writing and editing

My Writing Coach Journey

I’ve always been a word nerd. It started in high school and followed me to college. I wanted to be a teacher and majored in English lit. But I didn’t take the classes that would make that happen.

Instead, I discovered folklore and ethnic studies. I loved these classes! I was fascinated by and loved learning about diversity and ethnicity and folklore before all of this was cool. I continued my fascination with folklore in grad school and have a masters degree in English with an emphasis in folklore.

My knowledge and appreciation of diversity and ethnicity was a bonus when I taught freshman English classes several years ago here in Colorado Springs. It was also a plus when I was a substitute teacher and worked with students in K-10 and as a freshman English teacher when I worked with and taught English language learners, or English as a second language students, in Dayton, Ohio.

As I said, I always wanted to be an English teacher and I achieved that goal. My teaching experience began as a teacher’s aide in Sacramento, CA and progressed from there. I moved up the teaching ladder and taught folklore to kindergarteners as part of the Saturday morning enrichment program at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

From there, I taught freshman English comp as an adjunct for Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. I was part of their part-time faculty for five years. I was going to teach for Wright State University in Dayton and even accepted the position, but I had to decline because my family moved to Southern California and online teaching had not been invented yet.

I continued teaching and loving it until two years ago. But I wasn’t just teaching, I also decided to try editing while teaching. I thought I could edit. I didn’t think I needed to learn anything because I thought I knew what I needed to know. I was wrong!

I learned that editing is not like teaching. I needed to take classes in proofreading, copyediting, and coaching. I did and loved every class. I continued to learn, and I continue to learn today.

I joined editing groups and networked with wonderful editing colleagues. I still network. And I learn from my colleagues as well as from the independent authors I work with.

Several years ago I thought about learning all about coaching and coaching writers. I talked to a colleague about this, but I didn’t do anything to make it happen. Then last year I took Jennifer Lawler’s coaching class. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. I felt like I was home.

Before I started taking Jennifer’s class, I had the opportunity to work with a children’s author on their picture book. I discovered that I had been coaching them. That experience turned out well. Warren received a publishing contract as a result of our time working together. He thanked me for my help as his coach and editor. He also thanked me for my patience.

While taking Jennifer’s class, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with another children’s author. This client came my way as the result of a referral from an unnamed editor. Stephanie’s  middle–grade fiction chapter book is wonderful. And I’m happy to announce that I’m acknowledged on her Acknowledgments page as both her writing coach and editor.

Both of these experiences have been a few recent highlights in a long editing career. They have set the stage for the next part of my journey. They also helped me decide to present myself as a Writing Coach and Book Editor. I made that announcement recently on my website and on social media.

Now I’m doing everything I can to be successful as a writing coach. If you need a writing coach, or would like to talk to a writing coach, I’d love to talk to you about your project and show you how I can help you. Fill out the Contact form on my website and let’s talk.










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