Finding the angle

The other day a friend forwarded a song to me, U2’s “Getting out of your own way”. This spoke to me with capital letters. So I listen to it back to back for a while, before I started to play other U2 songs I haven’t listened to in years. One of them was “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” and it struck me; I still haven’t found the angle of the book I’m looking for. I haven’t even decided who I write for, who the readers would be. When I wrote my first book, Unconditionally, I didn’t even think of this. The book wrote itself more or less. I knew how it would be, what tone I would set, what perspective it would have. I was the coach who wanted to give my readers a tool to improve their lives when they had experienced loss of any kind. It wasn’t easy to write the book, but it was a lot easier than writing Corporate Horse Sense (CHS). Not being able to decide which angle to choose opens up for endless internal discussions on how to approach it.

To begin with, I had the same attitude towards CHS as with Unconditionally. I was the coach who wanted to share insights on a certain topic to help others. Where I, in the first book found it easy to present my idea in a clear way, additional factors came in to play in the horse sense book that made it so much more difficult. The more I practised equine assisted psychotherapy and learning, the more humble I became for the craft, for the power that we as practitioners hold in our hands. You have that as an “ordinary” coach as well, but when you add horses to the equation you reach deeper on the emotional levels in the client work. You have to know what you are doing. This is not something to take lightly on. Unfortunately something I witness that many did, which again can be directly harmful to the clients. Many practitioners didn’t know how to handle things that came up when horses were present because often other things than what you might aim for can come up when you use horses as metaphors for life.

So I made a slight change and considered if I should write for practitioners of the field, to educate them. To go deep into the psychology of helping people with help from horses. A how-to book to help practitioners to become more aware of the power they got in their hands and be better practitioners. But I didn’t manage to grasp that either. As I wrote in the beginning, that would place me as an expert. I didn’t feel like an expert. Maybe I instead should base it on my experiences, what I had learned from horses over the years, as a horse owner and as an equine assisted psychotherapy practitioner. At this point, I started to ask myself – who is gonna read that? I didn’t find an answer I was satisfied with, and it became difficult to write.

While I was on this little soul searching for how to write the book, I became more aware of who I addressed the book to, something I didn’t consider much when writing the first one. Back then I was more concerned about writing what felt right for me without thinking of the audience. The years that have gone by since that book, I’ve grown as a writer. At least that is what I tell myself. I’ve also finished a bachelor degree in communication. I know more about how a good book should be written – oddly enough, you would think it would make it easier, but actually, it makes it more difficult. For me, at least. Because I have raised the standards as the time has gone by, and I expect more from my writing than I did seven years ago.

So, with my newfound knowledge, I’m concerned with the audience. Who am I writing this book for? What is my intention with the book? Why would anyone want to read it? I don’t know. In a perfect world, I would have written myself to understanding through this blog post, but the world is not perfect. I’m still stuck with the first two questions – who am I writing for and what is my intention with the book – what is my why? I think I have to take another round in the ring, to dig into this before I manage to take the next step in this project.
Even though I have enough material to an entire book by now, I realise that I still have a long way to go before the book can be finished. If there is one thing I have learned from this, it is to patiently wait for me to make up my mind. Unless I want the idea to end up on someone else’s laptop, I need to make a decision. So I might have to hurry up a bit on the patiently waiting part.


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