loop and I can't break out of it.
Jacq: Exactly. And know that everything you read in a book, online, is not someone's SFD. That is the result of editing, and revisiting, and possibly even outside editors. Like not even necessarily one person is doing all that work. They might have a team, so keep those things in mind.
Lee: Yes, especially when that perfectionism monster rears its ugly head. Remember, you are seeing someone's final product, not their first draft.
Jacq: Yeah. And if anyone points out your grammar or typos-
Lee: Fuck them.
Jacq: Yeah, you don’t need that in your life.
Lee: No, no you don't.
Jacq: They are probably not your ideal clients.
Lee: No, they are not. Jacq, this has been such a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Let us know where we can connect with you, and learn more about you, the work you're doing. And, I know you have a book that you are releasing to the world. So tell us more about that.
Jacq: Yes, so the book was three years in the making. It was one year of a shitty first draft that I did not touch for a whole year. So that's just the space I needed and I rewrote it. I rewrote it from a self development book, to two parts memoir. So that was another thing in itself that was a process. So that will be out soon, Unfussy Life and Intuitive Approach to Navigating Change. So you'll hear all those stories in there about layoffs, and me immigrating back and forth between Canada and the US, and moving several states several times with kids, and all those lessons in there, and starting a business and everything. And you can find that, and all my work on my website at JacquelineFisch.com.
Lee: Which we will link to in the show notes. I can't wait to read your book. I'm so excited that it's coming out into the world. And I also want to give a shout out to your writing community, Write Like a MOFO, which is such a wonderful place to land when you're writing, when you're working through things. It's so powerful to do it in a community with others.
Jacq: Yes, thank you for saying that. It's a wonderful place to land. And there's a bit of magic in there. You show up to write, and sometimes you're not sure you're in that space of like, “I have all these things to work on. I don't know where to start”. And something happens, the energy of the group takes over. And people often are surprised with how much they write, or what came out, or what they've been meaning to procrastinate on for months and months and months. And then they sit down and get it done in an hour.
Lee: Yeah, I've had that happen.
Jacq: It's amazing.
Lee: And I look forward to having that happen again, as I work on my book in a community with other mofos, so.
Jacq: I'm so excited to co-create your book.
Jacq: Together in a community.
Lee: Me too. Well, Jacq, this has been a phenomenal conversation. Thank you again, for coming on the Coach with Clarity Podcast today.
Jacq: Thank you so much for having me.
* * * * * * *
Many, many thanks to Jacq for coming on the show. And I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as we did. There is so much good stuff in that interview, I'm going to go back and listen to it again. Because we just covered so much when it comes to creating content for your ideal client, learning how to speak in their language so it resonates with them, what it's like to take an unfussy and intuitive approach to our work, and also how we can look back on everything we've been through. All of the challenges, and the victories, and examine just how connected they all are, and how they bring us to where we are in our lives. Such a powerful concept, such a wonderful interview. So Jacq, thank you again for coming on the show. And I am so excited that Jacq's book is available for purchase. So definitely head to her website, JacquelineFisch.com. We've got links in the show notes, and you will be able to learn more about her book. I've got my copy. I hope you pick up your copy too. You can also learn more about her writers community, Write Like a MOFO, at her website. And I hope I see you at the next Write Like a MOFO writing session. Alright, my friend. That's it for this week of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. I hope you will join me for another episode next week. And if you haven't already subscribed to the show, make sure you do so so that way you won't miss a beat. Until then, I hope you have a fantastic week. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.