“I never understand when people make a fuss over me as a writer. I’m just the garden hose that the water sprays through.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

I believe Joyce’s words are true of every writer. Often, the pain you experience around writing is simply that your “garden hose” is plugged up by something akin to last year’s fall leaves, a bit of silt, and the remnants of your pup’s old tennis ball. My job as a Book Shaman is to help you clear out that gunk so that you may become a vessel for the Divine’s download.

I’ve been a voracious reader since my 4th grade teacher, Miss Campbell, opened James and the Giant Peach and began reading it to our class. At that moment I fell in love with the written word and starting penning short stories about witches with carbuncles. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I had the gift of helping others to write their own books, as well.

Below, you will find acknowledgements from books I’ve worked on, and the different ways in which you can work with me.

From the Book Acknowledgements

“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.” ~ Lissa Rankin, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself

“To my Book Shaman-Editor Melanie Bates, the final drafts of this manuscript could not have been completed without your ability to see and hear me and my story. You have touched my heart and soul in more ways than I can put into words. I will be forever grateful.” ~ Sue Relihan, Bestselling Author of Metamorphosis: One Woman’s Journey to Find Serenity & Empowerment

“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!” ~ Mike Robbins, Author of Nothing Changes Until You Do: A Guide to Self-Compassion and Getting Out of Your Own Way

“Melanie Bates was a kind and astonishingly efficient editor and organizer for this project. Thank heavens I was led to her.” ~ Tosha Silver, Author of Change Me Prayers and Outrageous Openness

Click to hear Bestselling Authors, Lissa Rankin and Amy Ahlers, dish on my work as a Life Coach and Book Shaman.

Book Shaman Package (6-Month Writing Immersion):

This package is for the writer who really needs structure, accountability, coaching around writing and coaching around the personal issues that come up in that process. Writers who typically choose this package are starting at the beginning, or very near the beginning, or are just plain stuck, and they’re writing over the six-month period we have together in hopes of having a complete manuscript in that time frame. Includes:

  • Weekly Coaching Calls (Approximately 24 One-Hour Calls)
  • Reading and Content Editing of Manuscript – The client sends each week’s written work to me on a set day
  • Structure & Accountability Partnership
  • Occasional Email Support
Jenni Bevill, Writer, Life Coach & Ambassador of Om

“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.”

Jenni Bevill, Writer, Life Coach & Ambassador of Om
Sydney Brown, MSW

“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.”

Sydney Brown, MSW

newsmallssscoverStory Shape Shifting & Memoir Writing (9-Month Writing Immersion) 

This is likely the crème de la crème of the work I do with people. It’s such an incredibly powerful healing tool that even I’m cnstantly blown away by the results. I practice pieces of this in my Book Shaman package, but not to this extent. You can read about it in detail by clicking here, but before you do check out this New York Times article, which delighted the pants off of me because it’s basically the scientific proof behind why this process I’ve created is so powerful. Add present and future to the past they discuss in the article and, well… it’s just pure magic, if I do say so myself.

  • Weekly Coaching Calls (Approximately 36 One-Hour Calls)
  • Reading and Content Editing of Manuscript – The client sends each week’s written work to me on a set day
  • Structure & Accountability Partnership
  • Occasional Email Support & a Whole Slew of Gifts
  • I really encourage you to read the invitation in full to fully understand what this process involves.

    Writing Coaching

    This type of coaching is for the writer who isn’t necessarily ready to write their book or for the writer who just wants to write but doesn’t know where to start – whether they want to write a blog or possibly write a book in the future – this is really about writing coaching and getting unstuck, finding your voice, and moving past the fear of writing.

    And… as you’ll see below in the TEDx talks I’ve had my grubby paw in, I can help a writer who knows their message, but who wants to work together to add even more oomph in their storytelling, to polish to gleaming, and to pitch it out of the park.

    TEDx Talks I’ve Had a Hand in Helping to Write

    Some of the ways in which I work as a Book Shaman: 

    • Authors send me their written work and I commence to read with my Content Editor hat on. I edit for content, flow, pacing, structure, theme, readability and overall effectiveness.
    • I offer suggestions for cutting fluff and/or flushing out story and appropriate content.
    • Ready to heal from your past, once and for all, and to rewrite those painful stories? Check out my Story Shape Shifting program.
    • Stuck & need a prod? I can also offer ideas and insights as to where to go next and offer tools for writer’s block.
    • proofread as I go along. (Keep in mind, however, that I’m not a copy or line editor, though I’m a damn good speller.)
    • Lastly, I’m here to coach you, spiritually and practically, through the tough parts of writing – dealing with your fears and “applying ass to chair.”

    Contact me about your book and/or your writing by telling me about yourself and your intention and we’ll set up a FREE 1/2 consultation to see how we might work together.

    Just so you know, my philosophy around writing matches up well with that of Stephen King. Money, fame, sex – all of those goals are AMAZING – I love ’em – and… I help my writers to manifest these things. (Okay, maybe not the sex. That would make me a pimp, no?) However, I believe those goals are simply the cherries on top of the healing sundae that writing provides. I guess that makes me a writing pimp. I’m okay with that.

    © Copyright - Melanie Bates