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          I’m baaaaack! And Happy 2020

          I have a confession to make.

          I’ve been cheating on you. Having an affair.

          Yes, it’s true. I’ve been writing blog posts on Medium for the last year or so, lured there by the prospect of making money and reaching a broader audience.And yeah, that happened. Sort of. I made enough money to buy myself a few bottles of wine every month, and found some new readers.

          But I got sick of it.

          Medium is a great site, and there’s all kinds of interesting articles there, and solid stuff on all aspects of writing.It’s totally worth it to spend five bucks a month for a membership so you can read as many as you want. But what I’ve seen happening is that the writers I follow now talk a whole lot less about writing and a whole lot more about writing on Medium. Gaming the system so you can make more money. And so on and so forth.

          That makes me anxious. It makes me feel like I’m not doing enough, that I should be writing at least one Medium article a day.And then if you want to get your article on more eyes, you need to submit it to a publication. And if they don’t like your topic or the way you’ve formatted your article, they reject you. And that makes me pissed off.It is all a frantic hamster wheel that I want to step off of.

          I’ve found myself wanting to write what I want, when I want. I’ve found myself not wanting to worry how much money I’ll earn off the post I’m writing. I’ve found myself wanting to return to my poor, neglected blog.

          And so here I am, crawling back to my first true love, begging for forgiveness. Yeah, I know. Blogging is dead, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I don’t care.I still see plenty of thriving blogs on the internet–I think it is just that the way we connect is different now. We use social media instead of commenting, for the most part. And that’s okay with me–but so is leaving a comment if you feel like it.

          I won’t blame you if you refuse to welcome me back. But I sure will be happy if you do. Because I’ve got some plans for 2020, yes I do. More regular blog posts, as mentioned, a new freebie, and maybe even, gasp, a couple of info products or classes. I’ll also start working on updating pages and eventually, a sorely-needed redesign. So stay tuned.

          And in the meantime, another way to connect with me is through my weekly newsletter. It’s a love letter on various aspects of writing and writing inspiration, mostly the latter, and I also include links to cool articles and books.You can sign up here–I’d love to have you.

          Or, if you’re interested in my workshops at home and abroad, check out my Let’s Go Write site. We have workshops coming up in England and France–and for those of you who live in Portland, we offer retreats pretty much on a monthly basis. Check it all out here. (That website is in the process of being re-designed so bear with us if its wonky for a bit.)

          So, thanks for reading and Happy New Year to you! Let’s make 2020 a great one, despite what’s going on in the world.

          Writing Coaching: What’s It All About, Anyway? + Gratitude Special + New Offer. Open to read about All the Things!

          This post has a lot of moving parts, because there’s a lot going on! In it, I explain my coaching philosophy and what it looks like to work with me. It’s good information, but if your eyes lit up when you saw “gratitude special” or “new offer” in the subject line and want to learn about those, scroll down. Otherwise, carry on to read more.

          What do you really want in 2020? To finish that novel? Towrite a memoir? To get a book contract or publish your own book? To submit abook proposal? Or maybe you just want to establish a regular writing practice,one that will feed and soother you through all life’s ups and downs.

          Are you currently accomplishing these things? If not, I havea suggestion for you.  Why not ask for coachingas a Christmas gift? Those items you have on your Christmas list now? You’ll betired of that cute outfit by next and that fancy blender will be gathering dustin the cupboard by this time next year. But if you spend the money on coachinginstead, you could have a book out by this time next year. Or you could be submittingit to agents. Or you could have a completed book proposal.

          Better yet, treat yourself. There’s no better investment than spending money on you and what you’velonged to do for so long. The world needs your voice, people.  Maybe what you need this year is coaching toget your words out in the world.

          A lot of writers I come in contact with have vague ideasabout writing coaching. They think they might need it—but they are not exactlysure what it entails. It sounds a bit mysterious and scary, too.  So, I’ve decided to demystify the process by explainingall the ways it can help you.

          I’m also feeling all gushy and full of gratitude as we enterthe holiday season, so I have special offering for you. But it’s only gooduntil the end of November so you need to act fast!

          And finally, for those of you who don’t need full-on coachingbut instead some encouragement and nudging to get your creative practice back,I’ve designed a special program for you!

          What is coaching allabout, anyway?

          First of all, let’s take a look at the coaching. Some of theconcerns I’ve heard expressed include:

          Does the coach tell me exactly what to do?

          Does she boss me around and yell at me?  Send me off to do one hundred push-ups?

