Coaching

SophyDale-5

How often do you get the complete, undivided attention of an expert in the field you are working in? If you want to make a big change in a short time, then coaching is for you.Are you ready for your hour in the spotlight?

“I had no idea what to expect from a coaching session. If I’m honest I could see no harm but imagined any benefit unlikely. I am happy to report I was utterly wrong.

Because Sophy is so easy to chat to I had, within a few moments of beginning our session, forgotten the overall purpose of our conversation and was just enjoying the chance to talk about my writing, the process and the procrastination. Sophy, however, had not forgotten. With a few precise comments she suggested new ways for me to approach certain aspects of my work environment and also how I might fix some scheduling issues. Her directions made so much sense they seemed obvious as soon as she’d said them. I think that is the measure of her abilities – those solutions seem obvious only because they so perfectly fit the problems. Believe me when I tell you they had previously been as obvious to me as a black cat in a coal cellar.

Since my coaching session the stress and guilt I felt at my lack of progress has entirely lifted and with that fug of emotion removed I am free to get on with the rest. I can thoroughly recommend Sophy’s coaching.” – Susan Kemp, writer.

You may be surprised by how much can be achieved in just one hour of really focused coaching. You get the chance to lay everything on the table – hopes, dreams, fears, the things that are holding you back, all your worries – and then I work as your guide to find a way to achieve whatever you have identified as your goal. The clarity and sense of direction I can bring – and the energy and motivation you will gain from being supported to produce your own tailored plan of action means that just one coaching session can shift years of procrastination, self-doubt or creative blocks.

I trained as a coach back in 2009 and can offer you both the benefit of my two decades of experience in the books world (see my about page here) and my ability to listen to you with 100% of my attention and zero in on your issues.

I have done a great deal of coaching for the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writing Award winners (part of their prize is a programme of professional development) and through this scheme I have coached authors including Lucy Ribchester (author of The Hourglass Factory), Wayne Price (award winning short story writer and novelist), crime writer Graeme Macrae Burnet and editor Helen Sedgwick, whose first novel is due out later this year with Harvill Secker.

Writing can be a lonely business and if you’re feeling low in motivation or not sure what your next move should be; or if you want to understand how the publishing industry works and how to go about submitting your MS to an agent or publisher, then an hour spent with an experienced coach could save you months, or even years, of working below your potential, unsure what your next move should be. In many ways, one of the most exciting things about writing is that you to choose how you go about it to suit yourself. But the downside is that this can be isolating and disorientating – and can lead to you needlessly wasting time re-inventing the wheel.

I offer coaching in three main areas:

  1. Dealing with writer’s block and/or starting to write creatively for the first time
  2. Making time for writing in an overcrowded life
  3. The nuts & bolts of the publishing world

Of course, often we’ll start talking about one issue and another will rise to the surface as part of our discussion – if we have time within the session, we’ll deal with that too.

Coaching sessions cost £75 an hour and can be delivered by phone or Skype. Ahead of your session, I will get you to fill out a short questionnaire and we will also have a ten minute chat so that you can let me have a bit more background on what you’d like to discuss, to make sure that our coaching hour is as focused as possible. Then, following on from our chat I will send you a set of the action notes we’ve agreed in our session. Then two weeks later I will be ensuring accountability by checking in with you and finding out which actions you’ve already taken and whether there are any tweaks you’d like to make to your plans.

Interested? Email me on sparkforwriters[at]outlook[dot]com to sign up, or find out more on the Coaching FAQ page.