I get it. I know what it feels like to have a story burning inside you that you can’t quite pin down. In my early fifties, I tried to wrestle my first book to the ground—at writers’ conferences and writing groups, on Post-it notes covering my living room walls and index cards scattered on my bedroom floor. I had so many different voices telling me to do so many different things that I couldn’t tune into my own voice. I was frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, and embarrassed. Was I ever going to get this book done?
A book coach changed my life. When I couldn’t stand one more friend asking me, “When’s your book going to be published?” I decided to work with a book coach. With her help, I clarified my main point, then wrote forward with confidence as I submitted pages every week. But one day my fingers took a detour and traveled to a deeply vulnerable story I wasn’t certain I could stomach sharing. But I did share that story. I trusted my book coach. She knew me, and I knew her. She was a safe place.
Hold on for the ride!
My life changed the moment I pressed “send” and my pages flew into cyberspace. My writing got more real, and so did the rest of my life. Now, with the help of my book coach, I’ve written the book I was called to write—the story of how I discovered that it’s never too late to listen to your inner voice—even when that voice is telling you to leave a “perfect” marriage to a perfect man, come out as gay at fifty-five when you’ve never even kissed a woman, move to a city where you know only one person, start a new career, and learn how to date on the internet. Whew! It’s been quite a ride!
It’s time to stop messing around. By the time we reach midlife, we feel an urgency to share our stories of transformation to encourage and inspire women our age and also younger generations. That’s why my book coaching practice focuses on cutting through on all the noise and getting to clarity first. Once you’re clear on what your story is really about, you can write forward and get your book into the hands of the readers who need it. Your story matters. The world is waiting for it.
Hello writers! I want to share an amazing coach with you, if you are feeling stuck or need direction.
I have been writing my memoir for three years and am now revising. I lacked a clear through-line (although it was in my head, it wasn't on the paper)
In just one phone call, Suzette was able to help me decipher it, as well as my "golden thread." Now my scenes have even more intention and clarity.
Jamie Gehring, Author of Life with Ted (forthcoming)
Just the facts, ma'am:
- Scored my first byline in 1978 in my local newspaper with an article about my senior-year study-abroad experience in England. What can I say? I've been playing with words as long as I can remember.
- Landed my first book coaching gig in 2013, corralling 9 (!) cowriters creating a book together. What can I say? I love a challenge.
- Earned a certificate in spiritual formation from Columbia Theological Seminary, in addition to degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard Law School. What can I say? I like school.
- Certified as a Dare to Lead™trained professional (Brené Brown's leadership curriculum) and also up-leveled my book coach expertise through Author Accelerator, the nation’s leading book-coach training program. What can I say? I love to learn.
- Serve as a founding board member of The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, a nonprofit organization committed to building communities where all can live courageous, full, and authentic lives. What can I say? Helping others be their true selves is a nonnegotiable for me.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."—Maya Angelou
Some things I love:
- The beach (Montauk, New York and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware are faves)
- Sun-kissed rooms
- Working in my pjs
- Finding a great travel bargain (hello, TravelZoo!)
- Being a new dog mom (Lucy is the best!)
- Watching my sons make their way in the world (if only they would call a little more often: is that too much to ask?)
- Sleeping past seven (which rarely happens anymore)
- Cuddling on the couch with my partner, watching just one more episode of Grace & Frankie
- Getting lost in a good book (some favorite authors: Ann Patchett, Anne Lamott, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert)