Confidence and Purpose with Writing Coach, Kirsten McNeill

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Quote from Confidence and Purpose with Writing Coach, Kirsten McNeill

Confidence and Purpose with Writing Coach, Kirsten McNeill – How To Write the Future podcast, episode 96

“I really wanna be able to help writers focus on themselves, be themselves, figure out what they wanna write, and create, a community and a, a library of fiction novels or any kind of novels that they’ve written and live life and have fun because we need more of that positivity and that sunshine in the world.” – Kirsten McNeill

In “Confidence and Purpose with Writing Coach, Kirsten McNeill,” How To Write the Future podcast host Beth Barany talks to confidence and writing lifestyle coach, book editor, and author, Kirsten McNeill about her mission to bring Sunflower sunshine to the creative world and why it’s important for her to help fellow writers with knowing their own purpose.

Included in this episode is a special offer for listeners which is a free digital journal, that also includes a 30-minute call with Kirsten and information on how you can work her one-to-one.

** I mispronounced Kirsten’s name as Kristen.  So sorry.

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About the How To Write the Future podcast 

The *How To Write The Future* podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers. We cover tips for fiction writers. This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

This podcast is for you if you have questions like:

– How do I create a believable world for my science fiction story?

– How do figure what’s not working if my story feels flat?

– How do I make my story more interesting and alive?

This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.


Image of Kirsten McNeill


Kirsten McNeill is a Confidence & Writing Lifestyle Coach, Book Editor, and Self-Published Writer. Her mission with Worthy Writers Editing is to bring sunflower sunshine to the creative world connecting writers to the confidence and passion they desire to help them publish and share their stories.





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Transcript for Episode 96 Confidence and Purpose with Writing Coach Kirsten McNeill 


Hey everyone. Welcome to How To Write the Future Podcast. I’m your host Beth Barany. I’m an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author and writing teacher. I am thrilled here to have a special guest with me today. Kirsten McNeill. 

Hi, Kirsten. 


Hi. Thanks for having me. 


Ah, I’m so glad you’re here. 

And to remind, those, who’ve maybe listened before, or for those of you who haven’t yet, listened to our podcast.

This podcast is about helping writers with tips and coaching and insight and news on how to write positive, optimistic futures. Because I believe that when we vision what is possible through our stories and also through our own lives. We can help make it so for ourself and for our readers and make a better future for everyone, for the planet, and all the creatures on it.

That is my mission. Alright, so Kirsten, I’m gonna read your bio for everyone and then we’ll get chatting. How’s that sound? 


Sounds good. 


Great. So everyone please meet Kirsten McNeill. She is a confidence and writing lifestyle coach, book editor, and self-published writer. Her Mission with Worthy Writers Editing is to bring Sunflower sunshine to the creative world, connecting writers to the confidence and passion they desire to help them publish, share their stories. I love your mission, Kirsten, and you bringing in there sunflower sunshine. It’s oh, it’s such great, powerful imagery. So thank you so much for being here again and I am ready to dive in with our interview. I really am curious to learn more about what is important to you about helping others find their purpose.


Especially in the online space, I’ve seen a lot of negativity, self-doubt, self-deprecating humor, things like that. And that’s something I really wanna change, especially in the creative world when we’re supposed to be so passionate and open and vulnerable. And there’s so many things that can come in when you’re a writer that’s I don’t want you to have to feel shame about that, or you have to justify to people or you have to try to prove yourself in any way. So I really wanna be able to help writers focus on themselves, be themselves, figure out what they wanna write, and create, a community and a, a library of fiction novels or any kind of novels that they’ve written and live life and have fun because we need more of that positivity and that sunshine in the world.

And it’s really important to me to be like, okay, this needs to change. 


Yeah. and what led you to this place? What helped you decide, that you wanted more sunshine and positivity and. Yeah, tell us a little bit about you. 


I’ve always wanted to be a writer ever since I was seven years old, I was always writing, started out with cats and dog stories and slowly 


Me too. Oh my God, me too. 


Oh, really? 


Yeah. My first story was about, our cats. I was like eight, seven or eight. Yeah. That’s so great. 


Yeah. That’s cute.

I know. Yeah. And, my story, I read this series called Bunnicula as a kid, it’s like a vampire bunny and people always gimme that look when I tell ’em the title.

But, Yeah. There’s this cat and dog so I started writing stories about that and then, I slowly evolved into writing more thriller and mystery. ‘Cause that’s what I like to read. Like James Patterson and that, that kind of stuff. And then I don’t really know when the shift happened, butI was tired of living in the darkness to put it very melodramatically.

And so I wanted something more powerful and, the work that I was doing in my editing and my coaching had that goal. So being able to reflect that in my writing too was really important to me, which is really interesting when I had that mission already in my business. 

And then I was still trying to write like these dark thriller, crazy mystery things. And I wasn’t in the right mindset for that. So I really wanted to do something more powerful. 


What are you currently working on? What are you writing? What’s your own writing projects? 


