Thank you to everyone who has followed me over here and signed up again to get the blog. You are wonderful, adventurous and kind. You inspire me.
Thanks, also, for all the comments and questions sent via email and texts, some of which were, ummm. . . sent without checking time in Phoenix. Luckily, I remembered how to turn off my phone, which was the easiest answer for my level of critical thinking skills at 3:30 a.m.
Here are some of the questions you’ve asked and answers:
1. Can I get an RSS feed instead of email?
I don’t know, but several generous (and knowledgeable ) commentors to this question did–and they shared. Scroll through the replies and you will see several excellent ways to get the RSS feed. Most say to cut and post the url for this page into their blog-reader.
2. Why did you suddenly go corporate?
I have been a corporate trainer for 20 years. I develop business training programs, mostly writing and presenting, for a big variety of clients. I then teach the courses.
I am also a writer, a naturalist, a mom, a wife, an animal lover, a collage artist, a hiker, a motorcycle rider and a lot of other things, too. Pulling the major parts of my life together in one website made sense.
It can be hard to see a person we know as one thing in another setting. If you have read my blog for any time at all, you know I encourage you to explore all your identities, because there is a common thread running through all the identities you inhabit. My common thread is a blend of innovation, clarity, and creativity.
3. The design is so severe. Why isn’t it more colorful?
My design esthetic is spare, almost stark. People always joke that Bauhaus and Shaker are too fussy for me. The combination of gray, black, and red is compelling. My closet looks like a color wheel done in gray and black. The group that is helping me develop the site and the marketing around it is AdMixSocial, a local Phoenix company. They hire more smart people per square foot than I can imagine.
4. The new logo is [fill in the blank: some love it, some hate it]
A logo creates recognition. I’m a writer. All my classes use workbooks, not laptops. There is actually a very good reason for using workbooks. In the polls I run after class, a huge majority approves of using workbooks. They create a resource for re-use.
The pen is a recognizable writing instrument. A pencil (which I used for years) indicates art, math, construction. I have an embarrassingly large fountain pen collection. The new logo is both elegant and simple. The logo was designed my Michael Noyes, who has designed every logo (except one) I’ve used since 1990. He has an uncanny knack of getting to the heart of each client’s design and style.
You are free to like it, love it, or not. It’s a big world with a lot of taste varieties. The important thing for me is that it represents my identity. (See item #2 and #5.)
5. You sound more like a trainer and less like a coach.
The new website is a balance of what I do. I love training and am a very different kind of trainer than the stereotype of Powerpoint-using, standing-behind-the-class trainers. One of my former clients said, “If I come into your class in February at 10:07 a.m. and again in May at 10:07, I would expect you to be saying exactly the same thing.” Notice the “former” adjective in front of client. We were not a good match. Individual teaching in a group is my skill.
My training goal is to make each participant in my classes feel they have learned something about writing, presentations, language–and can put it to use as soon as class is over. To make sure that happens, I created an opening exercise that helps me discover what people need to learn, what their writing experience is, and what tools make the most sense. My workbooks include more than we can cover to make sure everyone gets specific tools.
Coaching clients get exactly the same blueprint: Who are you, what do you need, how do you build a path in that direction?
I may teach, coach, write, and create, but my identity is the same all the time: innovation, clarity, and creativity.
Need a mission statement? Here it is:
Through writing, teaching and coaching, I feel useful when I can inspire, inform and support others in finding clarity around what skills they already possess and what amazing potential they long to unlock.“
6. I want more tutorials and classes.
And you shall have them. The learning curve for this site (which, luckily, you don’t see me sweating over) is steep for me. I need to become competent before I do anything else. I have a business plan and timeline. If all goes well (keep your fingers crossed) and I reach my goals for this site, I have a next step in mind. And it’s BIG. I will ask AdMixSocial to develop another site, probably called WriteYourselfWhole (the working title for the book). That site will be devoted to coaching, writing poetry, journaling, creative writing and collage. There will be online and in-person classes. There will be coaching specifically for people who had a hard start in life and feel their destiny is a tangled mess. There will be more, but those ideas need to ripen under the patience of the Operating System of the Universe.
Meanwhile, with your help, I will be here the way I always have been. Welcome to the new site. Welcome to the dream.
—Quinn McDonald is a trainer, writer and coach. They are part of her identity.