You can find an editor or writing coach anywhere, but what about someone who cares about your work AND who you are as a person? What about a coach who’s so dedicated to your development both professionally AND personally, that you build a genuine relationship along the way?
This is the mantra that Marisa Donnelly—writer, writing coach, author of Somewhere On A Highway, and founder of Be A Light Collective—shares about her professional goals and the reason behind founding her business.
Be A Light LLC. is a San Diego and remote-based writing coaching, editing, and tutoring services company that offers individualized opportunities across creative, professional, and academic fields.
But for Marisa, Be A Light Collective was never just a business.
“From the start, I wanted my company to be more than just services,” she says, “I want all my clients to know they are valued from the moment they reach out.”
“For me, it’s not about the work—it’s about the relationships,” Marisa says, “And when I’m building relationships with people while truly helping them achieve their goals—that’s finding the light—that’s everything to me.”
Founded upon a simple message, “be a light,” Marisa’s company centers on positivity and empowerment. She provides services for people of all ages (her youngest client is two and oldest is ninety!) as well as online resources, collaborative network, and blog/social media pages to showcase the work of writers who contribute to her platform.
Marisa started her business because she was passionate about both teaching and writing. She graduated from college with a triple degree in Creative Writing, English, and Secondary English Education, but for the longest time, she says, she couldn’t decide what she really wanted to do.
“I worked for a major online magazine right after graduation, but I wanted to do something more,” she says, “I loved teaching but didn’t want to stop writing, either. Finally, I realized that I shouldn’t, and didn’t have to choose—I could pursue both.
And that’s what fueled the fire for starting my business.”
Marisa launched Be A Light Collective in 2018 with two goals in mind: be different than other services companies and ‘be a light.’
“There are so many options when it comes to editors and tutors, but what I felt was lacking—especially in our current education system—is the personalized approach,” Marisa says, “I’ve been a classroom teacher. I know how amazing it is but how hard it is to give your students the much-needed one-on-one time. I wanted to do something different.”
Be A Light Collective offers the ability to schedule one-on-one sessions with a coach or editor. This can be done in the Southern California area, or online through video conference services and live sharing for on-screen editing.
Right now Marisa has over two hundred clients working on everything from college entrance essays and resumes to full-length novels and wedding vows. “My clients are incredibly diverse,” she says, “[Diverse] in age, sex, race, style, personality, content—everything. I feel so incredibly blessed to help people in so many different ways with so many different dreams.”
And for her, this is only the start of what she hopes will continue to grow.
“I really just want to create community,” Marisa says, “Community and connections through the services I offer, through the networks I’m building, and through the blog and social media pages which give people a platform to share their own hearts with the world.”
Through all of these different, yet intertwined avenues, Marisa really is creating what she calls ‘a little corner of light on the internet.’