Writers live twice.”
– Natalie Goldberg
I’ve had at least seventeen lives and counting.
Some in the world, and many others on the page. And I have loved them all.
As a writing coach, strategist and editor, I work with independent folks who dare to live differently. They’re coaches, consultants, health practitioners with creative streaks, and aspiring writers with day jobs. Sometimes they’re gainfully unemployed, and by unemployed I mean you couldn’t pay them enough to go back to the corporate world.
I help these smart, kind people write website copy, blog posts and other marketing projects they’re proud to stand behind. Projects that connect with their right people. Projects that give them that little belly-flip of excitement that means: “I refuse to let life happen to me. I am happening to life.”
I also write, of course.
Why I love what I do
I once had a dream job for any aspiring writer: a full-time permanent gig as a journalist at Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. But after three years, I decided to quit. Why? I cared too much about the people I interviewed, and felt uncomfortable with the power I had over how their stories were told. I wanted to help people communicate instead of communicating for them.
Which is precisely why I’m passionate about helping you tell your own story.
All of the narrative goodness, none of the bad vibes.
My professional writing background…
Writing is my religion, and the only way I’ve ever made a living. I built my business after working as a journalist and feature writer, in marketing and publicity for Toronto’s finest literary festival, and as a media trainer at a university in Africa. I’m a stickler for clarity, grammar and style, but I’m also passionate about creating a fun, stress-free writing practice. (And know perfect is impossible.)
I have a master’s degree in journalism, an undergraduate degree in English, and once edited a delicious little book about women and food called EAT IT. I also teach creative writing in the online school Story is a State of Mind.
Storytelling lightning round:
My last name (Baute) is Anglicized Flemish, not French. Think “howdy” or “rowdy” and you’ll come up close.
Isabel Myers-Briggs tells me I’m a feelings-first intuitive introvert who likes a little order in her life. She’s right.
In 2013, I spent six months as a media trainer in Ghana, working with journalism students at a university. The students taught me more than I could ever articulate about learning, teaching, and striving. I miss them.
A world traveller, I’ve hiked the Andes, studied Spanish in Mexico, and cycled through the hectic streets of Old Delhi.
My number one piece of advice for getting unstuck is writing by hand in a notebook. Try it!