My name is Nancy Norbeck, and this is the story of how I became a writing and creative process coach.
I’ve always been very creative. Of course, all children are creative—we just forget how as we grow up. When I was a kid, I was imagining, reading, and even writing my own stories. I wrote my first when my brother came down with chicken pox. I was in the fourth grade, and after I made my green construction paper cover for my “book,” my mother said, “Who knows? Maybe you’re a born writer.”
I also sang a lot. Music was big in our house. The radio was always on and with a mother who played and taught flute, and a piano in the house, something was always making noise. I loved hearing her practicing her flute as I turned up our street on my way home from school—it meant I was almost home. I got used to the chaos of cacophony, and eventually realized that I actually loved it. (That moment when the orchestra tunes before a concert, that riot of random noise from different instruments… I love that.) I also followed in my parents’ footsteps and started singing in choirs when I was four.
By the time I got to high school, I was auditioning for plays and taking writing a lot more seriously. It was my escape from the ordeal of adolescence—I could disappear to the computer in the basement and write my own stories that let me be anywhere else I wanted. I also discovered Doctor Who, which gave me more places to “go,” and more permission to create my own fantastical worlds.
I never stopped singing, but I did stop writing for a long while. Mid-college, the demands of school were too strong, and by the time I graduated, I was out of the habit. It took a fanfiction challenge in 2004 to get me rolling again, and putting those words on paper for the first time in so long felt like coming home—like being wrapped in a warm blanket and handed a perfect cup of tea.
This time, I didn’t stop. In fact, three years later, I started the MFA program at Goddard College. I’d been teaching writing to English as a Second Language students, and advising the school literary magazine, for several years and wanted to get better at my own writing and also learn how to help my students become better writers. So many people thought ESL couldn’t write creatively, and I knew they could. I had seen it in my own classroom. I knew that there were plenty of domestic students who wanted to write creatively and had no official place to learn, too.
I didn’t realize I’d dropped myself into a crucible until I was in it; the transformational Goddard experience left me a far better teacher, editor, and writer than I was when I first arrived in Plainfield, Vermont—far better than I had imagined I could be.
I lost my teaching job just weeks before I graduated from Goddard, but a few months later, discovered Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching. I’d found my people! I’d had no idea there was a field dedicated to helping creative folks get their work into the world, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I signed up for training and spent the next several months in awe of the ways in which the creative process works and could stop working for so many people—and how to help them get around those blocks. It was eye-opening and inspiring, and for the first time, I felt like I really had the tools I needed to reignite the creative process for stalled writers and artists so they could bring their work into the world.
Because, you know… when we get stuck in our creativity, we get cranky. Miserable. Frustrated. When the process flows, though, we feel the otherworldly joy of creation. What could be better than that?
I’m all about keeping my own process going and helping as many people as I can to do the same.
Give me a shout and let’s talk about what I can do for you! You can also get a sense of how I work at my virtual coffeehouse, The Blend.