the_gneech: (Default)
My best self.

As I write this, I’m sitting at the drawing table pictured, wearing the headphones and necklace pictured. The rest is a bit harder to pull off. >.>





So! How was 2018? On the grand social scale, of course, it was a dumpster fire. This is hardly news. All the worst people, frantically trying to destroy not just the USA but the whole world, before it all comes crashing down and they end up shooting themselves in the bunker. It’s as inevitable as it is sad. But those of us who are working to build something better will keep working.





On my own personal front, by comparison, it’s been what you might call a challenging year– not in a drama and angsty way, but in the form of taking on difficult obstacles and working to overcome them. This came mostly through the coach training, which was a deep dive into 49 years of mud and gunk that needed cleaning out, but was also singularly more effective than decades of counseling had been on that front. (Which is not to bag on my counselors over the years, but they just didn’t have the intensive focus of the coach training.)





So, looking back on my plans for the year, how did I do?





  1. Gneech, Life Coach. This is up and running! I have passed my exams with Accomplishment Coaching and I’m about 2/3 of the way to my first ICF certification. Right now I’m working on fluffing up my client base a bit more, and I expect to go on to become a Mentor Coach for next year’s program. I’ve got a coaching blog up and running, and I’m looking forward to big things on this front in 2019.

  2. Help Laurie Get Her Business Running. Well, I did help! She’s still working on it. >.> The business exists, we’re getting our insurance through it, so that’s good! The rest of it is up to her. 🙂

  3. Stable and Reliable Income. This piece is still under construction. As the coaching business grows, it will naturally come to pass.

  4. Figure Out What’s Up With My Writing. Honestly, I just didn’t have time to work on this with the coach training going on. I have a project in place to take this on again in 2019.

  5. Sell. A. Book. Didn’t happen, ‘cos above.

  6. Issues Seven, Eight, and Nine. Seven done. Eight 1/2 way done. Nine will have to come next year.

  7. Continue Fixing the Country. I’ve marched, I’ve voted, I’ve campaigned, I’ve called my reps a million times. It’s an ongoing process.

  8. Take a Vacation. Alas, did not happen.




It essentially boils down to “the coach training was huge and intense and took most of my mental energy.” So a lot of other things didn’t get done while that was happening. I have no regrets, though– this was something I badly needed.





What did happen was that for the first time since I can remember, I really and truly became friends with myself– like, all of myself, even the parts I had not been willing to talk to since I was four. There was a specific moment that I had never forgiven myself or let go of the pain and shame from, which I confronted and processed… finally. Only forty-five years later! But better late than never.





Confronting this moment led to the birth of Nii-chan, about whom I’ve written at length elsewhere. In a lot of ways, she is the best version of me, and whenever I find myself wondering what I want to do about something, or who I should be in a moment, I ask myself “What would Nii-chan do?” She’s like the integrated version of the Three Lions and an Otter, but even her version of Business Guy is a lot happier. (Nii-chan is also practice for my next incarnation, so I can hit the planet running when that comes to pass. I don’t want to waste forty years of my next life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.)





So, yeah. It’s been a big year on that score. But where do I want to go in 2019?





  1. Bring Rough Housing to Its Conclusion. 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of Suburban Jungle, and it seems a fitting place to bring that chapter to a close. My current plan is to finish the story at the end of issue ten. As my hand tremors get worse, it is becoming harder to keep up with what was already an ambitious production schedule, and honestly, I think that story-wise, RH will be done at that point. So I’d rather finish something and feel good about it, than to drag it out to stay within the familiar.

  2. Writing Goals. My goalposts on this front are two short stories sold, an agent secured for Sky Pirates of Calypsitania, a furry novel written for NaNoWriMo, and an anthology project created with FurPlanet.

  3. She-Ra Writing Gig. Seeing Seanan McGuire geek out about landing the writing job on Spider-Gwen made me realize that I wanted that experience in my life. Spider-Gwen is a character that Seanan was pretty much born to write, and honestly, I feel the same about Catra and myself. I have no idea how I’m going to convince the She-Ra writing team to let me on board, but I’ll find a way.

  4. Full Coaching Client Roster. My goal is 14+ clients by this time next year, including five Creativity Klatch clients and three Mentor Coaching clients.

  5. California Trip. I miss Big Sur like whoa.

  6. 222 Pounds. Something that wasn’t on my 2018 list was losing weight– so naturally I made big strides on that! XD Specifically I lost 30 pounds since May, bringing me to my lowest adult weight yet. I have another 50 pounds to go to be at my goal weight of 222, but I am confident that I will hit it this year.

  7. Continue Continuing to Fix the Country. Keep going ’til it doesn’t suck.




So, yeah. That’s where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. I think 2019 is gonna be a great year. 🙂

the_gneech: (Default)
One of these is a sweet and loving feline, forced by circumstances to seem mean. The other is GrumpyCat.




First item of news! I passed my coach training finals! 😀 This means I will graduate from the Accomplishment Coaching training program, and I’m about 2/3 of the way to an Associate Certified Coach certification with the International Coach Federation.





