If the title of this post sounds familiar, its because it is….I wrote a post called The Writing Life: It's Raining in Nashville back in September when last I was here. It rained hard then, and it is raining hard
once again today. (Above: View of labyrinth from my room at Scarrritt-Bennett)
Personally, I like the rain. I'm an Oregonian, after all–I'm used to it. But I also like the cold, wintry days we had here last week, with the sky gray and threatening snow. I arrived on Wednesday to be the "book doctor" for Room to Write, an amazingly wonderful four-day writing retreat.
I got a lot of writing and pondering (c'mon, it is a vitally important part of writing) done, got introduced to the quiet thrill of walking the labyrinth, discovered a couple great new Nashville restaurants, and most importantly, met some incredible people.
I feel blessed to work with Rabbi Rami. A mutual friend described him as one of the sharpest theologians of our time, and I think she's right. He's also got a passion for writing and a passion for helping other writers. He's awesome, plain and simple.
My very first coaching appointment was with Janet Hagan. I came away from it with A. a new social media consultant, and B. (and most importantly) an awesome new friend. This woman is amazing, people! Go read her blog and soak up her wisdom. Or hire her. She is great at demystifying social networking for writers.
Ruth Williams is a therapist whose mission is to spread joy…and just being with her begins that process! I also shared the weekend with John Anderson, whose smile, jokes, and enthusiasm for writing lit up everyone's day, Sarah Young, Deborah Hatton, and Samantha Yeargin, new friends who were a pleasure to get to know. I could write pages about any of them, but I won't because I have other things to discuss.
My job at the retreat was to be on hand for coaching, hand-holding, and offering advice about writing. Besides writing, I love coaching writers (and other creative types) more than anything else in the world. It is satisfying to hear that my efforts have helped others past blocks but that's not why I do it. I do it because through my own years as a writer, I've discovered techniques to unblock myself and keep the words flowing and its my mission in life to share them. Why? Because I'm a sappy soul who believes that if everyone followed their creative path regularly, we'd have a lot happier world. Fewer wars, less anger, more joy and happiness and good old fashioned contentment.
My pleasure in coaching writers this weekend has led me to a Thought. And the Thought is that I want to spend more time coaching in the new year. I'm not talking about reviewing or critiquing writing here–that is a totally different beast. I want to spend time helping you get the words on the page, whether that requires gentle prodding or swift kicks in the you-know-what.
The coaching will be based on my own system, Writing Abundance: The Seven Practices of the Prolific and Prosperous Writer, because I want you to be both madly prolific and wildly prosperous in the new year. (If you want to learn more about this system, you can also subscribe to my newsletter, at the top right of this page.)
To celebrate this decision, I'm going to be offering free coaching sessions. Yes, you heard it right, free coaching sessions. Soon as I get back to Portland, I'll sit down with my calendar and figure out the specifics, so keep your eye on this blog. And if you can't wait until then, if you need help right this very minute with your writing, just go ahead and email me. You'll find the address at the top of this page. So until next time, happy writing.