Writing Coach & Editor for Writing Heart-Centered Fiction or Non-Fiction
I am a content editor and writing coach who specializes in working with authors on books with a heart-centered or spiritual bent. I love helping authors find their voice and write the book that is waiting to birth through them.
I’m not a “blow smoke up your behind” type of coach who will promise you that I have a formula to help you write your book in 30, 60 or 90 days. What I do promise is support for all the phases of the writing process from early inspiration, through revisions and polishing.
I understand how scary it can be to ask someone to look at your work. I am kind to the sensitive creative soul inside while we help you find your voice and make sure your book or article says exactly what you want it to say.
Dealing with Fear and Doubt. Often what stops us from creating our best work are the “demons” of doubt and fear inside. Many times what stops us is not lack of talent, but not knowing how to chunk things down or release old negative scripts so we can move past overwhelm into creation. I can help when your “stuff” comes up. What kind of stuff? The “I’m not good enough!” “Everything has been said before,” “This is dangerous” kind of stuff. Writing is often both a creative journey and a healing journey. I’m here to support you through it all.
Private editing and coaching
Each book project and phase of writing has its own challenges and you don’t need to go it alone. If you are a first time author, overwhelmed by the actual process of writing, working with a writing coach can help keep you on track until you are done. Or perhaps you rejoiced at completion of your first draft and then realized it wasn’t a book yet. Occasionally brilliant pieces of prose fall onto the page but most often we need to clarify and organize to make our writing shine. It can be challenging to see where you can tighten your work to make it clearer. It can be next to impossible to see your own typos, grammar and formatting mistakes. Often times we don’t explain enough for our readers or we repeat the same thought over and over again because it is so important. But this can turn off your reader as they say, “All right you make your point!”
As your editor, I take the place of the reader who doesn’t know you and the points you want to make. My job is to ask you the tough questions that your family members or best friend reading the book won’t ask to help refine and polish your book. Don’t feel embarrassed that you need someone to help you refine your message. You’ve spent so much time with it, you know it. The job of an editor is to help you go back to the innocent mind of the reader and help them understand what you are so passionate about.
We often have to let go of arguments or examples that make their way into our writing but take the project off course. Believe me I know how hard that can be. It is like telling some of your children they can’t go to the party. The material that I cut from the draft of my first book is almost as big as the book itself. And some of it didn’t get cut until several people told me they got confused in that section of the book. I loved some of the stories. They simply didn’t belong in that book.
It is the refining that takes your message from okay to WOW!
Because working with an editor or coach is a collaborative process, we schedule a time to talk about your project to determine if it feels like a fit. Depending on where you are in the process, I often do a complementary read of a few pages to give you an idea of the types of comments you might get from me. Also in reading your work, I determine whether I feel your project is something I can help you with. Sometimes I turn authors away not because their book has no promise but because it doesn’t feel like I am the person to help you bring it to life. I’ll be honest with you. I only take on books that I am excited about working on. You deserve that and more!
Contact me for a free Skype or phone consultation to talk about how I can help you shine!
“I don’t even want to think about having done [my] book without my editor Carol Woodliff. Carol’s contributions are too numerous to mention. A skilled and creative writer, she gave generously of her talents . . . . Her patience and perseverance are a source of amazement to me. Everyone who writes a book needs a Carol Woodliff. I am so grateful I had mine.” Anita Jesse, author, The Playing Is the Thing: Learning the Art of Acting Through Games and Exercises and of Let the Part Play You
Online Writing Groups.
If you aren’t ready to commit to one-on-one work, I offer weekly small groups of no more than 6 people, to provide accountability and feedback to keep you on track. Learn More about Online Book Coaching Groups
Occasionally I am asked to ghost write or polish manuscripts to meet publishing deadlines. Contact me to discuss your project and its demands.
Why am I qualified to help you?
I am a writer and have been since I was a child. I have a journalism degree from Marquette University. I have spent the last 30 years perfecting my craft. My book From Scared to Sacred was a finalist in the memoir category in the 2015 Independent Spiritual Author awards. I’ve studied many genres from screenplays and playwriting to novels to hone my storytelling skills. I am a student of human nature and characters developed through 10 years as an actor. I’ve written articles, plays, short stories. As an editor, I have helped many people craft their books, articles, websites and promotional literature. I have 25 years’ experience proofreading and reading legal documents for sense and style. (I hope you never have to read a debenture for sense–that’s intense proofreading!)
Beyond all my writing experience is my intuitive ability to connect with the essence of the story you are trying to tell. No editor can help you if he or she doesn’t get you or the book you are trying to create. This isn’t something that can be learned in a class. I believe it was something I was gifted with and it is my honor to share that gift with the writers I work with.