New online coaching community for writers helps aspiring authors achieve their pandemic-inspired goals to write a book


originally published: 09/15/2021

(CHICAGO, IL) — A Chicagoland start-up specializing in online coaching for aspiring writers is seeking to benefit from pandemic-inspired changes in American culture. Journey Sixty6 is an online peer-to-peer learning and coaching community for aspiring writers.

“For many, the pandemic has created a space for people to refocus their energies on forgotten or dropped projects like writing books,” says Journey Sixty6 co-founder Melissa Parks. “Some Americans seem to be rethinking what’s important and what they want to accomplish in life. Writing a book falls into this bucket.

Journey Sixty6’s main product is Roadtrippers, a weekly live Q&A with co-founders Parks and Dave Goetz about writing, editing and promoting books. Monthly subscription is $66, and subscribers also get access to Roadtrippers’ online course as well as a library of author interview clips on practical tips for writing, publishing, and promotion. Topics include how to find a book agent, tips for writing a successful book proposal, and ideas for setting aside time to write.

Co-founders Parks and Goetz founded the name “Journey Sixty6” on the historic and iconic American highway, Route 66. Parks and Goetz both live in the Chicago area, and the most eastern terminus of the Route 66 is downtown Chicago. “Writing a book is like taking a long road trip,” says Goetz, who is the author of Death by Suburb: How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul (HarperOne). “There are a lot of stops along the way. Our mission at Journey Sixty6 is to help aspiring writers reach their destination – to influence the world with their words.

Although their destination is the same, the authors of Roadtrippers have diverse interests. Some are aspiring writers who just want to learn the publishing process and how to improve their writing skills. Others are in the idea-forming phase and want to refine their book idea. Still others are writing memoirs, business books, and spirituality books, to name a few types of books. And all of them are in various stages of completion. Some are even in the process of pitching their book idea to a publisher and developing promotion plans.

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“Roadtrippers is a way to stay accountable to the goals the authors set for themselves,” says Goetz.

In a peer-to-peer setting, Roadtrippers benefit from the support of other writers who are ahead of them in the book-writing journey. “I’m not ashamed to write or not, but I learn something every time I sign up,” says Roadtripper Family Business Coach Cathy Carroll. “I credit the band for my renewed energy in writing my book. From time to time, I think I help the other members of the band too.

Roadtrippers opens its registrations six times a year. Parks and Goetz also co-host a weekly book-writing podcast called the Journey Sixty6 Book Writing Podcast, which can be found on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and iTunes.

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