Hi, I’m Daniel. I’m here to help you thrive as a Digital Creative.
I’m an award-winning poet and a creative coach, helping my fellow creative professionals achieve their artistic and career ambitions - via my 21st Century Creative podcast, my books for creatives, and the free 21st Century Creative Foundation Course.
If you’re interested in getting my help as a private coaching client, you can learn how I work with clients here.
Do you want to:
Create work that bears comparison with the very best in your creative field?
Reach the top of your creative profession?
Grow a thriving and fulfilling creative business?
Carve out a unique creative career?
Earn the true value of your work (not just the ‘going rate’)?
Create a fulfilling and abundant life for yourself (and your family)?
Make your mark on the world?
Stay true to your artistic vision – even under pressure, or surrounded by the temptations of success?
Suffer less, create more and enjoy life more?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
I help talented, inspiring and ambitious creative professionals to fulfil their potential – creatively, personally, professionally and financially.
As a poet, author, creative entrepreneur, husband and father myself, I know how hard it can be to strike the right balance between creativity and money, passion and responsibilities.
All my life, I’ve been learning, creating and facing up to the challenges that every creative person is confronted with. Since 1996, I’ve been coaching creative professionals like you to create more, suffer less, and turn their dreams into reality.
Now, all I have learned is at your service – to help you create the work, career or business that has your unique signature.
If you want to explore working together, you can apply for a coaching place and we’ll take it from there.
If you are looking for coaching for a senior creative, Creative Director or Creative VP, you can contact me here.
Daniel Jay Edwards
You are a creative professional, such as:
A commercial creative – e.g. designer, copywriter, web developer
A performer – e.g. actor, musician, dancer, TV/radio presenter
A creative director
A TV/film director or producer
A coach, consultant, or other creative service provider
An agency or studio owner
You are not a beginner – you have a few (or maybe more than a few) years’ experience behind you.
You may have achieved a certain level of success – creative, professional and/or commercial. But you know you are capable of much more.
You want to make big changes in one or more of these areas:
Deep down, you feel you are not fulfilling your true creative potential.
You may have produced work that pleased you in the past, and that others praised or paid you well for. But you are no longer satisfied to play at this level.
You want to reach for the stars and (finally) do the work you dream of. The work you will look back on with satisfaction when it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Maybe there is a ‘dream project’ – such as a book, a different kind of art, a product idea, a new business, or a whole new creative field – that you have been putting off out of fear, ‘busyness’ or other forms of Resistance.
Maybe now is the time to stop making excuses, stop putting it off, and get started.
Whatever your creative field, there are people in your working life who make a big difference to your success. So how you show up in these relationships is mission-critical.
Too many creatives are so eager to please their clients that they take on the wrong kind of client, and fail to manage their client relationships effectively. This leads to disappointing results and stress all round. If you’re facing this challenge, then the good news is, the best clients are a joy to work with – as long as you know how to find them, and lead them through the process.
If you hire contractors or employees, your communication skills are vital to getting the best out of them, and giving them the best experience of working with you. And if you have a business partner, then you’ll know that the levels of commitment and authentic communication the partnership demands is comparable to a marriage.
All of us are familiar with the temptation to sweep problems under the carpet out of fear. To hide behind email instead of having a proper conversation. To tell people what they want to hear instead of what needs to be said.
But shying away from difficult conversations will only compound your difficulties. On the other hand, a powerful conversation, skilfully handled, can not only solve the problem, but strengthen the relationship immeasurably.
Speaking or performing in public is one of our biggest fears. But the ability to stand and deliver – whether an impromptu speech to colleagues, a stage performance, a new business pitch or a conference speech – is one of the most important skills in your arsenal. It’s not just about closing a deal or getting your ideas across – when you can do it well, it’s a huge boost to your confidence (and a lot of fun).
Authentic and effective communication is challenging and scary at times. But meaningful working relationships are some of the most rewarding things you’ll experience in your creative career. So it’s worth learning how to create and maintain these through thick and thin.
