February 2023 archive

Benefits of Working with a Writing Coach

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. “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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

The Five Biggest Benefits of Working with a Book Coach

Your book coach knows that writing a book is an exciting—and ambitious!—undertaking. And your book coach is as enthusiastic about the challenge as you are! (It’s what we live for, honestly.) Wearing a number of different hats—editor, cheerleader, critique partner, among them—your professional book coach has the experience and know-how to help you accomplish your book-writing goals.

Time’s a-ticking: While short-form writers (like bloggers, short story writers, or business writers) might also benefit from a writing coach, when you’re writing a book-length manuscript, a coach can prove invaluable. For example: Your book coach can not only estimate how long it might take you to finish your book (less time for a how-to book than for a first novel, for instance), but she will also share shortcuts that can save you precious days or even weeks!

“How does this sound to you?”: Offering quality feedback is a big part of my job as a book coach. Often, you can find yourself too close to your project to see what’s working and what could use further development. When you ask your coach, “How does this sound to you,” you get the benefit of fresh—and sympathetic—eyes on your work. Your coach will then help you choose what additions, subtractions, or tweaks will serve your book best.

“What will help right now?”: Each time I prepare to meet with a client, I commit to showing up with an open mind and a fresh approach, asking both them and myself “what will help right now?” Writing a book is a complex process. There are many angles to consider at any one time. Determining what’s most important right now keeps your book moving forward. For example, we might decide that one of your character’s voices needs to be developed to create the tone that you’re aiming for. Or we might realize an aspect of your plot or nonfiction book outline needs to be restructured!

(True) story time: A client came to me several years ago after having an emotionally difficult experience with another coach. Her former coach approached every session with a red pen in hand, focusing almost exclusively on line edits and sentence structure. While there is certainly a time and place for that kind of focus, in this case, the writer wasn’t even halfway done with her first rough draft.

Unfortunately, that book coach’s style left the client going in circles—and often in tears! As I wrote in this post about writing coaches, a good coach is always on the writer’s side. They work with the writer, rather than trying to squeeze the writer into a box that doesn’t fit. Congrats, however, to that writer for trying again. She became my client and we set to work to figure out what she and her book needed right then. After that, she was able to work steadily and effectively and complete her manuscript.

Happy ending: That client now has an agent and a contract with a publisher for her completed memoir.

Here is brief summary of a few of the many benefits of working with a book coach:

  1. Provides one-on-one support: A book coach takes the time to learn exactly where you are in your book-writing journey. She always personalizes her feedback and guidance so it suits your unique needs and goals.
  2. Is reliable: Working with a book coach typically involves a combination of individual sessions, assignments, and ongoing professional support. Your coach shows up to meetings prepared, interested, and on time, ready to give you her undivided attention and best advice.
  3. Invites accountability: The book-coaching relationship relies on this old adage: Two (well-prepared) heads are better than one! Because your book coach arrives prepped and primed, you’ll be motivated to do the same. You’ll feel encouraged to complete the writing tasks you’ve committed to, which, in turn, will move your book-writing process along more quickly and consistently.
  4. Motivates: For all the reasons listed above, you’ll most likely find that working with a coach keeps you motivated and inspired. Of course, there are times when writing a book can be tough going. But your coach will be there every step of the way; she’s ready and able to assist you over or around any blocks that might arise.
  5. Helps you become a better writer: Not only will your book coach help you complete your manuscript (a huge win!), but she will also help you find ways to improve your writing chops along the way. This means that when you type “THE END” you’ll be a better writer than when you faced that blank screen for the first time.

And that’s a win you can take down the field for another goal.

Want to know more about hiring a book coach? Check out this article about writing coaching from THE WRITER magazine. Learn how to find a writing coach by reading this article. Or book a free consultation to learn how a writing coach can help you get your book or project off the ground and into print!

Posted in News, Notes & Quotes | Comments Off on The Five Biggest Benefits of Working with a Book Coach
Copyright ©2023 Jamie Morris LLC, Writing Coach | Contact me | 407.644.5163 | Privacy Policies | Terms & Conditions