Now… just to earn a living with it. >.>





Second item of news! Yesterday I was so inspired by Seanan McGuire geeking out over her Spider-Gwen gig that I decided– with no plan how or even idea of the feasibility– that I wanted to get involved in working on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, on the grounds that as Seanan was basically born to write Spider-Gwen, I was basically born to write Catra. >.>





So I have spent all day canvassing anyone and everyone I know even marginally related to the animation industry looking for referrals or leads, as well as just flat-out e-mailing Noelle Stevenson via the address on her web page and saying “I want in! What do I do?”





In all of my years of creating comics, I never wanted to connect directly to a larger franchise before. As much fun as I’ve had banging around in the My Little Pony fandom, it never occurred to me to try to actually get involved in the show. Heck, LevelHead once offered to finance the creation of a NeverNever pilot to shop around back in the day, and I just didn’t think I was ready for it.





Why She-Ra, and why now?





Well, like I say, Catra is a big reason. She’s basically the Leona/Langley/Tanya/Brigid archetype I’ve been writing for 20 years. Another reason is something I described on Twitter a few days back, of having spent 20 years thinking I was being Tiffany Tiger in my career, when I was actually being Leona instead. For various reasons I’ve been going through my life with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, sabotaging myself without realizing it and feeling defined by the wins other people were achieving that I felt like “should be” mine.





The transformative process I’ve been going through in my coaching career has really opened my eyes to this, and it’s time for me to change it. Part of that includes putting down the ego-driven “Must create it all from scratch!” mindset and connecting to other creators (and other projects) outside my own little corner of the universe.





Wish me luck! This is a scary, ambitious undertaking for me. Not the actual work of the writing, that part is easy! But changing who I am, moving into a much larger world… that’s hard. O.o





 

the_gneech: (Default)



If you’ve known me for a while, you probably know that I’ve spent the past year training with Accomplishment Coaching with an eye towards ICF certification, and that it has indeed been a long, strange trip. My finals were this past weekend, and as of this writing I don’t have my results yet, but I put in a strong effort and I’m hoping for great things.


But something I’ve become keenly aware of over the past month or so is, regardless of what grades I may or may not get, and regardless of how long it takes me to reach the criteria for certification, is the value I can bring to people as a coach, today. Something that really drove that home for me was something a client wrote for me:


“I’ll admit, I was skeptical on the concept of a life coach. I wasn’t really sure if something like that would be for me. But I gave [John] a chance and, my goodness, was I blown away. After our discussions, I realized how helpful an outside perspective was. John helped me figure out a way to get things flowing in my life in a way that actually worked. His advice, guidance, and honesty was a treasure I needed and I look forward to where I’m going to go from here.”


It took me several minutes to just sit with a thing like that. I’m still kinda verklempt about it.


So now, as my year of training nears its completion, and my clients and I take stock of where we are and where we want to go, I am present to being in the process of regeneration. Later today I am meeting with someone to help me hone in on the whole Bringing The Awesome “brand” (they’ve already helped me focus my process and distinguish my services). Later this week I’m going to starting an inventory/audit/review of my 2018 projects to see where they’ve succeeded and where they still need work, with an eye towards laying the foundations for 2019.


You can bet, I’ll be working with my own coach on these things as well! All those great things my client said about me? They’re true of my coach in spades.


Building, growing, always creating. That’s how we move forward. I am excited for the next stage of the journey!




Where are you in your journey? Creating something new? Lost in the weeds? I’d love to hear from you and talk about it!


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the_gneech: (Default)

I'M a Badass?


It’s almost exactly a year ago now that I decided “maybe I should look into being a coach.” I was reading (and re-reading) Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass and seeing all kinds of parallels to my own life– lots of searching for meaning, lots of frustration with a less-than-renumerative writing career, and lots of being stuck. One day she decided she was sick of being stuck and decided to fix it, which led her into coaching, which led her into being a book-writing rockstar making millions. So when, in one chapter, she suggested “pick someone to emulate and do that,” I figured she was a good candidate for the job.


Some hunting around for a way to get started led me to Accomplishment Coaching, which in turn led to the intimidating decision to plunk down five figures for a year’s worth of intense vocational training and personal mentoring. If ever there was a leap of faith, this was it.


So here I am, one month away from my final exams, having faced my survival mechanisms over and over again, having changed my diet and sleeping habits, having dredged up all kinds of dark muck from the swamp of my childhood traumas and unexamined beliefs and exposed them to the light, and having done Scary Adult Things like setting up LLCs and creating business bank accounts. I look back at my “to do list” around coaching and see that item number one was “Get my shit together.” Well it’s taken me a year, a lot of money, some yelling and fighting and crying, and doing some stuff that had me absolutely terrified, but I think I can finally check off that item as complete.