Right now I’m helping a friend write a memoir. It’s about her journey from Hungary to Canada in the 1950s. And eventually I will write my own memoir as well about some health things that I went through the last few years ’cause again, the goal is to be inspiring and to empower people and really bring out that attitude in, in others.

And, Eventually, I will write fiction. ‘Cause that’s I need something that’s, I’m really proud of that’s fiction because that’s always something that I wanted to do. So I definitely wanna make that happen. I have a, an idea, it’s so weird. I have the titles of the books in my mind, but I have, vague ideas about what the story is actually about.




So that’s really interesting. ’cause that’s never happened before. Usually, it’s oh, I have all these ideas for stories. And the title always comes last because it’s ugh, what do you name things that’s original and that sounds cool and punchy and really engaging. So it’s gonna be an interesting experience.


Yeah. Yeah. That’s so cool. I won’t ask you to tell us your titles because I am imagining they need to be protected, guarded. don’t reveal anything about your story that you don’t want to.

But I’m curious if you can share anything like the genre or the type of story or something, or the trope that, that you are ready, only if you’re ready to share with us. 


Yeah. I’ve been calling it inspirational fiction. I don’t know if that technically counts as a genre, but I’m gonna make it one. 


Absolutely. You’re not the only one. I’ve met others who’ve used that term as well.


I, I’ve read a lot of Mitch Albom books and that’s really what inspired me too. Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is one of my favorites. And that’s what also really inspired me.

These are the kind of books I need to write. I need to forget about the thriller and trying to wrap my head around that, as a writer. I’ll stick to enjoying them as a reader and, focus on this more inspirational stuff and life stories, slice of life thing. For some reason I’m really drawn to my character living this nomadic life and no real ties to anything, but she’s focusing on her passion and her life. And so it’s really extends to how I wanna inspire people. Live your life how you want. Who cares about everybody else?

Be selfish, right? 


Yeah. Who cares what everybody else thinks? Absolutely. Yeah. I love it. And for you, I should tell our listeners that I ask my guests to send me their questions often. And so I love it because it helps me ask you what you want to be asked. So I love this question that you sent me, which is, why does it help writers to know their purpose?

And this is something I think about a tremendous amount in my own work as a writing coach, is knowing one’s purpose, is answering that question. Like, why do I write, why this book? 

Why now? And why? 




Tell us why is it for you important to help writers to know their own purpose.


I know for myself, like in anything in life, if I don’t know or understand why I am doing something, I’m not motivated to do it. So I’m like, why would I waste my time doing this when I could go over here and do something that I’m really passionate about? And in my editing. I make a lot of comments of okay, why does the reader need to know this?

What is important about bringing this scene in or this character in? And it doesn’t have to be this grand purpose, I wanna change the world. There’s little things like, they need to know this because it helps move the plot forward. Things like that. There needs to be something there that, motivates you to move forward and motivates you to bring your best to it.

Because if you’re working on something where it’s like. I’m working on it. I’m doing it ’cause somebody said I should and this and that. So it’s so much better. And it makes you feel more excited to be like, I am writing this book because I am passionate, I love writing.

This is the book I’ve always wanted to see in a bookstore, which is something I’ve heard a lot from writers. I didn’t see this book out, so I wrote it myself. Being able to have that power and be like, okay, this is why I’m doing it. This is, how I wanna connect with readers. When you’re talking about your writing too, it makes you more excited because you know how to answer these questions when people are like, oh, what’s your book about? Or, why are you writing and things like that. When you know these answers, it’s so much easier and it fills you up with so much more light and motivation to, to say yes, this is what I’m doing. I wanna tell as many people as I can about it. 


Yeah. I love that you brought up this question and that you’re so clear and we can see it on the page when we’re editing whether or not someone is clear about why that moment is there, why that character’s there, why the character does a certain thing.

Have you had to ask yourself, why, why am I writing? 


That’s a good question. Because it’s funny ’cause I don’t feel like I’ve ever actually specifically asked myself because I always feel like I’ve known it. Which is really interesting is I’ve always loved writing.

I’ve always been naturally drawn to it. When I was going through school and there was writing assignments and stuff, I would always be the one to, write longer pages than I needed to if it was like, oh, write a page. I would write three or four.

And there’s so many ideas. So exciting for me and something that I always loved doing and I can’t imagine myself in any other career role or anything. It’s come naturally to me. So I feel like maybe I’m still figuring out how to fully answer that question. And maybe that’s something that’s life anyways you’re always evolving and figuring things out. 

So I think, one thing I talk about a lot is you may know it in your mind. But when you’re writing it out in a journal or talking to someone like we are now, it creates a different perspective for you.


Yeah. Yeah. It’s something that I’ve come back to myself, come back repeatedly to myself with this question over the years. I totally know where you’re coming from and I really love that you presence it and encourage other writers to think about this.

It’s so key. Looking forward into the future,do you have any specific writing plans that you can share with us for yourself? 


