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How I became a writing coaching

Despite thinking I was done with teaching, teaching wasn’t done with me.

David Gane
David Gane
2 min read

For a long time, something has pushed me to teach.

After university, I was unemployed, and my sister-in-law asked me to volunteer with her high school drama production. I worked with the students to tighten up their performances and pacing.

Afterwards, people told me I was a good teacher. At first, I dismissed it because I wanted to be a writer. However, struggling to find work, I decided to give it a try.

I returned for an education degree. Unfortunately, I didn’t pursue it after my old marks from years prior held me back.

In order to pursue writing, I started a screenwriter’s group at the local film pool. It didn't take long for the Executive Director to askif I wanted to teach a writing class. Soon, it expanded to two classes.

I enjoyed it and applied for a Master’s in Fine Arts so that I could teach at the university. I thought I’d have to finish my degree before I’d get into a classroom, but the department offered me a job while still in classes.

At first, I was shaky, but the more classes I taught, the more comfortable and confident I became. My one class developed into three, but I taught them at different times throughout the year.

I continued to grow. I applied for the writer-in-residence at the Regina Public Library. Poets, novelists, and short fiction writers came in for guidance, and elementary and high schools invited me to speak in the classroom. I loved doing all of it.

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed teaching, it was still a sessional instructor’s salary. I wasn’t getting tenure—mostly because I was a screenwriter, not a filmmaker.

This year, I couldn’t afford it any longer. I needed to find work that paid the bills, so I let the department know that I was done.

I sought employment throughout the summer. There were plenty of jobs, but I was trying to find something that matched my teaching, writing, speaking, and sales skills. In the end, I never found one.

Then, as I mentioned previously, teaching moments kept coming to me. Strangers and old students reached out and asked for help. My department head asked me to do another class.

Over and over, despite thinking I was done with teaching, teaching wasn’t done with me.

I accepted the job, but knew I couldn’t advance in the department. If I were to keep teaching, I had to do something different.

That’s when I decided to be a writing coach.

Now, I tried doing this before. After being the writer-in-residence, I had a membership program on my website. But I ran it poorly and never offered proper meeting times or never posted enough content. Of course, it failed.

This time, I’m focusing on meetings foremost—an hour per month to discuss your writing. I’ll probably offer standalone sessions at some point as well. I also plan to share resources, but more for the writers I work with to have some guidance.

So, that’s how became a writing coach. If this is something that interests you, please send me your questions or sign up. Thank you.

David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.