Everyone has talent. Everyone can write well if they want to. All it takes is time, devotion, determination – and sometimes a good writing coach.
Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely activity. As a writing coach I work with writers at all levels, helping them achieve their writing goals, fulfill their creative potential, and realize their creative dreams.
My clients and I work together as a team, meeting on the telephone and sending written pieces back and forth over the Internet. Each client’s needs are different. I offer support, guidance, encouragement; help with perfectionism and other blocks to writing; advice about how to live and thrive in the writer’s life; publishing advice; and a clear, practiced, professional editorial eye. I help my clients:
• Identify their material
• Make space for writing in their busy lives
• Find and connect to their true voices and deep wellsprings of creativity
• Overcome perfectionism and other blocks to writing
• Figure out how to transform the stuff of their lives into compelling narratives
• Create plots, scenes, and suspense in their novels and stories
• Hone and polish their language
• Complete short pieces or long works
• Find publishers for their projects
• And much more.
Mary’s skill and talent have helped me to discover my voice, my story, and my truth. Her feedback and her support are woven together in a style that is generous, gentle, and forthcoming. Mary brings her understanding of life to the work in a way that opens new insights and new possibilities for me, the writer. Mary’s coaching always connects with the deepest and most intuitive elements of writing and therein lies one of her greatest gifts.
Nancy B. Ronquillo, President/CEO, Children’s Home + Aid
Mary brings a deep personal wisdom about writing and life to her work as a coach – and she also brings a sharp editorial eye. Most importantly, she creates the kind of safe environment that enables her clients to tackle the hard stuff. I’m incredibly grateful to her: not only for helping me to improve my writing, but also for making the process more meaningful.
Elizabeth Heineman, author of Ghostbelly
With Mary Allen’s help, I shifted from being unable to write except in unfortunately inescapable professional jargon, to having my writing flowing up freely from the energy, imagery, feelings, thoughts and intuitions latent in the unconscious. The process of writing has shifted from an abstract effort full of resistance to a sense of life flowing through me bringing gifts and energy I couldn’t have imagined before. I am immensely grateful.
Anna Lyons-Roost, Jungian Analyst
My writing has been buried deep inside my computer for many years. I tried workshops, but I didn’t like the responsibility of reading others’ work. I knew that my work needed to edited but I didn’t know how to make it happen. Then a friend recommended I try working with Mary Allen.Mary asks questions, listens carefully to the answers and helps find the heart of the story, sometimes asking me to stop and do some “fast writing” to dive deeper. She reads my pieces aloud to me, showing me how to rearrange passages, make strategic cuts, and correct grammatical mistakes. Somehow, despite her rigorous editing, I never feel discouraged because she is so generous with her appreciation for whatever is “right” about the pieces. It has happened again and again. Like an old quilt in need of repair, the holes in my writing get mended, color and depth are added, and the old tired piece becomes usable. Suddenly I step back and it is beautiful! It is so exciting to be making progress for the first time in many years. Thank you, Mary, for sharing your amazing gifts as an editor and writing coach.
Working with Mary as coach and teacher has helped me to develop a “writing life” where writing is as much a way of seeing the world as it is putting pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard). With Mary’s encouragement, I find I write with more consistency and with more joy and confidence than ever before. Mary’s fast writing technique helps me access what she calls the “deeper, smarter” part of myself, the place from which the best writing comes. Her work on “combing” my pieces has helped me to finish work and to develop my own intuition for revising.
Over the past several years Mary and I have worked together on short fiction and now a novel. It’s such a pleasure working with Mary. Through her coaching I’ve gained not only confidence and skill but also a deeper appreciation of the writing process. Challenging as writing can be, I’m having more fun with it than ever. I feel fortunate to have a place on Mary’s roster of coaching clients.
Mary taught this seventy-something novice writer five principles that have made such a difference in my writing: 1. Write in the now moment. 2. Create the scene. 3. Bring the reader into the scene and make the reader feel what you are describing. 4. Show rather than tell. 5. God is in the details. I may not always get there on each of these five principles, but I always know what I’m supposed to do. Mary’s coaching and teaching approach is always supportive and affirmative, and yet at the same time always holding you accountable for gaps and always being able to gently but firmly coerce you into going back for one more effort to write about the details and flesh out the scene. She is gentle, loving, and dedicated, and therefore motivates you to work hard and be stretched.
It has been a joy working with Mary Allen. She patiently challenged and encouraged me to persevere through the arduous process of finding words to convey the stories in my book. From the beginning, she seemed to know the spirit I wanted to convey. I am grateful for her ability to teach writing and her supportive manner of coaching me personally and professionally through the writing and publishing process.
James Powell, author of The Corner Room
Email Mary Allen at AwakeintheDreamHouse@gmail.com for more information about her writing coaching and to set up a consultation.