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How Knowing Myself Led Me to Hiring a Writing Coach

"Know thyself"

This Greek maxim is oft quoted because its wisdom endures.

My understanding of myself is what led me to hire a writing coach versus joining a writer's community.

In 2022, a professor from my alma mater invited me to speak to his fourth-year Project Management class of engineers. He told me to choose whatever topic I wanted as long as it had some connection to project management.

I chose to speak on how knowing oneself has the potential to make them better project managers.

However, I wove in how knowing oneself has profound impacts on future relationships and endeavors, too.

By that time, not only had I already written the manuscript, but I was also recovering from burnout from my engineering job and being a caregiver. I was committed to getting this manuscript published, but I was also striving to maintain my sanity.

I couldn't imagine expending energy on making new connections, being responsible for reading and offering insight into other people's work, or even the weekly commitment to meeting up.

Although knowing myself was a huge piece, I can't discount that the timing was also right.

Danica Somerfeldt was introduced to me through a work friend's LinkedIn post. I thought, “I’m drawn to this post and would like to meet this lady.” So, I asked our mutual friend to introduce us. And he did.

In my first email to Danica, I asked her if she could help me. Because Danica had owned a bookstore prior to our meeting, I thought maybe she would know of someone who could help me get to publishing (which seemed like an alien landscape to me). I told her I was looking for a coach because I didn’t think I had time for a writers' group. Surprisingly, Danica responded that she was thinking of starting a business as a writing coach!

Danica likes to say that I’m the boss. When I ask her when we should next meet, she says, “You’re the boss. You choose.”

We meet once per month.

Danica asks me what I’ve worked on over the past month. I go through my to-do list, usually checking off a few items, at which point I feel discouraged because I didn't get through them all.

Danica reminds me that even one thing checked off is progress. And when I've dawdled on an item or two, after a few months, she'll say, "Well, let's tackle that one together right now".

Danica has also read my manuscript...TWICE! The first time was to help understand how I could improve after receiving my first rejection from an agent. The second time was to make sure I made good on her suggestions :)

When I shared my book proposal with Danica, her recommendation for improvement was building a social network platform. I had an inkling that was probably where I needed work, but I had no idea how to get started.

Danica provided me with a “menu” of sorts for building a platform. From there, she’s helped me identify what I can reasonably do with my time and given me the space to figure out what I might be good at. Hence, this blog and the IG account. It's a work in progress, but I'm feeling more confident about my book proposal as I prepare to do my second round of contacting agents.

Danica has asked me to cast a vision for the next year and encouraged me to visualize what those months will look like. I know that if I hadn’t met regularly with her over the past year, I would not be writing on this blog. Accountability has been key for me.

So, in celebration of Danica's one-year anniversary as my writing coach, I've written this post for her!

She currently has capacity, so if you're like me and the thought of a writers' community is a bit overwhelming, visit her website and get in touch.

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1 Comment
May 29

You're doing great! You set clear goals every month and almost always accomplish them all--and sometimes more. I have occasionally challenged you to push your goals a little farther and you always rise to the occasion. You are a model client and have made a ton of progress; I know that you'll be ready to start pitching your proposal again soon.

Thank you for the kind words, PP!


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