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Coach Your Way to Success
by Romney Nesbitt

What would it take for you to be more successful in your writing career? A few lucky breaks, the perfect agent, a really surprising plot twist? How about working with a Creativity Coach?

If you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again getting the same results you might want to consider reenergizing your writing career by working with a coach. Corporate stars work with career coaches. Entrepreneurs work with mentors. Even Tiger Woods has a golf coach. Many financially successful individuals choose to up their output and income by working with an invisible partner—a coach.

What could a creativity coach do for your career? A coach will provide accountability, structure, encouragement and a fresh viewpoint on an old problem. Through careful listening and key questions, an experienced coach will help you gain or maintain creative momentum in order to meet your financial and professional goals.

A good creativity coach might start off by asking these two questions: “What do you really want?” and “What’s keeping you from having that now?”

Some writers blame their day jobs, writer’s block, lack or organization or procrastination. Others come to the table with more honesty and admit that fear keeps them from reaching their writing goals—fear of failure—or success. Sometimes all that’s needed to get things moving is a practical tip or two. Perhaps a new work schedule is needed. Working on high-value creative projects during your body’s natural peak energy times makes sense. For writers that struggle to come up with an idea or choose between too many ideas, some coaching on how to use intuition to help make decisions could save valuable writing time.

Other times the problem that blocks creative output runs deeper. A creativity coach might offer some ideas on setting realistic expectations for the marketplace or redirect regret over lost opportunities to self-forgiveness. Those with fast approaching deadlines from editors need a coach's push to shake off self-doubt and kick into high gear. A coaching partnership can shift a writer’s career off of square one on to the next level resulting in more income and professional opportunities.

What are the benefits of creativity coaching?

1. Action: Coaching is about creating momentum and seizing opportunities

2. Accountability, Structure and Focus: Coaching provides regular check-in times to track your progress

3. An unbiased point of view: A coach offers a fresh, objective look at your situation

4. Clarity: A trained coach knows how to help you get clear on what you want

5. Support and encouragement: A creativity coach with experience in your field understands the market and the common challenges of the creative life

6. Responsibility: You set your goals and work towards them. Your coach is your invisible partner in success

Where can you find a creativity coach?

Contact the Creativity Coaching Association, (CCA) www.creativitycoachingassociation.com, a national professional organization of coaches specializing in working with people in the arts field. On the CCA website you search for a coach by last name, state or specialization area (writers, artists, actors). Member coaches may submit full profiles with contact information, individual services, workshops, keynote topics, classes, retreats, training and experience and fees. Most coaches offer in-person, email and phone conferencing options. Coaches offer pre-paid package plans such as three one-hour sessions for a set price and others allow pay as you go hour-long sessions.

Creativity Coaching is a very new field. While there is no formal, nationally recognized certification program for Creativity Coaches, the CCA offers on-line training for coaches as does Eric Maisel, author of many books on the creative life. Coaching workshops and CCA conferences have only been available in the last 3-5 years. Skills and training among those in the creativity coaching field varies greatly. Some coaches have education and work experience backgrounds in writing or arts related fields andcoaching training while others offering coaching services have no training in the field of coaching.

Once you find a coach’s name whose qualifications fit your needs, do an internet search to uncover articles the coach has written, newspaper publicity about speaking engagements, workshops, and classes. A good number of hits would indicate that this person is active in professional writing communities. If the coach teaches classes at a college or community center, call the head of that department or area to ask if classes are popular. Want to dig a little deeper? A newspaper article about a club’s meeting date and speaker may also list a club member’s contact information. This person should be able to give you an insider’s opinion about the coach’s knowledge level and personality. After doing your research, call the coach to ask about his or her coaching practice, specialty area, philosophy and fees.

An hour with a coach gives you time away from writing pressures to ask yourself the big questions: What do I really want? What’s keeping me from having that now? The answers to these two questions have the power to move you away from simply drifting from one assignment to the next to taking charge of the direction of your career. An experienced creativity coach can assist you in making career choices based on the decisions you’ve made and show you how to focus your creative energies on goals and projects that are important to you personally and professionally.

© Copyright 2009, Romney Nesbitt

Romney Nesbitt, Creativity Coach, is a working artist, writer and fine artist. You’ll find her many practical tips for writing success in her book Secrets from a Creativity Coach, published by Buoy Up Press. Visit her website to learn more about creativity coaching and Romney’s workshops for writers, www.romneynesbitt.com.

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