If you aren’t exactly sure what a writing coach is, think of her (that’s me) as a guide who can help you develop a writing practice, define your goals, structure your projects, polish your prose, improve your mindset, and who will hold you accountable. This personalized one-on-one service will be custom-tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Most coaches work with both new and experienced writers, and many offer editing services.
Your coach is in your corner to support and encourage you. Think about that for a moment. Hopefully, your life is filled with kind and loving people, but is there anyone there just for you and your writing?
Reading this page indicates you are serious about moving your writing forward, and working with a coach will make that happen faster than going it alone.
What is stopping you from writing?
- You don’t know how to get started writing
- You are stuck in the middle of a writing project
- You have trouble maintaining a writing practice
- You feel insecure about your writing skills
- Your inner critic is crushing your creative spirit
- You are thinking of giving up on your writing
… then, a writing coach would be well worth the investment.
♦ How much does it cost to work with a writing coach?
You might think hiring a writing coach is an extravagance you can’t afford—but can you afford not to?
Think of it this way; if you bought a 5-session coaching package for $500 (average price) and met with your coach every other week, over the course of ten weeks, you’d be spending roughly $7 per day. Isn’t your writing worth that? Think about how much you spend at the coffee shop.
Here’s the type of help your $7 can buy:
♦ A coach will help you develop a writing practice
If you’re just starting out, a writing coach will help you find clarity and direction, and together you can create a writing practice you can sustain.
You and your coach will collaborate on creating a schedule that works for you in your crazy life, one that isn’t overwhelming. Even if you only have 20 minutes each day or one hour twice a week, you can build on it if it’s attainable. I know a writer who produced the first draft of her novel by getting up every day 15 minutes before her toddlers so she could write in peace. It was the only time she could find in her day, and she used it. Her novel is now published.
There’s nothing more defeating than setting goals you can’t meet. Yes, writing every day is an admirable goal, but most of us need to build toward that. Even if you had the time to write every day, for how long would you be able to sustain that? Better to write for 2 hours twice a week for months on end than to write madly for two weeks and burn out. It’s best to start small and increase the time or frequency when it feels right.
It’s the successes, however small, that will propel you forward.
♦ Your writing coach will help you structure your project
Once you have a writing schedule that works for you and you’ve decided what you want to write—a novel, short story, essay, article, blog—your coach will help you structure your project for maximum productivity and success.
A big part of this will be brainstorming and organizing your ideas, making lists, fleshing out details, creating outlines, and gathering resources.
Keep in mind that none of this planning will go very far without some sort of accountability in place. Having a writing partner or belonging to a writing group may offer some sense of accountability, but there’s nothing like a coach to hold your feet to the fire when you have a deadline to meet. Also, you’ll find that paying good money for these services is highly motivational.
♦ A writing coach will help you polish your prose
If your writing skills need improvement, a good writing coach will give you honest feedback that is constructive and inspiring.
If you already have a completed draft, you may be looking for developmental or content editing that focuses on the big picture— does the story make sense? Does it flow? Are the characters fully developed?
Once you have a draft, your coach may offer a line editing service where they will go through your writing, “line by line.” They will look closely at word choice and sentence structure to ensure that your prose is clear and eloquent.
♦ Your writing coach can help you develop a positive mindset
A positive mindset is crucial to a productive writing life, and a coach will work closely with you on your specific challenges. These challenges might include the following:
- Are you afraid of rejection?
- Do you think your work is no good?
- Do you get overwhelmed and then become paralyzed?
- Do you suffer from imposter syndrome?
- Are you a procrastinator?
It’s not unusual for writers to suffer from any one or all of these mindset hurdles (hopefully, not all at once), and an experienced coach can assist you in overcoming these limitations with specific exercises and actionable steps.
A coach will celebrate your successes, large and small. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and while you might have a writing partner who gives you the occasional pat on the back, it’s unlikely you remember to pat your own back. There’s nothing like having your own personal cheerleader.
♦ What to look for in a writing coach
When looking for a writing coach, take a little time to think about why you are looking for one and what you’d like to accomplish. Read testimonials from past clients and ask if there is a complimentary coaching session to see if you are a good fit.
In finding the right coach, you will get the support, encouragement, and instruction that you need to honor your writer within.
My question to you is this— IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Kathryn’s astute edits and inspired suggestions were invaluable in crafting my work. Her sensitive coaching encouraged me to have faith in my abilities and trust the creative process.
Beverly Lafontaine, Los Angeles, CA