We had the good fortune of connecting with Shari Caudron and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shari, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

I’ve always been self-employed, so my thinking around my career has not been what business am I going to start, but what am I going to focus on next. I began freelancing for magazines soon after college and my writing career gradually took me from writing and reporting articles using the distant third-person perspective, to writing essays, columns and books using the much more intimate first-person viewpoint.

Then, when I started teaching and coaching other writers, I followed a similar path. I started out teaching all kinds of nonfiction writing, but gradually realized my love is memoir. Why? Because it’s the most intimate kind of storytelling there is. I love reading memoirs because of the close connection I feel with the writer. But I love coaching memoirists because it’s a privilege and a joy to watch my clients grow, heal and change as they uncover the meaningful story hidden inside their memories.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

Art, gosh, it’s such a lofty term. But if I look at “art” as creation, I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been able to create a career that has allowed me to continually morph and grow, and all of it has been built around writing—both as a writer myself and as a teacher and coach for other aspiring authors.

Was it easy? Ha! As a freelance journalist I had to continually pitch new ideas to editors and then produce, over and over (and over) again. My ability to eat and pay the rent depended on a steady production of articles and essays. Then, when I switched to coaching, I had to promote myself in a new way to a different audience.

Doing the work has always been the easy part. Marketing myself and finding the work has been much more challenging. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a minute of my career. My desire (actually, it’s more like a compulsive need) to be self-employed has forced me to continually do the things I don’t want, so that I continue to do the things I love.

What do I want the world to know about my work and my brand? I have more than 130 journals, my first one dating back to when I was just 13. As an introvert, I’ve always made sense of my world on the page. I did it as a flat-chested teenager in my little denim diary, I did it as a fledgling newspaper reporter out of college, I did it as a magazine columnist and then book author, and now I’m helping others make sense of their world on the page. We ARE our stories, and our stories have a lot to teach us… if only we take the time to listen.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Oh gosh, there is so much to choose from. I live in Boulder so some of the Boulder things I recommend are:

–Hiking the Mesa Trail from South Boulder to Pearl Street (about 2.5 hours) where you can have lunch at Japango, browse the Boulder Bookstore, and perhaps finish off with a tarot card reading.

–Biking the Boulder bike path never gets old. You can head out for over two hours and not encounter a single car. On Saturday morning, bring a backpack with you and bike to the Farmer’s Market, where you can plan that night’s meal on the spot based on what’s fresh and inspires. Look for the pink and blue designer mushrooms.

–For fans of live music, I suggest E-Town’s Songwriters in the Round, where four (usually local) singer-songwriters perform for an intimate audience.

–For guests who want more of a big-city experience in Denver, I point them toward cooking classes with Elyse Wiggins at Cattivella (especially her pizza class); Modern Israeli cuisine at Safta, followed by creative cocktails and a swank overnight stay at The Ramble Hotel; and/or a matinee theater production at the Denver Center (keep an eye out for the Improvised Shakespeare Company), followed by a meal at Tavernetta near Union Station, where I like the casual bar seating.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
No writer learns how to write on her own, and no teacher learns how to teach without support. My top-of-voice Shout Out goes to Lighthouse Writers in Denver. I discovered my love of teaching and coaching there more than twenty years ago thanks to the gentle guidance and encouragement of co-founder Andrea Dupree. I would not be doing this work that I love if it weren’t for her and the tremendous community she and her husband, Michael Henry, have built at Lighthouse.

Website: https://sharicaudron.com

Instagram: sharicaudron

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shari-caudron-15b9081/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coachsharicaudron

Other: Podcast interview: https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/?s=shari+caudron Podcast interview: https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-savvy-spirit/episode/memoir-book-coach-shari-caudron-shares-her-story-54108933

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