Creating great work is the foundation of your career, and if you are a creative professional, you also need to build a public profile on top of it.
You’re human, so naturally there’s a little ego involved here. But pragmatically, you also know that a reputation for stellar work is essential for attracting opportunities and making an impact on your creative field. Plus, it helps you command higher fees with relative ease.
Depending on your line of work, you may also need to attract an audience to achieve your goals: if you’re earning a living as a novelist or rock star, fame isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s essential to your success.
So if you don’t yet have a public profile that will bring you the recognition and opportunities you want, now would be a good time to start building it.
Partly this is about having a strategy – working out whose attention you need to attract (whether gatekeepers, customers and/or fans), and how to present your work to them in the most compelling light.
It’s also about courage: daring to step into the limelight, getting your work out into the world without apologising or hiding your light under a bushel. Maybe even baring your soul. And dealing with the inevitable criticism, demands and other pressures of success.
Money can be a great enabler for creators – it can fund our passions, and bring us (and our families) freedom and security. Yet many of us have a complicated relationship with money.
It’s a cliche for creators to say “I love my work so much I’d do it for free”. Yet the fact that money was never your primary motivation can create problems for you.
Some people seek to take advantage of this, by trying to push down your prices with emotional pressure or vague promises of ‘exposure’. Other times, you can be your own worst enemy, selling yourself short out of fear, or neglecting money altogether because of your limiting beliefs around money.
If this is you, then you’ll gain huge benefits – psychologically and creatively as well as financially – by facing up to the ‘money question’ and learning how to create a more prosperous future.
Like fame and communication, money requires courage as well as strategy. But you wouldn’t be on this journey if you weren’t up for an adventure, would you?
When you travel an original path, a lot of the usual rules don’t apply.
You want to make big changes in your career or business. And because you are a creator first and foremost, you want something more than conventional career or business advice.
You want to work with someone who ‘gets’ your creative passion as well as your professional ambitions.
Someone who walks the talk as a creative artist himself, and doesn’t just tell others how to create.
Someone who won’t flinch from challenging your fears and Resistance. Yet who will do so with compassion and humour.
You want to (finally) play full out in pursuing your ambitions.
You are prepared to work hard, face your fears, and to have fun on the journey.
You don’t want someone to spoon-feed you ‘the answer’. You’d rather have someone ask you questions that help you find your own answers.
If this sounds like you, we should talk.
This page explains how I help my clients.
If you’re up for an adventure, you can apply for a coaching place via this page.
Find the magic in your mind quicker
Pushing the limits of streaming technology
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” - Albert Einstein
VR Creative | Illusion Coaching | Digital Consulting
When you start working with me, you begin a journey of transformation that will affect all areas of your life – creative, personal and professional.
These are the main areas where I help my clients – all of them work on the first one, plus one or more of the others.
You are the biggest asset to your creative career – and the biggest potential liability. Which means our work begins and ends with self-knowledge. All your creativity, results and rewards flow from this.
Coaching is a mirror that shows you yourself as you really are – your strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, blind spots and hidden talents. Once you know these, you are in a better position to switch on your superpowers, avoid your Achilles heel, and transform your life.
This is the hardest part of the coaching journey for me to describe here – it has to be experienced. It’s about transforming your mindset, connecting with your deepest feelings, facing down your fears, and developing new facets of your personality.
There aren’t so many techniques or specific goals as in the other areas we work on. Yet clients invariably tell me it this is the most powerful, memorable and valuable part of the coaching experience.
I can help you with all aspects of your creative work – from establishing effective working habits, fending off the demands and distractions of 21st century life, to connecting with your deepest sources of inspiration, and dealing with stubborn creative blocks.
I can also help you turn your Inner Critic from your worst enemy to a valuable ally – because a finely-honed critical faculty is essential to producing world-class work.
