Coaching

Meet Caryn for coffee in person or over the phone

Work with Caryn one-on-one on writing (editing, revising, publishing, and more),  or creating your own right livelihood (making a living from your gifts and callings). Coaching sessions are completely individualized for your needs, goals, and timelines, and can happen face-to-face (if you're in the Lawrence, Kansas area), or by phone or video-conferencing.

New coaching package available: Finish Your Book!

Contact Caryn here to arrange a free 20-minute session.

Coaching Topics:

  • What and How to Write: Processes, techniques, inspiration, and magic that works best for you, whether you’re just getting started, returning to writing, or deepening your practice.
  • The Writing Craft: The ins and outs -- including common rules and when to break them -- of writing poetry, novels, memoir, non-fiction books and articles, and mixed-genre writing;
  • Writing as a Practice: Strategies and best tools to write and revise as an artistic life practice, including how to keep the writing flowing, following and leading your writing, and balancing your practice with the rest of the your life.
  • The Romance of Revision: Critiques and revision approaches to both bring the strongest writing to the surface, and ready your writing for publication, readings, and presentations;
  • Publishing Possibilities: Preparing book proposals for agents and publishers, connecting with local sources, and other strategies to get your writing into the world;
  • Growing Your Readership: Best practices for readings, blogs, presentations, and workshops -- whether you're just getting started, or looking to build on years of putting your work out there;
  • Book-Whispering: Listening deeply to what a book wants to be, discovering what walls and blocks may be revealing about where to go, and embracing the journey of the book, with all its lessons and mysteries.;
  • Architecture of Your Writing: Finding the best structure for a poem, story, novel, memoir, or article (Caryn's coaching superpower);
  • Workshop Design and Implementation: Research, facilitation, and assessment for creating and offering meaningful community workshops; and
  • Right Livelihood Through the Arts: Approaches to making a living in concert with your callings, community, and experience.

Sessions: Hour-long sessions include meeting for up to 50 minutes, followed up by notes, resources, writing prompts and/or readings shared via Google Docs (where you and Caryn can also see your work simultaneously as it evolves). Depending on your needs, you and Caryn may agree to use some of your session time to have her read and comment on your writing beforehand or afterward. Coaching may be done in person, or via phone or video conferencing. Caryn is available weekdays, and for some evenings and weekend times.

Fees and Packages available: Caryn offers a free 20-minute session to talk about how coaching can best support you. Once you and Caryn determine it’s a good fit for you to work together, we can arrange payment via checks, cash, or Paypal (payment due in advance):

  • 3 session: $75/session for total of $225
  • 6 session: $70/session for total of $420
  • 10 session: $65/session for total of $650
  • Write Your Book Companion Coaching: customized plans available to help you start or make progress on a book of fiction, poetry, memoir, or non-fiction. Contact Caryn to inquire about crafting a plan that serves you.
  • Finish Your Book Companion Coaching: Click here for more details
  • Individual sessions: $80

For more information, please contact Caryn here.

Testimonials:

I have loved working with Caryn! She has helped me take my experiences as a child psychiatrist, medical educator and Avatar Master, and find a voice that touches others. She helps me get what is in my heart onto paper. In addition to being a midwife for my messages, she is an expert guide for the craft of wordsmithing. Thanks, Caryn! ~ George Thompson, MD, psychiatrist, educator, and writer.

Caryn’s encouragement, even enthusiasm, for helping me revise and complete short stories, once started and never finished, has been a wonderful collaborative venture. Never the critic, she’s always the consummate partner in the creative process. Her skill, talent, wit, and wisdom have shown me the way to begin writing again, which is a restorative healing process. Caryn has taught me to reach deep within and unabashedly, without apology or shame, to tell my own story.”~Julie Flora, artist and writer

Experience:

Caryn has been actively mentoring people in writing, workshop facilitation, and related topics through one-on-one teaching at Goddard College since 1996, teaching at the college level since 1986, consultations with workshop participants for several decades, and facilitating workshops widely on everything from working with your artistic callings, to deep poetry revision, to starting and finishing your book.

As the author or editor of over 20 books, she has vast experience in getting going, keeping rolling, and finishing projects. She also writes widely and deeply in many genres: poems, novels, memoirs, non-fiction essays and books, and songs. Her writing coaching superpower is seeing the whole picture of a part or or entire collection of writing, then working with people on organization and development.

She has taught hundreds of in-person workshops and classes as well as online classes through the Loft Literacy Center and the Transformative Language Arts Network. She is also certified in poetry therapy, trained in group process and facilitation, and has worked as a freelance writer, workshop facilitator, and presenter. See her complete bio here, and a list of venues and communities she’s worked with here.

Join Caryn's Newsletter: Receive a pithy newsletter each month with a writing prompt, featured writer, and news of upcoming workshops, readings, and happenings. Click here.

Why Coaching?

We all have our callings: the work we're meant to do for a more loving, peaceful, and vibrant world.  After over 30 years of mentoring writers, artists, activists, community leaders, educators, and healers through community workshops and college-level teaching, I realized I had been developing coaching expertise and experience all along, and it was time to offer coaching services. Serving on the faculty of Goddard College -- a progressive education institution based on learning for the real world -- showed me ways to guide people on many paths. Founding Transformative Language Arts as a master's program at Goddard, and with others in the world deepened my understanding of how to help people bring their whole selves and greatest wisdom to the page and their lives.

Clients who will gain the most from working with me have writing or work calling to them, plus a willingness to leap faithfully, honor their process, listen to what wants to be born, and devote space, time, and spirit to their work. My approach encompasses:

  • Process and Results: Yes, our work  will clarify your goals, set appropriate benchmarks, break down the work into do-able pieces, and make adjustments as needed. But we'll also look at your process: what works and doesn't work for you, and what conditions bolster your creativity and focus.
  • Learning What Wants To Emerge:  You start with an idea, whether it's about your writing or livelihood, then we put your ear to the page to hear what else emerges. By deepening your capacity to both listen to yourself and to the art or livelihood possible, you can bring more of your whole self to the work.
  • Body and Soul Wisdom: The more you can bring your whole self to your work, the richer and more enduring the work. We'll explore ways for you to glean the wisdom of your body and soul, listening to what signs and wonders abound from all of you.
  • Creativity Resilience: Whether you're writing a novel or planning a community workshop, the more you cultivate your artistic resilience -- the ability to bounce back from tripping over a wrong direction -- the closer you'll get to realizing your goals, and awakening your widest and wildest creativity. I can provide you with prompts, ideas, and approaches to recover your bounce.
  • Getting Lost and Found: Creating most things entails a winding path through surprise tangles of trees and unexpected giant parking lots where you can't find your car. I'll help you find more peace and meaning in the lost moments, and also your way back to your work with gifts and insights from such excursions.
  • Redefining Blocks Into Opportunities: I don't believe in most of what people call "writer's block," but in looking at stuck moments as opportunities to replenish your creative spirit, ask new questions, consider other work that wants attention, and play your way back into what previously felt stuck. I have lots of tricks and tools to help you do the same.
  • Work and Life Balance: One of the biggest challenges for most of us is balancing our life's work with our lives. We'll consider how you can create and sustain spaciousness for your creative process in concert with your day job, family, community, and/or other foundations in your life.
  • Living Your Questions:  The writing or community work that comes of our collaboration comes from living your artistic or livelihood questions, knowing that as you prepare yourself to live into everything your life is about, you'll find your way. Rainer Marie Rilke gives voice to this holistic approach when he writes, "Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

Read more about my approach to writing here.