Writers, the benefits of working with a writing coach can add up to the perfect equation for your success!
Wondering how working with a writing coach will benefit your writing? I hear you! The decision to work with a writing coach—whether you’re looking for a fiction writing coach, a nonfiction writing coach, or a memoir writing coach—is a big step.
When I asked my colleague Ryan G. Van Cleave, who’s the Head of Creative Writing, at Ringling College of Art and Design, why he thinks someone might take that big step, he was pretty emphatic! He said that working with a writing coach can help a writer in these very significant ways:
- To stop floundering
- To save years of heartbreak
- To shorten the learning curve
- To help develop an appropriate, effective platform
- To create a clear direction for their writing efforts and career
All that sounds awesome, right? But what exactly does a writing coach do to help a writer achieve outcomes like that? In this article, we’ll take a peek at some of the benefits of working with a writing coach, ways to find the right coach for you, and what a writer can expect from a coaching relationship. With some luck and hard work, all these elements might just add up to a perfect formula for your success!
Benefits of working with a writing coach
There are many benefits to working with a writing coach. Here’s just a quick list of some of the most often discussed:
- All eyes on you: Pretty much by definition, your personal writing coach will give you and your work their undivided attention. Their professional feedback will always be tailored to you and your unique needs and goals. They have your back, always.
- Cheerleader: Your writing coach will support you in staying the course. Their enthusiasm for your project will encourage you to show up, even on days when doing so feels like a big stretch. (Writing coach secret: We writing coaches know that those “big stretches” are helping you grow into the writer you want to be.)
- “Every day, I’m getting better and better”: Yup. It’s true. When your writing coach brings all the benefits of their education and experience to you and your project, they can help you identify what you’re already doing well (congrats!) and point out where you could improve. And you will improve, because your coach will also give you precise guidance on how to make the changes to your writing that will have the most impact. Woohoo!
Wondering how to find the right writing coach?
- One of my clients told me this about her experience looking for a writing coach: I believe part of what makes a writing coach [a great fit] is the writer. Are you open-minded? Are you clear on your goals? Are you ready to deep dive into the work? [When you’re ready], finding the right writing coach is much like dating, trying out personalities, finding which one fits best to foster your productive and fruitful work.
- Of course, in addition to personality, there are practicalities to consider. I suggest you look for coaches who have a degree in writing or English (or both). You’ll also want to check out testimonials from their clients. If a coach has written a book about writing, that’s a plus! I co-authored the innovative guide to plot for novelists and memoir writers PLOTTING YOUR NOVEL WITH THE PLOT CLOCK. And do ask a potential coach (if it’s not obvious on their website) whether any of their clients have been published.
- If you’re liking what you’re seeing, ask for a sampler! Many writing coaches offer a trial session or consultation to see if they will be a good fit. For example, I provide both a free, 30-minute initial phone consultation as well as low-commitment mini-writing coaching session. Offerings like these allow you and your potential coach to find out if you are a good fit for each other.
What can you expect from a good coaching relationship?
When Hanna Kjeldbjerg, creative director at Beaver’s Pond Press, recommends an author hire a writing coach, these are some of the reasons she cites: Authors need writing coaches for accountability, organization, and an objective eye. But more than that, writers need a partner who understands their vision for their book, who feels like a friend.
I agree. Whether you’re a more experienced writer or a newer one, I bet you aim high. You deserve a writing coach who meets you there. You want to work with someone who is not only a professional, but who is also your smart, capable writing friend. Having done the (literary!) math before, your coach should be able to help you add up all your resources so they equal your success.
Want to know more about hiring a writing coach? Check out this article about writing coaching from THE WRITER magazine or book a free consultation to discover how a writing coach can help you get your book or project off the ground and into print!