What Do You Do, Anyway?
I hear this a lot:
“You’re a coach, huh? You work with writers mostly? Yeah, that’s nice, Anne, and it sounds cool, but, uh….I have no idea what you actually do. How about a few examples?”
Okay, then. Here goes!
Recently, my work as a creativity coach and editor has included:
A strategy session with a returning client
We had worked together some years before, and she got back in touch to discuss her several new writing projects. We talked about the market competition out there, we brainstormed expansions of the draft she’s been writing, and we zeroed in on which next steps are the most important for her to take, and in what sequence, agreeing to talk again in a month or so. Her new project is quite different from the one we worked on a few years ago. She inspires me to keep the new ideas coming.
No, not that kind of coach. Photo by Nguyen Thu Hoai on Unsplash
Monthly coaching session with a creative writer
In our sessions we follow up on her ongoing concerns, we free associate about interesting ideas and share the places we’ve found them, and I make sure we follow the threads of previous conversations. In response to the pandemic and other changing circumstances, she has adjusted her daily schedule to suit her situation. Over the months she altered her routine several times, tweaking it so that it works best for her, allowing her to book open time for herself regularly. Whether she writes, reviews her existing work, reaches out to publications, or sits and ponders, she consistently gives herself that open creative time. She has come to see it is essential. Honoring it as a priority has meant gradually disentangling herself from other competing obligations. She has been purposeful about streamlining her calendar to support the things that matter most – including her creativity. She inspires me to be flexible and pay attention to what’s working and what needs work.
Wait, not that kind either. Photo by Katarzyna Pracuch on Unsplash
Coaching when the writing is difficult
Another returning client has begun coaching to support her as she drafts a nonfiction book that tackles her own difficult personal history in order to demonstrate to readers how to deal with generational trauma, from the inside out. She has discovered that she needs to allow plenty of time after a writing session, to rest and recover her equanimity. She inspires me to notice how I’m feeling and how my work affects my wellbeing.