I got certified!

It’s been almost one year since I posted here and that’s because I have moved from Queensland to New South Wales, taken on two new administration jobs, and I have been hard at work studying to become a certified Fiction Book Coach through Author Accelerator.

After a year and a half of dedicated study, and working with fiction writers to strengthen their stories and the foundations of the internal and external plot lines, build worlds and characters that work for and with and come out of the story, coaching the blueprint for a fiction book, evaluating full-length manuscripts, evaluating chapters, writing editorial letters, having 1:1 coaching conversations to support writers with their story development, and most recently, coaching writers with a strong manuscript through the process of writing a synopsis, query letter and batching agents as well as writing up a pitch plan specific to my writer’s story genre and their career goals, with the aim of targeting agents who might represent them, I am now certified!

When I received the good news this week, I laughed. I danced around the house. And then I cried and cried. They were tears of joy and release because coaching writers is so deeply meaningful to me and I love what I do.

I’m a caring coach who gives kind but honest feedback on what I review. I’m super mindful of how difficult it is to give creative work to a stranger and allow them to critique it. It’s nerve wrecking and one of the bravest things a writer can do. I have so much respect for any writer who opens up to feedback and takes the feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow.

I know how hurtful feedback can be when it is delivered without thought for the emotional care of the writer because I have been there. I’ve been hurt and struggled to come back to my stories when I didn’t have the support I needed to see the gold in the feedback. But through this course and working with so many amazing writers in the last year and a half I have learned how valuable it is to have another person’s eyeballs on your writing to help see what you can no longer see because you are too close.

I’m delighted to share this good news with you and let you all know why I have been hidden away from the world for the past year.

I am beyond grateful to Jennie Nash and the Author Accelerator team for supporting me to become a fiction book coach, and especially to my editor and mentor, Lauren Daniels, from the Brisbane Writers Workshop for teaching me how to give feedback that is compassionate and focused on the arc, the character, the literary technique. This approach has allowed me to inspire and empower my writers to keep writing forward.

I am also deeply grateful to every single writer who trusted me with their work and allowed me to give them my observations. It takes guts to write and it takes guts to be vulnerable enough to receive feedback. I know. I’ve been there as an aspiring writer myself.

I could not have achieved my certification without the vulnerability and trust of the writers I have worked with. I send each and every one of them my deepest gratitude for believing in me.

So what’s next?

It’s time for me take a moment to celebrate, and begin to really map out how I can be of service to my writing clients going forward.

My goal is to coach my writers to write the best stories they can and to support them in their pursuit of their writing goals whether that is taking an idea and learning how to write a novel or novella that works and has a strong cause-and-effect trajectory, or taking a manuscript they have been working on but they’re stuck in revision hell and helping them get clear on what’s stopping them from taking it to the next step so the story satisfies their target/ideal reader.

My other goal is to help writers with manuscripts that are truly ready for publication (that means they need to have the foundation elements in place, a strong cause-and-effect structure, their writing craft is solid and they are willing to work on any red, yellow or green light issues to make it the best story they can) and work with them to pitch to agents or at conferences. As a coach I cannot guarantee publication or that an agent will want to represent a writing client, but I can help my writing clients to write their best story, and I can help them to feel satisfied that they have done everything in their control to write their story to the best of their ability. And that’s satisfying to know that you’ve done everything in your power to write your very best book.

So, as I’ve said in previous posts when I first enrolled in my course to learn to become a fiction book coach, this website’s focus will change from art, writing and life to serving writers. I want to thank you for hanging in there with me over the years. I appreciate everyone who has stopped by and read my musings or liked my artwork, or cheered me on as I went through the ups and downs of learning to write a novel. You have touched my heart and I appreciate you very much.

I hope, if you love stories and writing as much as I do, that you’ll stay with me. I’ll be working on posting more often around my coaching writing clients and working my other job. I want to inspire you to keep writing forward. New words in the bank today. Characters that come alive in your reader’s mind. Stories that work for the reader and keep them turning pages. All that good stuff.

But first, I need to do some deep thinking and figure out exactly who I want to serve. I love fantasy, speculative fiction, cozy mysteries, contemporary women’s fiction, romance, romantic elements, horror and magic realism. I’m eclectic in my reading but I need to be discerning and figure out who I can serve the best.

Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting me along the way as I have achieved this important personal career goal.

Until next time, happy creative writing!

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