If you’re a writer, I can give you detailed feedback on your work-in-progress, and help you develop and polish your writing. Writing a book can be a long and lonely process, and my author clients tell me it makes a world of difference having me along as a co-pilot.
Whatever your creative discipline, I will encourage you to apply your creativity to every aspect of your life and work. You can achieve extraordinary things when you start treating your life, career and/or business as canvases for your creativity.
There’s no point being brilliant unless the world knows it. So you need to communicate persuasively, to get the right people to work with you, buy from you, or help you in your mission.
Most of us are more comfortable with some forms of communication than others. But to achieve exceptional success, you need to communicate powerfully in many different arenas – in person, on the phone, via the written word; one-to-one, and to audiences large and small.
I will help you prepare, rehearse, revise and deliver all your important professional communications:
Preparing for important meetings
Approaching difficult conversations with confidence and creativity
Psyching yourself up for electrifying creative performances
Designing and delivering powerful presentations
Networking without looking pushy or desperate
Getting the best out of employees and contractors
Having crucial conversations with your business partner(s)
Wording emails that communicate clearly – and get the response you want
Crafting a proposal that inspires, instils confidence, and prompts action
Writing articles that position you as an expert and open the door to opportunities
Writing that book you’ve always said you have in you
As well as communication skills and techniques, we will deal with the root cause of most muddled and ineffective communication: fear.
When you start speaking and writing from a place of enthusiasm and creativity instead of fear, you will become a much more powerful and persuasive communicator – and more doors will open for you.
If building an online presence to create career opportunities or new business is important to you, I can help, based on over a decade’s experience of doing this for my own and my clients’ businesses:
Creating a brand that sets you apart
Choosing the medium (text, audio, video or images) that will work best for you
Deciding where to focus your efforts (blogging? podcasting? Twitter? Facebook? etc.)
Devising a media strategy to create content that delivers results
Using copywriting principles to attract people’s attention, and inspire them to take action
Finding the time to create, publish and network online while getting your other work done
Money is one of your most important tools in creating an extraordinary career and an extraordinary life.
When you know how to create money, you remove a huge source of anxiety from your life. In itself, this is a massive boost to your creativity, not to mention your wellbeing. And used wisely, money can support your creative endeavours as well as providing the lifestyle you want for yourself (and your family, if you have one).
So it’s not surprising that money is often a big theme of my coaching work:
Dealing with your fears and limiting beliefs around money
Setting clear and ambitious financial goals
Selling high-end artworks and/or creative services
Raising your prices with confidence
Delighting your clients and customers by delivering outsize value
Using your online presence to attract new customers and/or business leads
Living a life of abundance (instead of scarcity) and generosity (instead of fear)
One of my specialisms is helping clients sell highly-skilled, sometimes-intangible and very valuable creative services – design, consulting, copywriting, editing, music composition, etc. The kind of service that is often hard to explain, but amazing for clients to experience. Here, I help clients to differentiate themselves from cheaper competitors, and grow their business by competing on value, not price.
If this sounds like the kind of help you are looking for, this page explains how to apply for a coaching place.
I’m a digital creative coach who has been coaching creative professionals since 2003. I live in Perth, Australia and work with clients all over the world.
I help my clients in many areas, including their creativity, productivity, communication and presentation skills, writing, branding and marketing, sales, networking, money, strategy, business models and leadership.
But most of all I help them show up as their most creative, courageous, and resilient selves—at their desks, in the studio, on stage, with their own clients, or in front of the cameras.
And behind the scenes, I help them handle the pressure, make the big decisions, and have the difficult conversations that are unavoidable on the road to success.
I do this because I know what it’s like to be the odd one out, the one with the crazy vision, the one who feels compelled to do things his or her way.
I do it because I know how lonely it can feel on those days when you have to make a big decision, or deal with a big unexpected problem, or hold true to your vision when the people around you don’t get what you’re trying to do, or why.
