Coach Marla Beck


Freelance Writing

The human mind has a peculiar tendency to amplify anything we focus on…especially, the negative. So let’s talk about your freelance writing career for a moment. What have you been thinking about lately? How good it felt to achieve your last writing milestone, or that time you tried to solve a writing problem…and failed? How […]


On Friday, I posted this note to my personal Facebook page: In response, a music journalist teased, “Is that your day or your month?” (“My morning,” I replied.) Other writers chimed in with their stories, and a few pinged me on Messenger. In less than an hour I confirmed something I’d suspected all along:  I’m not […]

BEFORE You Put Your Butt in the Chair

Before you get your manuscript out of the drawer….before you make plans to finish writing your book…before you sit down and resume your revisions or your writing… …there’s an important task you must do first. FORGIVE YOURSELF. Self-forgiveness is the fastest path to an energized, clean start with your writing. Self-forgiveness feels amazing too, and […]


A few weeks ago, my family and I were driving on a country road, fifty miles off the  interstate in eastern South Dakota.  The sun was dancing late-day, golden light across the prairie.  We drove and drove, covering many miles without seeing a tree or farm or town.  Outside, the landscape was monotonous, vast and […]


It happens once a month or so. A writer I meet pours her heart out to me.  She retells the story how, as a child, she first realized she would one day be “a writer.” She describes her academic successes in school — her papers, her fellowships, her publications.  She tells me how easy it […]

The 2 Summer Writing Questions I Get Most

It’s summer, which means time to break out and do something new. Imagine how free, creative and happy you’ll feel as you soak in a nice, long ribbon of time away from the daily hustle back home.  Time to read!  Time to write! Aaaaahhh… Now, imagine the possible reality: Time spent rushing. Time spent waiting. […]


If you’re in my circle I have no doubt that you’re smart, interested in the world and driven to tell a good non-fiction or fiction story. Despite all this creativity and intelligence, lately I’ve noticed that some of you are quite lacking in perspective. You see, many of you are committing an error that keeps you […]

How Free Are You to Write

Today is the perfect day to reflect on what “independence” really means: “independent” (adj.) free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority Think about it for a moment.  How free are you with your writing? Have you been feeling stuck or unproductive? Is your creativity limited by judgments, criticisms or fears? Have you given your power […]

May I make a confession?  As I shared with you last week, in just two days I’ll be taking off on a 3.5-week road trip with my family, winding our way through the American West. Of course, I’m excited.  But the truth is:  I’m also feeling scared. I find this experience perplexing.  After all, adventure isn’t […]


This spring, I often felt like I was walking through life with an uninvited buddy on my back, a rascally monkey who constantly messed up my hair and whispered loudly in my ear. ”Life is short! Life is SHORT — ” the monkey said. For weeks, I tried to ignore the weight and whisper of […]

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