Phew! Now. What’s step two, again? I have it written down somewhere…


In a moment of synchronicity, Jen Sincero happened to come to Politics and Prose in D.C. on a book tour way back in March or thereabouts, so I rounded up a handful fo my Accomplishment Coaching teamies and we went to see her there… where I utterly failed to create any kind of meaningful connection with my would-be role model. It happens. But after that weekend, I kind of forgot about her and about You Are a Badass, because I was frantically trying to build a practice and reading lots of other books by Neale Donald Walsch, Debbie Ford, Steven Covey and more. I was too busy actually doing the work, to remember what had prompted me to go into it in the first place.


Yesterday, I remembered that I had the audiobook of Badass sitting on my phone, so I decided to revisit it. And let me tell you, coming around again after the past year, it’s a very different experience. Things that had been completely theoretical, and things that had me originally say “Yeah that’s great but…” have taken on a whole new meaning. You Are a Badass could almost have been called Ontological Coaching for Dummies, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s light, it’s breezy, it’s for the neophyte or the curious layperson, and it does a great job of introducing you to the concepts of the work.


But like the Dummies books, it’s also just a starting point. Unless you have the world’s most easygoing Big Snooze/Gremlin/Survival Mechanism, it’s going to take a lot more than a breezy read to actually get you up and at ’em. This isn’t a condemnation of the book, it’s simply the truth that a book is not a coach. And in fact, a book can be dangerous, because buying and even vigorously reading the book can feel like you’re “doing something,” even if it’s really more like a valve letting some steam escape to keep you lodged right there in your comfort zone.


But really, what else can a book do? Until a person is really ready to stand up, do the work, and really make a change, a few pounds of ink printed on wood pulp isn’t going to have any effect. The best the author of a book can hope to do is to communicate the idea that change is possible, and hope the spark of that idea lights the fire inside the reader.


You Are a Badass did that for me, and judging by its sales I imagine it’s done that for a lot of people. It couldn’t do the work, no book possibly could, but it did help me believe that it was possible to do the work, and helped me understand why I might want to.


Step two? Oh yeah! Get out there and actually be a badass. Got it.


Who wants to join me?

the_gneech: (Default)


Like the video, this month is going to be epic.

Why? Because in February I have to do ALL THE THINGS. O.o

What things specifically? Oh, just...

  • Finding and taking on at least four new coaching clients

  • Completing my monthly practice areas for next month's training weekend

  • A page of Suburban Jungle every week

  • A big commission for Joey Gatorman

  • A smaller-but-still-important commission for Fzygal

  • Art for the AC conbook

  • Oh yeah, I have a job at Barnes & Noble, don't I?


These are the things that I need to do this month. In terms of what I want to do this month, I have a piece of Valentine's Day art that I want to do for a) fun and b) as the start of this mysterious NSFW art project I have been hinting around about in certain circles, and at some point Jamie and Inkblitz are going start giving me the side-eye if I don't, y'know, run some more D&D myself. >.> ^.^'

The keys to getting all this done are going to be timing, focus, and perseverance, with a healthy dose of scheduling breaks in to make sure I don't burn out. I can't take on coaching clients until Accomplishment Coaching finishes setting up my billing information, so while I'm waiting on that anyway, it's time to crank on art. Joey Gatorman commission has been in the queue for the longest, but as long as I send him WIPs, I should be able to get the Valentine's Day piece done on Thursday, and so forth.

However! That does mean that a lot of my go-to time wasters are going to have to go to the curb, including (but not limited to) Twitter and Tumblr, places where I am prone to just shutting off my brain and absorbing the way previous generations would just lie in bed in front of the TV all night (but all the more insidious because you can take it wherever you go).

So if I seem quiet or remote in the next few weeks, that's what's up. Feel free to toss me an e-mail or DM if you need anything or just want to chat! ♥ I'm not becoming a hermit, just crunching against multiple deadlines.

-The Gneech
the_gneech: (Default)


This weekend was my first full training session with Accomplishment Coaching. It was an intense crucible for everyone involved, bringing up a lot of intense emotions, but also providing the coaches-in-training with some powerful and useful tools, not just for the nitty-gritty administrivia of contracts and billing, but more importantly for jumping right in and providing value to clients immediately.


Of course, before a coach can help clients, they need to find some! This being Day One, my docket is currently empty, other than peer-coaching sessions with the rest of my team-in-training, and I am still building the framework for the business. I have some mid- to long-term plans around this (including a practice name, URL for a future website, and so forth), but as of today I am still grinding away at the basics– things like liability insurance, arranging an accountant, getting my billing methods in place, etc. As of today, my most visible step has been to update my LinkedIn profile, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.


At the end of the weekend, we set declarations of intention around what we were going to build before the next session (March). Figuring that finding two clients would be a “safe bet,” I declared that I would get four. In my mind, for better or worse, that’s the “pass/fail” number. But I have also set a “stretch goal” for myself of actually getting six.


So… hey! Anyone out there looking for a success coach… or know anybody who is? Here’s a quickie synopsis of what coaches do (c/o the International Coach Federation):


Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.


Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.


And that’s what I do! I’m champing at the bit to get started, so seriously, I’d love to hear from anyone who wants to connect about it. Shoot me an e-mail via himself@gneech.com and we can schedule a call or chat to figure out how to start bringing the awesome. 🙂


-The Gneech


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