A creativity coach works with artists, musicians, writers, inventors, and even business executives. Some coaches share the same art form or profession as their clients, and others only focus on the creative process rather than a specific subject matter.
I help writers identify the thought processes, internal conflicts, limiting beliefs, language patterns, and habitual behavior that may be holding them back from doing their best work. Together, we set well-formed goals to achieve both the creative and professional outcomes they want. They learn new ways to:
Enhance their current creative abilities.
Transfer creative ability from one context to another.
Focus bursts of creativity in a more organized and systematic way.
Develop conscious access to internal resources that support their performance.
Use the insights into their own challenges, failures, and accomplishments to imagine the thought processes, internal conflicts, limiting beliefs, language patterns, and habitual behavior of their fictional characters.
Utilize the three stages of the creative cycle more effectively.
I work with writers bringing my MFA in Creative Writing and training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to the creative process. My unique book coaching program includes an optional creativity coaching service that can be tailored around specific needs.
A book coach guides writers of fiction and nonfiction through the creative process and provides feedback on their writing from start to finish. I help writers get inspired and maintain their motivation so they can plan and write the best book possible. Together, we:
set the goals of the writing project
define the book’s genre
describe the story’s premise
develop the story’s structure (chapters, transitions, flow)
map out the plot (introduction, inciting incident, rising action, arc, resolution)
plan the protagonist’s journey ( goals, obstacles, conflicts, transformation)
plot character transformation based on principles that apply to change in real life
explore the story's main themes and concepts
Some coaches and writers rely on personality theories to create fictional characters with ‘typical’ predispositions. I believe in an organic growth of character instead of stereotyping traits for the sake of validating archetypes. In teaching and critiquing creative writing, especially regarding character development and transformation, I know of no better framework for examining personal growth within the dynamics of social change than Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)—see "What is NLP?" below.
It has been argued that “the only constant is change.” Although it implies survival and growth, change can also be the root of conflict, chaos, and destruction. Better insight into the dynamics of change can help writers map out strategic character arcs to ensure that transformation comes about in a credible way.
NLP's main premise focuses on the ‘neuro-logical’ levels on which change takes place: environment (where?), behavior (what?), capabilities (how?), values and beliefs (why?), identity (who?), spiritual (what for?). This model (Dilts, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2000, 2003) can be a handy guide to help writers bring fine distinctions to the classic elements of literature: character, plot, setting, point of view, theme, and style, especially plot development and character transformation.
NLP practitioners are trained to calibrate verbal and body language (head movements, facial expressions, hand gesture, and posture), eye-accessing cues, breathing rate, and skin tone to gain insight into the mental strategies that support their clients' challenges, accomplishments, and failures.
I teach writers to develop nuanced sensory observation by focusing on the mental strategies that give rise to their own thought-, emotion-, conflict-, language-, and behavior patterns. This new skill can help them future-pace a character’s possible responses to events, thus ensuring credible turning points throughout the story.
My approach is exciting—it’s like role-play, only different—writers get to see, hear, feel, and imagine what's possible for their characters and take it from there, as opposed to being limited by the do’s and don’ts of staid personality theories.
Go to my BLOG for more on nuanced techniques that can help to enhance character, plot, setting, point of view, theme, and style.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed as a method for transforming human behavior. It is based on an understanding of the dynamic interaction between neurology, language, and behavior. According to the model, the way we experience our reality (life) is shaped by the way we take in information through our senses (neurology), translate it into language (linguistic), and make mental patterns (programming) that influence our behavior.
NLP is a multifaceted discipline like psychology or business that belongs to everyone—it’s not a brand name or company with legally protected exclusive rights. As a book coach, I use certain NLP models and techniques to give creative writers a fresh perspective on the dynamics of change to help them shape character transformation in a credible way.
Professional life coaches are motivational experts who offer their skills to anybody wishing to achieve specific goals or create positive change in their life. The coaching philosophy assumes people already have all the resources to manifest what they really want. The coach raises the client’s awareness, and helps to develop and execute an action plan.
As a creative writing coach, I use my background in NLP life coaching to help writers find inspiration, take action, and stay committed so they can reach their full potential by planning and writing the best book possible.