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Putting voices to paper

Writing coach helps people tell their stories, share legacies

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August 9th, 2016
Writing coach Royalene Doyle has helped more than 20 people share their stories, poetry, photography, or knowledge since 2006. She lives at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Writing coach Royalene Doyle has helped more than 20 people share their stories, poetry, photography, or knowledge since 2006. She lives at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Royalene Doyle has a special gift. A gift of value especially for neighbors and peers at Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where she lives.

As a writing coach, Royalene helps people find their voice and tell their stories through memoir writing, novel writing, poetry, or photography.

“We have too many people whose voices are lost or who don’t think their voice is important or valuable,” she says. “My passion is to help people find their voice—what they want to say—and help authors get published who would not be published without my assistance. 

Sharing memories

She says the reasons people have for self-publishing are endless. Her clients’ incentives vary from sharing their legacy to creating ministry or counseling tools to teaching lessons.

One client, for example, used Doyle Writing Services (Royalene’s official business) to share his wife’s life story with his grandchildren.

“His family would have never known those stories had we not written it,” Royalene says. “Those are the reasons I do what I do.”

She says she most enjoys working on memoirs, though all styles have different experiences and merits. 

“Every single memoir project is different. It’s so life-affirming and encouraging to everyone, not just the person who writes it,” she says. 

She benefits as well. “Emotionally, the connections I make with the authors are lifetime friendships. I can’t put it into words. You’re sharing memories—tears and laughter and jokes. You build this family relationship that is priceless.”

She says each project starts with a conversation. “To get started, we just talk. Most people have at least started making notes,” she says. 

Then they create an outline, and Royalene will ghostwrite or coach depending on each client’s needs and abilities. 

Writers’ community

Royalene started her business in 2006 and has helped more than 20 people since then. Living at Wind Crest since 2009 has given her ample opportunities to assist others with their publishing projects.

Her client list includes neighbors like photographer and poet Bill Carlson (Impressions of Nature in Black and White, 2016, and From Delicate Lily Pads to Sculptured Peaks, 2014), Lorry Lutz (The Soweto Legacy, 2012), and Miriam Wilson (Memories of the T.A.O. Humor Center: Totally Awesome and Outrageous, 2011).

She also occasionally attends two writers groups: Writers on the Rock, a Christian writers group, and The Art Lab, which is a workshop for creatively inspired people, from writers and musicians to artists and crafters. 

In June, she taught a four-week class titled Legacy Writing as part of Wind Crest’s resident-led Learners courses. “I’m excited to do so and hope participants will have fun with the stories about writing I’ll be sharing,” she says.

For her own part, Royalene has self-published two books—Deployed: A Christmas Story, 2004, and Fireproof Proverbs: A Writer’s Study of Words, 2015—and is currently working on a novel that she started in 1999. 

“It’s just been a world of writing. It’s been my biggest passion aside from my family,” she says. “Every time I assist someone, my writing skills are being stretched and exercised, and their horizons are being expanded.”

So it’s been a blessing to live at Wind Crest, where the maintenance-free lifestyle gives her time to write and run her business. 

“If my husband and I were not living here, I would not have the freedom to do what I am doing. I’d still be cooking and cleaning and not have the time to creatively assist other writers,” she says. 

‘Uniquely joy-filled environment’

While having time to pursue her life’s biggest passion falls high on her list, Royalene cites a host of other reasons they love living at Wind Crest. 

“It would take me a long time to tell you all the things I like about living here,” she says. 

First, she cites the comfort and safety of worry-free living. Second, she says the friendships she and her husband Woody have made have been “amazing gifts—something we didn’t expect at this stage in life.” 

And last but certainly not least, she says that having a medical center and full continuum of care have brought much peace of mind to their lives, particularly considering what they went through with her father. 

“In the year prior to moving here, my dad, who was 97, was still living in his house. We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get the kind of care he needed. It was hard on me physically and emotionally,” Royalene recalls. “It was up to us to sell his house, which was monumental.”

The experience made them begin looking at independent living continuing care communities for themselves. In their research, they discovered Wind Crest—a former neighbor had moved there and suggested they pay a visit. 

“We didn’t want our children to have to deal with our house and all our stuff. We wanted to make the decision of when and where to move by ourselves and didn’t want our children to have the anxiety we went through,” she says.

The Doyles moved in 2009 and say Wind Crest has greatly exceeded their expectations. 

“We planned on moving here, being comfortable, not having to cook, and having a beautiful environment to live in all the rest of our days,” she says. “But the friendships have been an added surprise both with neighbors and staff. Laughter here is just such good medicine. It’s a uniquely joy-filled environment.”

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