Writing a book can be such a lonely and agonizing venture full of “where do I start?” and “what do I really have to say?” and “who really cares to hear my story?” Add to that the inner work that is required as one sits down to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and it’s enough to freeze you in your lumbar-supported writing chair. Anyone I know who has written a book, especially a memoir, has had to do that tough inner work all the while battling excruciating bouts of resistance to “applying ass to chair”, and most have had to do it alone.
When I started my practice as a Book Shaman I learned as much as my clients about what it really took to tell their stories and I was able to facilitate and witness their deep transformation in the process. As my clients wrote their memoirs they each had the same outcome: yes, they had a full, developmentally-edited manuscript all but ready for submission to agents, but more importantly they had healed thirty, forty-five and, in one case, sixty years worth of deep pain and suffering. That had not been what I expected to happen. At all.
I’d known going into this work that my devout love of reading—in all genres—and my passion for all forms of writing, along with my otherwise totally unmarketable Bachelors degree in English/Creative Writing and my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, would marry the literary and the consumable and be invaluable in guiding people through the writing process and in helping them to learn the actual craft of penning powerful stories.
I’d also been certain that my years of in-the-trenches work with authors and entrepreneurs in the self-help arena would enable me to show them how to build their platforms and create businesses that filled their souls and fed their book sales.
Not to mention that I’d helped authors to hit the big lists, including the New York Times bestseller list, and I knew even though the lists are never guaranteed, I could use that experience to help my clients to give their books the best possible chance of success in the world.
Yeah…and despite all that knowing, these were the least important parts of the work we did together. To see my clients write and then re-write the painful core stories that had been plaguing them for years and that had caused them so much heartache; to hear them say they had finally healed, well… that was the juice; the unexpected gift that came out of the process.
I’ve never liked the word “healer” even when it’s been used to describe me. It implies that I have some kind of power that others do not. I much prefer to say that I facilitate healing and that I’m a powerful compassionate witness to the force already within you to heal. I prefer to say that I am a meaning maker and pattern recognizer. I prefer to say that I can see and hold all of the seemingly disparate threads in your writing and can help you to weave them into the most beautiful tapestry you can imagine.
“Melanie Bates… Thank you for being the daily sounding board for the ideas that bubbled up as I researched and wrote this book. Transmuting fuzzy thoughts into language people can understand is no small task, but you made it feel like a picnic. I loved learning all this with you by my side, and I will always consider this book part yours. You once told me it was part of your calling to help me bring my message into the world, and darling – phew! We’ve done it. Thank you.”
“Working with Melanie Bates as my Book Launch Manager for The Joy of Genius was a great experience for me and all the members of my team. She exceeded my expectations, and I don’t get to say that very often.”
“Melanie Bates was a kind and astonishingly efficient editor and organizer for this project. Thank heavens I was led to her.”
“Melanie Bates, what a blessing you have been in my life, for my business, and with my book. Your partnership, support, feedback, editing, and vision helped this come alive – it would not have happened in the way and the time it did without you, your gifts, and your incredible support, thank you!
Melanie is an amazing coach! She has the ability to hold space, see things, say things, and guide you in a way that is clear, kind, loving, and spot-on. Her intuitive gifts coupled with her business savvy, make her a unique coach, with a valuable set of skills. She has had a profound impact on my life and my business since I started working with her – things have gone to a whole new level and I’m so grateful for the work we’ve done together.”
“Melanie Bates is really helping me through business coaching to stay focused, clear and intentional as I launch the Don’t Sweat Sisterhood. She has played a key role in helping me launch this community.”
“Coaching with Melanie is like having a spiritual mentor, best friend, business strategist and champion by your side. She gives you permission to do what you truly want, have what you deeply deserve, and BE who you were born to be. She is the person I call when I need a reminder of who I really am.”
“I am in awe of the person I have become since working with Melanie. I just completed my last session and although deeply saddened as our time together has come to an end, I am walking into my new life with direction and a confidence I sorely lacked five months ago… In addition to fulfilling her commitment to me, through my writing, I was able to heal so many years of emotional suffering. Melanie’s authenticity, nurturing love and well-honed intuition provided her with a deep soul knowing of exactly what I needed and when I needed it. She simply took my lead and my hand and guided me with amazing gentleness to the most unexpected and healing results. I will be forever grateful to her and whatever entity brought us together.”
