The long, hard road to becoming a practicing book coach, part 1

Dear Vi,

Around this time back in 2021, I completed a year-long training program, passed the three required practicums, and received my certification through Author Accelerator, under the founder, Jennie Nash.

Getting my certification was hard.

Sure, learning curves are always steep, and the course was (and still is!) comprehensive and very robust. But that’s not why it was hard.

It was hard because I did it during the pandemic.

It was never “just COVID,” was it. No, it was makeshift morgues, and daily update on death tolls, and exhausted health care workers, and unrelenting worry, and friends who weren’t allowed at the bedsides of their sick and dying parents. It was mourning without funerals, wedding celebrations without guests, mothers giving birth without having their partners present. It was sheltering in place for endless months and all that that entails, ceaseless and unrelenting.

It was also hard (and good!) because my Author Accelerator studies gave my creative brain something positive to focus on besides a pandemic that was playing havoc with my already vulnerable mental health.

And it was hard (and good!) because I was turning 60, which is…well, another story for another time.

The problem is what went on in the time between then and now.

What has happened, is that in the nearly three years since I received my Author Accelerator certification, many of my colleagues have gone on to create successful book coaching businesses while I cheered them on from the sidelines, wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm to do the same.

I was “preparing to make a plan for getting ready to start,” as one colleague put it. And she was right. The problem was, every time I’d get up some steam in the right direction, I’d be derailed for months (months!) by anxiety so severe that one time I drove myself to the emergency room, thinking I was having a heart attack. This is also a story for another time.

But now I’ve found a workable (for now) balance between medications and mindset, and I want to tell you something I’ve realized. And that is this: that I have most definitely not spent the last three years procrastinating getting my business up and running.

What I have spent the last three years doing is healing from the pandemic and its aftereffects. Recognizing (again) and treating (again) acute depression and anxiety disorder.

And honestly, this (this!) is the most liberating thing of all. Being able to say this. To write it here where you can read it.

And here is something else I want to say.

Being 62¾ years old is believing that I can have a part time business working at home as a book coach. That I can run exactly the type of small enterprise that suits me best.

What does any of this have to do with actually working with writers and novelists?

Nothing, maybe. And yet…everything.

Nita is an Author Accelerator trained and certified developmental editor & book coach who helps writers stay accountable to their goals, raise the bar on their craft, and write emotionally-impactful manuscripts that work.