Behind the Curtain

Saying Yes to Marie as a Writing Coach

Writing matters to me, but perhaps more importantly, WRITERS matter to me. I am curious about and attentive to the inner world of each writer. That inner world can be full of resistance, excitement, voices of the inner critic, and everything in between. My job is to listen. Powerful words are created from feeling heard so that’s my starting point – deep listening.

The process I use as a coach supports each person to open up to the power and beauty of their own words. People who choose to work with me begin to realize that their inner critics might not be telling the whole truth. In summary, I help people fall in love with their words.

This was the experience of one of my clients; I’ll call her Martina. She had been longing to give this “writing thing” a try. She knew she had a powerful story to share, a potent reason to put words to paper. We’d met a couple of times at networking meetings and in our initial conversations, I heard her say, “I want to write about some things that happened in my life,” and, “Friends of mine tell me I should write my stories down.” Like so many others, in a defeated manner she went on to state, “I’ve always longed to write, but I don’t know how. I’m not a writer.” She reached out to explore how I could help her and I was itching to lend a hand. We scheduled a meeting to discuss possible ways I could provide nurture and guidance for new words longing to be born. I was all in and so was she!

Martina has blossomed within the creative, energetic and encouraging environment I help provide. Like so many others I’ve coached, she was startled to discover that it is FUN to write! She has learned how to create writing habits that she is eager to engage in rather than adding “one more thing” to her already busy life. The form of her words has taken many shapes: a challenging email response, a journaling practice, blog posts, and her latest creative effort – a chapter for a book anthology. What if writing can be fun and easy? Some clients choose to focus on website text, getting at the heart of who they are and what they offer in their businesses.

As I do with all my clients, Martina and I set up a schedule for online sessions. I tailor elements of my coaching program to specific needs, for example providing weekly writing prompts to kick-start a regular writing practice. For individuals with longer works in progress, I provide ideas for story structure, ways to engage the intended audience, and uncovering the “why” underneath the story being told. I have a broad range of experience to draw from that can serve people in business as well as those writing for literary submissions or for specific audiences. I’ve worked at collecting oral histories, as an environmental consultant writing large technical reports, been a dedicated journal writer for years; in 2017, completed my manuscript and published my first book. I’ve come a long way from falling in love with books and reading at the age of five years old.

Clients appear to benefit the most from a six-month commitment, which allows new habits to be developed, along with time to finish projects and reach goals. The six-month agreement includes several hours of my in-person time, which can be broken up in a variety of ways. Personal one-on-one email correspondence, responses to personal requests for information from clients, ongoing support, and reviews with detailed feedback on client writing are also part of any coaching package.

I’m passionate about supporting those who have a desire to write, who hesitate because of a strong inner critic. I draw from my own experience to offer the best of what I know to each client who says “yes” to herself and her dreams. My writing review process has been transformational for Martina, since she, like so many people I work with, was harshly critiqued as a student and told she didn’t have good writing skills. During our time together, rather than seeing red marks on a page, she saw exclamation marks and heard comments like, “This is strong!” and “Love this phrase; I felt as if I’m there with this author.” Imagine what might be possible for you and your writing if you receive this type of feedback.

Martina has now come to the end of our coaching time, and she has a draft manuscript for the chapter she’s submitting for a book anthology. She has the tools and resources to continue playing with her words, and she knows that when the time is right, there may be more that we can do together. Writing does not have to be a solitary, hard slog; what if it could be fun and easy?
If what I offer resonates with you, I’d love to connect. Choosing a writing coach is an important decision – let’s talk and see what the possibilities are! Please connect with me through my website: www.mariemaccagno.com/contact

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