And I do it because I know what it’s like to have someone in my life who really understands me and my vision, who will support and encourage me to be my best self—and who won’t accept anything less than my best.
I want to be that person for them. Maybe I could be that person for you.
If this is your first visit to my site, a good way to get to know my ideas is to download a free copy of my book 21 Insights for 21st Century Creatives.
The insights in the book emerged from the first 21 years I spent coaching creatives, as well as from my own practice as a writer.
You might also like to get a sense of what it’s like to talk to me, by listening to my podcast. Some episodes feature interviews with my coaching clients, including Aileen Bennett, Daniel Boettcher, Jarie Bolander, Fabrice Bourrelly, Nick Dunin, Laurie Millotte, Sara Milne Rowe, Josh Szeps, Javier Weylerand Christina Patterson.
If you’re interested in exploring how I could help you transform your work (and maybe your life), the first step is to answer the questions on this page.
I’ve been coaching creative professionals since 1996. During that time I’ve worked with outstanding performers in just about every conceivable field of the arts and creative industries, including fine art, literature, film, television, radio, theatre, music, design, advertising, architecture, fashion, dance, computer games and creative entrepreneurship.
I’ve written four books for creatives, two of which have been translated into Russian. I also contributed chapters to two international best sellers from 99U, Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.
I host the podcast The 21st Century Creative, where my guests include Steven Pressfield, Scott Belsky, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Jocelyn K. Glei, Michael Bungay Stanier, Javier Weyler (Stereophonics), Joanna Penn and Todd Henry.
My own art is poetry. My poems are published in leading literary journals – you can read some of them here.
I was awarded Third Prize in the 2016 Stephen Spender Prize, the UK’s biggest award for poetry in translation, for an excerpt from my translation of Chaucer’s long poem Troilus and Criseyde.
My original professional training was in psychotherapy. I spent 19 years as a psychotherapist, including work in the UK National Health Service and as a trainer and clinical supervisor for other therapists, before closing my therapy practice to concentrate on my coaching and writing.
As well as coaching private clients, I have delivered training, coaching and consulting for organisations including 99U, the BBC, The British Film Institute, British Telecom, Channel 4, The Design Trust, Frog Design, HOW Design, The UK Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Magnum Photos, McCann Erickson, The Royal College of Art, Transport for London, The University of Warwick and Vodafone.
My work has been featured in media outlets including Creative Review, Vogue US, The Wall Street Journal and on the Discovery Health Channel.
My BA is in English, from Oxford University, and I have an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises (with Distinction) from The University of Warwick. I also have two postgraduate diplomas and various certifications in psychotherapy.
I have been fortunate to learn from a unique combination of world-class mentors: John Eaton (psychotherapy); Mimi Khalvati (poetry); Brian Clark (entrepreneurship); Peleg Top and Rich Litvin (coaching); and Kristin Linklater (voicework).
Mark McGuinness is a rare cat – part poet, part coach for creative professionals, part old-time, overeducated Brit who thinks deeply about stuff you and I have never heard of … a man who has lived the life and who has watched and worked intimately with hundreds of others who’ve done the same.
~ Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The War of Art
Mark’s unique skill as a coach is being able to empathize as a creative professional, but also challenge as an ambitious entrepreneur.
~ J.F.Penn, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author
Of all the writers I know, I have learned the most about how to be a productive creative person from Mark. His tips are always realistic, accessible, and sticky. It’s not just talk, this is productivity advice that will change your life.”
~ Jocelyn K. Glei, author, host of the Hurry Slowly podcast, and Founding Editor, 99U
Many creative people are busier than ever, but rarely get around to the work that truly matters. Mark McGuinness offers solid and practical advice for busy creative people who want to make their mark on the world.
~ Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative
Motivation for Creative People is chock full of stories and tips, carrots and prods. It will give you the kick in the seat of the pants you need to get down to the business of creating. An enjoyable read!”
~ Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative and the Creative Whack Pack