          Do I have to do exactly what she says?

          And what if I totally disagree with her?

          I’m an old-school coach. I took life coaching training backin the early oughts, when it was still a relatively new thing. Back then,coaching was not about a stern coach telling you exactly what you needed to do.Rather, the coach understood that theclient always knows the answer. It’s just that they sometimes need help pullingit up into the light of day.

          I follow this precept in all my coaching. I assume that youknow the answer—to what the next scene should be, or to why you aren’t sittingdown to write regularly when you keep saying you want to.  But sometimes that answer is in your heart andhasn’t yet made it up to your brain. That’s where a good writing coach comesin.

          How writing coachingcan help you

          –Getting words on the page. You want to write, but you havetrouble getting to the computer. Or once you get there, you stare off intospace without writing a word.

          –Getting a supportive, objective opinion about your work.Yes, your mother loves it. But that’s what Moms do. They love you—and yourwork. A writing coach reads your work and tells you what works and what doesn’t.

          –Help you develop ideas for plot and character. Brainstorming!Sometimes you need an objective eye to help you see things.

          –Teach you everything about writing fiction andnon-fiction. This is one reason I enjoy coaching so much—because as we discussyour work, I use examples from it as teaching moments.

          –Help you establish a regular writing practice. You love towrite, but you do it sporadically. You’d love to do it more.

          –Guide you through the labyrinth of publishing. I’mfamiliar with both traditional and indie publishing and can help you decidewhich to pursue to begin with. After that, I can lead you through the processof submitting to agents. Or help you get going with self-publishing.

          –Help you write a book proposal. Non-fiction books are soldthrough proposals these days. I’ve taught this, and guided clients to submitproposals that got rave reviews from agents. 

          –Talk about marketing and social media. I know, you hateit. So do I. But it is a necessary evil that we must deal with.

          How it works

          You submit up to 20 pages of your work. I read it, critiqueit and send it back to you. We schedule a phone call to discuss it—and more,such as your writing practice and whether or not you are getting words on thepage.

          Gratitude Special

          I’m grateful to all of you who read my newsletter. And I’mgrateful to my wonderful clients. So I’m offering a Thanksgiving gratitudespecial.

          Okay, here’s the deal. I’m raising my rates in January 2020.So if you are at all thinking of hiring me to coach you, now is the time to doit.

          I’m also going to sweeten the pot. If you sign up by the endof November, I’ll gift you extra sessions! Those who sign up for a month (4sessions) will get one extra session. That’s 5 sessions for the price of four.And those who sign up for three months (12 sessions) paid in advance, will gettwo extra sessions. That’s 14 sessions for the price of 12!

          You can use these sessions any time, as you need them.

          But remember—this gratitude special only runs through theend of November. You can start coaching any time it’s convenient, but to getthe deal you need to commit and pay now.

          New Offering:Jumpstart Your Writing!

          Some of you may just need to get yourself going regularlyagain. You long to write but you never quite get to it. You don’t want toengage in a long-term coaching relationship and nor do you have a need for it.

          What you do need is help establishing a regular practice.

          I’ve realized that since this requires no reading and thusless of my time, I can offer a mini-coaching program to get you going again ata lower price. So here’s what I’m proposing: two or four hour-long sessionswith me, depending on your needs. We’ll talk by phone or Skype or Zoom,whichever you prefer, and dig deep into your resistance and procrastination.Then we’ll figure out how to put those silly demons to rest once and for all soyou can be the writer you long to be.

          Because I’m passionate about helping writers get words onthe page, I’m offering these at bargain basement rates: two hour-long sessionsfor $150, or four hour-long sessions for $300. I’ve got room in my schedule forjust a few through the end of the year. Wouldn’t it be great to start 2020 withstrategies and techniques to get your writing done?

          Why me?

          I’ve been teaching and coaching writing since 2003. Istarted shortly after I earned my MFA in fiction from Spalding University (haveto brag a bit—it’s a top ten program). I’ve read hundreds of manuscripts, as acoach and editor and teacher.

          And I’m a published novelist as well. My novel, Emma Jean’sBad Behavior, was published in 2013 by Vagabondage Press, and my agent, ErinNiumata of Folio Lit, is currently shopping two other novels.

          I’m not telling you this to brag (well, except for that onebit about my MFA program) but to tell you that I know my shit. I’ve been doingthis a long time. It’s what I do. What I love.

          And also—I’m nice. You’re no