Writing coach directs attention to her first novel

Working while living at Wind Crest a perfect fit for Royalene Doyle

Created date

May 8th, 2018
Writing coach Royalene Doyle is shifting gears this year to work on her own manuscript.

Writing coach Royalene Doyle is shifting gears this year to work on her own manuscript.

This year, author and writing coach Royalene Doyle is trading one facet of her career for another. She’s cutting back on assisting others with their manuscripts and memoirs so she can concentrate on her own—a novel that’s been in the works since 2009. So while she’s shifting gears, she’s not slowing down. 

“Over the past several years, I have pulled together bits and pieces to accomplish writing my manuscript. This is the year to do the research and complete it,” says Royalene, who owns Doyle Writing Services, a writing-coach business based from her apartment home at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

A world of writing

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).

“Getting to know people from birth to the present time is an amazing gift. Getting a peek into the world they live in and at different seasons of their life, that’s just broadened my perspective of the world a thousand-fold. It’s very special,” 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).

“It’s just been a world of writing. It’s been my biggest passion aside from my family,” she says.

Her new novel will be based on her first book, Deployed, which will become the preface, introducing the main character.

“This book will have a faith base to it,” says Royalene, who describes writing as a “spiritual activity.”

“When I’m working on my own project, I have conversations with God. Sometimes, when something is not flowing, I say, ‘Okay, I’m not supposed to be working on that.’ Then I move to a different element, a different character or event, and it just takes off. I rely on my faith a lot to write,” she says.

Thoughts on the working life

This year, as she shifts gears to her own personal project, she contemplates the idea of retirement and what it means for her writing career.

First, she says, working while living at Wind Crest has been a perfect fit. “It’s been marvelous. Working gives you a lot of conversation pieces when you’re sitting at a table with somebody new, and even if you’re visiting with old friends, we’re always asking what projects we’re working on. It’s a nice conversation starter,” she says.

Royalene says one of the best things about life at Wind Crest is freedom from household maintenance.

“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 or work on my own manuscript,” she says.

“People usually think about outside maintenance, raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass, and all that is wonderful because we don’t have to do any of those things,” she adds. “We have a wonderful grounds crew.”

Inside maintenance is also important. “If we have drains running a little slow or a handle on the shower that’s not turning or a dishwasher that just quit, we call general services and they come and fix it. And if they can’t fix it they replace it,” Royalene says.

Close friendships also top her list.

“When we moved here, we lived in a complex of over 140 townhomes. Maybe we had three close friends, and even them we didn’t see but once every other month. Here, we have hundreds of people we consider to be close friends. We see them almost every day, interact with them in the hallways and at lunch, at game night. The close friendships are irreplaceable,” she says.

Rounding out her list of the greatest things about “working in retirement” has been not having to punch a time clock.

“We can set our own schedule,” she says. “But my husband and I are involved in so many things, sometimes it feels like we’re still on the job because we have to get up to get to a class or we have a class that gets out late,” she says. “But it’s the freedom to set your own schedule rather than still working in the working world that makes it so enjoyable.”

Aside from writing, Royalene takes scenic photographs around the Wind Crest campus, continues to assist a few neighbors with their memoirs, and participates in the genealogy club run by neighbors Cliff Butler and James and Jean Genasci. In March, she gave a presentation on the importance of including legacy writing in your genealogy documents.

Sharing her voice

Although Royalene doesn’t work for financial support, she does charge a nominal fee for her writing services.

“I get great joy in helping clients. Hearing comments that [their story] would never have seen the light of day without my help—that’s more benefit to me than the money,” she says.

Living a financially stable, maintenance-free life surrounded by loving friends makes taking a sabbatical that much easier. Royalene knows she’ll have time and energy to focus on writing, but she’ll never feel isolated or out of touch. And when she finishes, she expects to jump right back into her writers’ groups and coaching business.

“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.”

Now it’s her turn.