Coaching and Editing

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see, and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” — Joan Didion

I have been a professional writer and editor for about three decades. Hands down, my favorite work with others is helping them figure out what they’re trying to say in writing.

As a writing coach I provide coaching and editing for writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, academic papers, business reports, and sermons. I help people at all writing levels break through the blocks and resistance that keep them stuck, teach them how to create and manage schedules for writing projects, and provide assignments to help them reach their goals and discover the pleasure of writing (yes, it exists, really) and, best of all, establish a practice that helps them easily connect with their own creative genius.

In working with clients, I invariably end up working with fears about writing they have collected over time. In school, many of us learn to fear writing, having been traumatized by putting our hearts and minds on the page, only to be met with red ink. We learn to seeing writing as an impossible proving ground where we must demonstrate our competence and defend an argument against attack, all while using unimpeachable punctuation. This is a tragically narrow and constricted view. The possibilities and discoveries — intellectual, emotional, spiritual, political, comedic, tragic, artistic, poetic — that writing leads to are infinite.

My own experience as a lifelong writer is that writing is a path toward deeper relationship with myself and the world around me. Writing helps people to re-member themselves, what they think, what they know, how they feel, what they care about, what their values are, why they are here. My goal as a coach and facilitator is to give people the tools to have that experience for themselves. And, in the process, to love themselves a bit more easily and fully.

My clients, before and after:

Before After
  • Overwhelmed with ideas, don’t know how to organize them
  • Daunted by old internal messages that they aren’t writers, aren’t creative
  • Go blank when they face the page
  • Feel compelled to produce a masterpiece without first writing an adequate (or even lousy) first draft
  • Hate the thought of revision
  • Excited about the writing process
  • Know more about their writing style, strengths, and challenges
  • Confident about facing future writing assignments
  • Ready to go on to the next sentence, paragraph, essay, poem, sermon, story
  • Feel more joy and less fear

Past clients report that coaching from me has helped them learn how to:
• extract wisdom from the experience of being blocked
• move through those blocks
• create a project schedule
• stick to that schedule
• be accountable to self
• be kinder to self while creating
• use writing to understand what it is they want to say in writing
• manage time
• set realistic writing goals
• build momentum and drive to completion

For more, see the Testimonials page.

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