Last weekend I kicked of my Creative Coaching career by attending the Writers Conference at San Diego State University. I went down there to listen to authors, to find out, what they were up to, and what they knew about and expected from a coach. Was I in for a surprise!
I expected to meet a bunch of charged inkers, eager to discuss the work and challenges of writing, armed with their imagination and never ending enthusiasm for the stories they want to tell. SDSU had done a marvelous job for authors to network and to meet agents, editors and other industry professionals. You could identify them quickly by the color of their name-tags: the Gods wore red! All the attention was on them. It was only Friday evening, and I was already disappointed. So many stories to tell, so few books to be published! Not the game I was interested in. And on the other hand I was in awe of the courage it takes to face these odds – the courage that is fueled by the strength and satisfaction drawn from writing a story one cares about. But later more of that.
This writers conference was about the business side of writing. Unless you are writing a diary or love letters, being an author is a profession. The business we are in is called communication. There is a flow from the author to the reader. Books are the medium. I quickly put my expectations aside, when I understood that this conference serviced a vital part of the process of authors connecting with their readers.
Back to the reason why I drove down to the ‘Town North of Tijuana.” Remember, I wanted to find out, what writers expect from a coach. So I mingled and listened. I soon had a list of topics I can work on in the coming months. ” How to be confident about the story I’m writing.” “How to deal with criticism good and bad.” “How to be successful as an author.” “Time management for creative professionals” -very likely the first complex for me to focus on. “Blocks to finish writing my story.” “How to stay in the flow.” All these topics are so coachable! Please look for blogs, talks, and discussions here to come!
I was happy. I had my work for the coming months laid out in front of me. And it was only Friday evening. I still had the whole weekend in front of me. The best was yet to come, and at first sight it had nothing to do with coaching.
On Saturday morning, after a very entertaining keynote by James Scott Bell: “Storytellers Save the World…”, everybody disappeared into parallel lectures. I had picked a talk about publicity, but for some reason I ended up in the wrong room. At the head stood a man who looked like a mixture of a professor and a Hollywood creative. He turned out to be the chairman of the UCLA screenwriting program, Professor Richard Walter. (Note to self: trust your intuition!) The following hour had a great impact on me.
Most of you may not know that I put my screenwriting career on ice last year, just when it began to warm up a little. I had started training with iPEC to become a coach. Between my day-job and this new exciting endeavor no time was left for my own writing. Just when I am done with most of the training and my calendar lets me breath lighter, Richard comes along and pulls me right back into the excitement of storytelling with his mixture of great experience in screenplay-writing, his endearing Jewish humor, and his natural excitement for story-telling. Over the next two days I followed his talks. Richard has a very high level of anabolic energy (I will explain this coaching-term in another blog; it means a positive, uplifting, supporting energy), and I was truly fascinated. Thank you Richard!
On my way home to Newport Beach I put my car on auto-pilot. I had about an hour and a half in front of me reconnecting with the story I had put on hold almost a year ago. Becoming a coach was a joyous and intense process. I am excited to find out how it changed my writing.
Love to all,
Find Richard’s website here: RichardWalter.com
James Scott Bell’s website: JamesScottBell.com
SDSU Writers’ Conference: www.ces.sdsu.edu/writers