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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!