I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach. And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love by introducing you, dear readers, to a broad spectrum of coaches with a broad range of expertise.
For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Jocelyn Paige Kelly…
I discovered Jocelyn on Twitter, where she tweets inspiration for creatives of all types as @jpk_rycl (which, I believe stands for: Jocelyn Paige Kelly – Realizing Your Creative Life). She writes thought-provoking posts about the interplay of life and creativity.
How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?
The best way to decide is to dive in and take a test drive. Most coaches will give a free consultation and session so they can experience the process themselves and understand the benefits first hand. This also gives the curious seeker and the experienced coach an opportunity to see if there’s synergy there between them.
What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?
My background and skill set is in working with various modes of stress management (hypnosis, meditation, art therapy, storytelling and journaling). I believe in overall life balance with creativity being at the center of it.
When I work with clients, I follow their lead. It’s very important for me to respect and match their pace. Whether a client comes to me to work on finishing a specific project or comes with a variety of creative issues and challenges, I work with them in a co-creative atmosphere to help them achieve their goals or create a better understanding of their own creative process.
What lies outside the client/coach relationship? (For ex., writing craft, critiques, organization, motivation, goals, psychology)
When working with a client, I feel it’s important to not get involved with the specifics of their work. For me, this means not giving feedback on any works-in-progress or completed works. If a client feels they need that more than coaching, I refer them out to writing consultants or coaches who offer critiques as part of their services.
Tell me about the mechanics of a coaching relationship: how often you meet, the format, etc.
I prefer to coach a client where their needs and goals are at the moment they come to me for coaching. I offer coaching via phone/Skype, in-person (when applicable), and even by email. It really depends on the person.
When the coaching is done via phone/Skype or in-person, the average session is typically forty minutes. During an initial first session, I prefer to go at least an hour in order to take a proper in-take and listen to their needs and goals. It gives me a solid foundation in which to better assist them with what they’re looking for in a coaching relationship.
I also offer an email exclusive package. This typically works with establishing an agreement of engagement in response times on both sides. For most clients with this package they are free to email me as much as possible, but I limit my responses to one to three times per week on set days. This gives both my client and I time to reflect and contemplate questions and answers in a pace that is comfortable, yet still offers growth. Introverts do really well with this package.
How can a writer get the most out of a coaching relationship?
Anybody working with a coach in any style or niche can get the most out of the coaching relationship by being prepared to do the work, being honest with yourself and your coach and to accept the process. There will be ups and downs. There will be times when you are asked questions that push you, times when you will need to take a realistic look at obstacles and goals, times when you will need just support from your coach. Ask for what you need and try to be as clear as possible. If a writer goes into a coaching relationship with all this in mind, they will get the most out of the experience regardless of what level of skill or achievement they have or haven’t acquired.
Do you have a particular area of expertise, or something you bring to the client/coach relationship that other writing coaches might not?
I specialize in creative wellness and stress management so when I’m working with a client, I have a keen eye on how stress and well-being shapes our lives as well as the impact any creative project. How this influences me as a coach is that it gives me a better idea of when to urge a client forward and when to take a step back and look at the big picture. I believe what I uniquely offer is a gentle, yet realistic perspective and approach to coaching.
I’m also trained and certified in a specific style of coaching developed by Lisa Bloom called Story Coaching. It focuses on the stories we tell ourselves, and as a coach I listen and, when necessary, help my client to reframe the story, if the story is preventing them from moving forward. It’s an amazing way of coaching that can have immediate results in transformation and removing blocks.
Jocelyn Paige Kelly is a creativity coach and transitions coach for creative professionals, hobbyists, and anyone seeking help and support in discovering how to work with their creative rhythms. She is a member of the Creativity Coaching Association and International Coach Federation and is a certified Story Coach™. Her award winning short fiction and poetry have been featured in Forge Journal, Cadillac Cicatrix, Willard & Maple, Sanskrit, Dos Passos Review, Louisiana Review among others. You can find her online at Realizing Your Creative Life.
Don’t forget to check out previous interviews:
- Daphne Gray-Grant, Publication Coach
- Ali Luke, Writing Coach
- Brook Blander, Literary Coach
- Sue Mitchell, Writing and Creativity Coach
- Cynthia Morris, Writing and Creativity Coach
- Kendra Levin, Writing Coach
- Charlotte Rains Dixon, Writing Coach
- The Writing Coach: Is One Right for You?
Also check out Brandi-Ann Uyemura’s article in The Writer, “Can a Writing Coach Help You? What Hiring One Can Do for Your Career, and How to Find the Right Match”.