Working with a Coach, Editor, or Teacher

We all wear many hats as we go through our days. You know me as a writer, a memoirist, a teacher, a coach, an editor, a co-author, a book publisher, and finally, perhaps, as a small business person. I wear those hots with pride and, I hope you will concur, some accomplishment.

Beyond these, I wear other hats as all of you do also. One that you may not know is that I am an athlete of sorts: there has been swimming, jogging, most recently weight lifting.

Pick me up by some feat of magic and plop me in any mall across North America  and I will probably easily figure into the top five most fit sexuagenarian men there that day. I used to figure only into the top ten but since April I have been working with a coach and she has bumped me up.

I had been working for a number of years on my own–reading, talking to other lifters, analyzing my experience–and had had significant progress. I figured I didn’t need to waste money on a coach/trainer. When my gym offered a free half hour consultation with a trainer, I thought, “What do I have to loose?”

I sat down with her and shared my goals: improving my overall conditioning to allow me to get through my days with strength, endurance, and agility, maintaining joint health (a major issue for older athletes), and (alas, I blush to admit it–I am not free of a certain vanity) looking good.

She had me stand and took a good look at me from the front. Then she had me turn around and took a good look at me from my back. Based on this scrutiny, her education and training, her experience, she quickly recommended that we work on several issues together.

One of the issues had been on my mind but I had not known how to effect change. I was amazed that she had detected it from such a short examination and, on the spur of the moment, I decided to work with her. I knew instantly she could create shortcuts to higher goals.

Over the last three months, she has had me drop some exercises (overdeveloping certain body parts) then has reintroduced them. She has had me do exercises in ways that I had never done them before. She has increased the number of reps and reduced the number of sets per body part. Anyway…

This is to say that, as my coach, she has created a shortcut to more significant achievement.

Memoir writers can achieve much alone. But, it is also true that a memoir writer working with a skillful professional can cut down the time it takes to produce a book of memoirs and can significantly jack up the quality. Here are some options, one of which I hope you will take up.

1. Working with others in a tele-class can offer the support you may need to persevere and to improve in quality. On the Soleil Lifestory Network website,, is a list of fall tele-classes along with their registration deadlines. If you have any doubts that you are producing the best memoir you are capable of, then enrolling for one of these tel-classes and receiving regular instruction and critique may be your ticket to better, quicker writing.

2. Writing the memoir you’ve been dreaming of can be an overwhelming project. Coaching offers you organizational help, useful feedback for every stage of the process, and emotional support as you work. It will help you to express yourself effectively using all the techniques of good writing and will guide you in shaping each element of your story so that it reads well and tells the whole story you want to share. Memoir coaching will help you to express thoughts, feelings, experiences and the meaning of life–your life as you have lived it. You can take up coaching at any time of year.

3. Editing can be of two sorts. It can be a look at the text–its words and structure in view of finalizing your document, getting it ready for publication. Editing can also fit into the creation of your manuscript at a much earlier stage. Your editor can, like my fitness coach, take at look and give you some clear tasks to pursue, some definite shortcuts to improve your performance and save you lots of time and frustration. Editing can be undertaken at any time.

Call 207-353-5454 today for a free consultation for any of our services. Next year at this time, you could be holding your published memoirs in hand! Why take forever to write your story!



About Denis Ledoux

Denis Ledoux began helping people to turn their memories into memoirs in 1988. Denis was named Lifewriting Professional of the Year by the Association of Personal Historians in 1996. Today, Denis is a writer, educator, teacher, autobiography co-author, memoir-writing coach, editor and publisher. He directs The Memoir Network, an international group of memoir professionals who use his method and materials to help people write lifestories. Denis also offers writing tele-classes and leads memoir writing tele-groups.
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