My story and why it matters to you

Whew! Professional fronts aside, in this space I can really be myself. Who am I kidding? My personality barfed all over this website!

Hi new friend (or recurring friend, if you’ve been here before)! I’m Claire L. Fishback. Before I became a book coach, I was a writer. A struggling writer. An aspiring writer. A busy writer.

And you know what? I’m still most of those things as well as a book coach and story strategist! #relatable

 

In the beginning...

I was a poor and starving writer… Just kidding. I was 6 or 7 years old. My mom home pre-schooled us (us being my twin sister and me) and taught us the alphabet and how to write, so we got a head start when we got to kindergarten. As a result, I picked up a pencil and started writing the moment I was inspired by the children’s book, The Jolly Postman. Fast forward to 6th grade, age 11, and things took a dark turn…

I found Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. In an attempt to frighten my 6th grade teacher, I wrote scary stories in my “reflections” notebook each day. She loved them. The rest is history.

In the middle... I always came back to writing.

Though I took time off here and there, I always came back to writing. I even dropped out of art school after taking an elective (I know… electives? In art school?) in creative writing, which I knew would be a walk in the park. What I didn’t expect was how my love of writing burst into flames inside of me! It was as if my dormant writing persona caught fire and burst forth like a phoenix! My passion for art and drawing and animation fizzled and died. No more art school (though I still LOVE and watch every animated film that comes out). That was back in 2002 or 2003 maybe?

Fast forward many many years to 2019. I’d had it with the traditional publishing world’s gatekeepers. Why did a select few get to determine if my work was good enough?

Plus, I was tired of telling people I’m a writer and not having anywhere to point them to to find my work.

I took things into my own hands and decided to go indie (I call it indie and not self-publishing, because the term self-publishing has a lot of stima around it. Also, I actually started a legit company to publish my books under, hire cover designers and editors, and essentially do everything I can to make my books stand out and against traditionally published books). I’ll get off my soap box now.

I learned a TON along the way. Including how to juggle a writing life with a 40-hour per week corporate day job, an active dog, a lovely marriage, and my own health and wellbeing. There’s more to the story, of course. I learn something new with every book I write and produce.

I got my start with helping other writers by doing beta reads for my writing friends, one of whom is USA Today bestselling author LS Hawker, who told me the notes I gave her rivaled those she got from her editor at Harper Collins. #justsayin.

In the end... I help aspiring novelists.

Well, the end hasn’t actually arrived, has it? Unless I’m writing this from beyond the grave… spooky. Hehe! In the end I decided to become a book coach, so I can spread everything I have learned about writing and being an independently published author to other writers who may need support in all areas of writing the first draft and making sure their final draft is in ship shape to release into the world. My forte and first love is manuscript evaluations, followed by accountability and mindset coaching. I also have a wild imagination and excitement for story. In fact, no one else will be as excited as I am about your story as you are (and even when you aren’t, my job is to reignite your excitement)!

And I love it. Here’s why:

  • I love talking shop with other writers where the focus isn’t always on me me me.
  • I love helping writers see their story from a fresh perspective, see the light flash in their eyes when a light bulb turns on in their brain, and the re-ignited passion for a story they were about ready to give up on.
  • I love providing a place where writers can safely brainstorm* their stories without fear of getting advice that’ll change it into something unrecognizable.
  • I love sharing my excitement for stories with my writers. No one else but you will be SO excited about your book as I will be!
  • Most of all? I love to inspire other writers on their creative journeys, reignite the passion for a stalled out novel, and motivate them to reach The End. 

Life is too serious. We need more creativity! We need more stories!

*By “safely brainstorm” I mean, I will not tell you what to write or what you should write like most people you talk to probably do (friends, critique partners, family members, strangers). I won’t tell you what to do nor how to do it. With excitement, enthusiasm, and honesty, I’ll guide you to develop and write the best story that still actually looks like your story in the end. I’ll bring my crazy imagination along for the ride on all brainstorming adventures. No one else will be as excited about your story as I will be.

What to expect when you work with me

When you work with me, you can expect a lot of excitement. I thrive on having fun. If you need someone lower energy, I’m probably not your gal.

I promise I will…

  • See you and acknowledge you as a writer, especially when you are riddled with self-doubt and impostor syndrome.
  • Seek to know your story as deeply and affectionately as you do.
  • Tell you the truth about your story in an inspirational and motivating way.
  • Believe in you, especially when you don’t believe in yourself.
  • Guide you and keep you on track with your writing goals in a human way, knowing life events can throw us out of whack energy-wise, emotionally, and physically.
  • Get it. I’ve been where you are. I’ve followed all the wrong processes. I’ve abandoned manuscripts. I’ve finished a lot what have never seen the light of day. I have given up (but always come back). I have seen what you’ve seen and been where you are and survived to tell the tale. You will, too.

I believe in the power and importance of each individually unique voice. I will not tell you how you should write nor what you should write or do with your story (unless you give me permission to unleash my imagination).

Privacy is also important to me. You story is safe with me. You goals are safe with me. Your challenges and struggles are safe with me.

I believe in honesty and transparency, and also kindness.

If you have any questions about my coaching style, I have a forever-work-in-progress FAQ you can check out here.

Things I love that may resonate with you

 Here’s a short list of things I love and cannot live without (aside from Kira and my husband):

  • Dogs
  • Mascara
  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Jeans and t-shirts and zip-up hoodies
  • Writing (obviously)
  • Bird tracks in the snow (especially goose footprints, omg)
  • Baby bunnies (they’re so cute, they make me want to cry)
  • The first flowers in the spring (like before they’re even flowers! I see the spouts and lose it)
  • Seeing the first robin in the spring (my friend, I legitimately freak the f*ck out)
  • “That’s what she said” jokes
  • On the opposite end, dad jokes
  • Did I mention dogs?
  • Key and Peele
  • Horror – but not like slasher stuff or gratuitous f*uckery. More like… “Smart” horror?
  • Hiking and being in nature (especially if there’s a running water source and birds)
  • Oh, birds!
  • Dawgs (I spelled it differently, so it counts as a different thing)
  • Kitties, but I’m more a dog person, but I grew up with kitties and still love them
  • One more for the road: Dogs

What do ya say? Ready to spread your wings?