Yeah, I mentioned that fiction story. It’s gonna be a trilogy. Maybe it’ll be more. I know whenever somebody writes a trilogy or more than a standalone, it’s always oh, then there’s novella ideas and short story ideas and all this other stuff that can come in.

There’s definitely a lot of potential, but honestly, I feel like if I can get this trilogy done, I’d be happy if I never published anything else. It’s such a weird thought to have as a writer because you feel like, oh, you constantly wanna be writing.

But if I can accomplish this, I’ll be good. I always have ideas for poetry and, short stories and little things that can come up and maybe I’ll never publish it and we’ll see. So it’s very interesting to, to think about that. But I did have that thought the other day because I was thinking about Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird and I don’t remember the title of her other book that, but she published two books.




And she’s super famous. Yeah. So it’s it’s not about quantity. 


Unless that’s important to the writer. Yeah. and you have an offer for our listeners, a special offer. Can you tell us about it? 


Yeah, so it’s a free digital journal, which also includes a 30-minute call with me. It’s called Create With Purpose. So that aligns with everything that I’ve talked about today. There are seven writing prompts and they revolve around figuring out your why and exploring it more deeply. So even if know it like we’ve talked about, you can still, explain it more deeply, get more articulate about what you wanna be as a writer and what the next step is. So I think that’s an important point too, is it’s not about the big picture because that can get overwhelming sometimes.

It’s okay, this is who I am and what I want. Now, what’s the next step? What’s the small thing that I can do to move forward as opposed to okay, I need to do X, Y, Z, and all the rest of the alphabet?


Yeah. Yeah, 


You can check that out. on my website, it’s, digital download and a link to book a call with me after you’ve gone through the writing prompts and we can chat about what your next step is and how you wanna move forward as a writer.


That’s fabulous. I noticed that you specialize in people who wanna work on memoirs. That’s one big thing you help people with. Is there another specialty that you have right now?


I wanna say confidence, but that feels so broad. 


If writers wanna work with you on confidence, then you support them as a coach. 


Yeah. So I do love working one-to-one with writers. I find that’s so much easier for me energy-wise and so much better for the client to have that, personalized touch, with coaching. Yeah, on top of book editing and, I love having those coaching sessions and, I usually do a 90-minute one-off where there’s a larger program, if you wanted to continue that support. but yeah, it’s editing and coaching is like the technical side and the mindset side. So I really love having that combination.


Yeah. That’s really great. And then in terms of book editing, can individuals contact you about book editing if they’re interested in that? 


So my few favorite genres are thriller, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance. I’m open to anything ’cause I wanna read as much as possible.

For me, I’m not usually picky about genres. If the book is good and if I’m passionate about the project, then I’m all for it. 


That’s fabulous. And then lastly,you’re located in Canada, in British Columbia. and do you help people, in any time zone from around the world?


I love to work with anyone. I know sometimes it can be hard to line up schedules, but definitely, if we can make it work and that’s the beauty of social media, right? Is you can connect with so many more people. 


Yeah and I wanna give a shout out to your Instagram. I see that you’re super active on Instagram. That’s really awesome. Where can people find you there? 


So, I’m confident dot Kirsten and I did join Pinterest too. I’m trying that out. Same username except for the period because it wouldn’t let me do that. ‘Cause they don’t allow punctuation, which annoys me ’cause I wanted everything to be uniform, 


Right and your main website where people can find you is 




Perfect. And then because this is a podcast about thinking about the future, and how our stories can impact how we create our future. yeah. Do you have any thoughts on that? 

Maybe tying something that just occurred to me, but how writing one’s memoir and also sharing your memoir with the world, how that can also impact the kind of future that the writer can have and also the readers can have.

Do you have any thoughts on that? 


One thing that I hear a lot of writers say, no matter what genre they’re in, is when they write a story, they want people to know that they’re not alone in their journey. And I think that’s really important to remember for anything we share about our lives.

If we think oh, like nobody wants to hear about this. Like, why would they wanna hear from me? Yes, they do. And they need to hear from you. So being able to share, that, personal side of you when you’re writing a memoir, you can choose what to include and what to get rid of.

It’s just depends on what portion of your life you wanna share about. And being able to connect with people and have them say oh yeah, that happened to me too. Or something similar happened. And it’s that added layer of connection to the community. And I feel like so many people love the behind-the-scenes of an author and all that kinda stuff, right?

So it’s an another way to be creative. 


I really love that. And connecting and sharing with people that they aren’t alone in their journey. Yeah, and when we feel not alone, we feel stronger, we feel more stable. We feel more able to reach for those bigger dreams.

That’s wonderful. Kirsten, thank you so much for joining us here at How to Write the Future. I look forward to sharing, our conversation with the world and I wish you the best of luck and I’m so happy to have met you and look forward to staying in touch. So thank you. 


Yeah, thank you so much.This was fun. 


Alright everyone, thanks for listening. Until next time, write long and prosper. And that’s a wrap.

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Image of Beth Barany

Beth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”

Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 

Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog


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