Coaching & Mentoring
Supporting Early- and Mid-Career Creative Practitioners
About My Coaching Process
My coaching/mentoring is very much client-led and question-based, empowering you to find the answers that are right for you, rather than tell you what to do or think. You decide what you want to work on and prioritise, and then I’ll support you to figure out your objectives and goals. And through the reflective, creative space provided within the sessions, I’ll support you to design your own plan for solutions and next steps, so they’re ones that you’re enthusiastic about!
What Is Creativity Coaching?
Who Do I Work With?”
What a Creativity Coach Can Help You With
- Have you lost momentum with a difficult project?
- Do you lack sufficient time for your creativity and your ideas?
- Do you feel worn out by swimming solo, lacking in creative validation from the people around you, or wishing you had access to a stronger, more supportive creative community/network?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed by juggling too many interests and competing priorities?
- Are you finding your creative practice a bit less joyful or meaningful these days?
- Have you been feeling discouraged by setbacks or rejections?
The realities of working independently without adequate help can mean we want to give up before we’ve actually fulfilled our goals.
Coaching leaves you better supported. Here are some of the tangible benefits of working with a coach:
- An ally who understands the importance of a creative life and can help you bounce back from rejections and cope with any struggles
- Increased confidence – quieten your inner critic, understand your strengths and how to maximise them
- Productivity – an “accountability buddy” to help you stop procrastinating, stay motivated, manage time well, and finish projects that are currently stuck
- Finding a better balance between work, personal life and your creativity
- Gaining clarity on difficult dilemmas or confusing choices, by identifying the things that are most important and helpful to you
- Becoming more organised, with clearer priorities, more actionable plans and more positive habits
- Deepening your knowledge of the creative industry in which you’re working, and if it’s a goal, figuring out how to earn more money from your creativity
- Help with building a stronger network of allies and contacts who can support your creativity
- Figuring out how to create social impact, find your work more meaningful, or find your specific path in the world as a creative person
- Smarter success strategies for getting your projects and ideas out into the world, find new audiences, or share your work more widely with others.
More About How My Coaching Works
I help creative people professionalise, gain clarity, and harness energy in a focused direction. We’ll begin by fully understanding what challenges you’re facing and the hurdles you want to overcome. A significant outcome from our sessions will be tangible, actionable plans for next steps to move you towards your goals, and good habits that you feel genuinely motivated to pursue. And a sense that you now have someone alongside you who understands how important your creative practice or creative business is, someone who can help you move forward with it.
Sometimes we’ll end up identifying something “upstream of” or “underlying” the specifics of the problem you had brought to discuss – something happening earlier in the process, such that when you resolve this, it unlocks in a more long-term, transferable way the specific situation you’re finding challenging and then lots of other similar situations in the future. And we might do this by thinking about the language you’re instinctively using to describe things, because often working with language helps us dissolve unconscious blocks in a powerful, creative way.
Think of our work together as a solution-focused chat with an informed creative ally. It’s as simple and as powerful as that!
Sessions can be spread over whatever time period suits you and your project. (NB I may nevertheless recommend holding sessions fortnightly or monthly rather than weekly, so that you can make tangible progress on next steps between sessions.)
Types of Client Situation
- trying to complete or embark upon a major project, and finding it tricky to make tangible progress
- OR wanting to reach a wider audience with their creative ideas
- OR struggling with their inner critic/lack of confidence
- OR struggling to get organised/feeling overwhelmed by juggling too many interests and competing priorities
- OR facing tricky decisions about options/paths for their creative career
- OR wrestling with motivation and grappling with questions about the meaningfulness or impact of their endeavours
- OR feeling a lack of support from people/the environment around them
- OR wanting to develop as a freelance tutor/facilitator in some field of creativity
- OR fully engaged in one form of creative activity yet longing to make progress in a very different direction
My Coaching Background
I’m a Certified Creativity Coach, having trained with the Creativity Coaching Association, and an associate member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I have also undertaken Facilitator Development training (at The Institute of Education, University College London), and have a Certificate in Narrative Practices in Coaching (Animas Centre for Coaching).
I’ve made my living as a full-time facilitator for over ten years, working in Adult and Higher Education since 2011 and also mentoring private clients one-to-one since 2015. I’ve had twenty years of creative practice as a fiction writer and poet, with many individual stories and poems published in that time, and my fourth full publication appeared in November 2022, from the American publisher Bamboo Dart Press. My self-employed creative businesses have won funding from Paper Nations/Bath Spa University, Merton College, Oxford University, the Arts Council/National Lottery Grants, and an Enterprising Business Award from Kingston University.
I began my career initially in business, including working as an international strategy consultant for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and American Express. Then I had an epiphany of sorts and and left that life behind in 2001 to become a published poet, fiction writer and freelance tutor, before moving into mentoring and coaching. So my life has straddled the practical world of business AND a purely creative arena where play, innovation, expression and joy are the focus.
Dealing with Setbacks and Challenges
Action Plans & Next Steps
Dealing with Setbacks and Challenges
Action Plans & Next Steps
“My experience working with you has been extremely beneficial… Through your encouragement and suggestions I developed some excellent tools to resolve self-doubt and negative patterns and to deepen my creative work… Overall I gained conviction my process, my work, a stronger sense of self and artistic direction and have resumed an effective creative practice. Thankyou!”
Michael is a friendly, skilled and supportive coach… Our sessions are always fun and enlightening. He has helped me bring greater focus and structure to the nitty gritty of getting work published and helped me formulate and, more importantly, stick to short-term goals. I couldn’t think of a better person to work with.”
S.N., Musician and Writer
“Thank you for all your help – it’s been a brilliant and valuable experience at a really crucial time. You enabled me to gain some real insight into what is and isn’t conducive to my happiness and creative productivity, and encouraged me to introduce some changes that are realistic, sustainable, and which I’m sure will have a long-term positive impact.”
“Before starting these sessions, creatively I was completely lost. I’m happy to say Michael has a gentle, respectful and insightful way, and he made me realise lots of positive things about myself… my creativity is in full flow, leading to opportunity and productivity. One very happy Creative!”