“One of the gifts Melanie brings to coaching sessions is her willingness to help me see the difference between what I believe I ‘should do’ and what I feel called to do. Melanie has the courage to ask tough questions when she’s aware that even though I may not feel entirely comfortable with my answer, I may be ready to open up to it. In our sessions I felt understood and listened to, as well as challenged in good ways. I asked to work with Melanie because I’m endeavoring to listen more to my body’s and soul’s voices than to my mind’s expectations. Melanie delivers exactly this kind of coaching. As a new business owner, I benefit tremendously from not only her expertise in helping me listen to my calling, but also from her deep experience in the practicalities of creating a successful online business. My life mission has been blessed by working with Melanie.”
“Melanie’s business coaching was an invaluable experience. Prior to reaching out to Melanie, I felt scattered on my message and mission. I did not have clarity on how to bring my passion for speaking, writing, and coaching clients together. In a few short sessions I got practical guidance on optimizing my message, my website, and my mission. I continue to turn to Melanie for expert guidance, compassion, and clarity on building my platform, creating teleseminars, and building my business.”
“Working with Melanie as a business coach has been invaluable. She has provided insight on everything from book writing and TEDx speaking to webpage wisdom. What I love most about Melanie is that she sees you as your truest self, your highest form. And she helps you see yourself that way, too.
Melanie is an awesome listener and is able to use laser focus in determining next best steps, even when you are still in the stumbling phase. She guides with grace. I’m grateful to know her and have her in my corner.”
“Melanie’s authenticity, personal views and way of operating her business—of being in the world—have all encouraged me to look more within than without—to deal with criticism more evenly, to feel more confident in my expression/choices and, even when I get it wrong, to shrug my shoulders more when mistakes happen. As we moved through the business coaching sessions, we established an expression for my business that was a good fit for my natural talents and personal ‘soapbox.’ Writing the content for the new website was a joy and, with Melanie’s assistance, grew in depth and clarity. I found such value in Melanie’s intuitive ability to pull out the perfect tool at the right moment and her sense of when we had touched on what was authentic, deep and meaningful. As a lifelong Virgo striving for perfection, usually through embracing difficulty as a badge of courage, Melanie showed that there was another way: intimate, intuitive, trusting and relaxed. If you want an authentic, fun, intuitive and generous coach, then do choose Melanie.”
“Choosing to work with Melanie Bates was hands-down, bar none, the best decision I could have made for myself and for my book. I honestly don’t know if I would have ever finished my book without her caring guidance and support. She was truly with me every step of the way—from the scary beginning until the triumphant finale! The accountability that our weekly calls provided made sure to keep me on track and moving forward. I would wholeheartedly recommend Melanie to anyone even thinking about writing a book.”
“Melanie has a natural grace and is a gifted teacher who shows you how to access your own core wisdom. She encircles you with intuition, light, kindness, clarity, practical advice and enables you to find your calling and navigate the obstacles along the way. It’s like having a cup of tea with your guardian angel architect as you manifest your dreams.”
“I was fortunate to have hired Melanie Bates for a Virtual VIP Day. I was able to start the year off on the right foot after an intensive workshop with Melanie. We dissected my growing business and made sure that systems were in place for a seamless and successful year. The part I loved most about my experience working with Melanie was her ability to tap into the work that really brings me joy. I want my time spent working to be meaningful and to make every moment count. Melanie organized my business procedures so that my passion truly is my profession and that there is joy present during the process. I highly recommend working with Melanie Bates as a Visionary Business Coach.”
“You’re not only helping me with this book, you are also helping me hash out some important themes in my life. I appreciate your awesome process. I appreciate your candidness. I appreciate your ability to see beyond the words. I feel better about this book than ever before. The themes are coming to life for me and I feel great about where we’re headed. It’s starting to feel ‘real’, and I can sense a theme, focus, and direction now.”
“Writing a book was a dream of mine since my 20’s. For over 30 years, I started over and over again, but never followed through.
When I was introduced to Melanie, I had gotten past the initial inertia, but I was in serious need of guidance. Over the better part of the following year, Melanie helped me shape and complete a first draft. At the beginning, I could never have imagined the book that eventually emerged through our work together. The result is thrilling, unexpected, and best of all, I learned so much about myself in the process.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without Melanie’s help and support. She is a coach in the truest sense of the word. She grew my capability, guided me in new and exciting directions, and—when it was most needed—told me the tough truth.
It’s funny. When I tell people about my book, so many say, ‘I’m thinking of writing a book,’ or ‘someone I know is thinking about writing,’ that’s when I smile from ear to ear and tell them, ‘I know just who to call!'”
“I’ve experienced a deep sense of being witnessed in our time together as I work through healing aspects of my ‘story’ and of having a compassionate, intuitive, wise, inquisitive, and interested companion as I travel this journey. It is so deeply healing.”